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Posted May 17, 2012
This book single handedly got me into Princeton! The dude who wrote the lame review below must have been smoking something before he wrote it. Sour grapes much??Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 16, 2004
Is any prep book really worth $399.99? Moved by curiosity, I ordered a copy several months ago. After reviewing it carefully, I returned it for a refund. Here¿s why: (1) When I first opened the book, I thought they¿d sent me a used copy by mistake and that someone had scribbled inside it. But I was wrong. As sometimes happens with books about to go to press, the authors of this one evidently found it necessary to make several last-minute corrections and additions. But, in this case¿unlike any other book I have ever seen¿rather than suffer the trouble and expense of resetting the final page proofs before printing, the authors simply scrawled in the changes by hand and sent it off to the printer. (No one corrected the cover price, however.) And quite a few of these corrections are faint, barely legible, or run off the printed page. This sloppiness would be annoying even in a cheap book; in an expensive one, it¿s inexcusable. (2) This book proudly declares itself the ¿first true SAT Encyclopedia in history,¿ though what that is supposed to mean is never really explained. Since the book is not composed of topical articles arranged alphabetically, however, it appears to mean simply that this is the first time any prep book¿s authors have had the nerve to make such a empty claim. (3) And this abuse of the word ¿encyclopedia¿¿on the cover, no less¿is not the only instance where the book¿s use of language seems wrong or at least questionable. Contrary to what is stated on p. 127, for instance, ¿miserly¿ is a stronger term than either ¿frugal¿ or ¿parsimonious.¿ (4) The book, moreover, includes far too much vocabulary that even the authors admit will not be on the SAT: words like nimiety, goniometry, Ogyian, flebile, and polysemous. Never seen these words before? Chances are you never will again, and certainly not on the SAT, which does not test words so rare as these. A good test-prep book does not show off the authors¿ learning. Like a good tutor, it only makes you learn things that could actually be on the test. Anything more is at best a waste of your time; at worst, a distraction from the things you really need to know. (5) We are told that the five authors together have achieved perfect SAT scores over 200 times. That¿s good, if true (though the only score reports reproduced in the book are those of one ¿Prof. Dr. Michael Fikar¿). But the real test of a prep book is not how smart are the authors, but how smart can it make the readers. And in that respect, this book is less useful than the standard competition¿Princeton Review, Kaplan, and the others¿available at a much lower price. (Disclosure: As a private test tutor in New York City, I am always looking for new materials that will help my students prepare more effectively. I have no present or past or connection to Princeton Review, Kaplan, or any other prep book publisher.)
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Posted June 21, 2003
This textbook, the first true SAT Encyclopedia in history, represents the hard work and combined talents of five gifted educators. Between us, we have scored perfectly over 200 times(!). Think about that. Right now, only about one in 4000 score 1600 ( about 700 out of 2.8 million test-takers). When the Editor-in-Chief first scored 1600, long before ¿re-centering¿, it was more like one in 100,000! We think this is significant. In our learning centers, students often come to us having already achieved a top 1% score (1450+). We are able to help such talented students substantially because we can tell them from experience how to make the difficult climb toward a 1600. While only 2 or 3 of our students actually achieve a 1600 each year, many do score in the 1500+ range, and receive acceptance into such schools as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT, Stanford, etc. This is not a high-tech book. The SAT is a test of basics and fundamentals. By my own choice, I have made many of the comments and corrections by hand, rather than by machine. I think this makes the book more real and readable. While this is an expensive work, its cost is less than the cost of a half hour Private Tutoring with Prof. Fikar. In return you will be provided with material to enrich you for hundreds of hours.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 16, 2009
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