Q:

I have just begun my junior year of high school, and it is time to begin preparing for the SAT. So many books and programs exist to help with this process - all claiming to be the best and most useful. This causes much confusion on my part. Are there any books for SAT preparation that you recommend? - Junior

A:

Rather than searching for the perfect book or program to prepare for the SAT, you should first try to get an idea of how much preparation you really need to do for this test. Be sure to sign up to take the PSAT in October. The PSAT Score Report Plus will give you a prediction of the SAT score range you can expect, as well as feedback on your skills. Also, you can go online to the College Board's Web site at www.collegeboard.com to take a mini-SAT test that will give you a free analysis of where you need help.

Your next step should be to find out what SAT scores you need in order to be admitted to the colleges that you are considering. You might discover that you will not need much preparation beyond becoming familiar with the SAT through taking several practice tests.

You have several options if you think that you need help in preparing for the SAT. There are online and classroom courses, preparation books and CD-ROMs, and one-on-one tutoring. Unless you work well independently, taking a course is probably your best option. You also should know if you are more likely to do better in a classroom or online course.