As you begin your SAT or ACT preparation, you will notice that bookstores and online shopping sites carry an overwhelming number of books devoted to various aspects of these tests. The majority of these books come from national companies that generate books and online materials for myriad standardized tests.
You have already dedicated time from your busy schedule to prep correctly for the SAT or ACT. It is essential, then, to use the most effective, efficient preparation materials available. The most effective materials closely represent the test that you will see on your test day and include practice tests similar enough to the SAT or ACT that they accurately reflect what you would score on an official test.
Official, released materials created by the testing companies themselves are the best practice materials available. Nothing more accurately reflects the test you will see than released official tests. However, two fundamental problems exist: one, official materials are quite limited in number, and, two, they do not allow students to drill isolated subjects or strategies. Consequently, these materials must be supplemented with third-party prep materials.
How do you know which books are the best?
How can you decide which materials are current?
Does it matter?
Many of these third-party prep materials are problematic. The companies that create these materials do not update them regularly and, as a result, the materials don’t reflect what the ACT or SAT looks like now. For example, more than one book still includes seven passages in its ACT Science Tests, yet the ACT Science Test for the past few years has only featured six passages. This discrepancy can disrupt pacing on a section already notoriously difficult to finish. Additionally, many books focus on information no longer tested or omit content areas that, while not frequently tested, can make the difference for a student working towards a perfect score.
This is why the practice materials offered by Nicholson Tutoring are so vital to student success. After extensive searching for effective third-party prep materials, the staff of Nicholson Tutoring was deeply dissatisfied with available products. So we/they decided to create their own. Sara Nicholson and Brian Becker have over 15 years of combined experience in standardized test content and development, and we/they have developed practice manuals for the SAT and ACT exclusively for Nicholson Tutoring. These manuals contain more than 200 pages of practice problems and practice test sections that accurately reflect each test and allow students to drill strategies and content areas in isolation before applying these skills to a practice test. Sara and Brian update these materials twice a year and adjust them based on the most recent test feedback. Each manual also includes a detailed calculator guide that offers students yet another way to increase their odds of solving test questions.