- Paperback: 148 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Solution Manual edition (February 4, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781450516501
- ISBN-13: 978-1450516501
- ASIN: 1450516505
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,139,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tutor Ted's SAT Solutions Manual: The Ideal Companion Volume to The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd Edition Solution Manual Edition
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About the Author
Tutor Ted (aka Ted Dorsey) has a knack for the SAT. In high school he recorded perfect scores on the SAT (1600) and PSAT (240). Later, he added a perfect 2400 on the new SAT. A graduate of Princeton University, Ted has prepared hundreds of students for the SAT since 2000. In 2004, he created Tutor Ted, Inc., a group of the smartest, funniest, most engaging SAT tutors in the Los Angeles area. The Tutor Ted team offers individual and group preparation for the SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests, ISEE, SSAT, GRE, and other standardized tests. The mission of the Tutor Ted team is to provide the highest quality, least boring test prep anywhere.
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Since I don't want to come off as cynic, I will cite each criticism with one or more quotes from the book.
First, the author cops out on a number hard questions, which is obnoxious because most of my students want the book TO UNDERSTAND THE HARD QUESTIONS. It's particularly annoying with math problems, but it happens in all sections. Instead of clear explanations, the reader is advised to "plug in answers" and gets wandering and circular answers like:
Page 112: Test 9, Section 8, Question 2: "If we try each answer choice, -4 works."
Page 57, Test 4, Section 10, Question #7: "This one is annoying because the whole sentence is up for debate. It's also tricky because there's a lot of information that the correct answer must contain. They move everything around here to confuse you, but the original sentence is the best. If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Page 94, Section 3, Question 8: "Plug in numbers to make things easy!
Page 109, Test 9, Section 5, Question 6: "Solving this one is wicked hard. But multiple choice makes our life easy! Just try each answer choice and use the process of elimination."
Page 30, Test 2, Section 8, Question 13: "The quick and easy way to do this one is to plug in a number for n."
As a tutor, this last one particularly annoys me because most of my students ALREADY KNOW HOW TO PLUG IN ANSWERS! THEY WANT TO UNDERSTAND THE REASONING BEHIND THE QUESTION! You get the impression that the "perfect score" author simply didn't know how to solve the questions any other way. Or, if he did, he didn't think it was relevant or worth the effort to share that in his solutions manual.
I understand that it is often effective to "plug in numbers" on a test like this, but that's not what you expect to get when you buy a book like this. Using that logic, he could have answered every question that way.
"Question #1: Plug in a number and test the answer."
"Question #2: Plug in a number and test the answer."
He doesn't do this for all the questions (just half of the hard ones).
Next, the author plays fast and loose with some of the vocabulary.
Page 17, Section 9, Question 5: "Palpable: obvious, easily observed."
Page 18, Section 9, Question 6: "Dowager: an older, respectable woman."
Page 138: "Tenuous: Questionable."
These definitions KIND OF work, but a simple Google search would have produced better definitions, and I find myself having to apologize to my students because the author was apparently too busy to make that effort for them. I'll put the correct Google definitions below for reference.
Palpable: able to be touched or felt
Dowager: a widow with a title or property derived from her late husband
Tenuous: very weak or slight
There are secondary definitions, to be sure, and context is important, but that's not my experience with how the SAT vocabulary questions work.
My last criticism is probably the least important, but I still think needs mentioning. The formatting is very messy in this book, and the author seems to equate "humor" with "talking down to his student." The reader really has to search for an answer, and when we get it, we're treated to a surprising amount of attitude. Technically speaking, the book has a Table of Contents, it just doesn't break it down by section, which is what the reader would need. And then, when we get there, we're treated to such gems as:
Page 66: "The fancy-pants way to solve this one..."
Page 30: "But before we give up hope and cry ourselves to sleep..."
Page 77: "This question is much easier when you're a little older. Feel free to write that on your scantron..."
Page 89: "Mmmmmm. Time for a rest. Go watch YouTube for a bit..."
Page 98: "Wow, the SAT makers are actually aware of fun things like games?!"
In my mind, the bottom line is this: the book has merits, but cops out on too many of the hard questions, plays fast and loose with vocabulary, and talks down to the student. I don't want to dilute this review by endorsing another book, but I do encourage you shop around.
Every SAT student uses the CollegeBoard's text because it is the only one which contains real SAT exams from previous administrations of the test. But unlike every other textbook for the SAT, the CollegeBoard's text does not explain any of the answers in the practice tests, just supplying the answers. Tutor Ted rectifies this gross lacuna in the web of SAT knowledge with his concise, smart, intuitive and even funny explanations of all questions in all sections of those tests.
As an SAT prep tutor, I find his explanations terrific and I have adopted many of them into into my own family of teaching methods. I highly recommend this book as an invaluable companion to the standard CollegeBoard text.