Posts tagged with: book info

A few weeks ago, I made some minor adjustments to the Math Guide to incorporate the additional official material released by the College Board: tests 5 and 6 (download them here). If you purchase new copies of the Math Guide from the PWN store (or anywhere else) now, your book will have breakdowns of those tests at the back. (If you own a copy that doesn’t have those breakdowns, you can download them in the Math Guide Owners Area—get registered here.)

I also reformatted the official question lists at the end of each chapter—some of them were getting long and it was getting confusing to have multiple page numbers for each question. My new philosophy is that you know whether you have the tests in a book or printed out from your computer, and you know how to find #27 in section 4 of test 3 without me telling you which page it’s on. New official question listings look like this:

All the same information as the old tables in a more compact package.

One result of this is that books printed after these changes went live have slightly different paginations because some of the old end-of-chapter tables took up more than one page. I don’t anticipate this being a real problem for anyone, but if you’d like to download the new table of contents, that’s available for download in the Math Guide Owners Area, too.

If you live on the East Coast, then chances are pretty good that your January 23rd SAT just recently became your February 20th SAT. That’s a bummer, no? Then again, maybe you’re happy—you’ve just been given a whole extra month to study. My suggestion: take advantage.

I was planning on taking my Math Guide and Essay Guide out of print today, but now that they’re relevant for a small group of you for another month, I’ve just slashed their prices instead. If you don’t have my books, yet, and you’ve just found out you have more time than you thought to get ready, I invite you to grab them at your favorite online retailer at a deep discount. Here they are at Amazon—my favorite online retailer.

   

Update 2/7/16: Thanks to everyone who joined! The Beta is still running for existing members, but is now closed to new signups as I finish out the book. Original post below…


 

As many of you know, I’ve been working for some time now on putting together a Math Guide for the new SAT. It’s been slower going than I’d hoped, but I am making progress despite the fact that this is in many ways a ground-up rewrite.

I’m at a place now where I’m keen to start sharing some things and getting feedback from you guys. So, today I’m officially launching the Beta program, through which you’ll be able to read the book as I continue to write it.

Here are the important details.

  • Once you’re in the Beta, you can read the chapters I’ve uploaded in your browser. (You cannot print or download them.)
  • The Beta will officially end on March 5, the first day the new SAT is given. When the Beta ends, Beta memberships will convert to Math Guide owner memberships.
  • When the physical book is finally available for sale, everyone who paid for Beta access will receive a code to purchase the book at a discount.
  • If you spot a typo and report it to me (a misspelling, a missing negative sign, a grammar mistake) I will reward you with a $5 Amazon gift card. There is no limit to how many of these you can get. If you spot 10 errors, you’ll end up with $50 in gift cards.
  • Access to the Beta costs $16.99 USD. Sign up here by selecting the bottom option, or use the button below. (If you’re already a registered owner of the current Math Guide, though, you get it for free. You do not need to sign up, just go to the Math Guide Owners Area and look for the link.)

At the time I’m writing this (11/21/15), there are 13 chapters available, plus solutions to all the drills in those chapters. By the end of this week, I expect there will be 14 or 15 chapters available. After that, well, I am just going to keep working until it’s done. Come along for the ride!

Math Guide 3rd editionThis is just a quick post to let you know that finally, at long last, the 3rd edition of the Math Guide is available now at Amazon.com. It’s pretty cool—it contains two all new chapters, some new drill questions, and a bunch of other small updates that I think are cool but that no one else is likely to even notice. (I changed some fonts!)

For more information on the 3rd edition, click here.

Oh, one more important thing! Those of you that own previous editions of the book are entitled to view all the updates in this new edition online for free—just click here! (You need to be registered as a Math Guide Owner and logged in to view that page. If you own a Math Guide but aren’t registered, forward your receipt or some other proof of ownership, like a pic of the book with your name written on it, to mike@pwnthesat.com and I’ll send you a code to get you all set up.)

So I’m putting the finishing touches on the 3rd edition of my Math Guide. I’ve made a few minor changes and tweaks (a sentence added here, a sentence deleted there) and some more major changes (two brand new chapters). All told, the 3rd edition will be about 25 pages longer than the 2nd edition. I think you guys are going to like it.

However, previous book releases have humbled me. When your book is close to 400 pages long, it’s tough to catch every little typo! That’s where you come in. I’m making a very limited number of digital copies available now, only through this page, for $15. If you purchase a copy and spot a typo, I’ll refund your $15 and you’ll get to keep the book. It’s a win-win—I get the benefit of crowd-sourced editing services, and you get awesome prep for free.

[Sorry! The beta is now closed! You can purchase the digital version of the 3rd edition now, or wait for an announcement (soon!) about the print version.]

Before you click to buy, here’s what you need to know:

  • You will need to be able to read Google Play books to participate. You can read Google Play books on your computer or tablet. (Technically, you can read them on your smart phone, too, but I would strongly discourage you from participating in this beta program if you’re planning to read the book on your phone.)
  • You must provide your Gmail address (or other Google account email address) when you sign up.
  • To buy, click the Buy Now button above, which will take you to PayPal. Once you buy, please allow me a few hours (no more than 12) to add you to the beta program. If you buy during business hours, I’ll probably add you almost immediately.
  • To claim your refund, just email the typo (with page number, please) to mike@pwnthesat.com. It doesn’t need to be a huge error—it can be as small as an x that’s not italicized. Anything you spot that’s actually wrong will get you your refund.
  • Yes, $15 is more than I sell the digital Math Guide for. If you’d rather get it for the usual price of $8.88, you can preorder it here and you’ll get it on April 15. I anticipate making the paperback available sometime around that date as well, but I’m not 100% sure about that yet. I’ll keep you posted.
  • If the beta sells out, then it sells out.
  • As I did when I released the 2nd edition, I will be putting together a document of updates that I will make available to owners of the 2nd edition. This is to prevent that but I just bought the old edition feeling.

One of the things that makes me puff up with pride when I think about everything PWN the SAT has become is that I’m able to donate 10% of the royalties I receive from book salesto charity. My favorite charity, where I send most of that money, is DonorsChoose.org. If you aren’t familiar, DonorsChoose.org is a site where public school teachers can post requests for classroom projects that need funding, and donors can choose—hence the name—which projects to support. You can read more about how it works here.

Anyway, at the end of every month I spend some time choosing classroom projects to donate to, and then I make some donations. You can see the kinds of projects I like, and classrooms I’ve previously supported, by clicking here. You can see some more awesome thank you notes like the one in this post in a Facebook gallery here.

But the point of this post is not just to brag—I’m posting because I want your help! I know many of you live near schools where teachers use DonorsChoose.org, and I bet some of you even attend schools where there are DonorsChoose.org projects that need funding. So I’m asking you to help me choose the projects I fund each month. All you need to do is go to DonorsChoose.org, find your favorite project, and copy/paste its URL in the form below. I won’t be able to donate to every single project that you suggest, but I will give to as many as I can.

Thanks. Seriously.

(If the form above isn’t loading or displaying properly, click here.)

PWN the SAT: Essay Guide is available now in two formats:

Note that you don’t need an actual Kindle device to read the Kindle version—there are Kindle apps for iOS and Android devices, and Kindle books can also be read right on your web browser.

About the Essay Guide

Before I explain what this book is, I’d like to say a bit about what it’s not.

  • It does not contain pre-written templates for you to memorize
  • It does not spend pages and pages summarizing historical events and book plots (Wikipedia does that for free)
  • It does not promise you a perfect essay score if you make up evidence, or fill 2 pages, or use every big word you know, etc.

What I’ve tried to do with this book is help you to develop skills that will make you a better and more reliable producer of SAT essays, and persuasive essays in general. I do this by focusing on the five factors that the official SAT essay scoring rubric focuses on:

  1. Development and support of point of view
  2. Organization and focus
  3. Grammar, usage, and mechanics
  4. Variety of sentence structure
  5. Use of vocabulary

It’s important to think about all five of these factors at once because all five will contribute to your score, so I’ve created the Essay Star to help you think through your own strengths and weaknesses, and identify opportunities for growth.

The Essay Star

One reason I like the Essay Star is that it shows how two very different essays can end up getting the same score. The first star above represents an essay that’s strong on some factors, and not so strong on others. The second one is much more even all the way through. Both get 8s.

I also like that it shows how hard it is to get a top score: if you want a 12, you’ll need ALL FIVE POINTS of your star to be full. If your essay is devoid of a point of view, pumping it full of arcane vocabulary isn’t going to get you a 12.

Anyway, I devote a section of the book to helping you address each point on the star.

Actually writing the essay

Of course, an understanding of what’s expected of you from a scoring perspective will not, on its own, deliver you the essay score of your dreams. You also need to know how to think through a prompt, plan, and write your essay in 25 minutes. Here’s a hint: good planning take a little bit of time, but pays off.

Book owner’s privileges

Being able to write a good essay requires practice and useful feedback. Obviously, you can practice on your own, but you probably aren’t the best judge of your own writing, so the feedback bit is a little trickier.

This is a work in progress and I’m open to your feedback as it evolves, but I’ve created a password-protected Tumblr blog where book owners can have a practice essay graded by me (in the form of an Essay Star, of course) and commented on by other book owners. The password is the 4th word on the top of page 27 in the Essay Guide. (Kindle owners, forward a copy of your Amazon receipt to mike[at]pwnthesat.com and I will respond with the password.)

Just a quick update to let you know that, at long last, the 2nd edition of the Math Guide is available through the Google Play store in all countries I can make it available in.* Now that the 2nd edition is available in this format, I’ve taken the 1st edition out of the store.

You can read Google Play books on your tablet (Android, iPad, etc.), or your computer. Technically, you can read them on your phone, too, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to read my book that way.

If you like to read your math books from a screen—or if you live in a country where you can’t get your hands on a print copy—click here.

* As of this posting, Google Play books are available in: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Russia, United Kingdom, United States

Phew! It’s only been like three weeks since I last posted but in Internet time that’s forever. Sorry about that. I’ve got about two weeks left in my Master’s program, and I’ve been completely inundated by papers and presentations. My thesis is basically eating me alive. I seriously don’t know how I’m going to get it all done. But that’s school, right? Yay, school!

But I’m not posting to complain! I’m posting because an awesome challenge question popped into my head last night, and because I wanted to tell you what I’m planning to do as soon as school is over and I have more than a few minutes a day to devote to SAT pwning.

Coming soon
  • A print version of the Essay Guide
  • 7 Deadly Math Problems, Volume 2 (click here for Volume 1)
  • Some other cool things I’ve been dreaming up that I don’t even know what to call yet
  • Some videos maybe? I dunno.

The point is that things are going to pick back up around here. Soon.

And now that challenge question

As always, first correct response in the comments wins a Math Guide. Full contest rules here, but the important ones are:

  • You can’t be anonymous because I need to be able to contact you
  • You will have to pay for shipping if you live outside the US
  • You can’t win more than once, so please refrain from answering if you’ve won a contest in the past.
  • If your comment doesn’t appear on the site right away, don’t panic—you’re just getting stuck in my spam filter because you’re not registered. I receive comments in my email in the order they’re posted.

The sum of n consecutive integers is 1111. What is the greatest possible value of n?

Good luck!

UPDATE: Tutor Delphia (a fellow tutor?!) got it first. Solution below the cut.

This question is, I admit, a bit sadistic. That’s because until the correct solution becomes apparent, it can really feel like you’re being asked to find a needle in trial-and-error haystack. Can you find 2 consecutive integers that add up to 1111? Sure, that’s not so hard. How about 3? How about 4? How about 5? etc.

There are a bunch of consecutive integer sets that will add up to 1111, and there’s no easy algorithm to find them (although I’m sure you could come up with an algorithm if you really put your mind to it). If you’re well-versed in SAT math—and even with my challenge questions I try to adhere to SAT principles—then your spider sense should be tingling. There must be an easier way!

Well, here it is: when you’re dealing with sums of consecutive integers, and that set of consecutive integers includes both negative and positive numbers, then corresponding negatives and positives cancel out. This is obvious, once you think about it a bit:

(–2) + (–1) + 0 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 3

See how the –2 and 2 cancel out, and the –1 and 1 cancel out, leaving only the 0 and the 3? The greatest number of consecutive integers that sum to 3, it turns out, is 6. Cool, right?
But what happens if we add another consecutive integer?

(–2) + (–1) + 0 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 7

Now we’ve got a set of 7 consecutive integers with a sum of 7. Is that the greatest number of consecutive integers with a sum of 7? No. Not at all:

(–6) + (–5) + (–4) + (–3) + (–2) + (–1) + 0 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 = 7

That’s right—we can construct a set of 14 consecutive integers with a sum of 7. In general, the largest number of consecutive integers that sum to a given positive integer will be twice that integer.

Therefore, the greatest number of positive integers that sum to 1111 is 2222:

(–1110) + (–1109) + … + 0 + … + 1109 + 1110 + 1111 = 1111

There are 1110 negative integers, 1111 positive integers, and 0.

1110 + 1111 + 1 = 2222

My Essay Guide is now available as a Kindle book. It’s about 100 pages long, and contains a bunch of the essay advice I’ve posted to this site over the years, plus a bunch of other stuff that I’d never really written down before I decided to write this book. It’s aimed at helping you become a better writer of SAT essays, obviously, but I think a lot of the advice inside will also help you become more adept as a writer in general. I’m selling it for $4.99.

Here’s what you’ll find inside
  • How the essay is scored and how that should inform your writing
  • A step-by-step process for picking a position, outlining, and writing your essay
  • The DOs and DON’Ts of essay writing
  • How it all comes together via critiques of sample essays written by real students
Here’s what you won’t find

I don’t believe in the template memorization technique espoused by a lot of other people in this business. In my experience, it leads to awkward, jerky prose, and anyone who’s read more than a few SAT essays can sniff out a pre-written template in about two seconds. So I don’t do that.

Why Kindle?

Currently, there’s no paper version. I’m not sure if there ever will be, although I’m not totally opposed to the idea. The reason it’s only digital for now, honestly, is that I want it to be affordable, but I also want it to be in color. Printing in color is prohibitively expensive. I can sell the book digitally for less than it would cost me just to print, let alone ship, a paper version.

Aside from cost, there were some other compelling reasons to release the book this way:

  • Kindle books have a built-in dictionary function. I’ve been conscientious in using a bunch of good vocabulary throughout the book, and used bold type for words you should learn as a gentle reminder to look them up if you don’t already know them. Just highlight the word and Kindle tells you its definition. Nice.
  • I can include links in a digital book. So when I mention something you might want to consider using as evidence in your own essay, I can link you to a Wikipedia article for further reading. When I mention a College Board policy that surprises you, I can link you right to the page on the CB site where it’s spelled out.
  • Kindle has a neat lending feature. I like the idea of you being able to let a friend borrow the book.

A bunch of people have asked me how they can read the book if they don’t have a Kindle. The reason I went with Kindle is that you can read a Kindle book on pretty much any device, from your iPhone to your desktop PC. If you’re able to read this blog post, you’re able to read a Kindle book.

Thanks

A bunch of you were cool enough to write essays for me to critique in this book. Even if I didn’t end up using your essay, I’m incredibly grateful for your help. I couldn’t have put this together without you.

Note: this is an excerpt from the PWN the SAT Essay Guide, available now in paperback and Kindle.

Mini-thesis

The first sentence of any body paragraph should be what I call a mini-thesis. This sentence refers back to your main thesis, puts it in context of the evidence you plan to cite in the paragraph. This keeps your essay organized and focused, which keeps your score high.

There’s no need to get fancy here. The point is simply to point out to your reader, before you dive into the details, that the evidence you’re about to discuss is important, and not just something you were planning to write about no matter what prompt you got. It’s also an opportunity for you to provide a few transitional words, so your reader doesn’t get whiplash when you change gears between paragraphs. Say you’re arguing that innovation generally happens incrementally, not all at once. You want to argue that the US Constitution was an amalgam of various existing political philosophies, and that the social networking behemoth Facebook was not invented out of the blue, but was rather inspired by social networking sites that came before it like Friendster and MySpace. These topics have gradual evolution in common, but not much else, so you should use a few words between them to acknowledge their differences and assert their similarities.

Thesis: While it is possible to find examples of ideas that seemingly came from nowhere and changed the course of history, most good ideas evolve slowly over time.

Mini-thesis at the beginning of body paragraph 1: One prominent example of the evolution of ideas is the Constitution of the United States.

Mini-thesis at the beginning of body paragraph 2: The evolution of ideas happens at a much more accelerated pace in the world of social networking.

Your transition doesn’t need to be grand or overstated. In the example above, it’s just a simple acknowledgement that you’re moving from the relatively slow evolution of political thought to the frenetic pace of technological innovation. That’s plenty.

The rest of your body paragraph

Once you’ve established yourself with a mini-thesis, it’s time to support it with details. Don’t just repeat the claim you made in the first sentence—support it with relevant details.

Be as specific as possible with the facts you cite, but don’t turn this into a torrent of information. This isn’t the place to just list every fact you know. Your mission is to give your reader, in a few sentences, a reason to believe that the book, historical event, personal experience, or whatever that you’re writing about is relevant to your thesis. Every detail you give must bolster your argument.

One prominent example of the evolution of ideas is the Constitution of the United States. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention were inspired by a vast array of existing philosophies. For example, the Constitution’s due process clause was inspired by the Magna Carta, and its protection of the basic rights of life, liberty, and property was inspired by British philosopher John Locke’s conception of the social contract. The American system of checks and balances is commonly credited to French thinker Montesquieu. The Constitution was also inspired by the guiding principles of the Iroquois Confederacy. The founding fathers explicitly acknowledged that ideas evolve over time by ensuring that the Constitution would be a living document that could be refined via amendment. For this reason, the Constitution that governs us today is greatly evolved from the one that was ratified in 1787, and the Constitution that governs the United States 100 years from now will be further changed as our democracy evolves.

The evolution of ideas happens at a much more accelerated pace in the world of social networking.  Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s conception of the now-ubiquitous service was informed by social networking services that already existed. My father argues that the profile system of AOL Instant Messenger was the original social networking site. Internet entrepreneurs recognized how much people loved to customize their AOL profiles, and created services that would allow users even more flexibility to express their personalities. These included a number of social networking sites that predated Facebook, like Friendster and MySpace—both dominant in their times and now consigned to the dustbin. Facebook was able to achieve market hegemony over both services by emulating and improving upon their best features. Now that it dominates the social networking space, Facebook is forced defend itself against upstart services like Google Plus, which seeks to beat Facebook by improving on Facebook’s best features, much the same way Facebook outdid its predecessors years ago. Innovation in social networking is characterized not by revolutionary technological sea changes, but rather by constant incremental improvement of existing ideas.

Do you see all the specific details in there? In the Constitution paragraph, four specific influences were named, along with the specific year of the Constitution’s ratification. In the social networking paragraph, five services were named. And note that all those details directly support the argument! The fact that four influences were named really supports the argument that the Constitution represents evolving ideas. The date of the Constitution’s ratification emphasizes how long the document has been evolving since it was first signed.

If you’re wondering, at this point, how you’ll ever be able to squeeze that level of detail into an essay in 25 minutes, I feel you. It’s not easy. But it becomes much more doable when you know your evidence inside and out. More on that later.

The second edition of the Math Guide is now, at long last, available. To commemorate its release, I’ve got a pretty cool idea for a contest: We’re going to have a race to see whose high school PWNs the hardest.

Here’s the deal

The first high school that’s able to rally 25 students to fill out the form below wins, and ALL 25 of those entrants will receive a free copy of the book. Other schools that make respectable showings will get discount codes (see rules below). If you want to win, you’ll need to enlist your friends (or frenemies, or whatever).

You’re going to need your high school’s CEEB code (the same 6-digit code you need to register for the SAT—look it up here). I’m going to use CEEB codes to track how many entrants each school has.


UPDATE: WOW. That was fast. I was expecting this to go on for a few days but one school in California had 25 entries in under 1 hour! I seriously in my wildest dreams didn’t think this contest would be over so quickly. Thanks for your enthusiasm, guys!

I’ll be in touch with everybody soon about prizes. Watch your email.

Full contest rules

All the usual contest rules apply, but I need to add a few more.

  • When the contest is over, I will announce it on this page. I will also be in touch with winners via email to coordinate shipping of the books.
  • The contest ends when the first school hits 25 entrants. Since I can’t monitor this every second, the form will probably remain available for a while after the contest ends.
  • If you’re the 26th person from the winning school, that stinks! If one of the winners doesn’t respond to my email after a week, though, then I’ll send you their book. Otherwise, you’ll get a 50% off discount code.
  • You must provide a valid email address that you check regularly. If I email you to tell you that you won, and you don’t respond after 1 week, I’ll give your book to someone else.
  • You cannot enter on your friends’ behalf. They’ve gotta do it themselves.
  • Honorable mentions:
    • If a school has between 5 and 9 entries (inclusive) when the winning school hits 25, entrants from that school will receive a discount code (valid for 2 weeks) to buy the book for 33% off.
    • If a school has 10 or more entries when the winning school hits 25, entrants from that school will receive a discount code (valid for 2 weeks) to buy the book for 50% off.

It’s been over a year since I published the first edition of the PWN the SAT Math Guide, and I’ve received a boatload of really helpful feedback from you guys since then. Recently I decided to give the book a tune-up based on what y’all have said, and now the 2nd edition is just about ready to start shipping. (If you want to be among the first to know when the new edition is available—and get it at a discount—make sure you’re following me on Facebook and/or Twitter.)

Since it’ll start showing up on Amazon, etc. fairly soon and I don’t want anyone to freak out, I figured I’d write up a post about what’s changed.

UPDATE: It’s up at Amazon.com now. 🙂

Updated chapters

Many chapters remain basically unchanged from the first edition. Others have received, as they say, a new coat of paint. Nothing has been drastically changed, but the following chapters have all been updated with additional example questions, explanations, and/or clarifications:

  • How to use this book
  • Backsolve
  • Guesstimate (this chapter has also been moved from the Geometry unit to the Techniques unit)
  • Exponents
  • Circles
  • Average, median, and mode
  • Probability

 

Cosmetic changes

As you can see, I’ve changed the cover up a bit. I’m no graphic designer, but the all-white started to look a little spare to me, so I wanted to add a splash of color. I think this looks a little better than it used to. I’ve also changed a few small things inside the book like

  • Where page numbers go—they’re on the outer corners now for easier flipping through
  • Important formulas—the few that there are—are more prominently displayed
  • A few minor font adjustments

Finally, I’ve taken a few actions to save paper. First, I changed the spacing between paragraphs a little bit so that there’s more space to write under practice problems, and less empty space where you don’t need to write. Second, I removed most of the “intentionally blank” pages—if you have a copy of the first edition you know I used a bunch of those (they have a blurry P logo on them). I had originally left those pages blank because I thought people might want to tear page out of the book, and I’ve left a few of them in for that purpose, but most have been removed. The end result is that even though I added a bunch of new content, I saved even more space by removing blank pages. So this book, despite being a bit more potent, is actually about 3 pages shorter. Every little bit counts. 🙂

© Copyright C P Smith and licensed for reuse
under this Creative Commons Licence.

My grad school semester is winding down, and I’m starting to think about all the fun Essay Guide work I’m going to be doing the minute I had in my last paper. To that end, I wanted to invite you to write an essay in response to the prompt below. If you do, I’ll grant you access to the Essay Guide Beta, and I might choose to use your essay in the book. Details below.

Physically, morally, and emotionally we are woven into the web of life with old-growth redwoods and rainforests and dying lakes and polluted rivers. We need them, not simply as a matter of intelligent resource management, but for the good of our souls. The same toxins that kill them run in our blood, the ugliness of their suffering afflicts our eye, for all we know images of their dire fate haunt our dreams. And surely children who grow into life without knowing wild nature will be less than fully human.

Adapted from Theodore Roszak, “Sanity, the psyche, and the spotted owl”

Assignment: Does one’s emotional well-being partially depend on one’s environment? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

The details

I’m looking for clear, concise writing in SAT essay format. Which means I need to be able to believe that what you submit could fit on 2 pages, hand-written, and that you did it in 25 minutes. I will score the first 10 submissions I get and I will dissect some in great detail in my Essay Guide. To gain access to the guide, submit your essay as a comment below. Once you’ve done that, use this form to tell me your GMail address, ignoring all the bits about Facebook (that’s for a different contest). For more details on why you need a GMail address, read up on the Beta here. Please note: By entering this contest, you are giving me permission to reprint and comment on your essay in a book that I might sell someday. I will not use your name.. In exchange for this, I am giving you early access to that book as I draft it. If that doesn’t sound like a good deal to you, do not enter this contest.

I’ve been very slowly working on an Essay Guide. So frustratingly slowly.

The plan is for it to be an ebook (and maybe, if people really like it, a print book at some point). And it’s still very far from being done, but it’s getting to a point where I think it’s not a waste of time for you to read what I’ve got, and I’d like to start getting a bit of feedback. So I want to start a Beta program for it, just like I did for the Math Guide when I first started working on it.

This time, though, I’m not going to sell access. You can only get into the Essay Guide Beta if you have a Math Guide, or if you write me an essay that I might choose to include (and pick apart) in the Essay Guide.

If you have a Math Guide and want access to the Essay Guide Beta right now, here’s what you can to do:

  1. The Beta will take place on Google Drive, so you need to make a Google Account if you don’t already have one. If you have a Gmail address, you already have a Google Account.
  2. Take a picture of yourself with your Math Guide.
  3. Post it to the PWN the SAT Facebook timeline.
  4. Submit your Facebook username and Google Account username to me using this form.
  5. You’ll hear from me about access within 24 hours.

If you’d like to gain access to the Essay Guide by simply writing an essay, fill out this form.