Thanksgiving at Grandma's (and SAT Math)

Posted by on November 25, 2015 at 1:31 PM

Just because the holidays are rolling around does not mean you can skip your SAT prep! It's important to use your time off to focus on the test while you're not worrying about school work. And I'm here to help you out with a few Thanksgiving math questions to kickstart your day of family, football, and sweet, sweet gluttony.

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Topics: SAT Prep, SAT Math, SAT

SAT Math Tips: Squares Inscribed in Circles

Posted by on November 12, 2015 at 2:52 PM

If you see a square inscribed in a circle on the SAT, the test makers are assessing your knowledge of 45:45:90 triangles.

What? Huh? The question is about squares and circles, not triangles! Listen closely, my SAT cohorts: Hidden triangles are often the key to solving the most difficult geometry questions.

Let’s look at an example of an inscribed square problem:

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Topics: SAT Prep

SAT Reading Tips: Related Answers in Sentence Completion Questions

Posted by on November 5, 2015 at 2:30 PM

Humans are programmed to make logical connections, which is never more evident than in our classification of words. We group words by topic and meaning from an early age. For example, consider your early associations with the word dog. It is likely that as a small child just learning to talk, you learned other words associated with dog, like bark, woof, tail, puppy, and spot. This type of word grouping continues into adulthood, when you have a much more expansive vocabulary. If presented with the word experiment, you might associate it with hypothesis, observation, science, control, conclusion, and many more.
The College Board takes advantage of this natural tendency by using wrong answer choices that are related to the topic in the sentence.
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Topics: SAT Prep

Ghosts, Ghouls, the SAT, and other Scary Monsters

Posted by on October 29, 2015 at 3:40 PM

In honor of this Saturday's events and next Saturday's SAT, here are some SAT Writing practice questions about Halloween. Boo!

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Topics: SAT Writing, SAT

Important Dates for the December 12, 2015 ACT

Posted by on October 28, 2015 at 12:36 PM

If you're considering signing up for the December 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

SAT Essay Tip: Pre-planned Ammunition

Posted by on October 15, 2015 at 2:30 PM

Soldiers do not go into battle without ammunition, and you should not go into the SAT without essay ammunition. The College Board uses essay questions that tend to have consistent themes, such as success, adversity, happiness, ethics, and technology. Because these themes appear so frequently, it is useful to have a few pre-planned examples that can be applied to multiple themes with only minor adjustments. This will save you the from the pressures of having to produce great, spontaneous examples on test day.

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Topics: SAT Prep

SAT Math Tips: Fractional Exponents

Posted by on October 1, 2015 at 1:30 PM

The College Board uses exponents and roots on the SAT to test your ability to manipulate expressions. Most students think, “No problem! That’s why I have a fancy schmancy calculator!” but the test makers often use your calculator against you. The questions they serve up will likely involve variables so that your calculator is rendered helpless and any time you spend reaching for it results in precious, wasted seconds.

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Topics: SAT Prep, SAT Math

SAT Reading Tips: Parts of Speech in Sentence Completion Questions

Posted by on September 24, 2015 at 10:14 AM

The five answer choices following a Sentence Completion question stem always share the same part of speech. This rule is important to remember in the event you come across a question like the following:

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Topics: SAT Prep

Common SAT Essay Themes and Archetypes

Posted by on September 11, 2015 at 12:17 PM

The makers of the SAT useRecycle-2 several themes from which they draw essay questions. By knowing these themes ahead of time, you can prepare several preplanned examples to use for each theme.

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Topics: SAT Prep

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