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Fractional exponents and flowers thumbnail

  There's this misconception that you have to learn new stuff, memorize all.the.facts, or sacrifice chickens under the full moon in order to get a high score on the SAT or ACT.   That's simply not true.   In fact, I spend more of my time showing kids how not to mess up what they Read More

Bad explanations thumbnail

  Yay - The College Board now posts explanations for all the SAT Practice Tests. (The actually did this for the old test as well, but they didn't publicize it well it so no one knew about it.) So high five to them for doing it better this time around. However, many of the explanations aren't Read More

The worst of the lot thumbnail

Yay - The College Board now posts explanations for all the SAT Practice Tests. However, sometimes the explanations leave A LOT to be desired. (And this isn't a new problem for them.) Sometimes I think they are having a contest to see who can write the most unhelpful explanation possible. This one is currently winning among my Read More

Unforced errors thumbnail

I am working with a student who is shooting for the 96th percentile on the ACT. She's got a good shot at it. She missed 12 questions on a recent ACT math section which put her in the 91st percentile. She needs to answer about 6 more questions correctly to reach that score. The good news is that Read More

SAT: Make a study plan now thumbnail

Is everyone else buried in APs, prom, and other end-of-the-year craziness? My students are even more busy than usual (which didn't seem possible.) I know that everybody is really busy. But you still need to make time to study for the SAT test. I've got 4 students on my interest list that are "going to call Read More

Ninja SAT prep move: Cut your time by 5 minutes thumbnail

Here's a counter-intuitive piece of advice that works with my strongest kids: Reduce the time you have in the section by 5 minutes. (Note: Do NOT try this unless you either in or very close to the 90%.) I have a student in the 88% who wants to get into the 96%. When you are Read More

How to use an apostrophe thumbnail

  All sorts of people are confused by apostrophes. So no wonder high school students are also confused. After all, if you see bad examples every day, how are you supposed to figure out what's correct? The SAT is supporting grammarians by now testing this directly on the SAT. This is from the Official SAT Practice Read More

SAT Grammar: Colons, Semicolons, and Commas (oh my!) thumbnail

The new SAT is all about grammar. (The grammar-nerds among us <raises hand> are rejoicing.) But it's bad news for most students. For the first time on the SAT, they need to know how and why to use colons, semicolons, and commas. (In fact, commas are the most-tested punctuation on the SAT.) Here's a quick Read More

SAT strategies: Write everything down! thumbnail

Two things that I keep telling my kids over and over. It comes up in EVERY session with EVERY kid. Write everything down Draw a picture Write EVERYTHING down. EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. So many kids lose points by solving out the equation and then, at the very last second, losing the point. Today a student correctly Read More

Educated guessing on the new SAT thumbnail

Estimating continues to be effective on the new SAT. Many problems require you to solve for the exact answer - but not all of them.   This question is from the Official SAT Practice Test 7, Section 4, Question 15.   First, draw a picture to visualize the problem.   Hmm.. 3 7/8 is pretty close to Read More