Help - Gruber's SAT Book Question!

<p>I bought Gruber's 9th edition to review this month for the SAT I'm planning to take in December. (I'm a junior, and am taking the Old SATs just once.)</p>

<p>Anyway, I took the diagnostic practice test at the beginning and did a lot worse than I usually do. I took the PSATs in my sophomore year, which was for the Old SATs, and I got a 147 (1470) verbal/math combined. But on this test I got a 1290 combined! The reading passages seemed to be much more difficult than any practice test/psat/sat passage I've encountered before (I took the SAT in 8th grade too). One of the passages was from Thoreau's self-reliance, which I was already familiar with - I thought the SATs didn't put "real" passages on the test? One of the other passages was this really confusing scientific discourse about modern society and philosophy, sort of went over my head... I'm usually much better at verbal than I am at math, and I did better on math this time.</p>

<p>Well, my question is, are these practice tests from Gruber's uncharacteristically hard? Or did I just have a bad morning?</p>