We found 139 articles

How to ace the SAT math sections—by doing less math
On a timed exam like the SAT, when you have barely a minute to solve each math question, there’s nothing worse than getting bogged down in a problem. We’ve all been there: the small square of space in the test booklet becoming crammed with writing, the pile of eraser shavings growing, the clock ticking, and…wait, what was the question even asking ...
The single most useful tactic I learned for standardized test prep
Standardized test prep can be a grueling process for the mind, body, and spirit. It took a great degree of willpower not to hurl myself into the sun whenever my practice scores began to dip again (and again, and again). But as frustrating as they might be, disappointing practice days are undoubtedly the best days to improve.
How to make the college admissions process less stressful and more rewarding
Let’s put it bluntly: the college admissions process can be taxing. Between standardized tests, constant deadlines, and the dreaded personal essay, there are myriad sources of stress facing every college applicant. But while studying for any particular exam might provoke some degree of automatic anxiety, the process itself can be rewarding. ...
How to boost exam scores with the bucket method
Multiple-choice exams are inevitable in our education system. They crop up for students as early as elementary school, follow students all the way through college applications, and persist in university courses and graduate school entrance exams. Having an arsenal of exam strategies ready to deploy during a multiple-choice exam can significantly ...
Reading Comprehension on the SAT Reading Section
One common belief that I’ve heard about the SAT Reading section is that older high school students just wake up one day and “get it.” When these students start to suddenly excel on questions about tone and paragraph purpose, it can seem like they flicked on a light switch. Students, parents, and other people alike have talked to me about this ...
The key to cracking standardized tests
On May 7, 2002, a sportswriter questioned NBA superstar Allen Iverson about his dedication to his team and his alleged failure to attend team practices. The next few moments would go down in NBA history as one of the most iconic interview responses ever given, and produced the now-infamous line: “We talkin’ about practice!”
To ACT or to SAT? That is the question. 
“Do colleges like one test more than the other?” “Isn’t the SAT harder?” “What if I’m terrible at science?!” “But all my friends took the ACT!”
Mindfulness meditation for SAT success
When you take the SAT, you’re really taking two tests in one. The first is the test you know (and probably strongly dislike). The second test is an internal challenge: you have to manage your mind, stress, and emotions. You might know everything about math, reading, and writing—but if you can’t master the inner test, you won’t get that score you ...
Proof by contradiction: how to be so wrong you end up being right
Mathematical proofs are what make math objective: while you could find a few examples that "prove" a mathematical statement, it is often more important to write a rigorous proof that holds true in all cases. Mathematicians have a few methods in their toolkit to tackle different proofs. In this post, we will learn how to write a proof by ...
Why reading is the best way to improve your SAT score
Reading is fun. I promise. Take it from me, someone who used to hate reading. I started hating reading in high school because we read so many books in class that I wasn’t interested in. But I soon learned that reading one boring book does not mean all books are boring. Find books that interest you, and do not compromise. If you read the first ...
How to study for standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, and SSAT
Study actively, not passively. In order for your brain to truly remember something, you must make your brain work. Reading your textbook or class notes is a good start, but studying actively will always improve your memory (and your scores). Try answering questions out loud or writing down answers as you go along to make your studying a more ...
Boosting your SAT score the second (or third) time around
It is no secret the SAT is a grueling, intimidating test. The first time taking it is an experience in itself, and a combination of nerves and mental fatigue often keeps students from performing at their very best. Luckily, students can take the SAT multiple times to achieve the score that they are aiming for. I took the SAT 3 times, with my score ...
Three Key Lessons from a Lifetime of Test Taking
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 ...
How to tackle sentence and paragraph sequence questions on the SAT
The style questions on the writing and language section of the SAT can often be the most difficult. While you’re working to memorize your grammar and punctuation rules, it is also essential to develop strategies to tackle each type of style question.
Stellar verbal scores on standardized tests are about shifting your perspective
Many students find the verbal sections of standardized exams hard, maybe even impossible. The source of these feelings is typically one of two mindsets: either the student believes that there is an infinite and unmanageable amount of content to cover (grammar rules, vocabulary, etc.); or, my students feel like the test and test makers are “out to ...
Confronting commas on the SAT writing and language section
You see commas everywhere when you're reading, and you may put them everywhere when you're writing, but do you really know when to properly use this tricky punctuation mark? The SAT requires you to know exactly when a comma is either necessary or obstructive, so it is important to take the time to learn comma rules as you prepare for the writing ...
Tackling unfamiliar problems on the SAT math sections
Let's face it: there's no way to control exactly what math questions will pop up on test day. Questions at the beginning of each section tend to be simple and straightforward--you might be asked to isolate a variable, determine the slope between two points, or solve a system of equations--but later questions can often feel like they've come out of ...
The Standardized Test Super Power
If I could give my students just one superpower—besides magically knowing all the right answers—it would be knowing the meaning of every word on their test. Be it the SAT, GRE or LSAT, vocabulary is perhaps one of the most underrated skills, underestimated both in its usefulness and its attainability. Anyone who claims to be a good test taker or ...
Word Problems on the SAT Math: A 7-Step Game Plan
Word-based math problems can be challenging, but they don’t have to be. Here is a 7-Step game plan to help you remain composed when you sit for the SAT math section.
Mastering the SAT reading section
For many students, the reading section of the SAT is daunting. You’ve read plenty of books over the years, and your vocabulary is pretty good (estimable, adequate, respectable, even laudable!), but the prospect of analyzing four long and two shorter passages over the course of only sixty-five minutes can feel like an impossible task. Luckily, as ...
Tips for studying effectively for the SAT and ACT
It can be overwhelming to think about studying for the SAT or ACT. Where do you even start? In this post, I’ll outline a few key strategies to guide you through your test preparation.
SAT Reading: Which comes first? The passage or the question?
It depends. I’m sorry, but it does. There are essentially two opposing strategies for passage-based questions: read the passage first or read the questions first and consult the passage as the questions demand. Probably the most widely advocated strategy is to split the difference, and to read the passage first, favoring speed over retention of ...
3 Ways to Empathize with the Writers of Standardized Tests for Exam Day Success
Hey everyone -- I'm Zack, an experienced GMAT and SAT tutor at Cambridge Coaching. I'm excited to use it to share some key tips with you about making the most of your standardized testing experience. Here are 3 key tips that I have for you that apply for almost any standardized exam, whether it's SAT, GMAT, or whatever else you might be studying.
SAT or ACT? An Opinion Article From a Standardized Test Prep Expert
One of the questions I am asked most is why do I recommend prepping for the ACT over the SAT (particularly when the baseline scores for the SAT seem stronger)? Simply put: ACT questions are easier and the format is as well.
7 Test Day Tips for the SAT
You've been studying for months, and now the day is finally here. The day of your SAT. Instead of switching to panic, just remember these 7 essential tips to keep your head cool and be successful.
7 essential tips for ANY standardized test
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 ...
The Changing Landscape of the SAT
This week, our SAT prep tutor Katherine writes on her opinions of the changing landscape of the SAT. In the past week, I have been forwarded articles regarding the University of Chicago’s decision to no longer require standardized test scores for admission. The accompanying messages ranged from “Have you seen this? Thoughts?!” to “What are YOU ...
How Test Prep Works (and doesn’t work): A primer for mainland Chinese parents and students
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). ...
The top strategy for the math section of the SAT and ACT
Complicated algebra is the last thing many students want to deal with on a high-stakes test like the SAT or ACT. Yet it seems like there is no way around it, with the alphabet soup of variables scattered throughout the exam. Thankfully, there is a strategy for those problems where your algebraic manipulations are leading nowhere. It’s called ...
How to Ace the SAT Math Section
Whether you have struggled in your math classes or have excelled so far, to ace the new SAT math section will require putting in additional work. You will need to set aside time to practice for it. Time is a major factor in the math section, so obtaining the highest score will require more than simply being able to figure out a way to get to the ...
What I Learned When I Retook the ACT and SAT
My blog posts usually focus on the content of the ACT and SAT: what information is on the tests, how to think strategically about taking the tests, and how to maximize your score. This month, I decided to take a step back from the details and look at the bigger picture, so I sat down and took practice ACT and SAT tests, back to back. I realized a ...
Tips for getting a perfect score on a standardized math test
SAT, ACT, SSAT, ISEE, GRE. What do these acronyms all have in common? Well, they’re all standardized tests, but more importantly, they all have multiple-choice math test sections. Despite whether or not they’re accurate indicators of student performance in the classroom, lab, or office, they are all essential for entry into some educational career ...
How to Practice Reading for the SAT and ACT
Many students either don’t get the scores that they are hoping for on the reading section or feel like they aren’t reading accurately enough or quickly enough. But how do you improve your reading? Let’s go through some strategies that can help you improve your reading speed and accuracy.
How to Strengthen Your Reading Sections on the SAT and ACT Test
Welcome back to another blog post about the SAT and ACT tests! This post continues on my earlier posts on practicing reading and ACT and SAT reading questions. If you haven’t read them, be sure to circle back and check them out.
How to Read for the SAT and ACT: Three Methods
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. ...
How do I use Punctuation on the ACT and SAT Exams? Part II
College entrance tests require that you know the rules of punctuation. There’s no way around it, so let’s get right to it.
The key to selecting the right answer on the SAT & ACT: part 2
Welcome to part 2 of my post on English strategies for the SAT and ACT! If you didn’t read part 1, you can check it out here. Picture it now: you’re breezing through the ACT English Language Arts 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 ...
The Key to Selecting the Right Answer on the SAT & ACT: Part 1
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 ...
How do I use punctuation on the ACT and SAT exams?
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 ...
What's the Difference Between the Old SAT and New SAT? 5 Major Changes on the Reading Section
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.
How to decode word problems on the SAT
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 most common English prefixes and their meanings
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 ...
New SAT Writing and Language: Methods for Composition and Style
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 ...
An Introduction to the New SAT Writing and Language: Part II
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 ...
5 books so good you won’t notice they’re helping you study for the SAT
The SAT is a very important test, but it can be hard to set aside the time to study for it amidst all your other school work and activities. When you already have problem sets to do and papers to write, another set of practice drills on reading comprehension can seem overwhelming. That’s why sometimes the best studying happens when you don’t ...
The New SAT: How to Avoid Punctuation Problems
The questions on the new SAT Writing and Language section can be sorted into roughly one of two categories: 1) grammar and punctuation, and 2) composition and style. In a series of three blog posts, we will work through each of these categories and get a sense for what kind of knowledge they test. In this post, we will take a closer look at the ...
3 Essential Steps to Breaking Down the New SAT Essay
There are many differences between the old and the new SAT. One of Cambridge Coaching's seasoned SAT tutors will walk you through the updates (and how they impact your test taking strategies!), while giving you step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for the new version of the test.
Score Choice, Superscore, and All Scores: Why You Should Care About the Difference
As you’re gearing up to submit your college applications, you’ll inevitably have to consider the ways your standardized test scores impact the strength of your overall standing. Different schools review your test scores in different ways, so it’s imperative to familiarize yourself with the distinctions between each method, and strategically frame ...
The new SAT Reading section in focus: “Evidence Questions”
The Old When I tutored the old SAT, I heard a lot of complaints from my students about the reading sections. One recurring subject was the passage-based reading questions. These questions seemed “subjective,” students told me: the answers did not depend on concrete facts or skills, as for the writing (grammar) or mathematics sections, but instead ...
SAT & AP Tutoring Approaches with Eric
Eric is a doctoral candidate in the Urban Planning program at Columbia University. Prior to enrolling at Columbia, he earned a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from NYU and a Bachelor’s degree in history from Bowdoin College. Learn about different strategies Eric uses to approach SAT & AP Exam preparation!
The SAT essay dissected: a step-by step guide
For many students, the SAT essay is one of the most challenging parts of the exam. The short length of time means that you don't have the ability to develop a strong, well thought-out, complex essay. Fortunately, similar to other sections on the SAT, you can succeed by taking a methodical approach, and after some practice, this will come naturally.
Your Guide to the New SAT
The new 2016 SAT is promising to be very different from the SAT we’ve come to know, but don’t worry. Since this exam is testing you more on your critical thinking skills rather than specific information, if you’ve been practicing your reading comprehension and mathematical skills steadily throughout the academic year, you’re well on your way to ...
SAT Tutoring Approaches with Troy
This week we're spotlighting Troy, who joined the Cambridge Coaching team in Boston as a test prep tutor. He teaches the SAT, SSAT, LSAT, ISEE, and even has experience editing standardized test questions! He's sure to give great advice on SAT tutoring approaches.
SAT Tutoring Approaches with Karen
This week we're spotlighting Karen, who joined the Cambridge Coaching team in Boston in 2014 as an SAT/PSAT/SSAT, and science subject tutor. She's one of our Guru tutors with tons of teaching experience and who's sure to give great advice on SAT tutoring approaches.
How to Score Perfectly on the SAT Essay
Avoid doing these things on test day by learning and practicing these six steps! Many cite the essay section of the SAT as their least popular part, their hardest part, their most confusing part. Students have trouble with it because unlike the rest of the test, it’s open-ended. It seems vague and provides very little in the way of helpful ...
SAT Tutoring Approaches with Manoah Finston
This week we're spotlighting Manoah Finston, who joined the Cmabridge Coaching team in New York in 2012 as an SAT, SAT II, and subject tutor. He's mentored high school students for over a decade and is sure to give great advice on SAT tutoring approaches.
Math Tips: Triangles
Triangles can be very different! Triangles are the most basic 2D shape that you can create and they can be found everywhere. So let’s look at some tricks and facts about triangles. We’ll start by looking at the triangle below (not drawn to scale).
3 Tips For Cracking the SAT Essay Section
Let's get started! [image source] The essay section of the SAT can be a tough nut to crack. Where other sections’ scoring is relatively straightforward and predictable, the essay section can seem nebulous. What are they looking for? If you don’t know, how can you prepare? How can you improve? In this blog post, I outlined a few of the key points ...
How to Solve SAT Word Problems
Slow and methodical does it... (Big Bang Theory) Word problems on the SAT can be very intimidating. A lot of students cruise along the rest of the math section and then freeze as soon as they see a word problem. Why am I being quizzed on reading comprehension??? But don’t panic! The trick is to figure out how to translate these word problems into ...
The SAT Tutor: How Do I Choose Which Subject Tests to Take?
King Solomon tries to decide which SAT Subject Test to take. It’s a glorious time of year for high school juniors, with SAT and ACT tests wrapping up and spring break right around the corner. But just as you’re are getting ready to breathe a deep sigh of relief over your vacations, you have to face yet another round of standardized tests for ...
The SAT Tutor: How Will the SAT Math Section Change in 2016?
The College Board’s new favorite book This is the third in a series of blog posts highlighting specific changes to the redesigned SAT, which will be unveiled with the Fall 2015 PSAT administration.
A secret weapon for learning vocab
As an SAT and GRE verbal tutor in Boston, one of the hardest parts of my job has been to help my students improve on the vocabulary section of the GRE or the SAT. We can talk through how to solve a math problem or figure out the main point of a passage, but I’ve always thought of Vocabulary as a skill that has to be acquired by reading books and ...
The SAT Tutor: The Art of Flashcards
Get ready to accelerate your SAT vocab learning. When you think of SAT vocabulary, certain words come to mind, but there are two that jump out: “challenging” and “omnipresent.” The vocabulary on the SAT is difficult, and it’s everywhere. Though at first glance the test has only a handful of fill-in-the-blank vocabulary questions, there are many ...
The SAT Tutor: Subtle Ways to Boost Your Score
There are better ways to boost your SAT score. Walk into a testing center before the SAT and you’ll see all sorts of last minute superstitious practices. Some people carry talismans, others spray on their favorite lucky cologne, and some just pray. So apart from studying, (of course), maybe working with an SAT tutor, and wearing your lucky ...
SAT Tutor: 4 Vital Rules for Beating the SAT Essay
You don’t have to be a robot to write the SAT essay, but it helps. The SAT essay asks students to break down a ludicrously broad philosophical question and come up with both a specific point of view, expressed through a structurally-perfect, well-written essay—and all in just 25 minutes. As an SAT writing tutor in New York, I find that to many of ...
SAT Tutor: How to Study on a Snow Day
Better to have to study on a snow day than not to have a snow day all. All of your wishes have come true. It is snowing a foot, and all the schools in Boston or NYC or wherever you are are closed. You want to throw some snow balls and then curl up with hot cocoa. But then one of your parents "helpfully" observes that you still have SAT tutoring ...
The SAT Tutor: What Will the Essay on the New SAT Be Like?
You don’t need a crystal ball to know what will be on the 2016 SAT This is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting specific changes to the redesigned SAT, which will be unveiled with the Fall 2015 PSAT administration.
The SAT Tutor: What You Need to Know About Vocabulary on the New SAT
Cambridge Coaching tutors are here to help you master some good words.
GRE/SAT Tutor: How to Use Rubrics to Hack the Writing Section
It is possible that I might have one or two of these in my back pocket..... I have a secret for you, from my years of experience as a SAT verbal tutor in Boston. Lean close, and don't let the teachers and graders know that I'm going to tell you. Here it is: you have access to a key that will grant you an A on every written assignment. It’s a ...
SAT Tutor: 4 Tips for Writing the SAT Essay
Writing a well-organized and cogent SAT essay in 25 minutes is a daunting task for anyone, let alone those of us who prefer the math section. If you find yourself feeling nervous or having trouble figuring out where to even start, here are four helpful tips to guide your studying and writing process: A blank page can be quite intimidating – but ...
The benefits of studying ancient Greek in high school
Today, we offer the second of two guest posts from our good friends at Calder Classics on why learning a "dead language" might be the very thing that gives you the edge you need in college admissions (see the first one here). Based in New York, Calder Classics is an elite educational company committed to helping students prosper by giving them the ...
SAT Tutor: why you should wear a bathrobe on test day
What to wear on Test Day? What kind of question is that? What on earth could clothing have to do with taking standardized tests?
Standardized Test Prep: SAT II Subject Test FAQ
Registration deadlines for the SAT Subject Tests are fast approaching. Here's what you need to know.
SAT Tutor: What Is SAT Score Choice, and Should I Get It?
At Cambridge Coaching, our SAT tutors in Boston and New York get the “What is Score Choice” question a lot, so today, we are offering our faithful readers a friendly PSA. Score Choice is an option the College Board makes available to its test-takers. The basic idea behind it is that if students take the SAT or SAT Subject Tests multiple times, ...
Academic Tutor: Enhancing Vocabulary and Recognition of Themes
A month back several of my ACT, SAT and PSAT tutoring students asked me to read books that they had to read for school. Why? They wanted to discuss the themes and content of the book with someone from outside of school. Secondly, they wanted to learn to apply the critical thinking skills they use to mine such content and themes in their ...
SAT Tutoring: Strategies for the SAT writing section
The essay component of the SAT writing section is so hated by high school students, I think, because it’s just so difficult to measure improvement. Practice is crucial to getting better at any skill, and unlike all the other sections on the SAT, you can’t just grade a multiple choice test to tell how well you’re doing. The key here is to find an ...
SAT Essay Part III: Vocabulary and Sentence Structure
In my last two posts I discussed broad strategies for the SAT essay section, and then some specific tactics to help you write the essay quickly, efficiently and without panicking. In this post I want to focus more closely on the actual sentences and the structure of your prose, and give you some idea of what the graders are looking for.
Do Top Colleges Care If Students Take Both the ACT and SAT?
Do top colleges care if students take both the ACT/SAT? Do colleges have a preference for one of the tests over the other (i.e. Do some schools prefer the ACT, while others prefer the SAT?) Will an applicant who has taken both the ACT and SAT be favored over one who has only taken one of the exams? Different answers and opinions were revealed to ...
Making the SAT Essay Just a Little Easier
No one, but no one, enjoys the SAT essay. That's unfortunate, because the secret to doing well on it might just be to have a little fun writing it. Here's how to change your approach to improve your score and make you hate it a little bit less. The Popular Approach to the SAT essay The essay component of the SAT writing section is so hated by high ...
Writing the SAT Essay: The First Few Steps
In the last blog post, I discussed the overall strategy for writing the SAT essay, which is based on recognizing that this essay is not like other pieces of writing. It is specifically designed to test your ability to pick a point of view on any given issue, develop it and express it with good language skills, and to do so quickly, with little ...
Cracking the SAT Essay: Breaking Down the Prompt
On Test Day, the SAT essay prompt is the very first thing you see when you open up your test booklet—and a dismal sight it is. 25 minutes to answer a deliberately and often irritatingly simplistic question (“is good moral character essential for sound leadership?” What are you going to say? “Nah?”). But the secret of the SAT essay is that with a ...
How Good Design Can Boost SAT Scores
Ever since I began reading The Design of Everyday Things (a great read for high school or college students), I’ve become increasingly interested in design. Since then, I’ve seen processes and objects in a new way. As an SAT tutor, I immediately applied these principles to the SAT in an attempt to increase the speed at which my students complete ...
Summer Test Preparation: Vocabulary Building for the SAT
Many students think ahead and wonder how they can use their summer to advance their standardized test preparation, without monopolizing the entire summer break. Vocabulary-building is an easy (and for some, fun) way to improve your verbal SAT score and can be done easily from anywhere, even while you're in transit.
Get the Ball Rolling this Summer for Standardized Test Prep
With summer just beginning, the last thing on most students’ minds will be starting a new academic program – but I promise that this can be the best time of year to get gears turning and to take control of the standardized tests that loom in the autumn.
Standardized Test Prep: June 1st SAT Subject Tests & SAT
Hello dear readers! The Writing Wizard is back with a few quick tips to help you prepare for the last few weeks before test day for your SAT-I and SAT-II Subject Exams. If you have been reading this excellent blog, then you know that other posts from April and May have been providing dynamite advice on how to structure your testing schedule week ...
Standardized Test Preparation: It’s all in the details
As we wind down the academic year and start looking toward summer, most of us experienced academic tutors working in New York and Boston are working with two sets of students – those who have put in months of work in preparing for their upcoming AP and SAT subject tests and those who are just beginning to think about working with a private SAT ...
Standardized Test Preparation: Summer Edition
With the school year drawing to a close, many students are gearing up for summer classes for standardized test preparation. The summer can be an optimal time to prepare for an exam such as the SAT, LSAT, MCAT, or a number of other standardized exams. Students can focus all their energies into studying for an exam, without the extra demand of ...
Standardized Test Preparation: Test Day Advice
Thinking ahead to test day is important. From the moment you wake up in the morning, your actions should all be designed to optimize your test taking experience – any academic tutor will tell you that what you do before entering the testing room will impact your test performance.
SAT Tutor: Your Test Prep Checklist
Taking SAT subject tests (and doing well) is a great way to strengthen your college application because these tests can highlight your academic interests and demonstrate your skill in a given discipline.
Standardized test preparation: tackling SAT reading fill-in-the-blank questions
On the SAT Reading section, you will encounter “fill-in-the-blanks.” In these questions, you are presented with a sentence that contains one or two blanks, which indicate that something has been omitted. The exam presents you with five choices, from which you are asked to choose the most appropriate set of words that fit the answer.
Tips from an SAT Verbal Tutor: Two Approaches
When it comes to college admissions, the SAT is “the Big Exam.” And when it comes to this exam, it is the SAT Verbal section that often makes students most anxious. There are two approaches that can be helpful to think through as you go about picking the correct choice. Our PSAT tutor and SAT tutors are great at teaching our students to think ...
SAT Tutoring: A Few Strategies to Tackle SAT Reading Comprehension
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 ...
Standardized Test Preparation: Essay Writing on the SAT or ACT
Now that the standardized tests are increasingly adding writing section to the exam, some students may feel nervous at the thoughts of writing a complete essay in 25 minutes! As you complete your standardized test preparation, you've probably noticed that timing/pacing/strategy are key to every section of the test. Essays are no different.
The Dividends of SAT Verbal Preparation - Critical Reading
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 ...
Is Cramming a Legitimate way to ace the ACT or SAT?
First of all, like most things there is not a one size fits all answer. Therefore, my general answer is that while I don’t recommend cramming given good planning and ample time to prepare, if you or your child have waited until the last minute or have just become aware of the importance of an exam such as the SAT or ACT, then by all means CRAM!
Ready to Do Some Standardized Test Preparation Over the Holidays?
While holidays are certainly a time for most of us to wind down from a busy work or school year and spend time with family and friends, the holidays can also be the best time to complete some standardized test preparation. With the right discipline and schedule, the focused student can find a way to knock out a couple of good hours of test ...
Building Vocabulary for Test Preparation
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 ...
Standardized Test Preparation as a Conduit to Enhanced Metacognition
What is metacognition you may say (unless you have been exposed to the growing literature and popularity of this word in recent years)? Metacognition, at its most basic can be described as knowing how you think.
Part 1: Should I Take the ACT or SAT?
“Should I take the ACT or SAT?” is a question that many high schoolers from coast to coast find themselves asking each year. Several years ago this may not have been the case depending upon where someone attended high school. Traditionally, students on the East and West Coasts primarily took the SAT, either because that is all they knew, they had ...
3 Key Tips for the SAT Sentence Completions
The sentence completion section of the SAT is challenging for many students. In addition to testing a broad and specific vocabulary, the sentence completion section is also riddled with traps and tricks. To be clear, you should start by building your vocabulary in preparation for this section. However, you can also master test strategy in order to ...
SAT Facts & Checklist: Get Oriented to the SAT
If you’re taking the SAT this fall, you are probably tired of hearing about test-taking strategy, sentence completions, grid-ins, analogies, geometry, and the never ending list of possible topics on the exam. Take and break from problem-solving and prepare yourself for the SAT by familiarizing yourself with the SAT’s history, trivia, what to ...
College Corner: SAT Subject Tests - Take 'em or leave 'em?
As you put together your college application, your goal is to show admissions officers why you are a stellar applicant - taking one or a few SAT Subject Tests (also known as SAT IIs) can do just that. Demonstrating intellectual breadth or intellectual depth can differentiate you from other high school seniors. Before you sign up for the 20 sat ...
Standardized Test Math Mechanic: SAT Sequences and Series
SAT Sequence questions can be challenging. Can you address one of these problems in your blog?
Three Things Every Student Should Know About the SAT Reading Comprehension
Having been an SAT tutor for the better part of a decade, I have taught numberless dozens of students, and the one thing they have all had in common, almost without exception, is that they have hated the SAT Reading Comprehension section. And why shouldn't they? The Reading Comprehension makes up the bulk of an already painful test. It consists of ...
Standardized Test Math Mechanic: SAT geometry prep
I thought that it would be fun to tackle a geometry problem on today's post. I know what you're thinking, fun and geometry – can these two words even go in the same sentence? But yes, geometry can be fun; let's see as we work together through the details of a particular problem.
3 Things Every Student Should Know about the SAT Essay
1) Forty-five seconds. That's how long, on average, a reader spends on your essay before grading it. You get twenty-five minutes to plan it, produce it, and proof it, and then you get forty-five seconds of a reader's—actually, two readers'—attention. These two SAT essay graders, granted, are highly seasoned, experienced, and (probably) ...
The Importance of Taking It Easy: Sitting for a Standardized Test
Lost in the whirlwind of test-taking strategies and practice problems that make up the bulk of test prep is the simple fact that there is an immense psychological component to any test as critical as the SAT, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, or MCAT.
Learning to Love Standardized Tests: Preparing for Test Day
Lost in the whirlwind of test-taking strategies and practice problems that make up the bulk of test prep is the simple fact that there is an immense psychological component to any test as critical as the SAT, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, or MCAT.
Standardized Test Math Mechanic: More SAT Prep
Who wants to practice for the SAT on a hot summer day in New York? I know, SAT math seems like the last thing on your mind when there’s a summer barbeque and a cool dip in the swimming pool to pass the time. But the school year is so busy that the summer, without the hours of homework and extracurricular activities, is actually the perfect time to ...
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