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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Kaplan New SAT Premier 2016 with 5 Practice Tests: Personalized Feedback + Book + Online + DVD + Mobile

SAT seems like a harmless word but it strikes fear into the stoutest hearts of high school students.  I recall concern about the SAT way back in the 60's when the test was printed on papyrus.  Not overt concern because I was luckily or lucky regarding standardized tests.  I had class mates that quite literally threw up due to stress over the SAT.  Colleges are finally realizing that the overemphasis that has historically been placed on tests such as the SAT has blithely ignored more accurate and reliable measures of potential academic success.  However digression is doing ill service to a review of this product.

The first word that came to mind when I picked up the 1336 page behemoth of a book was hernia.  The second, after perusing the table of contents was comprehensive. Not being a teen I was peripherally aware that the SAT has been redesigned for 2016.   (about time)  This book, the accompanying DVD and the Kaplan web site are designed to help the next generation of guinea pigs, I mean students, successfully get high scores on the SAT.  As near as I can tell without taking the SAT this book should provide a measure of comfort for the student that can wade through it.  There is a wealth of material and it should give a close to substantive experience that hopefully will transfer to the actual test.  Traditionally SAT scores have risen as students retake them.  The experience and perhaps the wearing down of anxiety no doubt contribute to that phenomena.  

Perhaps the best advice I saw in the book was the encouragement to complete the now optional essay portion.   If at the time of testing the student has no interest in a school that requires the essay they may feel why bother with the essay.  Reality is that people change their minds and directions.  The essay portion can not be taken separately.  Imagine a student's frustration if after taking the SAT a school that requires the essay is suddenly leavened into the mix.  The entire test would have to be re-taken.  If a school does not require the essay,  the completion of the essay will not count against a student.  However if it does require the essay, it must be completed.  The simple solution is to complete the essay regardless of it being labeled optional.

This book and its five practice tests should allow a student who diligently utilizes all its tools to approach the SAT experience with a modicum of confidence. 

An editorial aside to this review is that as a high school guidance counselor I saw students who aced the SATs crash dramatically in college.  Conversely I saw  students who despaired over even getting admitted to college after an abysmal SAT experience graduate college with honors.  It is so very difficult to measure motivation, desire and ambition.  This book should provide confidence but please remember the SAT is not in any way a measure of future success in life.  $25.50 at Amazon at time of review.  

From the vendor:
Prepare for the New SAT with confidence! With more than 75 years of experience and more than 95% of our students getting into their top-choice schools, Kaplan knows how to increase your score and get you into your top-choice college!

Prep Smarter. Not Harder. Our comprehensive SAT prep program for the new SAT reviews every concept tested on the new exam. You won't find a more complete guide on the market! It features exclusive methods and strategies as well as more than 2,000 practice questions guaranteed to raise your SAT score! Each practice question is accompanied by a detailed explanation that includes strategic advice and step-by-step instruction that shows you how to get the right answer the expert way.

Kaplan's New SAT Premier 2016 program includes:

* 5 realistic, full-length practice tests, including a Diagnostic Test to guide your studies
* More than 2,000 practice questions, with detailed explanations
* A DVD with expert video tutorials from master Kaplan teachers
* An online center with additional practice questions and prep resources
* A comprehensive overview of the changes to the new SAT
* Kaplan Methods for the more challenging Reading Comprehension, Writing and Language, and Essay sections of the new SAT
* Kaplan Methods for the new difficult math content tested on the new SAT

Kaplan's New SAT Premier 2016 provides you with everything you need to improve your score, guaranteed. Kaplan has helped more than three million students successfully prepare for standardized tests, so we know that our test-taking techniques, methods, and strategies work. Kaplan's New SAT Premier 2016 is the must-have preparation program for every student looking to score higher and get into their top-choice college!

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

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