What is the best way to study for the SAT?
Practice! SAT questions are unique and it helps a lot if you have an experienced person to explain how to find what the questions are asking and how to answer them. Also, the timing of the SAT is one of the most challenging parts - so it helps to have strategies in place to get all of the questions answered, since panicking and rushing through questions is one of the most damaging methods. It's essential to develop testing techniques like when to skip a question and when to guess.
What is the best way to write essays for standardized tests - AP and SAT?
Having survived both the SAT and five AP tests, I am very familiar with the work required. These essays are not difficult if you understand how to structure them and what to look for. For example, in the reading comprehension essay on the new SAT, the key is to pull out phrases that indicate the author's tone and message. Then, you structure your essay in simple sections: introduction, tone/analysis, tone/analysis, tone/analysis, and conclusion. AP essays are not much harder, although they require a greater breadth of skills.
What is your favorite book (classic literature), and how would you analyze it to use in an essay, AP style?
My favorite classic book is "A Brave New World", by Aldous Huxley, and there are a myriad of ways it could be analyzed. One of the most well-known mentions of "A Brave New World" is in comparison to "1984" by George Orwell - both books are dystopian futures where totalitarian governments control society, and in both the protagonists are characters that differ from the normal citizen. However, the novels also differ greatly in tone and in the messages they send. Another easy way to analyze Huxley's novel is in its character development, which across the board is fascinating and well written.