# ACT and SAT Blog

Just because the holidays are rolling around does not mean you can skip your ACT and SAT prep! You can use your time off this week to focus on the test while you're not worrying about other school work. Here are a few Turkey Day math questions to kick start your day of family, football, and sweet, sweet gluttony.

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Topics: SAT Prep, SAT Math, ACT Math, ACT Prep

You know the old math class argument we all attempted to use to get out of learning the quadratic equation, sine and cosine, and symbolic functions: "When am I ever going to use this in the real world?" I've been existing in that real world for a good chunk of time now, and aside from my paid gig as a test prep writer, I can honestly tell you the answer to that question for me has been "Never." But there is one content area on the ACT and SAT that I encounter almost weekly: percentages. They are everywhere in the real world, from restaurant tips to clearance sales to tax payments, which is probably why they are so prevalent on the ACT and SAT. But have no fear of percentage problems: nearly all of them can be tackled quickly with a little translation, a strategy that I guarantee you will use on the test and in the real world.

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Topics: SAT Prep, SAT Math, ACT Prep, ACT Math

It's no secret that the reading passages on the ACT and SAT are viewed by many students as the most difficult portion of the test. But understanding them is easier than moving a couch up a flight of stairs on Friends (not familiar with the show? It's worth an internet search of "Friends Pivot" for no other reason than you won't be able to stop thinking of Ross yelling "Pivot!" every time you  read an ACT or SAT passage). The ACT and SAT reading passages have many signposts to help you navigate the ideas in the text. Fluent readers pass these "pivotal words" without much thought, but less confident readers can use these directional clues to help boost their comprehension of a passage. So how exactly do they work?

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Topics: ACT Prep, ACT Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Prep

After your SAT and ACT scores and your GPA, your essays are the most important part of your college application. Why? Because they are the only part of your whole file that encompasses you and your personality entirely. Your essays let schools see how you think, what you find important, how you write, and how you choose to present yourself. This makes essays extremely important--and that means they should be given a fair amount of time and consideration on your end.

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Topics: College Admissions

Some ACT and SAT questions may test your knowledge of correlating conjunctions, which are pairs of coordinating conjunctions:

either...or          neither...nor         both...and        not only...but also
not...but            whether...or            as...as

When these words are acting as conjunctions, they must be with their proper partner, which is why both the ACT and SAT will try to trip you up by using a correlating conjunction with an imposter sidekick.

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Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep, SAT Writing, ACT English

Reflections. These Coordinate Geometry questions are a great way for the ACT and SAT to assess not just your knowledge of transformations, but your understanding of slope and the equation of a line. Let's look at what you need to know and then see how your skill set will be tested on the ACT and SAT.

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Topics: ACT Math, SAT Math, ACT Prep, SAT Prep

While a few ACT and SAT Reading questions will ask you about the passage as a whole, many of the questions will send you back to the passage with a specific line reference.  Do you know how much of the passage to reread for these questions? The answer varies depending on what the question asks.

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Topics: ACT Reading, SAT Reading, ACT Prep, SAT Prep

In a lot of ways, applying to college is like going to the dentist--it's something you know you should do, it's something you know is good for you, and it's something you really, really aren't looking forward to.

Which is why many high school seniors put off applying to college until the last minute, some even leaving the task to the week before applications are due. And just as putting off the dentist can result in a very painful toothache, dragging your feet on your college applications can culminate in a very painful headache.

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Topics: College Admissions

Implied pronouns--those that do not have an antecedent in the sentence nor in a preceding sentence--are difficult to spot in writing because they are so prevalent in our speech. Do you know how to spot errors with "they" and "them"? If not, read on, because you are sure to encounter such errors on your ACT or SAT.

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Topics: ACT Prep, SAT Prep, ACT English, SAT Writing

Test makers like to be tricky, because sneaky questions separate the students who comprehend a concept and those who have just memorized a formula they do not understand. We see examples of these tricky questions on the ACT and SAT in hidden triangles, "fake" quadratic equations, systems of equations, and many more concepts, including today's topic: disguised average questions. These popular ACT and SAT Math questions involve averages, but they do not appear to be about averages at all!

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Topics: ACT Math, SAT Math, ACT Prep, SAT Prep