Mark Twain once quipped, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” I doubt that he was thinking about standardized Writing tests when he uttered those words, but they are conveniently applicable to SAT diction errors.
Still June, still SAT-free, right? Works for me.
Let’s keep June SAT-free, shall we? It just seems unnatural to think about standardized tests right after the school year ends. Next month, after the holiday, you can start thinking about college admissions again, but for now, let’s just concentrate on what’s important: summer.
As schools across the country start to let out for summer break this week (except for those of you in northern states, of course, who have to make up snow days until July), the last thing you want to talk about is the SAT, right? I understand. I don’t get as many vacations in a year as you do, but when I do, you won’t find me on the beach or by the pool addressing the secrets of a 30:60:90 triangle. It’s okay if you need a couple of weeks to unwind, but unfortunately, I’m not on vacation with you. I have to write about the SAT. It’s my job. So as a compromise, I promise not to mention The-Test-That-Must-Not-Be-Named by name, and instead talk about some seemingly unrelated activities you can do this summer to help you prepare without even realizing it.
Today’s blog focuses on a great time-saving trick in the SAT Writing section. Can you spot the error in the following sentence?
Weighing in at two and a half tons, Grandma drove the heavy 1974 Buick station wagon for over thirty-five years.Read More
You’ve probably been leaning on your calculator for so long that you’ve forgotten what a complex fraction even is.
The College Board likes to reach way back into your math history to gather concepts you learned in elementary school (remainders, anyone?). The more years that have passed since you mastered an operation, the more likely that operation will appear (and cause panic) on the SAT. One of the most anxiety-inducing concepts for high school students is complex fractions, those fractions that have a separate fraction in the numerator and/or denominator:
While a few SAT Reading questions will ask you about the passage as a whole, the majority of questions will send you back to the passage with a specific line reference. Consider some examples:
As a test prep teacher(and let’s admit it—an SAT geek), I have worked with over a thousand students in my career. Ninety nine percent of them have come to me with misconceptions about the test which ultimately led to errors in their execution. These errors make a test guru cringe, because they are easily preventable if you take the time to learn about the SAT before taking the test.
As you have probably heard by now, a redesigned SAT is debuting in the spring of 2016. And this probably has some of you wondering if you should take the present test or wait until next year to take the new version. Few Juniors have a choice--you will be taking the test before it changes. But for current sophomores, I strongly urge you to take the test prior to March 2016. Here's why: