Monday, March 31, 2014

Trying to Close a Knowledge Gap, Word by Word

Trying to Close a Knowledge Gap, Word by Word By MOTOKO RICH, NYTimes

Deisy Ixcuna-González, the 16-month-old daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, is wearing a tiny recorder that captures every word she hears and utters as part of the program Providence Talks.
Several campaigns are seeking to help the young children of poor and immigrant families by urging parents to spend more time talking to them.

Video: The 'Word Gap'

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Common Core for All of Us

A Common Core for All of Us By JENNIFER FINNEY BOYLAN, NYTimes.com OP-ED

Should schools protect kids or challenge them?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

NEW SAT PRACTICE QUESTIONS BY CORA FRAZIER

NEW SAT PRACTICE QUESTIONS BY CORA FRAZIER, NewYorker.com (humor)

What is the limit of y=2x as your love of Beyonce approaches infinity?

Friday, March 28, 2014

California Asian-Americans show strength in blocking affirmative action revival

California Asian-Americans show strength in blocking affirmative action revival
By Katy Murphy, MercuryNews.com

Stunned by an unexpected uprising within their party's minority base, Democratic lawmakers on Monday dropped a push to reverse California's 16-year-old ban on affirmative action in college admissions.

California affirmative action revival bill is dead By Katy Murphy, MercuryNews.com

A bill that would have let California voters reconsider the state's 16-year-old ban on race-conscious college admissions is off the table, its author announced on Monday.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

US College Entrance Exam Revisons Could Hamper Foreign Students



VOANews: US College Entrance Exam Revisons Could Hamper Foreign Students

The company that administers one of the two most widely-used U.S. college admissions tests recently announced its first major revisions to its test since 2005. The College Boards' changes to the SAT exam drop infrequently used vocabulary words and the mandatory essay, and add passages referencing U.S. historical documents. VOA's Pam Dockins takes a look at how foreign students applying to U.S. colleges could be affected.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Quick Way to Cut College Costs

A Quick Way to Cut College Costs By STEVE COHEN, NYTimes.com OP-ED

Congress should slash the amounts parents are asked to pay for college.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

First Lady's Education Trip to China Employs Soft Diplomacy



VOANews: First Lady's Education Trip to China Employs Soft Diplomacy

First Lady Michelle Obama is in China this week to focus on education and culture. VOA's Carla Babb has our story.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Learning to Think Outside the Box

Learning to Think Outside the Box By LAURA PAPPANO, NYTimes.com
Once considered the product of genius or divine inspiration, creativity — the ability to spot problems and devise smart solutions — is being recast as a teachable skill.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The First Lady on the Importance of Studying Abroad



wh.gov: The First Lady on the Importance of Studying Abroad

The First Lady speaks to American and Chinese students at the Stanford Center at Peking University on the importance of studying abroad.

In Beijing Talk, Michelle Obama Extols Free Speech By JANE PERLEZ, NYTimes

The first lady told an audience of mainly students that unfettered expression, particularly on the Internet and in the news media, form the basis for a strong, prosperous society.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

New SAT fails the test: Opposing view

New SAT fails the test: Opposing view by Bob Schaeffer, USAToday.com

Will it level the playing field for women, minorities and older applicants? How can the College Board stop affluent parents from buying test-prep steroids for their children? (read more)

Friday, March 21, 2014

The New SAT Will Widen the Education Gap

Opinion: The New SAT Will Widen the Education Gap By RANDOLF ARGUELLES, WSJ.org

Everyone who takes the test is measured against the same yardstick. That's not true of high school grades.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Socratic Seminars Using Informational Text

Skills Practice | Socratic Seminars Using Informational Text By JONATHAN OLSEN and SARAH GROSS, NYTimes

Below, Mrs. Gross and Mr. Olsen show how to use a Socratic seminar to have students analyze and argue about a recent news topic on which they’re sure to have strong opinions: the new SAT. (read more)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

More Indian Students Taking U.S. Graduate School Test

More Indian Students Taking U.S. Graduate School Test By VIMAL PATEL | THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, NYTimes.com

A leap in the number of Indian students taking the Graduate Record Examinations suggests a continuing surge in the number entering American graduate schools.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Teaching with strep throat and working in fear: Kaplan course’s ugly underside

Teaching with strep throat and working in fear: Kaplan course’s ugly underside by JOSH EIDELSON, Salon.com

"We were just ... terrified of coming to work," Kaplan ESL teacher says. "People had nightmares"

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Save Us From the SAT

Save Us From the SAT By JENNIFER FINNEY BOYLAN, NYTimes

The SAT is a mind-numbing, stress-inducing ritual of torture.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I Opted My Kids Out of Standardized Tests

I Opted My Kids Out of Standardized Tests by Lisa T. McElroy, Slate.com

We truly didn’t think opting out would be a big deal. Boy, were we wrong.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Khan Academy's Free SAT Classes

Khan Academy's Free SAT Classes Show How Online Education Could Be Awesome Slate Magazine (blog)

Khan Academy is one of the most respected online education platforms in the country, and it will enjoy exclusive early access to the new SAT,

SAT | Khan Academy

https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/sat
Khan Academy
If you're taking the SAT soon, you can start preparing today with questions from real SATs. After all, we believe all students who want to go to college should be

Test Your SAT Essay Writing Skills

Test Your SAT Essay Writing Skills By ANDY NEWMAN and MARC SANTORA, NYTimes

The SAT will no longer require test-takers to answer the dreaded essay question, College Board officials announced Wednesday.  But here at City Room, we hold our readers to a higher standard.
Presenting the City Room 2014 SAT Essay Test.
Your participation is required. (read more)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Then and Now, a Test That Aims to Neutralize Advantages of the Privilege

Then and Now, a Test That Aims to Neutralize Advantages of the Privileged By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA, NYTimes.com

The people who first designed the SAT decades ago wanted to identify a new elite based on brains rather than heredity, not necessarily to expand access to college.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

BIG SCORE

BIG SCORE BY ELIZABETH KOLBERT, NewYorker.com

At the age of forty-six, Debbie Stier, the author of “The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT,” decided to devote herself full time to the test, with the goal of achieving the maximum possible score of 2400.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

THE COLLEGE BOARD RETAKES THE SAT

THE COLLEGE BOARD RETAKES THE SAT BY ELIZABETH KOLBERT, NewYorker.com

The changes announced today are the biggest the Board has made since its last major overhaul, in 2005.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Story Behind the SAT Overhaul

The Story Behind the SAT Overhaul By TODD BALF, NYTimes Magazine, March 6, 2014

How the College Board revolutionized the most controversial exam in America.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A New SAT Aims to Realign With Schoolwork Key Changes

A New SAT Aims to Realign With Schoolwork By TAMAR LEWIN, MARCH 5, 2014, NYTimes.com

The College Board said it would eliminate obligatory essays and cut obscure vocabulary words in an effort to make its college admission exams focus on important academic skills.
The Key Changes
These will be among the changes in the new SAT, starting in the spring of 2016: 
■ Instead of arcane “SAT words” (“depreciatory,” “membranous”), the vocabulary definitions on the new exam will be those of words commonly used in college courses, such as “synthesis” and “empirical.” 
■ The essay, required since 2005, will become optional. Those who choose to write an essay will be asked to read a passage and analyze the ways its author used evidence, reasoning and stylistic elements to build an argument. 
■ The guessing penalty, in which points are deducted for incorrect answers, will be eliminated. 
■ The overall scoring will return to the old 1,600-point scale, based on a top score of 800 in reading and math. The essay will have a separate score.

■ Math questions will focus on three areas: linear equations; complex equations or functions; and ratios, percentages and proportional reasoning. Calculators will be permitted on only part of the math section. 
■ Every exam will include, in the reading and writing section, source documents from a broad range of disciplines, including science and social studies, and on some questions, students will be asked to select the quotation from the text that supports the answer they have chosen. 
■ Every exam will include a reading passage either from one of the nation’s “founding documents,” such as the Declaration of Independence or the Bill of Rights, or from one of the important discussions of such texts, such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s “Letter From Birmingham Jail.”

Saturday, March 8, 2014

College Board Previews Revisions To SAT

NPR: College Board Previews Revisions To SAT

The upcoming changes that were announced on Wednesday by the College Board will affect more than a million college-bound, high school students. It's the second major revision in nine years.

(download mp3)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Twas the Night Before the SAT Test


Don't cram for the SAT!
  • Put down that box of flash cards and back away from the BLUE BOOK.
  • Follow you normal Friday Night Homework routine.
  • Pack all your SAT supplies (ex: CHARGED-UP calculator, pencils, check your transportation/ride, etc) before you go to bed.
  • Go to bed early.
  • Set you alarm to wake-up fifteen minutes early to focus your thoughts.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

SAT March 2014 Countdown: How to Write a SAT Essay


“Begin!”

SAT Essay Prompt: Can knowledge be a burden rather than a benefit?

Read the quote—don’t ponder the meaning of the quote, it is simply there to prime ideas.  Read the prompt, again.  THINK, for one solid minute, THINK. 

Pencils up, but don’t write your essay just yet.

THINK

It is important to know how much you can write in twenty minutes.  Yes, I know you thought you had twenty-five minutes, but it is very, very important to take one minute to THINK, two minutes to ORGANIZE, twenty minutes to WRITE, and two minutes to FIX your essay.  The time that you invest in thinking about the prompt--taking a position and narrowing your topic—will help you formulate your thesis around which you can build an effective essay.  The students who start writing immediately will usually run out of ideas half-way through their essay.  Fore-thought and organization facilitates fluency and coherence.

ORGANIZE: Sequence

After you have spent one minute thinking about the prompt, select appropriate and complementary examples which support your thesis.  Choosing a side can also affect the sequence of the examples.  Take, for example, three novels from a secondary English curriculum: Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and Scarlet Letter.  If you wrote your essay solely according to chronological order, Scarlet Letter would come first; but if you focused on the protagonists’ responses to “knowledge,” Dimsdale represents the midway point between Winston Smith’s failure and Montag’s victory.

Knowledge = Power (benefit):
1) 1984: Winston Smith is liberated by knowledge, but is betrays his love;
2) Scarlet Letter: Dimsdale is liberated by knowledge and dies free;
3) Fahrenheit 451: Montag is liberated by knowledge and lives free in a new communityà ultimate victory for GOOD!

On the other hand, if your thesis proposes that knowledge is a burden, you world present evidence from the novels in a different order, building up to antagonist’s victory over the protagonist.

Knowledge = Power (burden):
1) Fahrenheit 451: Beatty holds secret over Montag, but Montag kills him;
2) Scarlet Letter: Chillingsworth holds secret over Dimsdale; however, Dimsdale neutralizes Chillingsworth power by declaring his love for Hester.
3) 1984: O’Brien manipulates both Winston Smith and Julia to betray each otherà ultimate victory for EVIL!

ORGANIZE: Two or Three Body Paragraphs?

Look at secondary and tertiary themes or topics that the novels have in common such as the characters response to technology, the environment, the government, etc.  With preparation, a quick and confident writer can easily knock out three body paragraphs of similar length and level of detail.  A slower writer, however, may forgo the second body paragraph about the “Scarlet Letter” in favor of delivering two fully-fleshed paragraphs about dystopian novels.  Perhaps, the writer would swap out “Scarlet Letter” for “Animal Farm,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Lord of the Flies,” “The Uglies Trilogy, or even the “Hunger Games.”  A good thesis, supported by the strong examples and concrete details, are critical for the Point of View rubric.

ORGANIZE: Examples

Besides from books, where do examples come from?  Some students write about stories they recently shared from Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube.  Other students look up and write about whatever is around them.  While they scribble away about the History classroom poster-boys (Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Gandhi), consider their contemporaries (Malcolm X, Delores Huerta, Harvey Milk) or recent covers of TIME magazine (Barack Obama, the “Tank Man” of Tiananmen, or Malala Yousafza of Pakistan). 

For those students who default to Hitler, I’m not going to say: DON’T; I’m going to ask: WHY?  The answer, “Because it’s EASY,” will result in the low score which your lack of effort deserves. Stalin, Pol Pot, and Nicolae Ceausescu are alternatives, but it more interesting to write about people who make ethical decisions in morally ambiguous situations: pair the protagonists in “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque with “Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien.

If you don’t like novels or history, don’t use examples from your English or History class.  If you are a nerd, write about math; if you are a jock, write about sports; if you are a musician, write about music. 

  • Same rules apply: ANSWER THE PROMPT IN DETAIL. 
  • Same process applies: THINK, ORGANIZE, WRITE, FIX. 
  • Same rubric applies: POINT OF VIEW, ORGANIZATION, VOCABULARY, GRAMMAR, SENTENCE STRUCTURE.

Writer’s Block

Finally, what to do when there is nothing but BLANK in your brain and on your paper.  Quick: jot down your class schedule—what has been the most interesting project or story from each class?  Are you involved with any extra-curricular activities, jobs, or internships?  Write about something that you actually have personal knowledge about and focus on how you changed during the experience.  Although teachers applaud academic success, they feel affirmed when their students apply book knowledge beyond the classroom walls.  What would you rather read: a rehash of the Industrial Revolution or the misadventures of a robotics team?  Narrow your answer and complement it with an appropriate anecdote, book, historical event, or “passion” which you can write about in under twenty minutes. 

WRITE:

Introduction: Hooks are nice, but don’t get stuck.  Write a bare bones introductory paragraph:
  1. Sentence One: THESIS = OPINION (about the essay prompt) + NARROWED TOPIC.  
  2. Sentence Two: EXAMPLE 1 + EXAMPLE 2 ( + EXAMPLE 3) will prove THESIS.
    1. Also known as the ABC Thesis

Vocabulary—while you write, vary your Vocabulary: use the word that most clearly conveys your most.
1.      Mix common words with academic and technical vocabularies to display mastery
2.      Limit colloquialisms.
3.      Rarely use slang or jargon.
4.      Never use vulgarity.

Sentence Syntax— while you write, vary your Sentence syntax: use the syntax that most effectively conveys your position.
  1. Mix simple, compound, complex, compound-complex sentences.
  2. Use lists or statistics to deliver quick, concrete detail (don’t name drop--be prepared to develop facts).
  3. Use parallelism, analogies, metaphors, dialogue, and quotes carefully.
  4. Use sparingly exclamatory and interrogative sentences or rhetorical questions.

Body Paragraph 1:
  1. Write topic sentence about EXAMPLE 1.
  2. Write one or two sentences anecdote or description about EXAMPLE 1.
  3. Write two or three more sentences with concrete detail about how EXAMPLE 1 illustrates THESIS. 

Body Paragraph 2:
  1. Write a transition from Body Paragraph 1 to Body Paragraph 2
    1. OR Skip 2 lines and add Transition 1 later.
  2. Write topic sentence about EXAMPLE 2
  3. Write one or two sentences anecdote or description about EXAMPLE 2
  4. Write two or three more sentences with concrete detail about how EXAMPLE 2 illustrates THESIS. 
  5. Key: EXAMPLE 2 must develop, expand, or contrast with EXAMPLE 2.

Optional Body Paragraph 3:  Teachers and readers prefer the standard five-paragraph essay because it allows a writer to fully expand ideas and fully explore topics.  However, students can deliver a solid four-paragraph if they compare and contrast their examples in depth.  Don’t forget to skip two lines to add transition later or to expand Body Paragraph 2. 
  1. Write a topic sentence about EXAMPLE 3
    1. OR Skip 2 lines and add Transition 2 later.
  2. Write one or two sentences anecdote or description about EXAMPLE 3.
  3. Write two or three more sentences with concrete detail about how EXAMPLE 3 illustrates THESIS. 
  4. Key: EXAMPLE 3 must develop, expand, or contrast with EXAMPLE 1 and 2.

BEWARE: One possible danger of writing a five-paragraph essay is that as the students writes against the clock, details and vocabulary drop by the way-side, leaving the essay lopsided by Body Paragraph 3.  Do not binge on verbiage—write a “normal” amount: four to five sentences—the essay still needs “room” for the conclusion.  Longer is better; complete and well-balances is the best.

Conclusion:
  1. Gather your examples and link them back to your thesis
  2. State how your thesis addresses the SAT prompt.
  3. Link your thesis through the SAT prompt to a universal theme/truth.
  4. State why your argument “matters.”

FIX

Remember: Leave two minutes to FIX your essay:
  1. Check paragraph order—are the examples developed in a logical sequence? If not, label each paragraph with the correct paragraph number. 
  2. Correct grammar mistakes, especially verb tenses and dangling participles. 
  3. Look for “to be” participles and change them to active verbs. 
  4. Scan for repetition and substitute appropriate synonyms.  Add technical vocabulary to demonstrate mastery. 
  5. Smooth transitions between paragraphs.

“Pencils down!”  Take a deep breath--there’s a whole lot more test (and life) to come. 


--How to Write an SAT Essay by Teacher Jennifer (gagliajn@gmail.com) (updated 05/21/13)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SAT March 2014 Countdown 1


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 (updated 1/25/2013)

  • 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.
  •  Remember WHAT the topic is about, and the AUDIENCE.
  • Four Types of Dual Passages
    • Pro / Con (opposite positions)
    • General / Specific
    • 2 different academic disciplines (ex: literary criticism / autobiography)
    • Tone (objective / ironic)
  • Dual passages can be combination of the Four Types

Long Passage (updated 1/25/2013)

  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when?)
  • Skim & underline for information (Proper Nouns, Numeric infoUnusual Punctuation, Lists)
    • Proper Nouns
      • Capitalized words tell us more about Who? What? Where?
      • possessive 's tell us more about the Proper Nouns
      • compound-words are tailored-made for the passage
    • Numeric Info
      • Numbers (especially years) tell us more about When?  How much?  How many?
      • centuries: seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth...
      • sequence words: first, second, third, next, prior, former...
    • Definitions (unusual punctuation) signals narrative transitions/development
      •  :colons. --dashes-- , (parentheses) give us more info about the word/phrase to the left of the punctuation
      • "air-quotes" one to four words between quotations--not reported speech, but used to  "signal" non-literal meaning, ironic tome, or that the author disagrees with the term.
      • italics, underline, or exclamation point! indicates emphasis.
    • Lists 
      • List deliver concrete details about the topic
      • look for multiple commas ,,,  semicolons ;;;   question marks ??? or repeated words in a close proximity
  • 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
    • POE: Process of Elimination
      • note similar vocabulary between the text and answer choices
      • watch out for negation in either the question, text, or answer choices
      • use symbols \ = no (not possible), ` = maybe (possible), + = yes (probable)
      • Check out The Critical Reader: Inference Questions

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!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

SAT March 2014 Countdown 2

  • 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 (updated 1/25/2013)

    • 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.
    •  Remember WHAT the topic is about, and the AUDIENCE.
    • Four Types of Dual Passages
      • Pro / Con (opposite positions)
      • General / Specific
      • 2 different academic disciplines (ex: literary criticism / autobiography)
      • Tone (objective / ironic)
    • Dual passages can be combination of the Four Types

    Long Passage (updated 1/25/2013)

    Essay:
    • 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).
    • Check out The Critical Reader: Essay Tips


    Writing Section (multiple choice)


    The Fist of No Error (see above and sidebar)
    • Subject/Verb agreement (number)
    • Tense (verb tense and aspect)
    • Pronoun (number, case, antecedent)
    • Adjective/Adverb (modifiers; infinitive/gerund)
    • Diction (correct word ex: affect/effect;phrasal verb & correct preposition)
    • Misplaced Modifiers (modifying phrases and clauses)
    • "Patterns": comparison, parallelism, list made of similar parts of speech
    • Conjunctions: coordinating, subordinating, correlative ; also relative pronoun clauses
    Also checkout:

    The Critical Reader: Complete SAT Grammar Rules or General Grammar Tips (updated 1/25/2013)

    Improving Sentences
    Improving Paragraphs
    Identifying Sentence Errors

    Monday, March 3, 2014

    SAT March 2014 Countdown 3


    Before the Test