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Deliberate Practice thumbnail

Contrary to popular belief, hoping and wishing for higher SAT and ACT scores doesn't actually *result* in higher scores. Another parent told me her son was studying - he was working on SAT math problems. But when she looked closer she discovered he was only doing the ones he liked and skipping the other ones Read More

Summer math brain? thumbnail

I can tell it's summer around here because I'm getting blank stares from kids when I ask them what 2+2 equals. (You can imagine the confusion when I ask them about fractional exponents or inverse slopes!) Summer math brain has set in! It's way too hard to focus when it's so gorgeous outside. So how do Read More

Woot! Student SAT and ACT results are back thumbnail

I love it when SAT and ACT results come back. There's so much celebrating to do with my students. Here's a sampling of my students' results from the May SAT and June ACT. What's most amazing is that these students had significant score increases with very little tutoring. The right tutor can make a huge Read More

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