No student should ever take a standardized test like the SAT without seeing it first. That simple but undeniable truth explains why the Official SAT Study Guide has been a perennial best seller in its many incarnations. The 2016 Edition carries as much weight as any other version of this book, at least now while we are all learning about the SAT revisions. Sure, all four tests in the Official SAT Study Guide are available online; as long as the test is paper and pencil, students should practice the old fashioned way.
Unfortunately, the College Board delivered an incomplete Official SAT Study Guide. And as usual, this organization’s missteps manufacture way more stress and confusion than its captive audience deserves.
If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you probably remember the episode when Jerry uncovered a fatal flaw in a car rental company’s policies:
Jerry: I don’t understand. Do you have my reservation?
Rental Car Agent: We have your reservation, we just ran out of cars.
Jerry: But the reservation keeps the car here. That’s why you have the reservation.
Rental Car Agent: I think I know why we have reservations.
Jerry: I don’t think you do. You see, you know how to *take* the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation: the holding.
What is the problem with the new book? You can take a practice SAT, but you cannot score your practice SAT. And that’s a really important part of taking a practice test: the scoring.
To clarify, the 2016 edition of the Official SAT Study Guide includes four full-length practice tests, each with a complete set of solutions. Thus, you can take a test and identify which answers are right and wrong. However, the book lacks score conversion tables, so you will have no idea whether your performance is any good!
Fortunately, all is not lost. The College Board has posted complete scoring instructions for each of the four practice tests in the book. Each test has a concise answer key, raw score conversion table, conversion equation, and additional tables for subscores and cross-test scores:
— Scoring Practice SAT Test 1
— Scoring Practice SAT Test 2
— Scoring Practice SAT Test 3
— Scoring Practice SAT Test 4
While you’re at it, you can just download all four tests for free and save yourself the frustration of dealing with this incomplete book. The next edition should include revised score conversion tables and percentiles… or at least we hope so!