Our first real glimpse at the new PSAT

The College Board has released, at long last, its first full practice test since announcing sweeping changes to the PSAT and SAT last year. You may now finally, if you’re one of a small group of merry misfits that actually enjoy this kind of thing, sit down for 3 hours and take a prototype test (more…)

Free vocab prep via email

I recently heard from a student who programmed a neat little application to help himself study vocabulary, and then decided to share it with everybody else for free. My kinda guy. I signed up to try it out, and after receiving a few words a day in my email over the last few mornings, I (more…)

How to use flashcards

There are many ways to learn words, which is good, because there are many different learning styles. Some people like vocab books like the fantastic Direct Hits series. Some people just make it a habit to write down and learn every word they encounter that they don’t know. Still others, like myself, try to grow (more…)

Logic-Based Inference Questions

I’ve touched upon inference questions in an earlier post (remember: ask yourself WHY something was written, not just WHAT is written). But logic-based inference questions get their own special article because they are a more specialized and advanced subcategory of inference questions. These questions truly test if you know WHY something was written. They don’t (more…)

WHAT something says vs. WHY it was said

There are two levels to understanding a sentence: What it actually says (superficial first level) What purpose/role/function it serves (deeper second level) Remember back in elementary school when we played the most annoying game on earth…the Why Game? I do. I vividly remember how I used it to torture my friends, family, and teachers. Basically, (more…)

Don’t Justify, Identify! Reading Comp for Badasses

Reading comprehension, compared to math and grammar, is much more resistant to strategy attacks. Reading comp questions are like the cockroaches of the SAT world—nearly immune to pesticide (our tactics and strategies). The only way to truly and effectively conquer these pesky questions is the old fashion way: stomping them dead. By that I mean (more…)

Will Latin help you on the SAT?

Note: I’m cross-posting this great question I got at qa.pwnthesat.com because it’s easier to archive it here and I thought this was worth being able to refer back to. I hope you don’t mind. Original Question: Would it be helpful to know Latin for the SATs? Answer: This is a fantastic question! A lot of (more…)

In which I read, critically.

Note: all of this was going to be a comment on this post at The Fat Envelope Blog but after I typed it all up I got server error after server error trying to submit it. Because I was so sufficiently fired up, I decided to post it here instead. My apologies if you didn’t (more…)

It ain’t over until it’s over.

I remember taking a short, but very hard calculus test in high school, and watching my friend hand in his test 10 minutes before time was called. I shot him the requisite stink-eye glare, and got back to work, struggling to integrate a function that was giving me absolutely no love. I don’t remember the (more…)

A strong vocabulary is necessary, but not sufficient, for a high CR score.

Credit: the very talented Mike R. Baker I’ve already covered the importance of a good vocabulary, and I hope that you’ve been clicking the red vocabulary links on this site as you meander through. They’re meant to teach you a few good words, and to show you that strong vocabulary doesn’t have to be shoehorned (more…)

Some SAT advice for non-native English speakers

source I was looking over the visitor stats for this blog last night and I was pleasantly surprised to discover a small international audience! The SAT is administered all over the world, and at least a few people have visited this site from (in order of frequency) Singapore, Hungary, India, Vietnam, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Iran, (more…)