A website I like to use with my SAT students is freerice.com. This website has a vocabulary section which asks students to pick a synonym from a list of 4. For every correct answer, the website donates 10 grains of rice to the World Hunger Programme. It's
a great way to study vocabulary and do good at the same time! You can create a profile and the website will track your progress with the vocabulary. For every 5 consecutive correct answers at a given level, the difficulty is then increased, so it is also a
good way to challenge yourself. Encourage students to look up words that they have never heard of and create a list of their own of vocab words to study.
I've found this to be much more effective than simply using flashcards as it is less repetitive and more fun.
This is also a great resource for those learning English! Additionally, there are minimal vocabulary games for other languages, but the website is constantly improving, so in the future...
You probably heard people telling you that "Oh, you can't really improve you SAT score!" That is true from one perspective. According to College Board, the national average improvement on SAT is only 40 points! That is really disappointing considering
the fact that the total score is 2400. However, even though this is totally true, does that necessarily suggests that
you cannot improve your SAT score? If you are
bold enough for the truth, the answer is: no. Because honestly, most students who took the SAT for the second or third time, did not spent enough time and effort studying for the exam. If they did not study, how would you expect them to improve? You
cannot just simply take the exam and expect the score to raise by itself.
Although SAT is more of an "ability" test, that you cannot really study, you can still study it and improve your ability and hence, improve your score! Why do I say that? Because...
I assume you already know these two exams, so how to pick which one to take?
The Best Option
(only apply to those who still have a lot of time to prep for the test ex. Freshmen, Sophomore, or Junior who has nothing else to do):
Take both test. Do the practice tests (only the ones that are very close to real one) and see which one you score higher. And then, choose the one that
you scored higher!
SAT -- if you are more into English
ACT-- if you are more comfortable with math and science
In addition, because SAT is more of a "reasoning" test that tests your ability, it is more tricky to most students. And for ACT, it is more a straight forward test that test you on certain required topics. But in conclusion, you have to study for it before
you take the actual exam. You have no idea how many students mess with these serious exams and ruin their chances of getting into dream colleges.
With the wealth of SAT prep materials out there, it can be tough to find the best resources for SAT study. I've been tutoring for the SAT for over a decade, and these are the materials I've found to be the most helpful.
SAT General Study
For all-around SAT preparation, nothing beats The Official SAT Study Guide, published by the
College Board. With ten full practice tests, this book contains plenty of study material for all sections of the test. Because the questions are written by the College Board and, in many cases, have appeared on actual administered SATs, they accurately reflect
what students will see on test day. (I've never found a test written by a third-party company that comes close to matching actual SAT questions, and I do not recommend third-party practice tests for study.) Working through the questions in this book is the
best, most effective way for any student to prepare for the test.
I have several students who would be glad to read more, if they have books recommended to them that are 'interesting'. I'm compiling a list of books for different grade levels, and would appreciate any recommendations from tutors or parents.
My immediate need is for books for an advanced 5th grader, and a 9th grader who is only interested in sports and the Odyssey!
Also, I have an ESL student who likes interesting non-fiction. Who can recommend something that is good for a college-age student? Maybe a business book, or a biography?
Thanks for joining this conversation.
Good luck to all students taking the SAT this morning! Remember: they're trying to trip you up, so watch your feet!
Don't feel like you did your best? Anxious about how many questions you skipped? Don't worry, there are more test dates this year. Many people take the SAT multiple times, and if you get some tutoring in between (from yours truly!), you can dramatically
increase your scores on the second time through.
The remaining test dates for the current school year are:
I recommend you start studying for the SAT at least one month in advance, longer if you plan on going it without a tutor. If you'd like to work with me for the January or March test cycle, send me an email ASAP. The sooner we can get to work, the higher your
scores will be!
The holidays are almost upon us - school will be out soon -
and parents and students are looking at a 2-4 week hiatus from the regular
routine of school work.
What happens to all of the knowledge and skills learned from
school and tutoring during those weeks?
Well, having been a high school principal for years, as well
as a classroom teacher, my experience is that students often will not read on
their own, review math on their own, or if in an AP class "read
ahead" on their own. If you have tutors in the educational
profession, we also have that time off and our lesson times can be flexible -
so instead of all of those late afternoon, early evening, or weekend
appointments, most of us can now meet with our students in the morning or
So, what would your student gain from tutoring in the winter
1. Weekly reinforcement of knowledge and skills already...
As a Language Arts tutor helping students prepare for and improve their scores on high-stakes tests such as the ACT and SAT, there are a strategies, study methods, tricks, and of course, loads of practice that I prescribe.
Oftentimes, a student who's perfectly capable of getting a good score on these tests may lose out on precious points because of seemingly trivial oversights.
Below are a few easy-to-implement steps that can safeguard a student's best score from being needlessly lowered:
- Be regular in putting in study time. erratic and sporadic bursts of studying, followed by a lull, cause you to 'unlearn' important strategies that you may have picked up in the course of your studies. Put in regular hours of study to ensure that all the skills
you learn are reinforced and become second nature to you.
- Box it: loose sheets of paper, vocabulary words scribbled on random notepads, and textbooks strewn everywhere - having your study materials...
Lexile and You
Does it seem like you are always hearing that word? Your child is below his or her Lexile? They need to be at a 540 or at a 1080? What exactly is a Lexile and how can you make it work for you?
Lexile is a reading meta-matrix that actually takes reading material and assigns it "value". The "value" is referred to as its Lexile score or simply as its Lexile. It is simply a numerical device for charting reading material. As with all reading values,
there are anticipated levels each student will reach at each grade. You will hear them referred to as benchmarks. They also have other names and phrases teachers use, though. Perhaps you have heard expressions like 'just right books', or 'on level', or
'on grade level'. These are all used to refer to books meeting Lexile expectations. Not all books are created equal in the Lexile system. Higher value is awarded...
Did you take the SAT on Saturday? Are you freaking out about how confusing it was, and feeling like you had no idea what you were doing? Never fear; many people take the SAT's multiple times, and if you get a little tutoring help in between (from yours
truly) you can radically improve your score on the second go-around.
Here's the remaining test dates for the 2013-2014 school year:
I recommend you start studying for the SAT at least one month in advance, longer if you plan on going it without a tutor. If you'd like to work with me for the November or December test cycle, send me an email ASAP. The sooner we can get to work, the
higher your scores will be!
Very interesting article for parents of younger students about likely changes to the SAT in line with Common Core curriculum alterations. Please note that all of this is INFORMED SPECULATION at this stage, not an absolute plan, so if you are a junior/senior
or the parent of one, prepare for the SAT as expected. However, parents of younger students seeking enrichment should take note.
The SAT messes with your head. Don't feel embarrassed, it messes with everyone's head. It's designed to. The SAT is a test of your critical reasoning skills, meaning it's actually far more about logic and figuring out the correct course of action than
it is about actually knowing the material. This is nowhere more evident than on the Math section.
The SAT Math trips up so many students because they expect it to behave like a math test. The truth is, the
SAT Math is about figuring out how to answer each problem using as little actual math as possible. It's all about working quickly, and the questions are structured such that they conceal the quick logic and context-based route behind the facade of a more complicated
math question. They're trying to psych you out; to make you think the problem is harder than it is. In math class you're taught to be thorough, to show your work and not leave out any steps. On the...
While taking both can also be a valid strategy, it does limit time for taking the SAT II, which can be important strategically. This article provides some beautifully clear insights into the deep structure of both the SAT and ACT.
Well, we're getting down to the wire in terms of my departure for Japan. I will be leaving for Japan to start my Master's in classical Japanese literature on the 16th of September, which means I only have 6 more weeks to fit in students. Since my standard
SAT course is 20 hours, this is really the last week that I'd feel comfortable starting a normal course where we meet two or three times a week (depending on 2 or 1 1/2 hour lessons). Any later than that and I would worry about being able to finish before
I leave the country.
So if you're interested in an SAT course, please let me know as soon as possible. Intensive courses will still be available for a couple more weeks (where we meet for long 6 or 7 hour stretches over a few days) but with many school districts starting in the
next couple weeks, it will become harder and harder even to fit those in.
Thank you all for your patronage, and keep "studying smart, not hard."
As the school year ramps up again, I wanted to put out a modified version of a Memo of Understanding
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memo_of_understanding for parents and students. It seems each year in the rush to get through the first weeks of school parents and students forget the basic first
good steps and then the spiral downwards occurs and then the need for obtaining a tutor and then the ‘wish for promises’ from a tutor. Pay attention to your child’s folder or agenda book. A student is generally not able to self regulate until well into high
school. Some people never quite figure it out. Be the best person you can be by helping your child check for due dates, completeness, work turned in on time. Not only will this help your child learn to create and regulate a schedule, it prevents the following
types of conversations I always disliked as a teacher ("Can you just give my child one big assignment to make up for the D/F so they can pass"; "I am going to...
I was excited on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013. This was my third meeting with this student and I finally had a breakthrough with him. On the first meeting it was clear that he saw Algebra I almost as a foreign language. I began with one of the test packet, and
had him do 10 questions and reviewed the questions he had done wrong. So this continued for a while, and of course sometimes he would say that he understood, but it was clear that he did not. Anyway, after reviewing the entire packet I began a teach and learn
session, in which I picked a variety of topics and had him practice various equations. After which I gave him a quiz.
He failed the quiz miserably, so of course he still did not understand. Anyway, I gave him another packet for homework. When I saw the student again, I reviewed with him, but still not much improvement, but at least he tried. I did the teach and learn session
again, of which some of the questions were from the previous session, and I gave him...
Are you sitting by the pool with your feet up every day? Working a summer job to pay for penny candy and movie shows? (Yes, I know penny candy costs a dollar now.)
The summer is closer to being over than you think. Now would be a good time to start studying for the SAT or any other test you have coming up in the fall. You do not have to study all summer long, but get into the practice of doing one hour per day of intense
studying and then, when the test comes around, you will be all the more ready for it.
Studying even a little bit adds up. It is like going to the gym or practicing for the big game. The more you do it, the greater your chance of success. Now is a great time to start. So what are you waiting for?
I just recently graduated from Stanford University this June and I will be home in Arizona for the rest of the summer! If any of you need tutoring help in SAT, ACT, or a variety of Math, Science, and Verbal subjects feel free to contact me! I try to make
our tutoring sessions as productive and fun as possible, while ensuring that you reach your academic goals! I am also open to helping you navigate your college or carer goals!
Let me know if you would like to work with me!
Well, school is out and the beach is calling! If you are a high school senior or the parent of one, you know that studying is probably not high on anyone’s list of preferred activities this time of year. But, if you are taking summer classes, need to do
some catch-up on basics, complete summer reading and writing assignments for AP courses, or want to get serious about SAT test prep, now is a good time. The last year of high school is filled with great activities and a lot of excitement, but there are also
expectations to master the three Rs before they hand out diplomas to the Class of 2014! This summer, consider tutoring if you need the extra boost that comes with 1:1 individualized instruction and coaching. If you’re not considering tutoring at this time,
think about planning ahead for the next school year. And don’t forget, the SAT testing dates are fast approaching: the deadline to register for the October 5 test is September 6! Wishing you all a happy summer! --Laur...
Thank you for visiting my site!
I have 8 years of language teaching experience. I taught for 7 years at Princeton University and 1 year at the University of Notre Dame. It is truly a joy for me to help people reach their academic and personal goals. Please contact me as soon as possible
to inquire about scheduling a tutoring session with me. I specialize in language arts, particularly Spanish, French, and English. I also have experience tutoring people of all ages, and helping them prepare for standardized tests.
I look forward to hearing from you soon!