As someone who’s spent over twenty years in school and is currently pursuing both MD and MPP degrees, I’ve taken my fair share of tests. For as long as I can remember, tests have been both milestones and gatekeepers. The first “high-stakes” tests I took were the SAT and ACT in preparation for college admissions. After many midterms and finals in college, I faced the MCAT for admission to medical school and the GRE for admission to public policy school. Since then, I have gone through three USMLE Step exams for my medical license and numerous finals during medical school. Along the way of taking all these tests, I settled on three strategies for success.Read More
Whether you’re applying to college, graduate school, law school, medical school, or even some jobs, standardized tests are often part of the process. They can be intimidating, long, arduous, and confusing, but with some practice, you’ll learn how to overcome any test-taking anxiety and stay focused. Here are a few tips and tricks for going into a test calm and prepared.Read More
There's a better way to choose whether to take the SAT or the ACTRead More
Let's talk about the PSAT. For many students, the PSAT is the first exam in a long chain of standardized tests. Some high school sophomores start preparing for the PSAT in the summer because it gives students a chance to get ahead without the distractions of high school academics.
Overview of the PSAT
1. Test Format
Some students find that the SAT reading comprehension questions are some of the most difficult parts to prepare for on the exam. However, it does not have to be so daunting! Whether you are working with an SAT tutor, PSAT tutor or SSAT tutor, our approach to reading comprehension will help you tackle any text-based set of questions.
Here are some SAT tutor-tested strategies that will help you to tackle the questions that are passage-based.
Critical Reading Leads to be Better Blood Flow in the Brain…..
A recent Stanford MRI study has confirmed what many of our literary forbears and many a current teacher & tutor have always known sans a fancy neuroscience machine: Reading critically and actively expands how one thinks. Maybe then it is no surprise that the Stanford study was an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Humanities, Neurobiology and Radiology departments. In this study, Ph.D. students were asked to read the Jane Austen novel, ‘Mansfield Park,’ while in an MRI machine. They were asked in some activities to read in a leisurely manner and in others a more active and focused manner. During this activity the MRI found that there was increased blood flow in the regions beyond those typically associated with reading activity.
As a veteran tutor for test prep in New York, one of the biggest problems students have – whether it’s for PSAT, SAT, or GRE – is in increasing their vocabulary.
When you do it right, this knowledge can help with every single section of the verbal and critical reading components of these tests. But when left to the last minute, students are very quick to realize it’s something you simply can’t cram for. And possibly more than any other requirement of any standardized test out there, learning to do well with vocabulary has the potential to benefit you for the rest of your life – so take it seriously! With this in mind, I try to get all of my students to adopt the following practices into their daily routines to build vocab for test day painlessly.
Exactly a week ago millions of sophomore and juniors took the PSAT. The College Board and The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) administer this test. Juniors who score above a certain percentile are eligible for applying to the National Merit Scholarship Application Program. While only the top couple percent are eligible for the scholarship, taking the test and even preparing for it can be a boon to further SAT preparation.
As a long time SAT tutor, I have seen the pressure that some of my students put on themselves to prepare for the PSAT always a good jumpstart for subsequent preparation and high scores for the SAT.