Sunday, October 3, 2010

Countdown to Oct 2010 SAT I (updated)


Six Months Before the Test

Week (0r Two) Before the Test

  • Gather all your completed SAT Practice Tests into ONE pile.

  • Arrange the tests from oldest to the most recent test taken (so you can track your progress)

  • Review a completed test every evening before the Night Before the SAT Test (20-45 min).

  • Look-up any difficult vocabulary.

  • Note the trigger words in the Sentence completion Questions.

  • Note how you used POE (Process of Elimination) to get the right answers in the short, long, dual passage sections.

  • Analyze your wrong answers, and adjust your POE (ex. did you consistently choose the 2nd best choice on inference or EXCEPT questions).

  • Review the FIST OF NO ERROR for the Writing section and mentally check off the selections (S/V, Tense, Prononous, Adj/Adv, Diction, Misplaced Metaphors, Parallelism, Conjunctions) as you review the wrong answers.

  • Compare the errors made in the Paragraph Improvement section and your own essay: Transtions? Sentences out of sequence? Too much/too little concrete detail? Delete extraneous info? etc, etc, etc...
  • Add Image
  • Re-read NYTimes The Choice Blog: For Those Withholding SAT Scores, Advice on Completing the Common Application By Jacques Steinberg

The Night Before the Test
  • Don't cram for the SAT!

  • Follow you normal Friday Night Homework routine.

  • Go to bed early.

Day of the Test:
  • Wake up fifteen minutes early to focus your thoughts.

  • Eat breakfast (skip the quad latte and Red Bulll--you'll crash during the test).

  • Bring Student ID

  • Bring pencils, calculators, ear plugs, water, energy bar, etc.

  • Arrive early--use the spare time to encourage yourself and your friends to do your best.

During the Test

  • Stand up and stretch!

  • Drink water.


Ready for the Test!

  • Read the Prompt

  • Read the Quote

  • Read the Prompt again.

  • Think for 1 minute (don't write).

  • Brainstorm. Focus, focus, focus your complementary examples and connect these specific examples to BIG CONCEPTS. Organize. (2 minutes)

  • Write (20 min)

  • Intro Paragraph:

  • Thesis plus preview of your examples (Think DEVIL'S ADVOCATE--knock out objection to your thesis in your intro).

  • 3 body paragraphs. Topic sentence plus 4-7 sentences of concrete detail.

  • 2 body paragraphs is acceptable, but not advisable--write as much as you can to demonstrate the mastery of your tipic.

  • Transition between paragraphs.

  • Conclusion.

  • LAST 2 MINUTES: Fix errors and upgrade vocabulary--(replace to be/to have with stronger verbs).


Writing Section (multiple choice)




Critical Reading


  • Vocabulary: flash cards, word lists (Latin/Greek roots/prefixes/suffixes), word games--good! But the best way to acquire vocabulary is to READ.

  • Use POE (process of elimination)

  • Avoid answers that are too extreme (narrow, general, always/never, etc)

Sentence Completion--1 Blank

  • Cover the answers.

  • Read the sentence.

  • Note trigger words (ex: conjunctions, prefixes, modifiers, negation) which change the meaning of the sentence.

  • Read the sentence again, substituting your own word in the blank.

  • Match your choice with the supplied answer choices.

  • Not sure of the meaning? Look at the root--is similar the root similar to the root of a word that you know?

  • Use POE to target the correct answer.

  • Yes, the word you don't know can be the correct choice.

Sentence Completion--2 Blanks

  • Cover the answers.

  • Read the sentence.

  • Note trigger words (ex: conjunctions, prefixes, modifiers, negation) which change the meaning of the sentence.

  • Read the sentence again, substituting your own word in the blank.

  • Uncover the first column of words. Match them with your choice in the first blank (two answers should be retained, the other three should be dismissed).

  • Not sure of the meaning? Look at the root--is similar the root similar to the root of a word that you know?

  • Uncover the second column of words. Match them with your choice in the second blank (the target choices in the 1st blank are usually synonyms of each other; and the second blank is usually opposite of each other; OR the target choices in the 1st blank are antonyms of each other and the second blank is are synonyms).

  • Remember: there is only one correct answer!).

Short Parassage

  • Read the questions first.

  • The short passage questions are usually about the tone, main idea, or inference.

  • There is usually one dual short passage set per SAT test.

  • Each of the four questions compare/contrast both passages.

  • Draw a quick Venn Diagram to organize the info.

  • The dual passages may not contradict each other (i.e. +/-), but one passage may be general, and the other passage may be more specific. Remember WHAT the topic is about, and the AUDIENCE.

Long Passage

  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when?)

  • Skim & underline for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)

  • Mark-up the passage as per the Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)

  • Read the passage critically (why? how?)

  • Answer the questions via POE

Dual Passages


Dual Passage--Intro

  • Draw a Venn Diagram

  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when? audience? type of text?)

  • Fill out the Venn Diagram--note "dual questions" in the union.

Dual Passage--Passage 1

  • Skim & underline the First Passage for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)

  • Mark-up the passage as per the First Passage Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)

  • Read the passage critically (why? how?)

  • Answer First Passage questions ONLY via POE

  • Skip all Second Passage and Dual Passage Questions

Dual Passage--Passage 2

  • Skim & underline the Second Passage for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)

  • Mark-up the passage as per the Second Passage Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)Read the passage critically (why? how?)

  • Answer Passage 2 questions ONLY via POE

  • Skip all Dual Passage Questions

Dual Passage--Dual Passage Questions

  • Update Venn Diagram (tone +/-) (note if there is a switch in tone/argument)

  • Answer Dual Passage questions via POE

  • Finish!

After the Test

  • Don't just go home--celebrate with a special lunch or snack.

  • Go on to your next task!


GOOD LUCK!

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