914 of 937 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2009
I am a private math tutor and author of Ultimate Guide to the Math SAT. I gave this book five stars because it has the best collection of practice tests. However I found some errors:
pg 618. The answer to problem 6-14 is 5, not 6.
pg 641. Problem 13 should be c(x)=((600x-200)/x)+k.
pg 680. Decimal points are missing from problems 4-15 and 4-17.
pg 804. The decimal point is missing from problem 3-9.
pg 866. The answer to problem 7-17 is B, not C.
UPDATE AS OF DECEMBER, 2012: There have been at least four printings of this book. In the first printing, there were no indications of any errors. The second printing had a list of errors printed on yellow paper which was inserted into the book. The third printing corrected the errors, had no insert, and said "Updated!" on the cover. The fourth printing has corrected the errors and does not say "Updated!" on the cover. Your particular copy of the book may be from any of these printings.
324 of 343 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2009
It's been a few years since I wrote my original review for the earlier edition of this book. Back then, I was a student taking the exam in order to get into college. However as a tutor I have taken the exam multiple times since I applied to college, gotten a few more 2300+ scores, and now pass on my knowledge to the next generation of students vying for competitive college admissions. The first thing I tell my students to do is to buy the Official SAT Study guide. It's simply the best. Why?
Well, first off, let me start with the changes to this new edition. It now has 10 practice tests, three of which are recycled from the new administration (now that they've given enough tests to disclose them) and seven from the original book. So I'll say now that it may not be a good idea to buy this if you have the older edition, but this newer edition is much more useful since there are three *real* exams. Other than that, it's pretty much the same as the old book.
The review sections are divided into three categories: critical reading, math, and writing. The reading section isn't all that helpful. A few obvious test taking tips and some practice passages with explained answers. Good for a warmup, but not much else. The math section, the most substantial in the book, is pretty useful. It contains most of the facts from middle schoool/early high school math that you've likely forgotten by the time you're a junior or a senior. It also has some sample problems to show you the kind of "out of the box" thinking you'll have to do: SAT math isn't a factual recall or "plug 'n chug" exam, but the section does give you the facts you need to survive. And finally the writing section. The review section has a lot of information, including good writing habits as well as a set of grammar rules.
The review sections, as I've mentioned, have good sets of review problems (that do NOT overlap with th practice tests) that will get you used to the *type* of questions, but it is the practice tests that will take you from small sprints to the longer marathon. Each practice test is comprised of real questions or questions of real-standard (mostly recycled from 10 Real SATs -- the predecessor to the first blue book). I usually suggest to my students to do two or three exams untimed but continuously, two exams in pieces (do individual sections timed), and the rest under real, pressured conditions (in a library or other quiet place preferably). Not only does this get the student used to the format, but it will get the student to try to devise ways to make his or her thinking more efficient and suitable for the exam.
The College Board, when it says the SAT can't be prepped for, is telling a half-truth. No, you can't prepare for it by cramming lots of facts, but you can prepare through practice, and in that practice your SAT skills don't just go up, but your ability to handle academic situations. Your thinking becomes clearer.
So I wholeheartedly reccomend this second edition of the Official SAT Study Guide. It's more useful than its predecessor because it has more tests and more accurate tests, and if used effectively can be the single best tool to prepare for the SAT.
Good luck and best of luck with college admissions. Don't see the SAT as an obstacle; see it as an opportunity to show what you can do.
216 of 229 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2012
If you are taking the SAT, you must get this book, no question about it. Make sure to get the correction page from the collegeboard for the answer key, as there are some mistakes in the book.
I attempted to post the link for the correction page but Amazon did not let the link go through, (so I am now editing this review) but I did post a comment to Richard Corn's review, (comes up first as most useful) and if you click on the comments to his review, you should find the url and can copy and paste to get correction page from collegeboard. If it works and helps you, please vote that this was helpful so it gets moved up and can help others.
83 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2010
Don't bother with practice tests from Kaplan, Barrons, etc. The tests in this book are created with the same secret set of rules as are actual SAT tests, so the tests in this book are far better for practicing with.
Only complaint is that there are a few typos.
50 hours with this book increased my score from 2130 to 2330. That's an increase from the 97.2nd percentile to the 99.8th percentile, from 1/35 rarity to 1/500 rarity. That increase really speaks for itself about how much this book helped me. Easily worth the money and time.
312 of 351 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2009
I've been teaching the SAT verbal portion for a good 6 or 7 years, and when I saw that the College Board finally had a new edition out, I was delighted. I've running out of good materials for my students, and using College Board is really the best prep, since the CB writes the test. However, I was really disappointed when I got this book. They've added 3 tests at the beginning that are taken from October 2006, January 2007 and May 2007 - definitely a benefit if you don't have access to copies of original tests. But the rest of the book just uses the same tests from the original 2005 version, with very slight changes in some of the critical reading questions (changes that were much needed, I think). If you're going to buy this book as you begin your study process, this will help you understand how the test thinks. But if you are buying this to supplement the 2005 version, be aware that you're only getting 3 new tests. You be the judge of whether that's worth your money.
111 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2010
There is good, bad and ugly in this book.
The Good: This is the ONLY book you should use to study for this test. The book contains actual tests from the past, which is the best material to use if you are going to prepare for a test. I have been teaching SAT prep for 20 years and I know what I am talking about.
The Bad: If you own the first edition of this book, you are going to get ripped off by buying this one. It contains many of the same tests. This is a case where 7 + 7 does not equal 14. There are repeat tests; shame on the College Board. They have access to about 50 old tests, so why repeat tests? One answer: GREED !
The Ugly: How the heck do you include so many ERRORS in one book? Who proofread this book, Stevie Wonder? Shame on the college board. All you need to do is check out the yellow page in the front of the book - it contains all the correct answers (and in some cases, the correct questions).
47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2010
I have always believed in that old adage, "an old exam is better than brains." How true! Here is the lowdown on the official SAT study guide:
First: You can ignore all of the introductory material. If you have to read it, you are in trouble already.
Second: Take the first test first. Score it. Now you know what you need to do.
Third: Underline all the words you don't know in the test that you just took. Learn them now.
Four: Take the second test. Score it. Repeat step three.
The key to this guide is to do each and every practice test if time permits. You will become increasingly familiar with the format and style of the questions. For the verbal questions, keep writing down the words that you don't know. For the math questions, figure out what to do on the questions that you missed. When the real SAT comes, you will find that the math questions are all the same, but with different numbers. The verbal questions are all the same, simply with different reading passages. For 20 bucks, you have just significantly raised your score. And isn't that what it is all about?
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Thank goodness I read The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT! Author Debbie Stier emphasizes that the best way to prep for the SAT is to start well in advance, use College Board materials and take numerous practice tests. This book contains 10 practice tests, as well as hundreds of individual sample questions. You can get another practice test on the College Board website, as well as another tool I've been using with my 10th grader, the SAT Question of the Day, which can be accessed by computer or downloaded as an app. SparkNotes Guide to the SAT & PSAT is also useful for the practice tests, even though the book is dated. SparkNotes also has loads of SAT practice information, both content and test strategy, on its website.
65 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2009
I opened this book in great anticipation, and what I found was a yellow ERRATA page listing all the errors in this book: Two full pages of errors! I do not have the time to go to every specified page to correct every error before I use this book. College Board (CB) should be ashamed to sell this edition. This book should be given out free of charge, as DEFECTIVE material. There are content errors and editorial errors. For your information, the previous edition and this new edition have 7 tests in common (that is, 7 tests from the previous edition are reprinted in this new edition), and the errors occur in these 7 reprinted tests. The CB did not make these errors in the previous edition. It is hard to believe how CB people could "produce" so many errors--on tests they were able to print without errors the first time around. The 3 newly added tests do not seem to contain any errors; but I am not sure yet. I am quite upset. The company should proof-read, edit, and reprint this edition before selling it. I begin to question CB's intentions.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2009
I am a professional SAT tutor in San Diego with nearly 10 years of full-time experience, so I was excited to see that the College Board has finally released a new edition of this book.
The last 7 out of 10 tests in this book are taken directly from the 1st edition of the Official SAT Study Guide. The new tests (first 3 tests in the book) are a welcome addition, especially since they provide actual scores in the conversion tables, instead of just score ranges.
However, the College Board should have included more than 3 new tests in this book. In the last year alone, they have administered 21 separate "live" versions of the SAT, all of them scaled accurately. So why not pack this book full of completely new versions of the SAT, with accurate score tables to boot?
Furthermore, there is a glaring (and embarrassing for the College Board) error at the end of the book. The answer key for test #10 is the wrong key, and in that answer key, there are two sections labeled as section 6.
All in all, this book is still worth the cost, despite its flaws. It continues to be the most essential SAT preparation book on the market.