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28 New SAT Math Lessons to Improve Your Score in One Month – Intermediate Course Review by Laura Delgado

Dr. Steve Warner

Whether or not you are a personal believer in the efficacy of standardized testing, the fact is that the SAT is a seminal event in the lives of most high school students. Some will be hoping for a score that is high enough to gain them entrance to the school of their choice. Some will be hoping for a score that is National Merit worthy. Whatever your student’s personal goal, Dr. Steve Warner’s book 28 New SAT Math Lessons to Improve Your Score in One Month – Intermediate Course can help them achieve it, at least as far as the math portion of the SAT is concerned.

This book, list price $29.99, contains 28 lessons in 235 pages. The topics covered in the book are as follows: Heart of Algebra, Geometry, Passport to Advanced Math, Statistics, Problem Solving, Complex Numbers, Geometry and Trigonometry, Data Analysis, and Problem Solving and Data Analysis. The book begins with four simple instructions, including buying the correct calculator, taking a practice SAT to obtain your baseline math score (which needs to be 500-600 to use this intermediate book), downloading the bonuses to which you are entitled with your book purchase, and “liking” Dr. Warner’s Facebook page in order to stay up-to-date with his tips, tricks, and advice. These instructions are followed by a very helpful introduction detailing how to use the book effectively, how to use your scientific calculator (preferably a TI-84 or comparable), and tips for taking the SAT. There is so much good information just in the introduction alone!

The book then proceeds to the crux of the material. Each lesson covers some aspect of math. It begins with easier material and progresses to more difficult material. Thus, Lesson 1, “The Heart of Algebra,” is something even I, a math-challenged verbal-half-of-the-SAT loving individual can do! Dr. Warner presents a problem and explains test strategy within the context of that problem. It is within this very first lesson that I began to love this book, as Dr. Warner covers the entire SAT taking experience. Yes, there is an element of test-taking strategy. It’s something we all kind of know, both from having taken it ourselves and from listening to the “buzz” about the test. Even though he is a gifted mathematician (I say gifted both because Rutgers doesn’t hand out Doctorates to just anyone and because he obviously has a gift for teaching math: when I read this book, I feel like I could actually take on the math portion of the SAT, and that’s saying something.), he also acknowledges the foibles of this particular test. So as he works through his example problem, the student is understanding both the problem and the mechanics of the test. Hopefully, the student already understands the basic math!

Within each lesson, Dr. Warner covers three levels of the topic under consideration. I am comfortable saying that this book is really more than 28 lessons. Your student will be looking at more than 28 different kinds of math problems in this book. Additionally, at the close of each chapter, Dr. Warner has “Optional Material” wherein he delves further into the topic at hand. Thus, if your student has a particular weakness, s/he can get a mini-math lesson when and where needed! Also, when he returns to “The Heart of Algebra” in Lesson 5, Dr. Warner reminds students not to begin until they have redone the problems from Lesson 1 that were incorrect. They are not to proceed with this topic until all problems can be done correctly. It is not enough just to read his solution and “understand” their mistakes.

I can’t say enough good things about this book. Truly my best endorsement is to say that I plan to buy Dr. Warner’s other SAT math prep books. I have no doubt that students who use his books and follow his instructions (practice, practice, practice) absolutely do raise their math scores. I don’t see how any other outcome is possible. His teaching experience is palpable on the page (he has been tutoring for the SAT since high school) and he is highly responsive to questions on his Facebook. For homeschoolers and public schoolers, Dr. Warner is the math teacher we wish we had access to. . . and now we do!

—Product review by Laura Delgado, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2016