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SAT Word of the Day - Venerated

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 14, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Venerated

(adj.) highly respected

(pronounced "VEN-uh-ray-ted")

  

principal

Example Sentence:

  • The venerated teacher had earned the respect of his students by helping them meet the high expectations he set for them.

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

SAT Word of the Day - Liberated

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 11, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Liberated

(adj.) free; unrestrained

(pronounced "LIB-uh-ray-ted")

  

horse

Example Sentence:

  • When the farmer accidentally left the stall door open, the liberated horse sprinted for the woods.

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

SAT Word of the Day - Exploit

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 10, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Exploit

(v.) to use for one's own advantage

(pronounced "ik-SPLOIT")

  

principal

Example Sentence:

  • The company was criticized for exploiting the workers by not paying a fair wage.

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

SAT Word of the Day - Dearth

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 9, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Dearth

(n.) a lack in supply

(pronounced "DURTH")

  

baseball

Example Sentence:

  • During the Second World War, the dearth of male baseball players led to the creation of a women's baseball league.

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

SAT Math Tips and Tricks: Translating Percentage Problems

Posted by Vicki Wood on Jul 9, 2014 7:00:00 AM

Word problems notoriously cause studentsPercent stress and anxiety on the SAT. Since the test makers know this, you should plan to see them frequently, especially in questions involving percentages. But there are a couple of strategies to help you conquer your fears and attack percentage problems successfully.

The best solution strategy for word problems is translation. To use translation, first convert words to math symbols. Then break down the question phrase by phrase.

Let’s consider an example:

If 10 is 2% of z, what is 50% of z ?
(A) 0.1
(B) 5
(C) 250
(D) 500
(E) 1000

Start with the first part of the question—if 10 is 2% of z—and translate it into math symbols. Think back to what you know about the basics of translation:

of = multiply

is = equals

Every time you see the word “of” in your problem, use a multiplication sign (X).
Every time you see the word “is” use an equals sign (=).

Now translate:

if 10 is 2% of z
10 = 0.02 x z

You now have a mathematical sentence, and can solve for z:

10 = 0.02 X z

10/0.02 = (0.02 x z)/0.02

500 = z


Some students stop here and select answer choice (D). Wrong answer! Remember, we have only translated the first half of the question.

Now you must attack the second part—what is 50% of z? Another basic translation code is the word what. If there is no x variable in the problem, you can make what = x. But if x is already used, then you must give what another symbol. We recommend using a question mark to avoid confusion. For example:

what is 50% of z
? = 0.50 X z

In the first part of the question, we found that z = 500. Using this information, solve for the question mark:

? = 0.50 X 500
? = 250

The correct answer is (C), 250.



Most percentage problems like this one are considered Easy difficulty level. However, the test makers can boost the difficulty by changing what to what percent in a word problem. Whereas what = ?, what percent = . If you can remember this simple translation, you can easily score points on more difficult questions.

Let’s examine a Hard level question using what percent:

If s is 2% of t, what percent of t is 100 in terms of s ?


Don’t let the expression in terms of s throw you; this simply means that s will appear in the answer choices. We recommend that you cross this phrase out so that you are left with what percent of t is 100.

As with the previous problem, let’s start with the first half of the question:

s is 2% of t
s = 0.02 X t

Since we are solving in terms of s, find t:

Now move to the second half of the question. Remember to use when translating what percent.

And now solve for the question mark:

The correct answer is (E).

Translation is a good solution strategy for students who find percentage word problems confusing or worrisome. Remember to use a multiplication sign for of and for what percent.

Need more help? Check out the other seven PowerScore Solution Strategies in the SAT Math Bible.

PowerScore Practice Prep:

Can you solve the following math questions?

Photo: "Kunstmuseum Stuttgart," courtesy of Ralph Unden

Answers:
1) 10
2) 4
3) D

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Topics: SAT Prep, SAT Tip of the Week

SAT Word of the Day - Collaborate

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


Collaborate

(v.) to work together

(pronounced "kuh-LAB-uh-rate")

  

together

Example Sentence:

  • Colleen And Curtis collaborated on the book; Colleen wrote the stories and Curtis illustrated the scenes.

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

SAT Word of the Day - Censure

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 7, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Censure

(n.) strong disapproval

(pronounced "SEN-sure")

  

principal

Example Sentence:

  • High school teachers voiced their censure of the new novel, citing mature themes as their main reason for leaving it off the summer reading list.

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

SAT Word of the Day - Implausible

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 4, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Implausible

(adj.) not believable

(pronounced "im-PLAW-zuh-buhl") 

  

homework

Example Sentence:

  • The teacher did not believe his implausible excuse for not completing the assignment. 

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

SAT Word of the Day - Insipid

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on Jul 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM


Insipid

(adj.) bland, dull, or uninteresting

(pronounced "in-SIP-id")

  

bread

Example Sentence:

  • When I left for college, the insipid cafeteria food made me miss my father’s home-cooked meals. 

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

Score Some Summer Free Stuff with the SAT Essay

Posted by Vicki Wood on Jul 2, 2014 9:00:00 AM

My June blogs were SAT-free, Drive Thruand although it’s technically July, I don’t recommend serious study for the SAT until after Independence Day. Monday, July 7th is 13 weeks and 5 days before the next SAT, so it’s a perfect time to commit to an SAT Study Plan. 

So that leaves one more SAT-free blog until we return to reality. Today’s topic? How to write an SAT Essay in real life.

I think the state of fast food restaurant service is in fast decline. Maybe it’s just where I live, but it’s impossible to go through a drive-through these days and get my order exactly as I ordered it. I let my boys have fast food once a week, usually on Saturdays after our trip to the beach, and week after week, we are either missing something or given the wrong items. This might not seem so stressful to the average teenager, but telling two tired three-year-olds that there are no chicken nuggets today is like telling your dad that you didn’t see the stop sign when you hand over the keys to his mangled new Porsche.

So I’ve decided to write a complaint letter to the owner of the local establishment that has now cheated me out of $28.16 worth of food. I’m bringing you along, so you can see how writing an essay on The-Test-That-Must-Not-Be-Named has value in real life situations. Let us begin.

Dear Sir or Madam,
 
(1) As a frequent customer of your restaurant, I feel I must write to express my disappointment in the decline of professionalism of your employees. (2) I believe that this poor service is costing you customers and potential profits.
 
(3) The most heinous offense committed by your workers is enough to run off any customer: erroneously filling an order. (4) In the last month, I’ve visited your drive-thru window four times. (5) And all four times I’ve either been missing an item I ordered or I’ve received the entirely wrong order. (6) These mistakes are not just minor errors, either. (7) If I received ketchup instead of mustard, I assure you I would not feel the need to contact you. (8) But as an example, just this weekend I ordered chicken nuggets, a large French fry, two cheeseburgers, two milks, and a large diet soda. (9) I also asked for an extra honey mustard dipping sauce. (10) So you can imagine my surprise when I got home and found a small French fry, two chicken sandwiches, one orange juice, a large water, and a single barbeque dipping sauce. (11) The chicken nuggets were completely missing, much to the dismay of my children. (12) We all complained loudly to any friends and family members willing to listen, many of whom said they will not frequent your establishment any time soon given our recent problems. (13) If you had staff who could competently take an order and fill it, our complaints would turn to compliments and your customer base would grow. (14) If you are unable to retrain your employees or hire skilled workers, then you should really consider a third drive-thru window, where we can return all of the mistakes in our order.
 
(15) I’m afraid a solution to the second problem—your employees’ poor attitudes—may not be so easy. (16) They are continually rude and disrespectful to customers in both the restaurant and at the drive-thru. (17) While they may think it is cute to call customers “babe” and “dog,” it is unprofessional and impertinent. (18) And the poor customer who actually returns the wrong order! (19) While visiting your restaurant earlier this month, an elderly woman brought back her sandwich explaining that it had mayonnaise on it and she specifically asked for no mayonnaise given her allergy to the condiment. (20) The clerk berated her in front of the entire restaurant, saying “You want fine dining? Try the place down the road with all the other blue hairs.” (21) I was appalled, and you should be, too. (22) I am certain that the woman will not return to your restaurant, nor will her friends. (23) Had your employee gone out of his way to apologize, correct the error, and provide her with complimentary desserts, she would have overlooked the error and raved about your customer service to the other residents of her assisted-living facility, ensuring new and continued customers.
 
(24) I think it’s easy to see why I—and countless others—will not be returning to your restaurant. (25) Incompetent and rude employees may seem like a minor inconvenience, but their continual errors and disrespectful comments are a major cost to your business. 
 
Sincerely,
Vicki Wood
  

Now let’s look at the features of the essay that would contribute to my high score on the SAT:

INTRODUCTION

  • Thesis: Sentence 2 clearly states my opinion.

FIRST SUPPORTING PARAGRAPH

  • Topic Sentence:  Sentence 3 provides a transition from the introduction (from “poor service” to “the most heinous offense…”) and provides a reason the thesis is true (“erroneously filling an order”).
  • Evidence: Sentences 4 through 12 explain and support Sentence 3.
  • Counterpoint: Sentence 13 explains how things would be different if the opposite were true. This is an easy way to prove that my example supports my thesis.

SECOND SUPPORTING PARAGRAPH

  • Topic Sentence:  Sentence 15 provides a transition from the previous paragraph (from providing a solution to the first problem to “a solution to the second problem…may not be so easy”) and provides a reason for thesis is true (“employees’ poor attitudes”).
  • Evidence: Sentences 17 through 22 explain and support Sentence 15.
  • Counterpoint: Sentence 23 explains how things would be different if the opposite were true. This is an easy way to prove that your example supports your thesis.

CONCLUSION

  • Sentence 25 restates the thesis.

NOTES

  • Unrelated Facts: Notice that I never mention that the owner has actually profited by $28.16 because of his employees. This would weaken my argument, so I do not bring it up.
  • Word Choice: I’ve scattered a few higher-level vocabulary words throughout the letter (heinous, erroneously, competently, impertinent, appalled). This will impress both the owner of the restaurant and the English teachers reading my essay in SAT-land.
  • Sentence Length: The sentence length is varied throughout the letter. Compare Sentence 22 (short and simple) to Sentence 23 (long and complex). Good writers use variety in their essays.
  • Transitions: Aside from the transitions in each topic sentence, transitions occur within paragraphs, between sentences. For example, look at the start of Sentence 10. “So” connects the list in Sentence 10 to the actual order in Sentence 9.

See, the SAT Essay really is relevant in the real world! Riiiight. But if this letter gets me a couple of coupons for free hamburgers, I’ll be happy. At least until I get home and find that the drive-thru guy forgot to put the hamburgers in the bag.

Next week we return to some serious SAT prep. Until then, enjoy your holiday weekend!

Photo: "Drive Thru" courtesy of Ian Muttoo

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Topics: SAT Prep, SAT Tip of the Week

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