Recent Posts

The ACT Reading Test: Understanding (and moving up) its Bell Curve

Posted by Lev on 6/5/19 5:32 PM

In the seven years I have been instructing the ACT and SAT, I have heard many parents express the opinion that standardized tests are not a reflection of an individual student’s intellectual or academic abilities, but are rather a reflection of his or her test-taking prowess. I think there is some validity to this perspective, especially within the context of the test-prep process. After all, that’s the whole point of standardized test preparation – boosting one’s score via test-specific tips and tricks, right?

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Tags: ACT

How Test Prep Works (and doesn’t work): A primer for mainland Chinese parents and students

Posted by Lev on 6/8/18 3:37 PM

The American education system and the Chinese education systems are structured in very different ways, and the standardized tests which are used to evaluate college applicants reflect those differences. If the Gaokao is a test (of memorized knowledge), then tests like the SAT and ACT are best labeled evaluations (of broad fundamental abilities).  Accordingly, there is an upper limit to how much one can improve one’s score on U.S. standardized tests through typical Chinese academic study techniques such as memorization of vocabulary words. To score your best on American standardized tests, you may have to move away from study techniques you’ve used in the past.

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Tags: ACT, SAT