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Introduction to the SAT. What is the SAT?. SAT = Scholastic Aptitude Test The nation’s most widely used college entrance exam A standardized test It is PREDICTABLE!!! Used to compare a student’s aptitude without regard to ethicity , origins, cultural background, education, etc.

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what is the sat
What is the SAT?
  • SAT = Scholastic Aptitude Test
  • The nation’s most widely used college entrance exam
  • A standardized test
    • It is PREDICTABLE!!!
  • Used to compare a student’s aptitude without regard to ethicity, origins, cultural background, education, etc
how should i prepare for the sat
How should I prepare for the SAT?
  • Get familiar with:
    • Format
    • Scoring
    • Content
    • Directions
    • Timing
    • Gridding
  • And most importantly….DON’T CRAM!
  • Cramming is actually shown to increase anxiety rather than improve your score
what is the format of the sat
What is the format of the SAT?
  • Total test time = 3 hours 45 minutes
  • There are three components
    • Critical Reading 70 minutes
    • Math 70 minutes
    • Writing 60 minutes
  • What happened to the other 25 minutes?
    • One experimental (non-graded) section – don’t know which one, or what topic it covers…so do your best on ALL sections!
what is the format of the math sections
What is the format of the math sections?
  • There are three scored sections:
    • 2 - 25 minutes sections
      • 20 multiple choice questions
      • 8 multiple choice & 10 grid-in questions
    • 1 - 20 minute section
      • 15 multiple choice questions
  • All multiple choice questions have 5 answer choices
how are the english sections formatted
How are the English sections formatted?
  • Critical Reading:
    • Two 25 minute sections
      • Sentence Completion (19 Questions)
      • Passage-Based reading (48 Questions)
    • One 20 minute section
  • Writing:
    • Two 25 minute sections
      • Identifying Sentence Errors (18 Questions), Improving Sentences (25 Questions), Improving Paragraphs (6 Questions) 25 Minutes
      • Essay – 25 Minutes (to Read the Prompt, Plan, and Write)
    • One 10 minute section
what else do i need to know
What else do I need to know?
  • You will be allowed to use a calculator
    • All questions can be answered without it though!
  • Directions are always the same
    • Become familiar with them BEFORE the test
    • You won’t waste time reading them during the test
  • You are only graded on your bubbles
    • If you don’t like showing work, you don’t have to!!
what math concepts are tested
What math concepts are tested?
  • Four categories:
    • Numbers and Operations
    • Algebra and Functions
    • Geometry and Measurement
    • Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability
  • Most of the math is from before 9th grade!!
  • All math questions can be answered without a calculator!
get familiar with c ontent
Get familiar with content!
  • Math formulas given on the SAT:
    • Pythagorean Theorem
    • Special Right Triangles
    • Area of:
      • Circle (and Circumference)
      • Rectangle
      • Triangle
    • Volume of:
      • Prism
      • Cylinder
    • Sum of Measures of Angles of Triangle
    • Total Degrees in Circle
what english concepts are tested
What English concepts are tested?
  • Sentence Completion:
    • Vocabulary-in-Context Questions: know how words are used in the context of the sentence, know definitions
    • Logic-Based Questions: know the meanings of words and how the words are used to create a complicated sentence
what other english concepts are tested
What other English concepts are tested?
  • Passage-Based Reading:
  • (100-850 words long)
    • Facts, Inferences, Assumptions
    • Logic, Style, Tone, Parallelism
    • Comprehension
what other english concepts are tested1
What other English concepts are tested?
  • Writing – Recognizing Errors:
  • (Multiple Choice)
    • Sentence structure, proper grammar, spelling, usage, capitalization and punctuation
    • Improving paragraphs, selecting the “BEST” version
what about the essay
What about the essay?

The Essay: Well developed ideas, relevant supporting details, clear thesis, logically organized, elevated vocabulary, with a variety of syntax and appropriate length

getting familiar with scoring
Getting familiar with scorING!
  • Total score: 600 - 2400
    • Each section: 200 - 800
  • Wrong Answer Penalty
    • Cancels out the benefit of random guessing
    • Only guess if you can eliminate two answer choices!
getting familiar with format
Getting familiar with: format!
  • SAT ranks questions
    • Easy, Medium, and Hard
  • The questions in each section are in order by difficulty
    • EXCEPT in the Passage-Based Reading , Sentence Completion, and Improving Paragraphs Sections (the simplicity or difficulty of questions presented is completely random. The easiest questions could be at the end of the section or from the final passage!)
    • In Math section that has Grid-In questions: Multiple Choice are ordered, then Grid-In are ordered
  • Understanding the order of difficulty can be a huge advantage if your goal is 600 or less in a section.
  • Focusing your time on the easy/medium questions gives you more time per question.
getting even more familiar with scoring
Getting even more familiar with Scoring
  • How is the SAT scored?
    • Correct Answer +1
    • Blank +0
    • Wrong MC - ¼
    • Wrong Grid-in - 0

Is it better to get one really hard question correct, or 5 easy to medium questions correct?

5 Easy!!! Easy and hard questions

are scored the same!!

what is your score goal
What is your score goal?
  • You might not need to answer every question!
  • But make sure you don’t skip too many questions.
get more familiar with format
Get MORE familiar with format!
  • Approximate distribution of difficulty levels:
  • Depending on the score you want to achieve, you may not have to answer any hard questions!
it s important to know that
It’s important to know that--
  • You can only work on one section at a time
    • No going back to previous sections
    • It’s ok to skip around within the section
  • Don’t be surprised by the Math Grid-Ins
  • The sections won’t be in the same order and breaks won’t always be in the same places
  • You may only have 30-60 seconds to answer a question—so work quickly but carefully.
getting familiar with timing
Getting familiar with: TIMING!
  • WORK THE WHOLE TIME!!
    • Don’t get finished and fall asleep
    • Go back through the questions are work on ones that you either skipped or guessed on
  • Know when the time is up and keep an eye on the clock
  • You have a little over one minute to answer each math question
getting familiar with directions
Getting familiar with: Directions!
  • For Math:
    • Multiple Choice

“Solve each problem in the section. Then decide which is the best of the choices given and mark your answer on the answer sheet.”

    • Grid – In

“Questions # - # require you to solve the problem and enter your answer by marking the circles in the special grid on your answer sheet, as shown in the examples below.”

      • HINT: You don’t want to have to look at the examples!! It wastes too much time!
get familiar with directions
Get familiar with Directions!
  • For English:
    • Multiple Choice Critical Reading (Sentence Completion):

“Each sentence below has one or two blanks, each blank indicating that something has been omitted. Beneath the sentence are five words or sets of words labeled A through E. Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.”

for english multiple choice critical reading passage based reading
For English:Multiple Choice Critical Reading (Passage-Based Reading)

“The passages below are followed by questions based on their content; questions following a pair of related passages may also be based on the relationship between the paired passages. Answer the question on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passages and in any introductory material that may be provided.”

HINT: Always read the title and introductory materials (when provided)

for english
For English:
  • Multiple Choice-- Identifying Sentence Errors

“The following sentences test your ability to recognize grammar and usage errors. Each sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. No sentence contains more than one error. The error, if there is one, is underlined and lettered. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence is correct, select choice E. In choosing answers, follow the requirements of standard written English.”

for english1
For English:
  • Multiple Choice-- Improving Sentences

“The following sentences test corrections and effectiveness of expression. Part of each sentence or the entire sentence is underlined; beneath each sentence are five ways of phrasing the underlined material. Choice A repeats the original phrasing; the other four choices are different. If you think the original phrasing produces a better sentence than any of the alternatives, select choice A; if not, select one of the other choices.

In making your selection, follow the requirements of standard written English; that is, pay attention to grammar, choice of words, sentence construction, and punctuation. Your selection should result in the most effective sentence – clear and precise, without awkwardness and ambiguity.”

for english2
For English:
  • Multiple Choice--Improving Paragraphs “The following passage is an early draft of an essay. Some parts of the passage need to be rewritten.

Read the passage and select the best answers for the questions that follow. Some questions are about particular sentences or parts of sentences and ask you to improve sentence structure or word choice. Other questions ask you to consider organization and development. In choosing answers, follow the requirements of standard written English.”

for math getting familiar with gridding
For Math:Getting familiar with GRIDDING!
  • The boxes above the bubbles are not scored
  • There are four columns – start at the far left
  • Leave not needed columns blank
  • No need to reduce fractions (unless they don’t fit in the grid!)
  • You cannot grid a mixed number
    • Grid as improper fractions or decimals
  • You must use all four spaces for a repeating decimal
    • For .6666…, .666 or .667 would be accepted
  • Do not grid in a leading zero for decimals less than 1
    • Grid .5, not 0.5
  • No question has a negative answer
  • If the answer is a percent, disregard the % symbol
  • If the answer is zero, mark it in any box (except the 1st)