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Chris Lele

SAT Book Review – Barron’s Grammar Workbook

Lost in the tumult of SAT guides is a gem of a grammar book by Barron’s: Barron’s Grammar Workbook. It breaks down all you need to know about grammar in a succinct way.

What makes this book great, in addition to its clean format and easy to follow explanations of scary grammatical terms (adjectival phrases, anyone?), is that it starts with the very basic. So whether you are struggling with identifying correct parts of speech or want to master advanced concepts, such as the subjunctive mood, then this book is for you.

This book though is not perfect. The exercises sentences, the ones following each lesson and testing the grammar principles you’ve just imbibed, need some work in terms of helping instill the grammar rules preceding them.

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Even more of a travesty, is the books attempt to mimic SAT questions. The section that contains two tests in SAT style, while at least helpful from a standpoint of reinforcing grammar, do a poor job of copying an actual SAT question.

On a positive note, the book also contains practice for the ACT. Because the ACT is an easier test to reproduce, the questions are more similar to actual ACT test questions.

The takeaway from all this? Barron’s Grammar Workbook is an excellent way to brush up on your grammar skills (really a must for anyone serious about doing well on the SAT Writing section). To really get the most out of this book you should use it in conjunction with Barron’s Essential of Writing (review coming soon!).

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Of course doing practice questions from the SAT College Board book, after you’ve worked a little with the Barron’s books, is the best recipe for success on the SAT Writing Section.

Grade: A- (for teaching grammar); D+ (SAT practice questions)

About Chris Lele

Chris Lele is the GRE and SAT Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh Online Test Prep. In his time at Magoosh, he has inspired countless students across the globe, turning what is otherwise a daunting experience into an opportunity for learning, growth, and fun. Some of his students have even gone on to get near perfect scores. Chris is also very popular on the internet. His GRE channel on YouTube has over 10 million views. You can read Chris's awesome blog posts on the Magoosh GRE blog and High School blog! You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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