One of the hardest sections to prepare for on the SAT and ACT is the reading section. For the other sections, like math and English, there is particular content to learn. For the reading section, however, the exam is testing how well you understand and interpret what you read. Most importantly in this section, you need to manage your time well. What are some strategies for approaching the section efficiently and thereby gaining maximum points? I break down three methods below.Read More
College entrance tests require that you know the rules of punctuation. There’s no way around it, so let’s get right to it.Read More
Welcome to part 2 of my blog on English strategies. If you didn’t read part 1, you can check it out here.
Picture it now: you’re breezing through the ACT English or SAT Writing and Language section. Every question come easily to you, as you follow what your ear tells you is right. You didn’t need to learn grammar after all!
And then on one question it hits you: all of the answers sound right. Your ear cannot hear which one is wrong. You look at the next question and your ear has failed you again: all of the answers sound wrong.Read More
Here I bring you a two-part series about methods for the English/Writing and Language sections of the ACT and SAT.
Many students approach the English sections of the ACT and SAT with the mindset that they will go with whatever answer sounds right. Everyone who is taking college entrance exams already has a high aptitude in English. Isn’t this enough?Read More
Punctuation usually comes up in questions that ask you to choose from among a collection of different pieces of punctuation. Think about the use of each punctuation mark, and find which one has the use that is needed for the particular sentence.
Pro tip! Don’t forget to read the entire sentence, not just the underlined part. You need to know the entire sentence to decide how you want to place the sign posts that guide the reader through the sentence.Read More
What does the reading section look like on the new SAT? In short, it’s a lot more predictable and straightforward than its predecessor, but there are some changes that could prove tricky. Let’s look at these changes in detail.Read More
Mathematical Applications on the SAT
The College Board emphasizes that the Mathematics section on the new SAT is intended to test especially the mathematical knowledge that will be relevant for a broad range of careers—not only the mathy professions like accounting, statistics, or chemistry—as well as for the needs of daily life. Mathematics for the non-mathematicians, in other words.Read More
The English language comprises a plethora of words that can change meanings with the addition of a prefix or a suffix. For example, the prefix re signifies that the base word to which it attaches is happening again, as in "do" and "redo". In theory, one could add re an infinite number of times to the front of a word, and the effect would continue to do the same thing; the word's function would be repeated however many times the prefix re appears. The fact that such a pattern exists in English recalls an aspect of the language (there it is again, re in recall to call to mind again) that dates back to its origins. As much as English is a language full of exceptions to the rules, it also presents patterns that, when understood, can shed light on how and why we use the words that form the English language.Read More
In the first of this series of posts on the SAT’s Writing and Language section, I distinguished between two broad types of questions: 1) grammar and punctuation and 2) composition and style. Although the test will not explicitly flag questions as belonging to one or the other type, it is useful to be aware of the distinction in order to understand the different methods that each type requires. For the most part, grammar and punctuation questions deal (as we have seen) with the analysis of the constructions of particular sentences and the applications of rules that guide correct usage in these constructions. The correct or incorrect answers can be found by testing the sentence against these rules. Do the subject and verb agree? Is a modifying clause next to the word that it modifies? Does a complete sentence precede and follow a semi-colon? And so forth.Read More
Grammar on the SAT
In my last post, I discussed several types of punctuation that you might meet on the Writing and Language section of the SAT. But incorrect usage of punctuation is not the only thing you will need to look out for when assessing whether there may be an error in a passage: you also need to ask yourself whether everything grammatically checks out. In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at what exactly it means for a sentence to be grammatically correct (or incorrect) with the aid of a case study: grammatical agreement. (More on what that means below.)Read More