ACT and SAT Test Tips: "I have to" vs. "I want to"

Posted by Vicki Wood on May 4, 2018 at 11:59 AM

I may be long past my college admissions days, but I still have hurdles to leap and hoops to jump through (yep, sorry to break it to you, but life doesn’t get any easier after high school. Well, after college anyway. Those four years post-high school were pretty great). I was watching a motivational video today, in which a health guru talked about the difference between using “have” and “want” when thinking about long term goals. And because I "had" to write a blog post today, I thought about how his message translated to ACT and SAT success.

Read More

Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep

ACT English and SAT Writing Tips: Diction Errors

Posted by Vicki Wood on April 26, 2018 at 10:52 AM

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 English and Writing tests when he uttered those words, but they are conveniently applicable to ACT and SAT diction errors. Failing to catch diction errors on the test can burn as badly as catching lightning bolts instead of lightning bugs.

Read More

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

ACT and SAT Math Tips: Similar Triangles, the Mini-Me of the Math World

Posted by Vicki Wood on April 13, 2018 at 1:02 PM

Similar triangles occur frequently on both the ACT and the SAT. If you think of them as the Mini-Me of the standardized testing math world, you'll never fail to recognize them when they appear on your test. Let's review their properties and then look how they may try to sneak onto the ACT and the SAT.

Read More

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

ACT and SAT Reading Tips: Questions about the Author's Attitude

Posted by Vicki Wood on April 5, 2018 at 1:56 PM

"Don't give me that attitude, young lady!" my mom used to yell when I rolled my eyes at something she said. The something she said was usually a jab aimed at my hair. She hated my bangs even though they added a full five inches to my height. It was the late 80s, and big bangs were in (as evidenced below). She deserved those eye rolls then. After all, the higher the hair, the closer to heaven.

Attitudes and teenagers have a long-standing relationship, which would make one think that ACT and SAT questions about an author's attitude should be easier to solve. But the subtleties of the passage text--as well as of the definitions of attitude words--can make these challenging questions for the average teenager. Let's look at how we can tame them and earn some quick points on the test.

Read More

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

NCAA Basketball Bracket: The Most Affordable College

Posted by Vicki Wood on March 14, 2018 at 4:05 PM

Oh, man, the flu has hit my family. As a result, I didn't get to bed last night until 4 am. I missed work today. But I couldn't miss out on this. I am so tired, though, that I didn't even have the energy to put commas in the dollar figures for each of these schools. Forgive me. Tomorrow is another day (and another bracket). I'll be back to my wittier and punctilious self then, I'm sure.

I have determined the winner of the head-to-head matches by the most affordable schools. The winner is a number 16 seed that had to battle its way out of "the first four." Any wagers? 

Read More

Topics: College Admissions

NCAA Basketball Bracket: Largest Number of Undergrads

Posted by Vicki Wood on March 13, 2018 at 12:27 PM

After my Spartans were forced yesterday to recognize Duke as national champion once again (in a bracket of head-to-head ACT and SAT scores), I wondered if there was a way to compare colleges and have MSU come out on top--or at least advance farther than Duke. Surely Michigan State has more undergraduate students than Duke, right? Of course they do. But I wasn't expecting them to face Arizona State in the second round, where they were knocked out in the same round that Duke was defeated by Oklahoma.

But never a sore loser (just ask my Buckeye-loving husband), I'm(grudgingly) presenting the results below. Today's bracket determines the largest college in the NCAA Men's Division I basketball tournament, based on the enrollment of undergraduate students.

Read More

Topics: College Admissions

NCAA Basketball Bracket: The Winners by ACT and SAT Scores

Posted by Vicki Wood on March 12, 2018 at 1:51 PM

It's the most wonderful time of the year! No, not the holidays. Nor spring. And no, not even St. Patrick's Day, the only day of the year that non-Spartans are likely to yell "Go Green!" back at me. It's better than all of those combined.

IT'S MARCH MADNESS, BABY! Said in my best Dickie V. voice, of course.

Have you ever wondered how the field of 64 teams in the NCAA basketball tournament would fare if ACT and SAT scores were the determining factor instead of basketball skills? No, of course you haven't.  Who in their right mind would waste time figuring that out? Yeeeeah, that would be me. No one ever said I was in my right mind, though, and that's especially true when my team takes the court in mid-March.

Read More

Topics: ACT Prep, SAT Prep, College Admissions

ACT English and SAT Writing Tips: Maintaining Style

Posted by Vicki Wood on March 1, 2018 at 12:16 PM

Keeping up with current fashion trends isn't the only type of style you must maintain--you also have to make sure that an author preserves his or her  style in the ACT English and SAT Writing sections.

Style on the ACT and SAT? We're not talking Louis Vuitton shoes for guys and Louboutin purses for girls, but rather the writing style that the author uses to express thought. So just as your clothes must be a cohesive statement from head to toe, an ACT English or SAT Writing passage must maintain its tone and word choice from introduction to conclusion.

Read More

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

ACT and SAT Tips: Ten Minute Test Prep

Posted by Vicki Wood on February 23, 2018 at 11:00 AM

If you’re like most high school students, there isn’t a lot of downtime in your day, let alone time to study for something other than your normal homework. Yet the ACT and SAT loom in your future, and you keep hearing about how you need to start studying for them months—maybe even years—in advance. How can you fit ACT and SAT prep into an already overloaded school day? The solution is simple: study in 5- or 10- minute segments. Even the busiest teenager has a few minutes to spare—whether riding in the car, waiting for practice to start, or sitting in the dentist’s office—so there are no excuses: start prepping for the ACT and SAT now. And we're here to help you figure out how to do that.
Read More

Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep, SAT Math, SAT Writing, SAT Reading, ACT Science, ACT Reading, ACT English, ACT Math

ACT and SAT Math Tips: Polygons and their Interior Angles

Posted by Vicki Wood on February 9, 2018 at 10:24 AM

Geometry has been relegated Polygon.jpgto only 10% of the SAT but it still composes 15% to 20% of the ACT. You may need to know the sum of the interior angle measurements of regular polygons on both tests, but no formulas are provided on either. So how should you prepare for these types of questions?

Read More

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