I am sure that following David Coleman’s speech at the annual NACAC conference yet another round of articles will penned decrying the burden of the malevolent SAT vocabulary. For years, students have been alone in their lamentation of the SAT’s propensity for underscoring the deficiencies in their respective vocabularies. Now these students have an ally in the new College Board president, who’s taken to joining the cacophony surrounding the SAT and its “arcane” vocabulary. In each of his public comments about the impending changes to the SAT, he’s been taking swipes at the words tested on his own exam. His comments have carried the implication that these tested words are no longer relevant, popular, and by extension not useful to learn. He has given tacit endorsement (whether intentional or not) to the idea that there is such a thing as an “SAT word” (a word that one learns for the SAT and will never use again). This rhetoric from the architect of Common Core State Standards and the de facto baby daddy of the Forthcoming New SAT (let’s call it: FNSAT), may be exciting for students, should be concerning to all of us logophiles.
On June 15th the College Board QOTD apparently killed those not yet prepared for the SAT. Well today we’re going to help the 154,000 of you that got this question wrong (and all of you who’ve yet to try this question) by showing you great strategy that would make this question a piece of cake.
Today’s strategy is: When in doubt, write it out!
Since of course you’re doing the College Board QOTD every day, you should focus on learning as much as you can from doing those questions. Prepping for the SAT is not just about learning rules and facts, but it’s also about learning what the SAT likes and what the SAT tests. Knowing what the SAT will test most frequently will give you an edge and make you more efficient on the test.
The Question of the Day from June 14th, 2013 was a great example of a common rule the SAT loves to test: modifiers! If you understand modifier rules, you’ll easily be able to pick up 4 – 8 questions every test, and that could translate to 80 more points for your Writing score.
I’m always stunned by the lack of clarity that people have about what test prep is and what test prep isn’t. Many people seem to believe that test preparation involves sprinkling pixie dust on a test-taker and waiting for the score to soar to new heights. Think about how often you’ve heard of “tricks” to “beat the test.” Now don’t get me wrong, I know it’s largely the test preparation industry that sold the nation this bill of goods (thanks Joe Bloggs), but the impact of this thinking is being compounded by the current atmosphere in education of over-testing, misuse of testing, and over-reliance on test results. This post will clarify “once and for all” what test prep is and what it isn’t. I hope after this post that I’ll never again hear the phrase “just a few tricks” combined with “get me a great score.”
“I just need a few tricks to boost my score.”
In our continuing ACT vs SAT series (if you’ve not been following you might want to click this link and check out the others), we break down the difference in pacing on the two tests. We’ll help you make sense of pacing and timing on the SAT versus the ACT. You’ve probably already read or heard that the ACT is a faster test than the SAT, and we’re here to give that a little more context and help you figure out what that means to you.
When people say “The ACT is a faster test” what they really mean is that the ACT overall allots less time per question.
After all talk is over and after all the pros and cons have been listed, the one and only difference you need to worry about is which test you do better on!
No matter what the group statistics imply, no matter what your friends have done, no matter who was admitted with which scores last year, all that matters is which test provides you the best opportunity to demonstrate to colleges your ability to do well at their school.
Not too long ago the College Board hired David Coleman as the new president and his first few months can be summarized by the Wu Tang Clan – “Kaboom, guess who stepped in the room!” In just a few short months, Coleman has kicked up enough dust to make notoriety seekers like Lady Gaga and Madonna proud by speaking of the failures of the College Board and its programs (notably the SAT and AP).
“I have a problem with the SAT writing” – David Coleman, president of the College Board
In recent years, students have increasingly faced the challenge of deciding which college admission tests to take. They are receiving conflicting, vague, or incorrect advice from counselors, parents, blogs, internet experts, admission officers, concerned citizens, and busybodies of all varieties. Instead of solving the problem and making the decision easier, this information overload can often increase the confusion. To help you make a decision (and hopefully not just add to the noise), we’ve started this “ACT vs. SAT” series, which will provide specific points points of comparison and clear (hopefully) unbiased information that will help you create your ACT vs. SAT scorecard. To kick things off, we’ll dispel a few of the most egregious myths we’ve heard in the ACT/SAT discussion.
5 Common Misconceptions
For the SAT Writing test (and grammar in general), there are few topics that warm the heart of grammarians as much as the enforcement of rules pertaining to creating logical comparisons. On every SAT, on every grammar blog, and in every college paper, psychometricians, editors, and English professors break out the brightest red ink and go to town on the violations of “apples to apples, oranges to oranges.” In order to get ready for the SAT (and college, the GMAT, or the workplace), you have to make sure you look for any comparisons that are created and always apply the rule.