At Y.E.S. Educational Consulting, we’re constantly curious. Curious about lesser-known colleges, curious about updates to standardized test, curious about the latest theories in education, and, of course, curious about our students—their hopes, interests, and goals. To satiate all of this curious, we frequently turn to a variety of resources, which we then encourage our students to peruse as well.
If You’re Looking to Improve Your SAT Score
- The Official SAT Study Guide, 2018 Edition
- We believe in always beginning with the test creators themselves. This book includes eight official practice tests, as well as information about test format, question types, and tips. If
- SAT Official Practice Tests Online
- All of the practice tests printed in the book above are also available online, as part of College Board’s latest efforts to improve transparency and access to resources. It would be a significantly large-scale print job to print all of these, but for students who only need to do one or two practice tests, this is a better option.
- Khan Academy Online SAT Practice
- College Board has partnered with Khan Academy, allowing them to provide a spectrum of free SAT preparation for students. What we love most about this resource is that practice problems are organized according to question categories, allowing students to focus on the specific areas where they need the most improvement.
If You’re Looking to Improve Your ACT Score
- The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2018
- As with the SAT, we believe the best way to ensure students are prepared for exactly what they will face come test day is to work with official tests. Unfortunately, this book only provides three official tests, but it does offer a strong place to start.
- Preparing for the ACT Free Study Guide, 2017-18
- The ACT provides this full-length free practice test, which students can use as a diagnostic test when beginning their preparation or as a full practice test to check progress.
If You’re Compiling College Lists
Many of our students turn to The Fiske Guide to Colleges, Princeton Reviews the Best 382 Colleges, or Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges. In our opinion, however, these guides don’t prove incredibly useful. Students most likely already have some preferences and standards that naturally narrow their list down to a selection of institutions, which will make the majority of these books inapplicable to their situations. Furthermore, the overwhelming size will make it unlikely that students will be able to focus enough to come across any hidden gems. Finally, because admissions statistics change so frequently, much of the data in these printed guides ultimately ends up being outdated in a short period of time. We actually recommend less comprehensive, but more focused guides.
- College Match: A Blueprint for Choosing the Best School
- Steven Antonoff’s guidebook is a favorite among college consulting professionals. Instead of just reading through an endless barrage of information, students answer questionnaires and complete worksheets within the book in order to arrive at a better understanding of which institutions might be best for them.
- Colleges That Change Lives
- This Lauren Pope classic has exposed many previously lesser-known colleges to the masses. While the statistics aren’t incredibly helpful (again, because they might be out of date), the profiles are still applicable. We love it mostly for the fact that it gets students thinking about the value of colleges they may not otherwise have on their lists.