Jul 7, 2015
Does anyone have any recommendations for study guides to improve ACT and SAT scores, specifically the math sections?

I took the SAT and the ACT towards the end of my sophomore year. SAT, I scored an 1800: 680 CR, 580 W, and 540 math. ACT, I scored a 29 C, 34 E, and 22 M.

I've always been an English person; reading and writing have came naturally to me. I've always earned good grades in math (A's/A+'s) but testing-wise I freak out and forget everything I've ever learned. However, I know my math scores absolutely have to come up, along with the SAT writing.

Ideally I'd shoot for a perfect 800/36 math score but realistically I'm hoping for a 630+/30+.

Does anyone have any books they used to improve their score this drastically? Any methods that you've found to work better than others? Any help is much appreciated!
McGraw Hill has a great book for PSAT math. It explains how to do every single type of math question that could possibly show up on the PSAT. Basically if you learn every concept in that book you can only miss math questions on the PSAT is if you make careless mistakes. I think McGraw Hill has a book for SAT too that would probably have something similar(can't confirm that though I don't have the book). If they don't the PSAT book still helps a lot for the SAT. I scored in I think my sophomore PSAT predicted a SAT math score about 100 points lower than what I ended up getting on my junior year SAT. I didn't do any studying for the SAT, I just studied a ton for the PSAT and it carried over.
Check out PrepScholar! I am a USCGA Class of 2020 hopeful and have used this online program to improve my SAT scores. Reading prep books has never really improved my score but I found that a personalized online program does wonders for me! It does cost money but they do have a 240 point improvement guarantee so you could potentially get your money back. I improved 110 points within 2 weeks of starting the program. They send you the CollegeBoard SAT prep book to do the practice tests, but after skimming through the book I realized how comprehensive and easy to understand PrepScholar made the SAT seem. All the instructors are perfect scorers or 99th percentile scorers on the SAT so they know what they are talking about. They also have an ACT program too with a 4 point improvement guarantee.
Your first step should be to search SAT and/or ACT on this site and you will find your question answered 100 times over.

Whatever you do, Don't grind through practice tests!

With the help either a qualified tutor in person or on line, you should determine your strengths and weakness and proceed accordingly.

Best of luck!
My dd never opened the practice tests books, but found the ACT (or SAT) Up-Your-Score Underground Guide to be really helpful and entertaining to read. It gave her the confidence she needed on test days and was good for strategizing how to take the tests, besides providing a good laugh.:) I even found it entertaining to read. The link is for 2016; but the 2015 book is still available probably at a cheaper price.

Her math scores went up about 2 points after studying some ACT math videos on You-Tube for about 2 hours. She does well in Calculus; but somehow struggles with the ACT test. It took her about 4 ACT tests to get up to a 28 on the Math. She still is working it. Do some research on You-Tube.

If you apply a "gaming" strategy to test taking; it might be a little bit more palatable for you to master. Figure out some kind of personal point system; whatever it takes. It's a challenge for sure; but the ACTs/SATs are just the beginning of many tests to follow if you attend the Academy. ;)
If money is not an issue then I've seen evidence that SAT/ACT tutors can be really helpful. (Results may vary.) Two of my DD's friends who used them dmaxed the tests. We, however, were not made of money and she ground out the work using workbooks from the bookstore as in those you are questioning about. I think all the books are pretty good, she bought several different ones. Taking the test numerous times will help you, since it sounds like you know the material, you just have test jitters. Good luck!!!