SAT Prep Black Book, Second Edition, (cover)

The cover of the SAT Prep Black Book, Second Edition, which is available on Amazon.

(Click this link for the Second Edition of the SAT Prep Black Book, which is fully updated for the current version of the SAT.)

In like March of 2014 or so, during my morning catch-up on the news, I read an article about how the College Board was planning to overhaul the SAT for 2016. “Okay,” I remember thinking, “we’ll wait for the College Board to release a decent-sized set of new questions, and then we’ll analyze them and release the second edition of the SAT Black Book. It should take us a few months once the questions are released.”

As you’re probably aware, it’s currently the middle of 2017. So I was a little off on my timeline. This can be attributed to a few factors, such as the following:

  • procrastination
  • finalizing and publishing the SAT Math 2 Prep Black Book
  • extensive traveling (for business and personal reasons)
  • a major startup project in an unrelated industry
  • the time needed to research, digest, and cross-reference the whole set of available questions and related documents from the College Board (see the changelog below)
  • the time needed to develop formatting conventions that would allow us to fit 616 detailed walkthroughs of real SAT questions, along with extensive training for the new test, into a page limit of 630 pages, which is the upper limit for Createspace books (see the changelog below)
  • repeated failures of Microsoft Word to handle a document with over 400k words and a ton of styles, fonts, sections, bullets, columns, macros, and so on
  • naps and stuff

I know it took us a while to get this Black Book out to you, but I’m happy to report that our test audience really likes it. I hope you like it, too.


Some readers expressed interest in knowing more about how the book was updated. I decided to share a simplified changelog with them (these changelogs are a big part of how we’re streamlining our book-creation processes, but I’ll probably talk more about that in the coming weeks and months). People said they found the changelog interesting, so I thought I’d share it here as well—I think it does a good job of portraying all the work that was done for the second edition, both on a technical level and on a content level, without getting too bogged down in the weeds of the whole project.

So here’s the modified changelog for the SAT Prep Black Book, Second Edition:

### Added
- TIE 3.0 logo
- Part-based organizational structure, with bulleted partial concept lists for each part
- Dynamic cross-references inserted throughout
- “Why I Re-explain”
- “What if I Run Out”
- “Science on the SAT” including examples/descriptions of figures
- “Key Techniques for the whole SAT” including v-scan diagrams
- Reading sample walkthrough diagram/key added
- Math sample walkthrough diagram/key added
- Writing and Language sample walkthrough diagram/key added
- 208 Reading walkthroughs of real College Board SAT questions created/formatted
- 232 Math walkthroughs of real College Board SAT questions created/formatted
- 176 Writing and Language walkthroughs of real College Board SAT questions created/formatted

### Updated
- “second edition” on front cover and spine
- co-author names added to front cover and spine
- back cover text modified and updated
- document styles, fonts, layouts overhauled for readability, consistency, and page count
- copyright updated
- references to PR removed throughout
- title page
- dedication expanded
- “check us out online” updated
- TOC updated/trimmed for page length
- “Read this first” updated/expanded
- “Big secrets” updated/expanded
- “Careless errors” updated/expanded
- “Only College Board questions” updated/expanded
- “Guessing” updated/expanded
- “Time Management” updated/expanded
- “SAT Reading Training” updated/expanded (restatement/demonstration, data questions, handling different kinds of passages, key technical terms, quick summary, etc)
- “SAT Math Training” updated/expanded (toolbox concepts, math path, diagram discussion, major approaches to questions, quick summary, etc)
- “SAT Writing and Language Training” updated/expanded (demonstration vs restatement, toolbox concepts, including/excluding sentences, data questions, comma rules, sets up/blurs the focus, quick summary, etc)
- “SAT Essay Training” updated/expanded (new scoring, rules/patterns, charts/analysis, evidence/reasoning/emotion, step-by-step approach, application to high-scoring essays, quick summary, etc)
- updated training for non-native speakers to reflect changes in vocabulary issues on the current SAT

### Removed
- references to old guessing rules
- references to math concepts that are no longer relevant
- selected test-design patterns that are no longer relevant
- selected test-design rules that are no longer relevant
- references to vocabulary strategies that are no longer relevant (but see updated/added material on critical terms, toolbox concepts, “bad connection” reading, etc)

Thanks for reading this. If you have any questions about the new SAT book, please leave them in a comment below (or on the facebook page, etc).