I used to work at Borders.[1. :(] When I worked at Borders, I used to have to shelve various sections. One of those sections was the Test Prep section, where I noticed something, one day, that made me angry.
For at least some readers, I hope it's obvious why this pissed me off. College Board are the people who administer the SAT. They are the people who make, maintain, and distribute the test that is meant to gauge the abilities of students graduating high school, so that the colleges they apply to know whether they're prepared for the demands about to be placed on them.
It's a well-known fact that it doesn't actually gauge that quality, but it should at least be trying to, right?
If College Board was doing its job, it should be trying to make test prep books for the SAT useless. The thing that the SAT should gauge is how well students will do in a college setting, and should reflect their performance in classes and their genuine academic ability.
Instead, they produce their own test prep book. Rather than attempt to calibrate their test so that prep books don't help, they're leveraging students' fear of the results of the test to sell a brand-name prep book which boasts that it's "The only study guide by the SAT™ test maker".
It's a blatant conflict of interest, and it exploits a vulnerable group in a world of increasingly uncertain economic future.