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ACT, SAT & ESSAY WRITING. Dr. Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson, Ph.D., M.P.H., B.S. Epidemiologist Postdoctoral Fellow Wayne State University School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences [email protected] Objectives. Discuss ACT and SAT

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ACT, SAT & ESSAY WRITING

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Act sat essay writing

ACT, SAT& ESSAY WRITING

Dr. Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson, Ph.D., M.P.H., B.S.

Epidemiologist

Postdoctoral Fellow

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences

[email protected]


Objectives

Objectives

  • Discuss ACT and SAT

    • What they are, test components, strategies for success

  • Compare and contrast ACT & SAT

  • Advantages/disadvantages of both

  • Discuss admission/scholarship essay writing

    • Role of the essay

    • Where to start when writing

    • Mechanics

    • Tips

    • Should you have a reviewer?

  • Answer questions


  • Act sat essay writing

    American College Testing

    ACT


    What is the act

    What is the ACT?

    • Achievement test, measuring how much you learned in school

    • Up to 5 components:

      • English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing Test

    • Scale scores range from 1-36

    • Two scores for writing Test

      • Combined english/writing score (1-36)

      • Writing sub-score (2-12)

      • Comments from one of the trained readers

    • ACT national average score is 21

    • Typically taken first in junior year˚


    Basics of preparation

    Basics of preparation

    • Become familiar with the content and format of ACT

    • Learn appropriate test-taking strategies

    • Use ACT Online Prep—ACT’s test preparation program

    • Review “The Real ACT Prep Guide”—the official test prep book

    • Take ACT’s free practice test

    • See your counselor for other test preparation materials

    • Visit the ACT website at www.actstudent.org˚


    The best preparation is a solid high school curriculum

    The Best Preparation Is A Solid High School Curriculum

    English4 Years

    Mathematics (Algebra 1 and above)4 Years

    Social Studies3 Years

    Science3 Years

    Foreign Language 2 Years

    Arts1 Year˚


    Remember test scores are only one factor used for college admissions and scholarship decisions

    REMEMBER:Test scores are only ONE factor used for college admissions and scholarship decisions!!!


    Act sat essay writing

    What is the national average score for the ACT and what score do YOU want?!?


    Act sat essay writing

    ACT English

    Editing five short passages

    75 questions - 45 minutes – 9 minutes Per passage

    Usage - Mechanics Skills

    40Q 53%

    Rhetoric Skills

    35Q 47%

    Punctuation

    10Q

    13%

    Grammar

    and Use

    12Q

    16%

    Sentence

    Structure

    18Q

    24%

    Strategy

    12Q

    16%

    Organization

    11Q

    15%

    Style

    12Q

    16%

    Conciseness

    Ambiguity

    Low-level usage

    Shifting point of view

    Tense

    Subject-verb agreement

    Pronoun use

    Adverb vs adjective

    Double negative

    Idioms

    Possessives

    comparisons

    Run-on

    Comma splice

    Fragment

    Coord conjunction

    Parallelism

    Misplaced modifiers

    Clauses

    Subordination

    Split construction

    Unintended meaning

    Paragraph development

    Sentence-level structure

    Paragraph-level structure

    Comma

    Semicolon

    End-stop

    Dashes

    Hyphens

    quotes

    Appropriate support

    Main idea

    Audience

    Effective:

    Opening sentence

    Concluding sentence


    No change waiting by the back door waiting by the back door waiting by the back door

    ACT English Practice Question

    I grew up with buckets, shovels, and nets waiting by the back door; hip-waders hanging in the closet; tide table charts covering the refrigerator door; and a microscope was sitting on the kitchen table.

    No change

    Waiting, by the back door,

    Waiting by the back door,

    Waiting by the back door

    No change

    Would sit

    Sitting

    Sat


    Act sat essay writing

    ACT Math

    60 questions - 60 minutes

    Direct use of math facts

    or formulas

    32Q53%

    Word Problems

    16Q 27%

    Inference/ decision making

    12Q 20%

    Pre-Algebra

    14Q

    23%

    Elementary

    Algebra

    10Q

    17%

    Intermediate

    Algebra

    9Q

    15%

    Geometry

    14Q

    23%

    Coordinate

    Geometry

    9Q

    15%

    Trigonometry

    4Q

    7%


    Practice act math problem

    PRACTICE ACT MATH PROBLEM

    • What is the value of x when 2x + 3 = 3x – 4 ? A) –7B) -1/5C) 1D) 1/5 E) 7


    Act sat essay writing

    ACT Reading

    4 Passages – 40 Questions – 35 Minutes

    Read 750 words

    Prose/Fiction

    10Q25%

    Read 750 words

    Humanities

    10Q 25%

    Read 750 words

    Social Science

    10Q 25%

    Read 750 words

    Natural Science

    10Q 25%

    Explicit Questions

    14Q35%

    Implicit Questions

    26Q 65%

    Specific

    Detail

    Sequence

    Cause/Effect

    Comparison

    Author’s Voice

    Main Idea

    Generalization

    Conclusion

    Words in

    Context


    Act reading practice question

    ACT Reading Practice Question

    (65) Existing that way all the time, on the edge of hunger, on the edge of kindness, gave Abshu an appreciation for a life fully lived. Do whatever job makes you happy, regardless of the cost; and fill your home with love. Well, his home became the community center right around the corner from Brewster place.

    • As it is used in line 65, the term the edge refers to a place where Abshu felt:

      • most alive.

      • unfulfilled.

      • defeated.

      • most competitive.


    Act sat essay writing

    ACT

    Science Reasoning

    7 passages - 40 questions - 35minutes

    3 passages

    Research Summary

    18Q45%

    3 passages

    Data Representation

    15Q 37%

    1 Passage

    Conflicting Viewpoint

    7Q18%

    Identify data points

    Identify units/labels

    Identify trends

    Identify variables

    Identify controls

    3

    Understand

    7Q 17 5%

    1

    3

    Hypothesize

    Conclude

    Compare

    Evaluate

    Analyze

    20Q 50%

    5

    6

    9

    Extrapolate

    Interpolate

    Predict

    Generalize

    Generalize

    13Q 32 5%

    9

    1

    3


    Act science reasoning practice question

    ACT Science Reasoning Practice Question

    • Spent fuel (SF), a radioactive waste, is often buried underground in canisters for disposal. As it decays, SF generates high heat and raises the temperature of the surrounding rock, which may expand and crack, allowing radioactivity to escape into the environment. Scientists wanted to determine which of 4 rock types—rock salt, granite, basalt, or shale—would be least affected by the heat from SF. The thermal conductivity (how well heat is conducted through a material) and heating trends of the 4 rock types were studied.

    • The scientists calculated the temperature increase that would be expected over a period of 100,000 yr in each rock type at a point within a site holding buried SF.

    • According this study, if another set of temperatures had been calculated for a time 1,000,000 years in the future, the calculated temperature increase in any of the 4 rock types would most likely be closest to:

      • 0°C

      • 10°C.

      • 20°C.

      • 30°C.


    10 strategies for act

    10 Strategies for ACT

    • Skip the directions

    • Skim the whole section

    • Pace yourself

    • Answer the easy questions first

    • When in doubt, guess

    • Don’t lose your confidence with tough questions

    • Frequently check your place on the answer sheet

    • Don’t get sidetracked by the unimportant

    • Understand what you’re being asked

    • Stop a minute or two before your time is up

      BONUS: Make a study plan and follow it ˚


    Act sat essay writing

    Scholastic Aptitude Test

    SAT


    Sat what is the purpose

    SAT: WHAT IS THE PURPOSE?

    • Aptitude: predicts your potential for future success

    • Assess your academic readiness for college

    • Provides a path to opportunities, financial support and scholarships

    • Measures the skills required for success in college and beyond!


    Act sat essay writing

    SAT

    • Taken 1st time in spring of junior year

    • Indicates how well you use skills and knowledge attained in and out of the classroom

      • How you think, solve problems, and communicate

    • 3 hr and 45 min exam

    • 10 sections

      • 3 critical reading sections

      • 3 math sections

      • 3 writing sections

      • 1 experimental section

    • Total score is between 600-2400

    • National average for the SAT is 1510˚


    Act sat essay writing

    SAT

    • Offered 7 times a year

      • January, March, May, June, October, November, December

    • Students can register at www.Collegeboard.com

    • SAT Fee Waivers are available

    • Cost is $45.00 and includes 4 score reports˚


    Sat critical reading

    SAT Critical Reading


    Sat writing

    SAT Writing


    Sat practice writing problem

    SAT PRACTICE WRITING PROBLEM

    Hoping to -------the dispute, negotiators proposed a compromise that they felt would be --------to both labor and management.

    A) enforce…useful

    B) end…divisive

    C) overcome…unattractive

    D) extend…satisfactory

    E) resolve…acceptable


    Sat math

    SAT Math


    Sat subject area tests

    SAT SUBJECT AREA TESTS

    • Measure your knowledge and skills in particular subject areas

    • SAT Subject Tests fall into five general subject areas:


    10 strategies for sat

    10 Strategies for SAT

    • Create a study plan and follow it

    • Don’t get stuck on any one question

    • Learn the directions in advance

    • For the essay, develop your ideas and express them clearly, using examples to back them up

    • For the writing multiple-choice questions, think about the simplest clearest way to express an idea

    • For sentence completions, as you read, try to predict what word should go in each blank

    • For reading comprehension questions, skim the passage to see what it’s about

    • For the math multiple choice, you’re allowed to use a calculator, but it won’t help you unless you know how to approach the problems

    • For the math grid-ins, you must come up with the answer and fill in the grid

    • Relax the night before the test


    Or both

    or both????


    Act sat essay writing

    What is the difference between an aptitude and an achievement test?


    Act sat essay writing

    ACT/SAT COMPARISON

    • ACT

      • Achievement Test

      • Given 6 times per year

      • English, Math, Reading, Science Reasoning, and optional Writing

      • No penalty for wrong answer

      • 1-36 for each subject, averaged for a composite score, 2-12 for the Writing Test˚

    • SAT

      • Aptitude Test

      • Given 7 times per year

      • Reading, Math, and Writing

      • ¼ of a point deduction for wrong answer on multiple choice

      • 200-800 points per section, for a total score of 600-2400˚


    Act sat essay writing

    ACT/SAT COMPARISON

    • ACT

      • Math section includes Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Trigonometry

      • Sends 4 free reports to colleges of your choice, each additional report is $10

      • No formulas given for math section˚

    • SAT

      • Math section includes Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra 2

      • Sends 4 free reports to colleges of your choice, each additional report is $10

      • Formulas given for math section˚


    Act sat essay writing

    SAT Advantages

    SAT Disadvantages

    The SAT is about 4 hours long

    ¼ point penalty for wrong answers

    If you don’t like writing essays, the SAT begins with a timed essay that is graded and factored into your writing score˚

    • 10 short sections, the longest of which is 25-minutes  

    • Tests 9th and 10th grade math, plus a few reasoning concepts

    • About 1/4 of Critical Reading questions are vocabulary-based

    • “Score choice”: choose to send best scores while suppressing lower scores˚


    Act sat essay writing

    ACT Advantages

    ACT Disadvantages

    Time demand can be profound

    Science section is challenging for those w/ difficulty reasoning with numbers and graphs

    Math concepts include trigonometry

    ACT English will certainly challenge knowledge of colons, hyphens, commas, etc˚

    • Only 4 sections, the longest is 1 hour

    • ~3 hours long

    • “Score choice”: only send your highest score to colleges

    • No penalty for incorrect answers˚


    Additional resources

    Additional Resources

    College Information

    • CSO College Center: www.CSOcollegecenter.org

    • The College Board: www.collegeboard.com

    • Peterson’s: www.petersons.com

    • The Common App: www.commonapp.org

    • Hobson’s Collegeview: www.collegeview.com

    • Colleges That Change Lives: www.ctcl.org


    Additional resources1

    Additional resources

    Testing

    • ACT: www.act.org

    • ACT Fee Waiver Instructions: www.actstudent. org/faq/answers/feewaiver.html

    • SAT: The College Board: www.collegeboard.com

    • SAT Fee Waiver Instructions: www.collegeboard com/student/testing/sat/calenfees/feewaivers.html

    • Preliminary SAT(PSAT): www.collegeboard com/student/testing/psat/about/html

    • Free Test Prep from Number2 com: www.number2.com

    • The Princeton Review: www.princetonreview.com

    • Kaplan’s Test Prep: www.kaptest.com


    Essay writing

    ESSAY WRITING


    Act sat essay writing

    WHY DO I HAVE TO WRITE ESSAYS?!?

    • Gives some context for your accomplishments

    • Allows you to add your voice to the admission process

    • Gives readers insight into you as a person

    • Allows admission/scholarship committee to evaluate:

      • Writing style

      • Language usage

      • Organization

      • Persuasion skills

      • Confidence˚


    Role of the essay

    Role Of The Essay

    • Allows you to add information that you couldn't share in other parts of the application

    • Adds clarity, depth, and meaning to information collected in other parts of your application

    • Enables you to make the best possible case for why you should be admitted/awarded a scholarship˚


    Act sat essay writing

    Role Of The Essay

    • It's your only chance to explain to college admissions/scholarship committee why you are a good fit:

      • become more than just another application

      • become an individual

      • share your personality

      • your goals

      • your experiences

      • explain any opportunities or obstacles that have affected your academic record˚


    Act sat essay writing

    TRUE OR FALSE (and why):If I write one good admission/scholarship essay, I can send the same essay to all of the schools/scholarship search committees?


    Where do i start

    WHERE DO I START?

    • Complete the application FIRST!

    • Use the application to help you:

      • Think about your life story and how you will convey it

      • Think about your academic experiences as a whole

      • Connect the issues raised by the application to your responses in your personal statement

      • Find the questions that your readers might ask

        • You as the writer have a responsibility anticipate & answer your readers' questions, even before they are asked˚


    Now what

    NOW WHAT??

    • Investigate and explore your audience

      • Info about the universities their admissions process

      • What does the committee want to find out about applicants through the personal statement?

      • This info can be found on the university or scholarship website

    • Explore Yourself!

      • The more comfortable you are with writing about yourself and your story, the better your essay will be!


    Mechanics of writing the essay

    Mechanics of Writing the Essay

    • Be original - be yourself

    • Tell a story - your story

    • Remember to put things in the words and language with which you are comfortable

      • Don’t use big, fancy words, especially if you are not sure of the meaning of the words

    • A simple style is best

      • Good writing sounds like speech rather than a vocabulary review lesson

    • Use clear, vivid writing style˚

    • The body must relate to the first sentence of the paragraph

    • Use transition words

    • Your conclusion is crucial

    • Revise, Revise, Revise!

    • Read aloud what you have written to help you locate areas that don’t make sense

    • Put your draft aside for one day, then read it again and revise˚


    Tips for writing

    Tips for Writing :

    • Get Personal

      • A successful essay is the one where the reader learns about you and your life

    • Details, Details, Details

      • Use details to personalize your essay and to make it more interesting

    • Be Honest

      • Write about what really happened and who you really are

    • Don’t just list the facts

      • The why and how about the information is also important

      • Use specific, concrete examples and language

      • Avoid generalities like "being on the track team was fun”

      • Make sure your response directly addresses the ?

      • Expand on information contained elsewhere in your application ˚


    Tips cont

    Tips (cont)

    • Get right to the point

      • Adding unnecessary info is distracting and not helpful

    • Adhere to word restrictions

      • Better to be under the limit than over the limit

    • Responses should complete the application

      • The personal statement is an extension of your application

      • It should provide new information

        • Do not repeat things you've already said in other parts of your application

  • A strong essay demonstrates self-awareness, a key indicator of intelligence˚


  • In your essay did you

    In your essay did you:

    • Assist the reader in learning about you?

    • Explain experiences, accomplishments, and point of view that you would contribute?

    • Explain your attributes and experiences that are not evident from your academic record?

    • Describe any unusual circumstances or challenges you have faced?

    • Discuss how you responded to these circumstances or challenges?

    • Discuss your interest in your intended major?

    • Discuss how your interest developed?

    • Describe any relevant work or volunteer experience you’ve had?

    • Discuss your long-term goals after the Bachelor’s degree?


    Act sat essay writing

    Should You Have Someone Review It?

    • Having someone review the essay is a necessary step in the process

    • Incorporate the suggestions for improvement

    • Fine line between having your college essay edited and having it rewritten by the reviewer

      • Ultimately, the essay you submit must be your work, not the reviewer’s

      • Be careful about suggestions for major revisions like changing the basic thoughts and content of the essay or adding things that are NOT truly your story

      • An essay that is written by someone else is not yours and should not submitted with your application


    For additional information

    FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

    General Websites

    • http://www.collegeboard.com/apply/essay_skills/

    • http://www.carleton.edu/admissions/essay/

    • http://www.west.net/~stewart/beste.htm

    • http://www.accepted.com/college/dosdonts.aspx

    • http://www.accepted.com/college/tenwritingtips.aspx

    • http://www.accepted.com/college/miningyouridentity.aspx


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