In addition to the Blue Book and our SAT vocabulary course, both of which are provided free of charge to our new students, this is my number one recommendation for students seeking a supplemental SAT prep text. The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar, by Erica L. Meltzer, has proven indispensible to my work as an SAT prep tutor.
(By the way, trying to find time to study all this stuff? Try out our Ultimate Time Management course (and book) for teens and high schoolers - it will help you find time for SAT prep, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, so check it out!
What makes Meltzer’s SAT grammar guide so great?
First of all, she knows the test inside and out. Expertise is always my first requirement when searching for a teaching tool, and Meltzer proves hers on the page. The slim volume is laden with insight on precisely what’s tested time and again.
Meltzer breaks the grammar section into a series of topics, beginning with Subject-Verb errors, Verb Tense and Form errors, Pronoun-Antecedent errors, and Pronoun Case errors. These four error categories comprise roughly 33% of all Error Identification questions on the SAT, and they’re by far the most common errors students make in their writing efforts. After addressing them in detail, Meltzer proceeds to discuss the remaining twelve or so topics with authority and clarity. Each topic section is followed by a short exercise designed to test students’ mastery of the topic. Cumulative reviews are interspersed throughout the text to ensure retention.
Using Meltzer’s book, I’m able to comprehensively teach each grammar topic, as well as provide students with targeted practice. Perhaps they’re struggling with dangling modifiers. No problem. I’ve got an array of modification-error questions at my disposal to help students master the concept. Because Meltzer cross-references the Blue Book, I’m able to point students to real SAT questions designed to test these weak spots; after this targeted practice, students are able to spot grammar errors from a mile away.
I’ve helped a girl scoring below a 600 score a perfect 800 on the Writing section, and I owe part of that success to Meltzer. I can’t recommend this book enough! For those interested, she’s also got a Critical Reading guide and an ACT English Guide, both of which are also stellar.
If you’re trying to figure out when, why, and how to find the time to study this stuff, check out our online course (and book), Ultimate Time Management for Teens and High School Students!
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Ultimate Time Management for Teens and High School Students