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The Rocket Review Revolution: The Ultimate Guide to the New SAT and the PSAT [Paperback]

Adam Robinson

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Product details

  • Paperback: 703 pages
  • Publisher: New American Library; 3rd edition (1 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451219465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451219466
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 21.6 x 4.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,275,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  49 reviews
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SAT tutor's impressions 12 Mar 2005
By Ulysses - Published on
(Note: Following is the text of my original review in March 2005. I have updated the review with new comments under "NEW review" below.)

Let me start this review by stating that this is a great book, obviously written by someone who knows the SAT (and the New SAT) VERY well. Mr. Robinson understands how the exam works and provides some very useful strategies for tackling all of the question types. This book is not perfect (hence, the 4 stars), however, and several things really take away from the utility of the book. First of all, the CD is practically useless. The reader is misled into thinking that the CD allows him to use many valuable bonus features on the website. Close inspection will inform the reader, however, that FREE registration on the website offers him the exact same features. The RocketScore engine (which supposedly scores essays to a decimal accuracy) is not terribly accurate. I had students submit good essays and earn 0s (they were told it was off-topic, when the essays were clearly ON-topic), while others submitted mediocre essays that earned top scores from the engine. There wasn't often a rhyme or logic to it; the scores were very misleading. The author had also promised illustrative problems on the website for all the math review chapters at the end of the book. He only just posted a handful of questions, many of which look to be replicas of questions from the practice test. They are not nearly enough questions; I was looking for more ample practice material. The CD adds an entirely unnecessary cost to the book; the book can easily be sold for $10 less without the CD. And while the author presents himself as the ultimate authority on the SAT, there are a few errors, major and minor (not all of which have been corrected with the errata on the site), that belie that claim. The main flaw with the book is the lack of practice material. Although he provides some questions to illustrate the strategies in the book, he only offers one complete practice test, while other books give at least three or four. And no explanations accompany the answers, making it a sub-par exam (although the questions themselves are good). He did not even give short practice sets for the chapters. He might be partly forgiven, though, since the book already runs over 700 pages. Use the Official SAT Study Guide with this book. Overall, a good book, with some major deficiencies.

NEW review:

Since I wrote my first review of this book (the first edition) more than two years ago, I thought it would be prudent to update my thoughts on the book. On the whole, my impressions of the book remain largely the same. I should point out that my earlier criticism of the CD was not entirely fair. Registration with the CD is necessary to access some features, including RocketScore (the essay-scoring engine) and OmniProctor (which offers audio samples that attempt to simulate a real, proctored exam) (OmniProctor STILL, by the way, does not offer a 10-minute section). I have not used RocketScore since the first year; I certainly hope that Mr. Robinson has improved its effectiveness and accuracy since then. Some might think that these features are worth the extra $10 or so; I don't, especially since new updates and additions are now virtually nonexistent. Mr. Robinson seems to have been a bit indolent since the first year after the publication of the first edition. Despite his promise on the website, for example, that he would update the vocabulary list with some new words, the word list remains exactly the same as that in the first edition. There is still a paltry number of practice questions on the website for the Math section (although these are NOT duplicated in the practice test in the book, as I wrote earlier), even though he promised a large number of questions in the book. Some blatant errors (many of the ones I noticed in the first edition) remain in the third edition, and some parts of the book have still not been updated (after more than two years!!) to reflect the changes that the author surely must have noticed since seeing the first administrations of the new SAT. Thus, it's apparent that Mr. Robinson has nearly, or entirely, stopped doing new work on and updating his book and website. This is a disservice to the reader, and, if he's reading this, I would urge him to start working on the book and website again! Finally, the practice test is not perfect. Particularly, the Critical Reading questions are not always in the precise style of the official SAT, and the stated correct answer is not always unambiguously the best answer. (The Math and Writing sections are much better.) These gripes notwithstanding, the reader should know that this is an excellent book -- one of the best on the market -- for preparing for the SAT and PSAT. Even with its flaws, this book, teeming with great strategies and insights that only an experienced, expert SAT tutor can offer, will probably help nearly every student in raising his or her scores, sometimes significantly.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Professional Tutor's Thoughts: 9 Jan 2005
By David Hutt - Published on
From the Power Core Ranked Words: This book is accessible, relevant, pragmatic, innovative, distinct, compelling, exemplary, comprehensive, lucid, meticulous, explicit, astute,

and engaging. Other than that I didn't like it much.

Seriously, Adam Robinson, the brilliance behind the founding of the Princeton Review, has shared a level of insight and expertise light-years beyond all the other SAT books I have used as supplements for my students. They are all eager to purchase the book as soon as I review some of its salient features. From the clarity and counter-intuitiveness of the

tutorials to the technological brilliance of the writing test evaluation software, it has been a revelation.

I cannot imagine any tutor, no matter how perspicacious, who

can read this book and not say that there are points in it that he never realized. I cannot conceive of any serious student of the SAT assidulously reading this book and not seeing her score go up a great deal in a short period of time.

Why, I hear the reader asking, are you suggesting a book to your students that will significantly shorten the number of sessions you need to spend with them? Answer- any tutor NOT using this material is seriously shortchanging his students-

To be the best tutor I can be, The Rocket Review Revolution is


And, no, I have never met Adam Robinson, have no financial ties with him, and am writing this simply as an appreciation of the greatness of this work.

Buy it!

David Hutt
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IF YOU BUY ANY SAT BOOK--THIS IS THE ONE TO USE 9 Dec 2007
By Natalie D. - Published on
I have tried everything--$1000 SAT prep classes (no help, they are only for students who have no idea what the SAT is), doing constant practice from the Official Study guide by College Board (kind of helped but there aren't any explanations for the answers!), funny vocabulary books to help memorize vocab, etc.

None of those really worked.

Until I stumbled upon RocketReview. Everything in this book was SO USEFUL and fun to read too (it reads like a story that the author is narrating, not a boring textbook), with practice problems along the way, crucial tips, and an interactive CD.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK...if you are skeptical, just look for it at the library or something and read a chapter. The study tips are strange at first, but once you read his explanations into why they work--BAM. You understand how to not only take a test, but do math problems the easy way without all those complex calculations, save A LOT OF TIME on those long boring reading passages, etc.

I spent about 8 months trying to raise my SAT and took many practice tests. I had reached a plateau at around 2050-2070, and my parents were disappointed. I googled SAT prep books and bought this book and in just a month of studying over the summer (just reading the book, about an hour each day and doing everything it told me too--not very difficult), I raised my SAT score which I took in October by ***100 points*** which puts me in the range of all the colleges I am applying to as a senior now (Ivy Leage-level, etc). Before, I thought the Critical Reading section was IMPOSSIBLE. After reading this book, I found it to be really straightforward, pretty easy, and sometimes fun.

Get this book--it is a MIRACLE worker
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best SAT Book on the Market - Period. 3 Jun 2005
By Matthew Clemente - Published on
I sit here writing this review as a satisfied and confident student the night before the "big test." After reviewing many of the SAT prep books (SparkNotes, Princeton Review, The Official College Board Edition, etc.), I have found that Adam Robinson's "The RocketReview Revolution: The Ultimate Guide to the New SAT" is the best SAT book on the market. A combination of effective techniques, valuable study tips and advanced technology make this the only SAT prep book to own.

Mr. Robinson (a man that has SAT knowledge down to a science) created this book for the student that is truly dedicated to improving his or her scores on the SAT. The new format of the test can make some students apprehensive to say the least, but Mr. Robinson puts every single aspect of the new SAT into terms that can put any nervous student into a confident and content state. Believe me: before this book, I was about as anxious and worried as any teenager could get; but after reading this excellent source for all of the SAT information, I couldn't be more prepared for tomorrow's test.

This book truly goes above and beyond any other SAT book I have ever read. Mr. Robinson really does care about the people that read his book: he talks to his readers with the utmost respect and as if they are right beside him. The interactive website, along with the CD included with the book, make the learning process even easier with an essay grader, interactive practice problems, a real-time proctor program to help study in a timed environment and updates and new tips to keep students on top of the SAT.

If you're a student that wants to raise your SAT score to it true potential with all of the latest and most efficient techniques and features known today, then Adam Robinson's "The RocketReview Revolution: The Ultimate Guide to the New SAT" is the book for you.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant! 25 Oct 2004
By Jennifer Tow - Published on
Adam Robinson's new book, The RocketReview Revolution is truly brilliant! The writing style is fun and motivational and Robinson has convinced me that he really knows his audience, as well as his material. There is a respect for the student reflected in the writing and a sense that Robinson has really enjoyed working with kids for the past 20 years. As a homeschool parent, I needed a book that could assist a child who has never taken standardized tests. My son immediately loved this book and learned the techniques so quickly that I was amazed.

Robinson's new book is also technically superior to anything else I have seen on the market. He has utilized the most advanced technology to create a unique support system for kids who use his book. The book comes with a CD that allows kids to explore the techniques using animated demonstrations. The support for the new essay portion of the test is of particular interest to us. Kids can sign onto the website, write their practice essays and then have their essays graded, using the same standards that are applied on the real test.

In my opinion, this is the only SAT-prep book that any child will ever need. The results are phenomeal.
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