SAT Book Teaches Strategy, Not Just Math Formulas And Vocabulary

A top SAT tutor who charges $400 per hour for personalized SAT instruction has released a new SAT prep book that explains his uniquely successful approach to the test all for under $20.

World-renowned tutor Mike Barrett has released a new SAT book aimed at helping high school students prepare for the dreaded test in a uniquely effective way. The SAT Prep Black Book teaches readers to exploit the design of the test itself rather than relying on repetitive drills and exercises. The book is available in both hard copy and Kindle e-format on

According to Barrett, The SAT Prep Black Book should be used with the College Board's Official SAT Study Guide, also called "The Blue Book." Barrett's Black Book provides strategies and step-by-step, specific advice for every question type. It also gives Barrett’s unique perspective on related issues like time management, test anxiety, and avoiding careless errors.

The SAT includes sections on math, reading comprehension, sentence completion, and sentence correction, along with an essay portion. The SAT Prep Black Book offers thorough guidance on each section, including two critical components of SAT math success and five reasons why memorizing vocabulary words isn’t the best idea, among many other points that will surprise students who have struggled with the traditional memorization-based approach to the SAT taught by companies like Kaplan or in other SAT books.

“Memorizing vocabulary words causes a lot of stress for students who try it, and the big secret of the traditional SAT tutoring industry is that memorizing those words doesn’t even work for most people,” says Barrett. “Instead, it’s better to learn to beat questions strategically, rather than just suffering through a laundry list of vocabulary words that won’t even be on the next test. The underlying strategies of the SAT always apply to all real SAT questions, while the individual words in a particular sentence will be different from question to question. So it’s much more effective to learn the strategies and then practice implementing them on real SAT questions, which is what I teach in my Black Book.”

The book also discusses elite SAT scores. “Students competing to get into Harvard or other top-tier schools need top-tier scores in almost every case,” says Barrett. “But being good at math and writing isn’t always enough for the SAT. If you want to score in the 99th percentile or maybe even get a perfect 2400, the most effective approach is to know how the test is built, so you can exploit the weaknesses of the SAT’s standardization.”

But Barrett adds that the Black Book isn’t only intended for students competing for a top university: “The strategies that I teach are things that directly address how the SAT works, in terms of the rules and patterns that the College Board uses to write the questions, and in terms of learning to exploit those rules and patterns. Those strategies can be effective for anyone.”

“It’s really all about accuracy, because the SAT tries to play the same ‘tricks’ over and over,” explains Barrett. “So if you want a score in the 50th percentile, you have to apply the proper approach roughly 50 percent of the time. To make a perfect 2400, you have to apply the proper approach more like 98 to 100 percent of the time. And so on. That’s why it’s so important to talk to students about the mental aspect of testing. What separates a 2000-scorer from a 2400-scorer usually isn’t knowledge or intelligence. It’s accuracy, focus, and discipline on test day.”

Barrett’s approach has proved successful. He has worked with the clients of top admissions consultants like Mimi Doe and Michele Hernandez, and has tutored students from all over the world. His students have often credited him with making the SAT seem easy for them. At press time, his going rate for personal SAT tutoring was $400 per hour.

Of the Black Book, the Amazon reviewer with the username “Sarah Swingle” wrote, "I felt like I was in the College Board's mind. Basically the whole SAT makes sense to me now." Another reviewer with the username “Test Prep Maven” wrote, “The insights in this book are surefire score-boosters."

At press time the SAT Prep Black Book was available in paperback for $17.97 on, representing a 10% discount off its list price of $19.97. It was available in Kindle format for $9.99.

Contact Info:
Name: Scott Henderson
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Organization: Freelance

Release ID: 12720