SAT Math Tips: The Symbolic Function

Posted by on August 27, 2015 at 2:28 PM

When I teach SAT classes, I find that the most intimidating math topic is always the Symbolic Function. The complaints are inevitable: "But I don't know what an upside down triangle means!" or "I've never seen this in school!" or "Does a star inside of a circle mean multiply? I just don't understand!"

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Topics: SAT Prep, SAT Tip of the Week

Important Dates for the October 24, 2015 ACT

Posted by on August 26, 2015 at 12:36 PM

Deadline-5
If you're considering signing up for the October 24, 2015 ACT, don't put it off 'til the last minute! Here are the important dates you must remember so that your registration can be processed on time.

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Topics: ACT prep

SAT Reading Tips: Decode Vocabulary Words with a Foreign Language

Posted by on August 20, 2015 at 2:39 PM

Are you currently taking language classes for Spanish, French, or Italian? If so, you may have an edge on the SAT. Since these languages have many words with Greek and Latin roots, you can often apply translations to English word counterparts.

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Topics: SAT Prep, SAT Tip of the Week

SAT Writing: The Top 3 Grammar Errors

Posted by on August 13, 2015 at 2:19 PM

The multiple choice portion of the Writing section contains three types of questions that test about two dozen types of common grammatical errors, such as pronoun reference, conjunction choice, and verb tense. But which errors are tested the most often? In the ten tests of The Official SAT Study Guide, there are a total of 490 multiple choice writing questions, and the three following errors comprise 22% of those questions:

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Topics: SAT Prep, SAT Tip of the Week

SAT Math Tips and Tricks: Ratio Rationale

Posted by on August 6, 2015 at 1:28 PM

Ratio questions on the SAT and ACT often cause panic among test takers, but some of them are quite basic and can be solved in seconds if you know some PowerScore tricks. One type of ratio question like this requires you to find a possible total number of items given a ratio of parts:
 
        

You can solve this question in three seconds, without picking up your calculator! The answer for these questions must always be a multiple of the sum of the ratio:

        White : Brown
            3        :     8            White + Brown = Sum   →   3 + 8 = 11

The only multiple of 11 is 44, answer choice (E).

Well, that was easy! If you want to know why this works (and you should--mastering the math section of the SAT comes with complete understanding of the relationships tested), keep reading!

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Topics: SAT Prep, SAT Tip of the Week

SAT Writing: "Neither" of the Words is Plural

Posted by on July 30, 2015 at 2:57 PM

The words either and neither almost always signal an error in SAT Writing questions. Errors in agreement become an issue when these words are used as pronouns, as in the following phrases:

  • either of these invitations
  • neither of the boys

As pronouns, either and neither are always singular. However, notice that in both examples the pronouns are grouped with a prepositional phrase and the object of the preposition is plural. For example, in the first one, either is accompanied by of these invitations where invitations is plural. This arrangement creates confusion with Subject and Verb Agreement as well as Pronoun and Antecedent Agreement, which makes it a perfect sentence structure for SAT Writing questions. Consider an example:

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Topics: SAT Prep

Important Dates for the September 12, 2015 ACT

Posted by on July 29, 2015 at 12:36 PM

Deadline-5
If you're considering signing up for the September 12, 2015 ACT, don't put it off 'til the last minute! Here are the important dates you must remember so that your registration can be processed on time.

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Topics: ACT prep

Important Dates for the September 12, 2015 ACT

Posted by on July 29, 2015 at 12:36 PM

Deadline-5
If you're considering signing up for the September 12, 2015 ACT, don't put it off 'til the last minute! Here are the important dates you must remember so that your registration can be processed on time.

Read More

Topics: ACT prep

SAT Reading Comprehension: Questions About the Author’s Attitude

Posted by on July 23, 2015 at 3:05 PM

Questions about the author’s Positiveattitude ask you to interpret the author’s feelings toward the subject of the article or a subject in the text. These questions are easy to recognize because they almost always employ the words attitude, tone, or feeling. Consider a few examples:

The tone of the passage can best be described as

The author’s attitude toward school uniforms might best be described as…

Passage 1 and Passage 2 share a general tone of….

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Topics: SAT Prep, SAT Tip of the Week

Self-Study Plans for the SAT

Posted by on July 16, 2015 at 1:49 PM

Bad news, besties: there are just over 11 weeks until the next SAT, so even though school is still out, it's time to start thinking about academics again. I know, I know. And it gets worse: pretty soon you'll be an adult and then you won't have any more summers off. But that's another post for another day.

The most prepared test takers have already purchased The SAT Bible trilogy, and have picked out the perfect study plan to fit their schedules from our Free Help Area. Right?

But if you can only purchase one book for the SAT, all test prep experts agree that the single most important resource for your preparation is The Official SAT Study Guide, a book published by the makers of the SAT. Often referred to as “The Blue Book,” it is a crucial component of your study plans because it is the only book with real test questions. That’s why all PowerScore students receive a copy of this book when they enroll in a course or in tutoring.

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Topics: SAT Prep