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355 of 360 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2012
I am a private math tutor and author of Ultimate Guide to the Math SAT.

The printed contents of this book with the DVD are the same as that of its predecessor without the DVD, The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd edition. I gave this book five stars for the same reason as its predecessor: it contains the best practice tests available.

The difference between this book and its predecessor edition is the DVD and the price, which on Amazon is an extra $8.11 (Amazon prices as of Jan 5, 2012). The answer as to whether the DVD is worth the extra cost will vary.

Many students have complained that College Board books do not contain explanations to the problems on the practice tests, only an answer key. Those who purchase either edition of book (with the DVD or without) will be happy to know that they can have online access to the explanations. I should note that others have independently published books with explanations to the College Board practice tests, but I am not familiar with those and cannot compare them.

The biggest difference between this DVD edition and the no-DVD edition is that the DVD contains a bonus SAT that was administered previously. If you anticipate needing another practice test (many students do) then that alone is worth the price. Explanations to the bonus test are also available online.

The DVD contains some videos and other tools that students may find useful. But some of these are already available on the College Board web site or in the SAT Preparation Booklet (these booklets are sometimes available at your school's guidance office). Some details:

-- The DVD has a useful video called "Math Concepts" of a teacher going over solutions to math problems. But only ten problems are discussed.

-- The DVD has something called a "Practice Test Timer" which is useful for students who want to do a full length practice test. It is somewhat similar to the "Test Day Similator" found on the web site.

-- The DVD has a test day checklist which is almost identical to the one on the web site.

-- The DVD has a "Math Concepts Reference Guide" which is identical to the "SAT Mathematics Review" on the web site and in the preparation booklet.
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167 of 173 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2012
I'm a full-time test-prep tutor and have been for the past several years. As such, I'm familiar with the past few editions of the Official SAT Study Guide. The version of this book WITHOUT the DVD is essential, as it's the best source of real, College-Board-authored SAT tests.

The only real difference between this version and the non-DVD version is - you guessed it - the DVD. (Ok, there's also a snazzy new cover.) Is the DVD worth the extra cost? Probably not:

1. The DVD does have a new practice test, but between the book and the tests the College Board offers online, you'll have about 13 real SATs, which is plenty for the vast majority of students. If you really want one more test, getting the DVD may be worth it.

2. The SAT test timer can be duplicated with any electronic timer.

3. The math concepts video only explains a few questions.

4. The SAT Skills Insight Video and Additional Tools are more marketing than anything.

Keep in mind, any information that ETS provides to help you solve SAT questions is not going to be very insightful - after all, the maker of the test is not the source to turn to if you're looking for tips and tricks. All in all, this version looks a lot more like an attempt to make more money for ETS than to provide new, helpful material. I'm pretty sure ETS is banking (pun intended) on buyers' tendency to get the most recent version of any test-prep book. I hope this review gives you some information to help with that decision for this book.

If ETS had offered a few new tests on the DVD, it would have been worth the extra money.

If you're looking for SAT help or have a question about the test, just lemme know!
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2013
As anyone who has taken the SAT would know, the collegeboard's BBB (big blue book) is the go-to study guide because it contains actual past tests from the college board. I have the 1st and 2nd editions of the BBB and I was excited to find out that a 3rd edition had come out because i had exhausted the practice tests in the previous two versions. However, when I received this version I realized that it was the EXACT SAME THING as the 2nd editions, except with a DVD with information that I could have found for free on their website. This edition also costs MORE than the previous 2 editions because of the DVD (like i had said before, it is filled with free material from their website).

Basically, if you have the 2nd edition, this version is absolutely useless. If not, go buy the cheaper 2nd edition.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2012
Another SAT tutor review here. I agree that buying the Official SAT Study Guide is a must since it is the only source of official SAT tests. However, I have gone over the DVD with several of my students and feel that the DVD simply isn't worth the extra money. Yes, the DVD includes an extra test, but we find that most students don't need more than the 10 practice tests in the Official SAT Study Guide and the 1 free official SAT on the Collegeboard website. Furthermore, the free official SAT on the Collegeboard website changes each year, but good old Google can help students easily dig up previous years' free SAT tests if they need even more practice. (For example, a quick search for "official SAT 2009" brought up the full 2009-2010 SAT previously on the Collegeboard website). No need to purchase the DVD just for the extra test.

There is also a handful of math videos, but I would caution students about following Collegeboard teachers' recommendations when it comes to solving SAT math problems. A really fun thing about the SAT (and most standardized tests) is all the sneaky `backdoor' strategies students can use to solve problems. These are taught by all the good test prep folks (ex. Kaplan, Princeton Review, etc.) Collegeboard teachers, however, will teach you the "official" way to do it, which often takes longer.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2014
My son used this to study for his recent exam and got a 2310! He got a PSAT score of 1910 a year ago and with this study guide was able to up his score 400 points. I highly recommend getting this book if you are self motivated and self disciplined.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2013
I Hate it. I recieved them and approx 70page was missing and the front page & Every corner was bented.
review image
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2013
I was very disappointed when I realized that this book is not at all different from the previous one that college board released in 2009. It was probably my fault for not looking into it as much. Sure the book is great but it isn't different from the last one. The only thing they added was a DVD with a timer and pretty easy math and english concepts that are like one minute long; theres only like 10 videos. I guess the timer on the DVD is useful for those of you who don't have a stopwatch or a phone. The price isn't worth paying when you can just get the other book that, i kid you not, is exactly the same. The pages don't even change. Nonetheless, I gave the book to my girlfriend so it wasn't a complete waste of $20.

If you really need help with the math and english part and you are to afraid to ask anyone at school or your teacher, then you should get this book because it comes with the DVD.

If you understand most things on the SAT and your looking to improve your score by studying the harder parts of the SAT then just get the other book; they are identical.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2012
I wouldn't spend the extra money for the DVD. You need the blue book though in conjunction with some other material that shows you how to solve SAT problems in a less confusing way. I like Warner's books for math.
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4 of 5 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. The DVD contains one more practice test, and you can get another one on the College Board website. While you're on the College Board's website, download (to your computer or phone) the SAT Question of the Day, which is a fabulous tool I've been using with my tenth grader. SparkNotes Guide to the SAT & PSAT is also useful for the practice tests, even though the book is dated. SparkNotes also has loads of information on SAT content and test strategy on its website.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2012
Let's face it. This is the only book on the market with real, released prior SAT tests. Yes, the whole first half of this book is useless. Yes, the CD is a complete waste of packaging, but in the end, you get ten real released exams which are perfectly formatted and perfectly aligned to what you will see on test day. With the exception of a few typos, you have to buy this book to prep for the SAT. There is simply no way to avoid it.
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The Official SAT Study Guide Second Edition
The Official SAT Study Guide Second Edition by The College Board (Paperback - July 21, 2009)


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