How to Prepare for the SAT II: Literature by Christina Myers-Shaffer
This listing is for How to Prepare for the SAT II: Literature by Christina Myers-Shaffer.
Paperback: 417 pages
Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 2 edition (January 1, 2000)
This manual contains seven practice tests, two diagnostic tests with explanations, and three interpretive skills practice sets. Extensive study and reference materials are included for developing critical reading skills, analyzing literary works, and writing literary analysis papers. New in the second edition is "Writing to Learn," which teaches critical reading skills and the literary elements by developing students' own writing skills.
This is the best preparation for the Literature SAT II that one can hope for, given the nature of the test; that is, improving your score in Literature is not a simple matter of learning new vocabulary words or memorizing formulas.
It's very much akin to the Critical Reading Section of the SAT I, with a few key difference: Poetry makes up half of the test, Prose selections are usually shorter, and literary definitions beyond the ubiquitous "metaphor" and "similie" are (infrequently) required. Beyond learning the extra literary definitions needed for the test, there's not much you can do (short-term) to improve your score.
HOWEVER, to ensure you know all of these terms, Ms. Myers-Shaffer gives you all of them and more in this book. In fact, the number of literary concepts, and examples of these concepts in literature, make this book an invaluable resource for English courses. Not to mention the fact that the 2 Diagnostic tests and 7 practice tests give you TONS of practice, with a body of lit that is representative of what you'll see on the test.
Keep in mind that the questions on the sample tests are more difficult than the real thing (typical of Barron's)... I took it on 12/00 and got a 710 by answering only 50/60 questions, which is a Raw Score of about 44 according to "Real SAT II: Subject Tests." On the other hand, I got this book afterwards and consistently got a 40-42/60 while taking 70 minutes. For both tests I need to work on my speed, but you can tell that your scores in this book will tend to be 50-100 points lower when taken under test-like conditions.
And yes, without the extra familiarity with format and concepts you'll get from this book, the Literature test is hard.... that 710 came after I got an 800 on the Verbal SAT I and an 800 on the Writing SAT II.
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