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3/1/17 9:32 AM // studying physics and SAT stuff this morning in my second study space I arranged yesterday. It has absolutely nothing around it, just a table, and I have to carry the things I need from my study room. So far it’s proven to be effective for maximizing concentration, maybe you could try it :)
I saw that a lot of you wanted these~
Disclaimer: You still have to know English and the basics of math for these. This goes especially if you’re not a native speaker - your English needs to be at a pretty good level.
Read. A lot. Whenever you see a text that’s at least a paragraph or two long, take time to practice skimming. If you’re bored and have a little time, take something, for example a food wrapper, and try to find occurrences of a word (for example “Acid” for food) as quickly as possible. Hard mode: look for synonyms.
Practice filling out the answer sheet. This is a massive time-sink for a lot of people, so you should practice to eliminate it. Print out an example answer sheet and try filling out the circles quickly and accurately without distracting yourself a lot. Hard mode:Try doing it while not focusing only on the circles - look away or start thinking about the next question.
Check. A lot. The main goal of this strategy is to leave yourself enough time when you’ve filled out an answer for each question when you’re calm, know the questions and can focus on checking. Try and go through the questions, thinking, “This question tests this and that.” If you have the time, look at each answer and identify the error in it (harder for the math questions, but loads of fun if you can do it).
Think in patterns: Whenever you’re stuck on an example question, don’t just check the answer. Try and understand how the person found it, if this question is similar to others you have seen. The SAT only uses a few different types of questions, there will rarely be something to surprise you if you know the common patterns.
Rest: The SAT is a very demanding exam. Give your brain time to relax - my advice would be not to do anything mentally strenuous the day before the test. Also, something I found out from competitions - bring chocolate. The sugar in it helps your brain work better and shrug off tiredness and eating it will draw blood away from your brain, effectively hibernating it for the break to conserve energy. Also, it’s just a really tasty snack!
Use the right format for the essay. There are a lot of easy points for using the four/five paragraph system. Introduction, Reason 1, Reason 2, Conclusion. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence and follow up with a story from your life or a book/movie to illustrate it. This way, even without using fancy vocab or grammar, you can get the points for structure and critical thought. Now just try not to make any obvious spelling mistakes and call it a day!
Try to quickly find an argument for the essay. They don’t actually rate how intelligent your argument is. So, take a minute or two, breathe deeply, and no matter how stupid your idea is, write it out. (You might still want to take caution with sensitive topics, especially if you’re an international. A dumb mistake I made in my first sitting was bashing on American charity - that definitely did not endear me to the proctors.)
Paragraphs: You have to have experience reading - look at how the topic never changes abruptly. Insert sentences that link what’s written before and after the gap. Final sentences of paragraphs shouldn’t raise more questions.
Sentence questions: Skim through the questions. Try to answer most of them, the first thing that comes to mind, and fill out the answer sheet immediately. Chances are, if it sounds good to you, it’s the correct choice. Do this quickly, then try and do the paragraphs. After you’ve done this, go back to the questions and start checking.
They usually test for a few broad topics. Identify if each sentence fits one of the patterns and answer accordingly. For the others, try and think what error they might want you to make. If you know you have the time, look at each answer in turn and identify the mistake in it. The most common ways for you to change a sentence would be:
Fragments: Try and see if each clause has a subject and a verb. Example: “In the dim light, making his way through the cave.” -> “In the dim light, he makes his way through the cave.”
Subject-verb agreement: Make sure that the subject is the one actually doing the action and singular/plural match. Example: “Gathering stones, the river was blocked by the men.” Did the river gather stones? No.
Consistency: Make sure that something introduced one way is always referred to like that (don’t switch out ‘one’ for ‘you’ or ‘they’). Make sure there are no extra linkers (”Since I was there, but he went too.”). Check if any verbs change tense when they shouldn’t. Don’t compare apples to oranges (”His homework was as good as John.” -> “As good as John’s”).
Adverb or adjective? If it describes a verb, it has a ‘ly’. Example: “She winked playful.” -> “She winked playfully.”
Singular or plural? Make sure not to refer to a plural object in singular. “Pandas, numbering in the hundreds now, is an endangered species.”
Prepositions, linkers, all the small words Sadly, you’ll have to know how they’re used.
Word fill: Note the answers that obviously don’t make sense. Mark the one of the others that sounds best to you (in the answer sheet, too!). If you don’t know one or more of the words, aim for simplicity. After you’ve quickly answered all of the reading questions, come back to these. Look at the relationships between the gap and the sentence - are you looking for a positive or negative word? Antonyms or synonyms to something before? Try and guess what unknown words mean. This way, you will probably be able to eliminate all the wrong answers.
Reading comprehension: You are not tested for understanding the text. Keep this in mind. What you are actually trying to do here is quickly find synonyms. If the question asks for “Was Anna’s family a) warm b) cold c) the spawn of Cthulhu?”, chances are that the text contains “Anna’s relatives acted chilly.” or something like that. Read the first question. Skim the text until it comes to that topic, then look for synonyms of the answers. Don’t make deductions! If you come across a ‘general message’ or ‘tone of the author’ question, skip it and answer it at the end of the text. The other questions will be in the same order as the answers are mentioned in the text. Checking: If you have time, look at each answer and try to see what in the text could mislead somebody to make that mistake.
Calculator use: My advice would be to not bring a complex graphing calculator. They just slow you down. Try and do most operations by hand, then use the calculator only for, well, calculations.
Basic topics to know: You are expected to be familiar with how to rearrange equations (ab=1 is the same as a=1/b) and solve linear and quadratics; cosine and Pythagorean theorems; number representations of lines and their intersections; median, mean and mode.
Solve like a crab! One of the best things I learnt in “Fun Math” classes was that problems are solved more easily if you work from the answer back. Try and see what you would need (in terms of information) to find the answer. Then look back to the text of the problem - is what you need there? In most SAT problems, it is, or you can easily find it.
Visualise: Especially for distance or geometry problems, make a small chart of what’s happening. Make lines for the distances the cars traveled or draw that pesky cylinder. Try and see in your mind how different elements move and which stay the same.
I guess this is all that I can say for now. Of course, this is my strategy so it might not work for everyone or it might not work without practice, so don’t think it’s a miracle solve-all. I’m always open for questions about ideas or specific problems, just write an ask~ And good luck to all future test-takers!
i’m going into my junior year of high school, the time when many students are getting ready to apply for college. many of my friends and peers have been concerned about what, exactly, they should be doing to prepare this year, and when. so, we held a college information session. this may be geared towards my specific area/region, but hopefully everyone can take something out of this. here are some tips that we learned:
ON COLLEGE VISITS
questions to ask:
what is your freshman retention rate?
what is the percentage of students that graduate in 4 years? (new statistic: ¾ of students don’t; the average student takes 5 ½ years to graduate)
make sure there is written documentation of your visit
when reviewing applications, colleges note “touch points”– these include things like taking an official tour, sending in those cards you get in the mail, or something as easy as emailing one of their admissions counselors with a simple question. they’ll keep your information, and it may give you an advantage over other students because you showed you’re seriously interested in their school. so, even if you’re taking an informal campus tour, make sure to stop in the admissions office and fill out one of those cards with your information. it’ll be added into their system as a touch point– and you’re already one step ahead!
some things to remember:
the SAT and ACT are, for the most part, equally accepted by colleges.
certain schools may require an SAT subject test. make sure to check out programs you’re interested in so that you can prepare all of its requirements.
the SAT is a test of aptitude, while the ACT is more knowledge-based and straightforward.
if you’re bright and a good test taker but maybe you don’t get the best grades, the SAT may be more fit for you.
if you’re more studious and focused on grades and retaining information you’ve learned in class, the ACT may be a better match.
a guidance counselor recommends: take both tests once, and whichever you feel you performed better on, take it again.
many colleges like to see growth in scores because it shows you’re really working towards something. this may change depending on the selectivity of the school, but consider this before only sending your best score.
if you know what colleges you’re interested in, check and see what they prefer/require before taking the tests. most likely, you’ll save yourself a lot of time, effort, and money in the long run.
SO, WHEN SHOULD I BE DOING ALL OF THIS?
here’s a timeline of what was recommended for your junior year
take the PSAT again (this is the year that you can qualify for NMSQT). i’m not sure if this applies everywhere but i know where i live, this is a requirement.
if your school uses Naviance, make sure you have your login information. you should be using the tools it provides to research colleges and find out more about jobs you may be suited for.
take the ACT or SAT. if you’ve already taken the SAT, i suggest taking the ACT before doing the SAT again.
this is around the time you should start visiting colleges if you haven’t already. if you can’t go to schools, look for information sessions and college fairs near you. if you’re on a college’s email list, they’ve likely sent you dates that they offer tours or perhaps are even hosting information sessions closer to you.
start asking for letters of recommendation!! many teachers give letters on a first-come-first-serve basis, so get ahead. usually you want to have 2-4 of these. think about programs and schools you may apply for, and think about what subject teachers may be most helpful in your application. also, check schools’ websites and see what they recommend/require. outside letters are also okay, if they’re from someone who knows you and your work ethic well.
consider taking the SAT or ACT again.
schedule your senior year. it’s no longer a time to slack off; colleges now look at your grades as late as third marking period. continue to challenge yourself, but also take electives that interest you to get a better idea of what careers you may want to pursue.
get the Common App essays from your guidance counselor. you should at least think about these over the summer to get an idea of what you’ll say in your application essays.
this is when the Common App is available for that year. many, but not all schools, use this. do your own research to decide if it’s a necessity for you.
very few students partake in college interviews anymore. requesting and interview may set you apart from other students (touch point!), but it is definitely not required or even recommended by the vast majority of schools.
if you know you will be going to grad school or a higher ed program, think about where you want to concentrate your money. a cheaper but respected undergraduate school may be a great idea to save money for a great graduate school. (you probably don’t care where your doctor went for their undergrad, but where’d they go to med school?)
MAKE SURE YOU’RE MEETING YOUR SCHOOL’S GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS.
check to see what courses certain colleges recommend you take in high school. this may be a good way to plan the rest of your high school schedule, and also gauge whether or not you can achieve a college’s expectations.
I just went through and unfollowed everyone who has not posted in months or years (!) and noticed just how many studyblrs had gone inactive! My heart was so heavy to see some names I used to love be inactive for 6 months, 10 months, a year.
If you are still active on studyblr, reblog or like this! I would love to follow some new quality blogs and hope that some people check me out as welllll
I think this really needs to be said to all the high schoolers freaking out about AP exams, SAT scores, and ACT scores. Hell, even to those who are applying/applied to colleges or other things. The number that you end up reading off the collegeboard site does not determine your worth. The number that you end up reading off the collegeboard site does not determine how smart you are. The number that you end up reading off the collegeboard site does not determine your future. Only you, as a person, can determine that. I know it’s hard, I’m still in high school too. But I think you guys need to, have to, know that even if you get all A’s and a 1450+ (or 2200+) on the SAT that it doesn’t automatically guarantee you a job. You could end up going to Stanford, MIT, or Harvard but end up in a bad place. The school you end up going to doesn’t necessarily grant you a job either. Okay, yes, it makes it a little bit easier but either way, you’re going to have to work hard for everything to get where you want. All of you are so much more important than some score or letter grade. Y’all are gonna do great, as long as you have the passion and drive to work for it. Having straight A’s and perfect scores does not mean you will survive in the real world. Now, this isn’t a way to make you feel better or myself (since I’m not a straight A student either) about all of this because honestly it’s all so true.
Good luck on your AP exams and everything else though. :) You guys got this.
Ne zaljubljuj se u ženu koja čita, ženu koja osjeća preko mjere, u ženu koja piše… Ne zaljubljuj se u obrazovanu ženu, čarobnicu, onu koja je u iluzijama, luckastu. Ne zaljubljuj se u ženu koja umije misliti svojom glavom, onu koja zna tko je i dokle može, ženu koja vjeruje u sebe…. Ne zaljubljuj se u onu koja voli poeziju (te su najopasnije), ili onu koja je u stanju da pola sata gleda neku sliku, ili u onu koja ne moze živjeti bez glazbe. Ne zaljubljuj se u ženu koja je intenzivna, sjajna, buntovna, nedolična. Ne zaljubljuj se u takvu ženu, jer ako se zaljubiš, bila ona s tobom ili ne, volela te ili ne, nikad nećeš moći natrag. Nikad.