Still June, still test-free, right? Works for me. Instead, let's look at how some summer problems can help you prepare for the Math sections on The-Tests-That-Must-Not-Be Named.
As most of the schools across the country have let out for summer break by the end of this week, the last thing you want to talk about is the ACT and 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 tests. It’s my job. So as a compromise, I promise not to mention The-Tests-That-Must-Not-Be-Named by name for the remainder of the month, and instead talk about some seemingly unrelated activities you can do this summer to help you prepare without even realizing it.
ACT released a "revised and updated" version of their Official ACT Prep Guide last week, causing many students to worry that their 2016-2017 editions were lacking vital information. But rest easy, test takers. The two editions are nearly identical.Read More
Topics: ACT Prep
Redundancy, in which unnecessary repetition detracts from a sentence, can occur on both the English test of the ACT and the Writing & Language section of the SAT. One type of redundant phrase you may encounter happens when a word is used to modify another word that is defined by the first word. Did you spot the redundant expression in our blog title? If not, this blog's for you!
As a teenager, you've probably been told you have a bad attitude at least once. It's a rite of passage in these years of immense physiological change and social and parental pressure. But do you know how to recognize a negative attitude on the ACT or SAT?
You’ve probably been leaning on your calculator for so long that you’ve forgotten what a complex fraction even is.
The ACT and SAT like 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 ACT or 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:
Today’s blog focuses on a great time-saving secret in the ACT English and SAT Writing section: misplaced modifiers in introductory clauses. Once you learn how to spot these frequent errors, you can quickly pinpoint the correct answer choice.Read More
There are three main types of sequence questions on the ACT and SAT:
- Those that require the use of formulas to solve arithmetic or geometric sequences.
- Those that ask you to compute a small-numbered term (such as the 8th term or less).
- Those that assess your ability to discover a repetitive pattern in order to find a higher-numbered term (such as the 51st term).
It is this third type of sequence--often considered the most difficult by unprepared test takers--that we will address today. Like many ACT and SAT math questions, there is a trick that makes these sequence questions quite easy to solve.Read More
Both of the following sentences are correct:
You can succeed on the SAT by reading, by studying, and by taking a prep class. [Correct]
You can succeed on the SAT by reading, studying, and taking a prep class. [Correct]
In the first sentence, the preposition by is used by all three items in the list: by reading, by studying, and by taking. In the second example, the preposition by is only used by the first item: by reading, studying, and taking.
This sentence, however, is incorrect:
You can succeed on the SAT by reading, by studying, and taking a prep class. [Incorrect]
Only two of the items in the series use the preposition by, making the sentence ungrammatical.
A series using prepositions does not have to repeat the same preposition:
We have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Just ensure that all of the objects receive a preposition. This sentence is incorrect:
You can travel to the town on a plane, in a car, or a boat. [Incorrect]
The nouns plane and car are the objects of the prepositions on and in. Because the noun boat is in the same series, it must also be the object of a preposition:
You can travel to the town on a plane, in a car, or by a boat. [Correct]
Examine a question type that might appear on the ACT or SAT using unparallel prepositions:
In the relative phrase, there are three groups of people for whom the toys are being collected: for children, parents, and for babies. Notice that the second group, parents, is missing a preposition. Either all three of the groups must use a preposition:
for children in the shelter,
for parents who are unemployed over the holidays, and
for babies in the hospital
Or just the first group:
for children in the shelter,
parents who are unemployed over the holidays, and
babies in the hospital
Choice (B) is correct, as it deletes the preposition for from the third group, babies:
The toy drive—which collects new toys for children in the shelter, parents who are unemployed over the holidays, and babies in the hospital—is slated to start the last week in November. [Correct]
Now the sentence is parallel.
Did you find this helpful? If so, check out our ACT courses.
Photo: Today's repeating pattern, courtesty of Kevin Dooley
When we teach courses, we hand out a student profile which asks students about their testing experience and expectations. One of the questions prompts them to list their target score. So many of the responses are the same: 25 on the ACT and 1200 on the SAT. When we ask why they want these scores, their answer is simple: “Because that’s a good score.”Read More