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SAT Word of the Day - Byzantine

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 30, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Byzantine

(adj.) highly complex or intricate

(pronounced "BIZ-uhn-teen")

  

paperwork

Example Sentence:

  • In a home loan, the byzantine language and unfamiliar terminology can be intimidating to a first-time home buyer

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Top Free Vocabulary Resources

Posted by Vicki Wood on Jul 30, 2014 7:00:00 AM

While the College Board claimsVocabulary the SAT is not a vocabulary test, there is no denying that a broad vocabulary is required for a high Critical Reading score on the current test. But there is no reason to invest in expensive vocabulary books, flash cards, or computer programs. The internet has everything you need to improve your vocabulary, and it’s all free!

Repeat Offenders Flash Cards and eBook

A few years ago, I spent the entire summer combing through 60 old SATs and PSATs (yes, this is what you have to look forward to in your adulthood. Giving up summers with your friends at the beach in exchange for painstaking, mind-numbing work. Makes you want to stay in school a little longer, doesn’t it?). I pulled out any vocabulary word I encountered, from the easiest (apt) to the most challenging (ignominious) and then sorted them by how often they occurred. The result? PowerScore’s Repeat Offenders, flash cards and an eBook (click on the “SAT Prep” tab) with 700 words that we offer free on our website.

You may hear about a certain other company that charges over $25 for two books with very similar lists. The books are good and they are well known for having success at predicting SAT vocabulary. Know why? The author also went through dozens of tests and pulled out vocabulary words and sorted them by frequency and the company ultimately published 539 words. But test after test, we have more “hits” than the competitor. You can see how our lists stack up at our Vocabulary Report, and be sure to watch this blog after each test administration for the words tested and a direct comparison to the words in those books. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

Novels

One of the best ways to learn and retain vocabulary words is to read them in context, and the least boring way to do this is through novels. You don’t need to buy new books—just reread a novel you already own or borrow a book from your parents, teachers, or friends. Or visit Project Gutenburg and download an eBook for free! As you read, write down new and unfamiliar words on a paper bookmark, taking the time to define each word as you read it. While classic literature usually offers a wealth of words, there are some newer novels that can help, too; the last two Harry Potter books are chock full of vocabulary words (check out the Chapter 1 Vocabulary from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). But if you’re adamant about buying a new novel, consider SparkNote’s SAT Vocabulary Novels. One of my former students read these before her SAT and found them very helpful.

Free Rice

As you’re learning these new words, it’s important to quiz yourself on them frequently. If you are short on studying partners, consider the Free Rice website. This simple synonym quiz gets progressively more difficult through 60 levels of vocabulary, and by Level 10 you’re starting to enter SAT territory. By Level 25, you’re in the heart of it. I took the quiz today as I was writing this, and made it to Level 39 before falling back a level--this is the exact same level I reached last year, so I wonder if I've hit my vocabulary ceiling? How far can you go? Oh, and about that name. For every vocabulary word you get right, the website donates 10 grains of rice through the World Food Programme to help end hunger. I donated 1200 grains today. Where else can you study for the SAT and contribute to a good cause? The site also has a grammar section which can help with both the SAT and ACT.

Photo: Vocabulary Lover, courtesy of Michael Coghlan

 

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Topics: SAT Reading

SAT Word of the Day - Bromide

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 29, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Bromide

(n.) a common saying

(pronounced "BROH-mahyd")

  

heart

Example Sentence:

  • As true as the old bromides are, such as “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” none of them are much comfort to a newly-broken heart.

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SAT Word of the Day - Avuncular

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 28, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Avuncular

(adj.) resembling an uncle in kindness or indulgence

(pronounced "uh-VUHNG-kyuh-ler")

  

dad kids

Example Sentence:

  • Mr. Avery developed an avuncular affection for his neighbor’s children after having spent so many years next door to them.

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SAT Word of the Day - Anthropocentrism

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 25, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Anthropocentrism

(n.) theory that regards humans as the central element of the universe

(pronounced "an-thruh-poh-SEN-triz-uhm")

  

alien

Example Sentence:

  • People who support the theory of anthropocentrism have a difficult time believing in the existence of intelligent life on other planets.

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SAT Word of the Day - Analgesic

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 24, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Analgesic

(adj.) capable of relieving pain

(pronounced "an-l-JEE-zik")

  

principal

Example Sentence:

  • Although Andy was in the most painful stages of the disease, his daughter’s visit was analgesic; he was so happy to see her that his pain was significantly reduced.

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SAT Word of the Day - Amalgamation

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 23, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Amalgamation

(n.) a combination

(pronounced "uh-mal-guh-MEY-shuhn")

  

ballet

Example Sentence:

  • Amy’s new dance routine is an amalgamation of styles, including ballet and jazz.

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Topics: SAT Word of the Day

How to Prepare for the PSAT

Posted by Vicki Wood on Jul 23, 2014 7:00:00 AM

Motivated sophomores and Books2juniors who are looking to prepare for the PSAT are often surprised by what they find—or don’t find—on the shelves at the local bookstore and in the course catalogs of test prep companies. While the market seems flooded with SAT prep material, PSAT offerings—especially prep courses—are limited. Even the College Board, the maker of the two tests, offers SAT books, SAT online courses, and an entire web page dedicated to free SAT test prep, but their PSAT contributions are limited to a handful of sample questions. So how do students prepare for the test that holds the key to several major scholarships? 

The answer is simple: use SAT prep material and take SAT courses.

The tests are not just similar in name alone. The Preliminary SAT (PSAT) is basically a mini version of the SAT—its little brother, so to speak—where the overwhelming majority of questions can be interchanged between the two tests.  The only differences? The PSAT has half as many sections (and is thus only half as long), it lacks an Essay, and it does not test the most difficult function questions included on the SAT. It makes sense, then, for students to study from material that is designed for SAT prep, provided they skip the sections on the Essay. This way, students get the best prep material for the PSAT, and it’s useful again in the following year or two when the they are ready to tackle the SAT.

While some independent learners do well studying on their own, most students find they do best in a typical academic setting and as a result enroll in a course. Because the PSAT does not carry the same weight as the SAT, many of our clients choose a weekend SAT course to prepare for the PSAT.  So what can the PSAT student learn in as single weekend SAT class? Our expert instructors will guide you through the content of the tests and expose how the College Board assesses that content. For example, they will reintroduce you to a right circular cylinder and share the formula for finding the volume of that cylinder. Then, once you are comfortable with the content, they will reveal the two types of questions involving cylinders on the PSAT and SAT: those that require you to use the volume formula and those that require you to find a hidden triangle in the cylinder. Our weekend course covers all of the math included on the PSAT.

The Reading sections of the PSAT and SAT are identical, so the SAT course is ideal for preparing for Reading on the PSAT. We will lead you through Sentence Completion and Passage-Based Reading questions while providing you with a list of the most commonly occurring vocabulary words. These words occur on both the PSAT and the SAT, so students can continue to study it beyond the PSAT.

The multiple-choice Writing sections on the PSAT and SAT are identical 35-question sections, so the grammatical content in our Weekend SAT Course refers to both tests. Instructors will pinpoint the most common errors on the test, from Subject Verb Agreement issues to Misplaced Modifiers. Learning to spot certain error indicators can increase your speed and raise your score significantly. The Essay is the last concept addressed in the course; while the PSAT does not have an Essay, PSAT students are urged to participate in this portion of the course anyway, since they will be composing an Essay in the future for the SAT.

So if you are searching for PSAT prep material, don’t panic when the bookshelves and course catalogs seem deficient. The abundance of SAT offerings are the best options for both your PSAT and SAT prep, provided you choose material or courses produced by companies with a reputation for the highest score increases.

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Topics: PSAT Prep

SAT Word of the Day - Abstemious

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 22, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Abstemious

(adj.) sparing in consumption, especially of food and drink

(pronounced "ab-STEE-mee-uhs") 

  

principal

Example Sentence:

  • Abby’s emaciated figure was the result of her abstemious lifestyle; she never ate breakfast or lunch, and rarely ate dinner.

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SAT Word of the Day - Conventional

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 21, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Conventional

(adj.) following accepted customs and behaviors

(pronounced "kuhn-VEN-shuh-nl")

  

wedding

Example Sentence:

  • Consuelo favored conventional wedding vows, while Callie wanted to break tradition and write her own.

Create your own sentence and post it below. 

The best sentence will be entered to win a free SAT course.

 

* We will choose a new winner each month. Good luck!

 


 

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Topics: SAT Word of the Day

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