- Paperback: 292 pages
- Publisher: College Panda (July 17, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 098949649X
- ISBN-13: 978-0989496490
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 748 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3.015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The College Panda's SAT Writing: Advanced Guide and Workbook Paperback – 17 July 2018
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About the Author
Nielson Phu is a teacher, author, and SAT perfect scorer. Since graduating from NYU, he has helped hundreds of students throughout Boston and Hong Kong improve their own scores with a unique approach that goes far beyond the basic strategies found in typical test prep material. Although he is now an engineer, he continues to teach through The College Panda, an in-depth blog with more than 20,000 readers each month (https: //thecollegepanda.com
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
JAN 2017 SAT 1420 690/730 essay 6/5/6 using paid online SAT prep software and free Khan Academy resources
MAR 2017 SAT 1400 700/700 (in-school SAT, so no essay)
at this point she has superscore 1430 700/730
NOV 2017 SAT 1520 760/760 essay 8/6/7 using College Panda books!!
Daughter was away at Yale Young Global Scholars this past summer, and then upon her return worked a part-time job and completed an internship before starting her senior year, so she was unable to take the August SAT. She was also unable to take the October SAT due to her fall varsity sport (playing in not just one but TWO state championships). The November SAT was her last shot!
We have happily rushed her November SAT scores to her ED choice (top 20 engineering school).
THANK YOU SO MUCH COLLEGE PANDA!
We started using them since March 2018, so far we enjoy their 1) reasonable volume not too long or short; 2) precise reviewing lessons in each chapter; 3) helpful tips and pitfalls to watch for; 4) practice tests that follow the actual testing style.
Wish to have in the book 1) a diagnostic test in the beginning to lead to the right area and chapter to review; 2) more questions to reinforce areas that we need more practice.
(note: this review is largely repeated for the companion book, The College Panda's SAT Math: Advanced Guide and Workbook for the New SAT, but the words/review is every bit as applicable. We have been using both).
Some people get perfect scores and really know how to take these tests. Others know how to explain concepts and materials. Very few can do both. Phu is the rare individual who can, did, and does.
Having already had 2 students enter college, I have looked at a lot of PSAT/SAT prep materials over the years. It's hard to find any that are geared toward the more competitive students who already are performing decently but want to have confidence that they've fully cataloged ALL the types of questions, and want insight into the real 'gotchas' of the test. This book does exactly that, is straightforward to read, and doesn't waste your time with any nonessentials.
While Nielson's book is indeed geared toward those aiming for seriously competitive scores, I'm sure it would also be helpful to those who just wanted to understand the "what" and "how" of SAT. Don't bother with the super-thick, fluff-filled guides churned out by the 'bigger' publishers -- too much bloatware in this books! They seem to think the page count justifies their cost, I guess. Further, I have found their 'explanations' of what makes a correct vs. incorrect answer often arbitrary or even misleading. In contrast, this book lays out the scope of the problem types in a no-nonsense manner. If you need a general introduction to 'what is the SAT', how long does it take, etc. then perhaps skim through the beginning chapters of one of those 'fluff' books. But then come use Nielson's for actual study/prep.
One small criticism (not even worth a point/star off on review) is that, like ANY and EVERY prep book not directly published under CollegeBoard (i.e., CollegeBoard or Khan Academy) the problems are unofficial. Why is that important? Because the test authors have a *very particular* manner of authoring the problems (and answers) so they fit their standardized mold. (Which, by the way, is why all those practice tests in the 'big fluff' books are nearly worthless and even misleading. It's just more heft to justify the price.) So just be sure that if you use the CollegePanda then (as Nielson also tells you) do the REAL PRACTICE on OFFICIAL (new) SAT tests & practice questions. Don't waste your time on the big publishers. Did their authors repeatedly get perfect scores?