I am very happy to announce some new book releases.
I am very happy to announce two additional forthcoming Critical Reader prep books for the digital SAT.
The first is a test book to accompany the main Reading and Writing guides. It features three full-length Reading & Writing tests in dSAT format (two modules per exam, each with 27 questions) and includes detailed explanations for all questions. It should be available from both Amazon and The Critical Reader within the next two weeks. (Please note that this book replaces The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar Workbook; because the number of Writing questions is considerably reduced on the digital test, it did not make sense to have a book of practice tests devoted solely to that portion of the exam.)
The second guide is a vocabulary book, on which I am very happy to be collaborating again with Larry Krieger. The book features approximately 200 challenging must-know words for both sentence completions and transitions, along with numerous entertaining examples drawn primarily from contemporary pop culture (think plenty of Barbie, with some Oppenheimer and The Avengers thrown in, plus an eclectic* mix of other references).
I really have to hand it to Larry: his knowledge of pop culture positively puts mine to shame, AND he actually managed to distill the Avengers plot down into a few hundred easy-to-follow words. Most impressive!
We’re doing our best to get a beta version of the book out sometime this month so that it can be used for PSAT preparation, with a final version to follow in the late winter or early spring. Stay tuned for more details.
*Varied, diverse, heterogeneous; note that this has traditionally been a favorite SAT word, and all signs suggest that the College Board is once again relying on the top ETS list. So much for that whole “no more ‘obscure’ (ha!) words” thing.
I am happy to report that Amazon/KDP has approved the file for the final version of The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar, 6th Edition, making both the grammar and reading books available for through Amazon and The Critical Reader.
At this time, we do not yet have copies of the new editions in our warehouse, so books must be sent directly from the printer. As a result, orders may take longer to arrive than would normally be the case. If you need the books urgently, please order directly from Amazon.
In addition, please note that if you are located outside of the United States and wish to purchase the books on Amazon, you must order through the corresponding Amazon page in your country of residence.
If you have a question regarding the new editions, please contact us directly.
I am happy to announce that the preliminary versions of The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar, Sixth Edition, and The Critical Reader, Fifth Edition are now available for international students preparing for the new digital SAT in March, as well as tutors working with International students and any U.S. students taking the digital school day SAT this spring.
If you live outside the United States and unable to order from Amazon locally, you can order directly through The Critical Reader. Students located in South Korea will be able to purchase books through our Korean distributor, JMK Education. As of 1/29/23, we are in the process of arranging to have an order shipped to them.
Both books have retained their core components but have been fully reworked to reflect the content and format of the digital SAT. While it is possible that there will eventually be some minor reshuffling of content (particularly in the grammar book, since it’s not entirely clear whether certain concepts will tested on the digital exam), I hesitate to call them beta versions because the bulk of the material is effectively final. The only major changes planned at this point are the additional of end-of-chapter practice questions/explanations in the reading book, and full explanations for end-of-chapter exercises in the grammar book.
In order to make the books available on the various international Amazon sites, there was no choice to publish to the main U.S. site as well—so yes, the books are technically available there now. However, I am aiming to release the expanded versions of both books by April, so you may want to wait to purchase them if you are planning to take the digital exam in June or later and do not need to start studying urgently.
Ensuring that the new editions matched the level of quality of the previous editions while getting them to publication in only a few months has been an enormously challenging process, and again, I very much appreciate everyone’s patience while I worked out all the unforeseen (but inevitable) last-minute kinks.
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I apologize for the delay and appreciate everyone’s patience. This is the fastest I have ever had to revise such a huge quantity of material (there was no way for me to begin serious work on the updates until the College Board released the first full digital practice test at the beginning of October). And because I am an actual person who sometimes has to deal with life beyond test preparation, I needed to take a break for a couple of weeks during the holidays.
Happy New Year, congratulations to everyone who got done with testing or into college, and wishing you a good 2023.
Update 12/1: As of the beginning of December 2022, I have completed drafts of new editions of The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar (6th edition) and The Critical Reader (5th edition).
While the books retain many key elements, they have been substantially overhauled and are now fully aligned with the digital exam—based on the four practice tests released by the College Board—and will be available for purchase for international test-takers in some capacity by late December or January 2023.
Both books will be in something very close to their final form; the only major difference will be in the number of exercises (particularly in certain chapters of the Reading book) and the presence of detailed explanations for every question in the end-of-chapter exercises, which are likely to be too time-consuming to produce in full for both books by the end of the year.
Also, full disclosure: there will only be time for the books to undergo one round of proofing, so there may be a few lingering typos (this is the unfortunate price for getting them out so quickly).
Otherwise, as in previous editions, each guide contains a full chapter devoted to each question type; numerous worked, in-chapter examples with step-by-step explanations; and numerous strategies for simplifying questions and zeroing in on key information.
I’ve worked incredibly hard on the revisions over the last couple of months, and I feel confident that they will provide thorough preparation for students taking the digital test in March.
I expect finalized versions that have detailed explanations for the end-of-chapter exercises and that have undergone multiple rounds of proofing to be available sometime in the spring of 2023. Current sophomores who are preparing for the digital PSAT next fall should have plenty of time to work with them over the summer.
I appreciate everyone’s patience and will be posting previews of both books as soon as possible.
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