Review: The Official SAT Study Guide

I'm warning you now, this isn't going to be pretty...

Book Description:
The Official SAT Study Guide™ —with more than two million sold—just got better! Now offering 10 practice tests, The Official SAT Study Guide: Second Edition™ is the only book that features official SAT® practice tests created by the test maker. With over 1,000 pages and more than 20 chapters, it's packed with the most up-to-date information students need to get ready for the test.

Students will gain valuable experience and raise their confidence by taking practice tests, by reviewing critical concepts, test-taking approaches, and focused sets of practice questions just like those on the actual SAT.

The Official SAT Study Guide: Second Edition will help students get ready for the SAT with

- 10 official SAT practice tests, including 3 new recent exams
- detailed descriptions of math, critical reading, and writing sections of the SAT
- targeted practice questions for each SAT question type
- practice essay questions, along with sample essays and annotations
- a review of math concepts tested in the exam
- test-taking approaches and suggestions that underscore important points
- free online score reports
- exclusive access to online answers and explanations at collegeboard.com
- $10 discount on The Official SAT Online Course to all book owners

There's also a complete chapter on the PSAT/NMSQT®.

My Opinion:
I don't even know where to begin. But I'll start anyways. What a horrible, terrible, ghastly, revolting, painful, and torturous concoction this is! I couldn't finish this book, I really couldn't.

First of all, I had a HUGE problem with the characters. The Official SAT Study Guide is told from more than one viewpoint--in fact, three, but I still could not for the life of me relate to any the characters. I tried, for many hours at an end, to force myself to like this book. But I just couldn't do it.

I found Mr. Math to be insufferable--formulaic at best, easily predictable, and just down-right boring. Where is the life in him? Why must he go on about the thousands of hypotenuses and triangles and graphs he's acquainted with? He was just so dry and unlikeable. He kept repeating the same things over and over again, and although he boasted about how he was easy to understand, this was not at all the case. Furthermore, he seemed to take delight in other people's failures--always telling them they were wrong and that there was always a right answer--his. I really could not stand him at all. I sped through his section in the book, hoping I'd never have to read about any of his exploits again. What an odious, disgusting man.

Lady Writing was not much better. Although reading about her wasn't as painful, I found that her nature was very grating. Usually, I'm all for the tricky and capricious main characters--but not when she was trying her very best to trick readers! I found the experience to be very unpleasant--and her section was so carefully worded that I found myself having to ruminate over and question every little word. Lady Writing was far too uptight-- rules (many of them obsolete and meaningless) were her main concern. I really could not relate to her in the least, and I think the book would have been much better off without her.

And lastly, Miss Reading Comprehension. I really should've been able to like her the most out of all the characters--after all, we have the most in common. She really wasn't that bad (at least compared to the other two). But she was so wishy-washy that I quickly became annoyed. And although it wouldn't have taken much trouble to make Ms. RC remotely interesting, the author didn't bother to make an effort. As a result, she failed to spark my interest. Perhaps worst of all, she would go off on long, rambly talks about the most random things--invariably boring things. I found myself snorting at some of the words she used--no teenager would ever speak like that! I think the author would do well to observe teenagers before he attempts another novel.

I found another aspect of the book particularly troubling: the last section entitled "practice". Before long, this section had convinced me that the author must be some sort of deranged madman. There were hints of horrible things to come. Upon closer reading, I do believe that this section attempts to describe and prepare young adults for some obscure form of torture--no--not just describe it! Endorse it! This author seems to think that it is a good idea to resign oneself to torture--the sit-in-some-musty-room-and-turn-your-brain-to-goo-on-a-perfectly-good-Saturday-for-four-hours-kind. I found myself shaking and quaking at the atrocities described in this last section--and the praising tone throughout. The author of this book condones the pain and torture of millions of young souls across the world--which I find utterly revolting. At times, I couldn't stomach this section, so overwhelmed was I by the horrors within.

In addition, the plot throughout the book was nonexistent--nothing suspenseful happened. Ever. The pacing was equally horrible. I had no interest in what was going to happen next. I had no reason to care. And most of all, this book was far too long--997 pages! One of the longest, most tedious books ever printed, without a doubt.

The Official SAT Study Guide has nothing to recommend it. I wanted to throw it away against the opposite wall, tear it page by page, watch and laugh manically as it disappeared into a paper shredder. I wanted to see it broken-spined in a land fill, or curled up in the middle of a beach, ink washed off by the cleansing sea.

This book reduced me to tears and pained me to no end. Several times, I contemplated stabbing myself in the eye with a pencil in order to end my misery.

I despair of a world where this book is a bestseller. Who could've allowed such an atrocity to slip through the gates of publishing houses? What has the world come to where this book is widely accepted, and even critically acclaimed?

In turns awful, revolting, and unreadable, The Official SAT Study Guide might just be one of the worst books ever penned.

I give it a 0/10


Light ye torches, my goodly followers! We're having a bonfire tonight! A BIG, crackling bonfire. And guess what the fuel is going to be?

Disclaimer: I <333 you collegeboard, I really do. I'm just not sure you love me. Pleeeeeeease don't hurt me, I've already suffered enough!


Stormi said...

That was funny, sorry you didn't enjoy your SAT book..lol

Amna said...


Best review yet XD

Kirthi said...

haha! my brother has this book and hates it too.
I love your review! :D

Jessica said...

LOL... Kudos for reviewing this book. :D

Emilia Plater said...

You are a genius. LOVE the rating. :D <33

p.s. I can't comment on your writer blog! When I click nothing happens.

in which a girl reads said...

Haha, I feel muuuuuuuch better now after ranting about this book! Still hate it though :p

@Emilia--fixed, I hope :)

Allison said...

Well, that was by far the most brutal review I have read in a while. Then again, the book is totally deserving of it!

I'm so glad to be done with the SAT's. :)

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

OH MY GOD, lol. Lady Writing? Mr. Math? Ugh.
Awesome review though! And this is exactly why I'll be trusting Princeton review this summer. :)

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