Posts Tagged ‘ACT Math’

Matrix Math on the ACT Part 2: The Power of Reasoning

In this video, ACT instructor Stephanie goes through concrete examples of ACT matrix problems

What was your biggest takeaway from this video tutorial about examples of ACT matrix problems? Do you have any question for Stephanie and Alexis Avila?

Post your comments below:

SAT Prep

Subscribe to our Blog Feed
Become a Fan on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

January 11th, 2017
Tagged
, , , ,
Posted in
ACT, Featured
Comments (0)

Matrix Math on the ACT Part 1: Algebra in Disguise

In this video, ACT instructor Stephanie teaches the basics of ACT matrix math

What was your biggest takeaway from this video tutorial about the basics of ACT matrix math? Do you have any question for Stephanie and Alexis Avila?

Post your comments below:

SAT Prep

Subscribe to our Blog Feed
Become a Fan on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

November 5th, 2016
Tagged
, , , ,
Posted in
ACT, Featured
Comments (0)

Geometry and Trigonometry for the ACT

ACT Instructor Tracey of Prepped & Polished, www.preppedandpolished.com, shares an overview of Geometry and Trigonometry for the ACT Exam.

For the geometry and trigonometry content:

  • 23% of math questions are Plane Geometry
  • 15% of math questions are Coordinate Geometry
  • 7% of math questions are Trigonometry

Do you struggle on the ACT Geometry and Trigonometry section? Do you have any questions for Tracey?
Post your tips/comments below.
Subscribe to our Blog Feed
Become a Fan on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Reading Tutoring

March 12th, 2015
Tagged
, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
ACT, Featured
Comments (0)

Algebra for the ACT

Algebra for the ACT

ACT Instructor Tracey of Prepped & Polished, www.preppedandpolished.com, shares an overview of Algebra for the ACT Exam.

Algebra concepts found on the ACT include:

  • Numbers
  • Orders of Operations
  • Factors of Numbers including prime factors
  • Operations with fractions
  • Percent problems
  • Ratios and Proportions
  • Basic Statistics

Do you struggle on the ACT math section? Do you have any questions for Tracey?
Post your tips/comments below.
Subscribe to our Blog Feed
Become a Fan on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Reading Tutoring

March 8th, 2015
Tagged
, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
ACT, Featured
Comments (0)

Overview of the Math ACT Section

Overview of the Math ACT Section

ACT Instructor Tracey of Prepped & Polished shares an overview of the ACT Math Section including:
The ACT Math section is the only one math section on the test.
There are 60 questions (there is no penalty for guessing).
ACT Math covers Algebra, Coordinate Geometry, Plane Geometry, and Trigonometry.
A calculator is allowed.

Do you struggle on the ACT math section? Do you have any questions for Tracey?

Post your tips/comments below.

Subscribe to our Blog Feed

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Reading Tutoring

March 4th, 2015
Tagged
, , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
ACT, Featured
Comments (0)

7 SAT Tips For Teens

[leadplayer_vid id=”5200130155328″]

Josh Ochs of Media Leaders interviews Alexis Avila Founder of Prepped & Polished, LLC in South Natick, Massachusetts. Alexis list his favorite seven tips for teens preparing for the SAT Test.

Tip 1: Take Advantage of Free SAT Material on the Web
Tip 2: Buy the Official College Board Study Guide
Tip 3: Understand the SAT Format
Tip 4: Don’t spend too much time on Sentence Completions
ACT Science Tips and SAT Tips and Strategies
Tip 5: Skip around a little on the math fill-in section
Tip 6: Wake up early Saturday morning for two months
Tip 7: If you get stumped, circle the question, then move on

Get our SAT E-Book, FREE!

Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Josh: Hello and welcome to Media Leaders. In this video we want to
show you seven SAT tips for teens. I’m honored to have Alexis Avila, the
founder of Prepped and Polished with me today, Alexis welcome to the call.

Alexis: Thanks for having me Josh.

Josh: Well it’s an honor to have you here. Let’s jump right in to the
good stuff, you’re going to walk us through seven tips for people that are
taking their SAT. Can you tell us what you’re going to teach us?

Alexis: I’m going to teach you how to take advantage of free stuff so
you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for tutoring. I’m going to tell you
about buying a key book for SAT. Walk you a little bit through the SAT
format. Talk a little bit about sentence completion, just some insider tips
on the math fill-ins. How to wake up early, you know really get primed and
ready. And also lay a cool strategy for an SAT.

Josh: Sweet. Walk us through the first one.

Alexis: All right. So SATs, you’ve got to take advantage of free stuff
out there, okay? There’s a lot of free stuff that you can study with. Khan
Academy.com, great videos to help you with problems that are found in the
old official college course study guide. CollegeBoard.org go to it
immediately, sign up for the question of the day, have it delivered to your
in box, SAT problem, free, again. Quizlet.com, you want to practice your
SAT vocab, you don’t have to buy books in the book store for that, go to
Quizlet.com, it’s all free. Free SAT vocab, practice and take quizzes.

Josh: Great resources. Walk us through the next tip?

Alexis: Okay. So you’ve got to buy the official college board study
guide whether you work with a tutor or independently. It has the most
realistic practice tests possible in this book, there’s ten of them. And I
recommend that you get through as many practice tests as possible. And make
sure that you time yourself when you take these practice tests. And if you
want to get explanations for the questions found in the SAT official
college board study guide, purchase Tutor Ted’s SAT Solution Manual, it’s
not perfect but it’s pretty much the only one out there, the only book out
there that actually has an explanation for each question found in the
official college board SAT study guide.

Josh: That’s super helpful. Walk us through the next one.

Alexis: Okay. Understand the SAT format, okay? This is what I do with
all my students to get them feeling confident and knowing what to expect.
First, section one and section ten are always the same section. Section
one, essays, section ten, short grammar writing section. The next level of
predictability is found in section eight, nine, and ten. Those are always
the shortened versions of the critical reading math, and like I said
section ten is also a short grammar writing section. Section two through
seven, not as much predictability but guaranteed in those sections your
going to find two critical reading long sections, 25 minutes, two math long
sections, 25 minutes, and one long, 25 minute, writing grammar section. And
then you’ll have one experimental section.

Also, know the nuances within each section, and learn how to pace for
them. So for example, the two long critical reading sections, one of those
long critical reading sections has eight sentence completions as opposed to
five sentence completions on the other one. So there’s a different kind of
pacing structure that you should learn. So that’s what I have to say about
the SAT format. I could go on forever about it.

Josh: That’s good to know. Take us on to the next one.

Alexis: Okay. Get to the critical reading. So don’t spend too much time
on those sentence completion questions folk. Why? It’s simple, it’s math,
there’s 19 sentence completions versus 48 reading comprehension questions.
If you get complacent and smug, and take your sweet old time doing those 19
sentence completion questions you’re going to have five minutes left to do
all that reading. You don’t want to be in that pickle. So trust your gut,
study your vocab, get through those sentence completion questions
relatively fast so you can have ample time to do the reading questions.
Scan the questions first when you at the critical reading, scan the
questions first, mark up the passage that answers the specific question on
the fly as you’re reading, it’s like an open book test. And the at the very
end, answer all the general questions, answer those last. It will make
sense because you can only answer general questions once you have the full
scope of the passage.

Josh: Wow, that’s really helpful. Walk us through the next one?

Alexis: All right. We’ll skip around, here’s a little insider technique
for you. Skip around on the maths fill in, the long 25 minute math fill in
section, where you have eight multiple choices and then ten fill-ins after.
Why? Because on the SAT you want to answer all the easy immediate questions
before you tackle the hard ones. Well the order of difficulty goes from
easy to hard, from one to eight multiple choice, and then they get easy
again. So I recommend that you do the first five or six multiple choice
questions, just take a quick glance at number seven and eight multiple
choice which are the hard ones, and if they’re too hard just circle them
and go right to those easy fill-ins, take care of those, and at the very
end go back to those last two multiple choice questions.

Josh: I love it. That’s really helpful. Very counter intuitive. Walk
us through the next tip?

Alexis: Yep. Okay. Well this is kind of like another tip, I really
believe that kids have to develop a routine going into the SAT. So I
recommend you wake up early for at least two months before, each Saturday
leading up to the test. Up to two months before that. The key is to build
your confidence. It’s to build a consistent study program if you want to
get your confidence going up. So you want to wake up early for two months
so you get used to doing SAT problems early in the morning. Again, now
while you’re waking up Saturday, I want you to eat a good healthy breakfast
devoid of fatty foods. Find a quiet study area free of distractions. Have a
nice stop watch so you can pace yourself. And waking up early means go to
bed early too.

Josh: So smart, very true. Walk us through the next tip?

Alexis: Okay. Stumped? Circle the question. The tip is basically this,
the SAT is a marathon, it’s not a sprint, which basically means that you
want to keep moving at a nice steady pace, you don’t want to cram and
agonize over question number one. If you can’t answer it you circle that
question and you keep moving. If you spend more than a minute on a problem
it’s probably a good indicator that you’re kind of going about the problem
the wrong way. You circle that problem and then you keep moving to the next
question. Answer as many questions as you can, and then at the very end
with a fresh set of eyes you go back to the questions that you circled
along the way, tackle those, that’s the way to go.

Josh: That’s super helpful. well walk us through what you’ve taught
us.

Alexis: Okay. well I basically taught you to take advantage of all the
free SAT material on the web, you know you don’t have to spend a gazillion
dollars on SAT preps, there’s a lot of free stuff out there. And if you do
spend a gazillion dollars on SAT prep, fine, but also take advantage of the
free stuff. Buy the official college board study guide, that is basically
the number one and number two key resource you can buy. Everyone uses it,
buy it. Understand the SAT format. I don’t know about you but I feel more
confident when I know what to expect going into game day. Understand the
SAT format. Don’t spend too much time on sentence completion questions,
because there’s more, the lion’s share of those questions in the critical
reading section are critical reading questions themselves. Skip around a
little in the math fill-in section. Take care of the easy and medium
questions first. And then wake up early Saturday morning for the next two
months leading into the test so you get accustomed to what it’s like to
work your brain with multiple choice questions early in the morning. And
finally, if you get stumped circle the question and keep on moving, the
test is a marathon not a sprint.

Josh: Wow this has been really helpful. Alexis, thank you so much for
joining us today.

Alexis: My pleasure Josh. I’m humbled. Thank you very much.

Josh: Thank you. And those of you that are watching this video, click
the links below this video and in the area below, and you can learn more
about Alexis and his company Prepped and Polished. Thank you everybody for
being a part of Media Leaders. Have a great day, and as always, keep it
light, bright, and polite.

Are you preparing for the SAT? Which tip do you find most helpful?

Post your tips/comments below.

 

Subscribe to our Blog Feed

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

August 5th, 2013
Tagged
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
Featured, SAT
Comments (0)

Gary R. (Boston, MA)

“We hired Alexis and Prepped & Polished to help prepare our son for the ACT test. Before Prepped & Polished our son came in with a 21 (55%) ACT. Alexis set up a rigorous tutoring plan over several months which composed of twelve tutoring meetings, homework assignments, and nine practice tests. Alexis was clear of his expectations and our son was responsive to the tuteladge. The end result was a game changer for my son’s college prospects. Our son took the April and June ACT tests and super scored a cumulative of a 29, with a high of 31 on both the reading and the math (93% and 96% respectively). Thanks to Prepped & Polished, my son is confident that he will get into a top-tier university.”

June 25th, 2013
Tagged
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
Testimonials
Comments (0)

Avoid This Common ACT Math Exponent Mistake

Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished, LLC in South Natick, Massachusetts brings aboard guest teacher Dabral of ACT Quantum to help students avoid a typical exponent mistake made on the ACT Math section.

To sign up for the ACT go to The Official ACT Site

To further strengthen your exponent rules, check out this video, Avoid These Four Common SAT Math Exponent Rule Mistakes

ACT Science Tips

Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Alexis: Hi, everyone. Alexis Avila, of Prepped and Polished LLC., here at South Natick, Massachusetts. On the ACT math section, it’s easy to make careless mistakes if you’re not careful. My friend and special guest Dabral, from ACTQuantum.com, based in California, going to explain to you a typical problem students often miss on the ACT math section involving exponents. Dabral, take it away.

Dabral: So, here, I want to give you an example of a common type of exponent problem that shows up on the ACT and, sort of, the temptations that students have in terms of simplifying it. So, I’ll start with this first piece here, two X cubed to the power of four. And so, here, we are raising each of these components to the fourth power. So, this is equivalent to two to the four times X cubed to the fourth. And here, two to the four, that’s just 16 and, to understand this really means I’m going to multiply X cubed four times. And that is equivalent to having a set of 12 X’s. So, this is really the same as X to the twelfth, or in other words, so, we’re just adding the exponents.

So, the rule when you have – this is what’s called power of power – is that you multiply. So, this is X to the power of three times four, not X to the seven. Common mistake in terms of adding those. So, that expression is 16 times X to the 12. And, also, the rule that I used here where I distributed that exponent comes from if you have two numbers raised to the power of M. This is A to the power of M times B to the power of M. Because, really, this means that we have M of these expressions and collectively, that means, ’cause it’s multiplication, we can change the order. that we have MA’s and MB’s. So, that’s what we’re doing here. Now, if we look at the second piece of this is two X four to the third. That, again, we do the same thing. Two cubed times X four to the third. Now, that is eight. Then, again, we get, here in this case, X to the 12.

Now, if you go back to the original expression, it’s made of some of those two terms. So, we’re looking at 16 times X to the 12 plus eight times X to the 12. Now, again, here, a common temptation would be this is 24 times X to the 24. None of that applies. You can’t just add these exponents. In fact, a better way to think about this is to factor X to the 12 and then this becomes 24 times X to the 12. I think a common temptation for these types of exponent problems is if you’re given X to the ten plus X to the ten, that’s not X to the 20. Instead, think of factoring X to the ten, in this case, this would be just two times X to the ten. Or, another type of example, is X to the ten plus X to the eleventh. It’s best to handle it by factoring X to the ten. And you can’t really just add this and say this is equal to X to the 21. So watch out for those temptations.

And then, just to summarize, sort of, the operation we did here, is that we have X cubed to the four is same as X four to the third. So, here, really, it doesn’t matter where the exponent is. And this is equal to X to the 12, not equal to X to the seven. That’s the common one you want to watch out for. And to summarize here, this original expression we started is equivalent to 24 times X to the 12, which is answer choice D.

Alexis: Thank you, Dabral. That was really helpful. If you have any further questions, you can email me at Alexis@PreppedandPolished.com and also be sure to visit my friend Dabral’s site. Has wonderful explanations to ACT problems. That’s www.ACTQuantum.com. Good luck on your ACT test and I’ll talk to you soon.

Are you ready for the ACT Math Section? What exponent rules trip you up the most?

Post your tips/comments below.

Subscribe to our Blog Feed

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

June 21st, 2013
Tagged
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
ACT, Featured
Comments (0)

Six Best Free SAT Websites

[leadplayer_vid id=”51F01B8ED569D”]

Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished lists his six favorite free online SAT websites.

1. Khan Academy for SAT Math

Test Preparation

2. PWN The SAT for SAT Math-especially for intermediate and upper level test takers.
3. Ultimate Verbal Blog-for Critical Reading and Writing
4. College Board Site-for free practice tests, sample questions, and word of the day
5. Quizlet-for SAT vocabulary
6. Free Rice-for improving vocabulary and donating to charity

Get our SAT E-Book, FREE!

Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Hey everyone. Alexis Avila, founder of Prepped and Polished LLC, here in
Boston, Massachusetts. Now there’s a lot of information on the SAT, and
some of it will cost you money. But these six sites, they will not. And
these are my favorite right now.

Number one is Khan Academy. If you want to practice your SAT math, go to
these YouTube videos. The instructor does a great job explaining all the
math problems you’ll find on the old version of the official SAT College
Board Study Guide.

Site number two that I really enjoy is PWN the SAT. He’s a tutor out of New
York who really knows his SATs, and especially the math. You’ll enjoy his
math problems and challenges and you can print out some PDFs.

The third site I highly recommend is Erica Meltzer’s Ultimate Verbal Blog,
and you can increase your critical reading and writing score, just by
reading her blogs alone, and she has a ton of advice to help better your
critical reading and writing scores for the SAT test.

And the fourth site is the College Boards official site. They have a free
practice test on it, and they have some practice problems for each
component of the SAT test, and you can subscribe to the SAT Question of the
Day that gets sent directly to your email address on a daily basis with a
very challenging SAT problem.

The fifth site I highly recommend is for vocabulary boosting, is Quizlet,
which is the world’s most popular online flashcard site. If you search, you
can find some big stacks of SAT vocabulary to practice from, and they have
games and quizzes so that you can test yourself to see if you’re learning
some of that high frequency vocabulary.

The sixth site I highly recommend is another vocabulary website. My
students really enjoy this one. It’s called FreeRice.com and there are 60
vocabulary levels. So if you get a question or about three questions in a
row right, you increase a level, and each time you get a question correct,
you actually donate 10 grains of rice to charity. So you feel good while
you’re studying SAT vocabulary. So that’s fantastic.

So check out those six sites. I think you’ll really enjoy them. They’re all
free to help boost your SAT grade. And I’m also obviously partial to my
video blogs on my websites, so you can check those out,
PreppedandPolished.com/blog.

So good luck on your SAT, and I will talk to you soon.

Which one of these six websites would you consider using? Suggest any others?

Post your tips/comments below.

Subscribe to our Blog Feed

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

April 24th, 2012
Tagged
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
SAT
Comments (4)

Five Key Steps to Mastering ACT Math

ACT Math Tips
By The P&P Test Preparation Team, Prepped & Polished, LLC

The ACT math section gives you 60 minutes to answer 60 questions on a broad range of topics that extend all the way from pre-algebra to basic trigonometry. Each question has five possible answer choices that are listed in order from least to greatest value. Unlike the SAT, the ACT has you tackle the entire math on the test in one marathon session and does not include any free response questions. The math section is graded on the same 1 to 36 scoring system as the other portions of the test and accounts for one fourth of your composite score. The variety of topics covered by this section can be daunting, but in the end it is the easiest section to prepare for, because you know what topics will be tested. The following tips will help you study effectively and deal with the unique challenges presented by ACT math.

1. Know the test layout:
Simply put, you must know what topics are covered by the math section before you can study effectively. There is no point studying calculus and advanced trig because they are not on the test. The exam covers all math up to and including basic trigonometry but no more. You must understand how long the test is before you can gear up mentally. 60 minutes is a long time to do only math. As a result, any good preparation system needs to include long practice sessions to help you prepare for the strain. Lastly, you need to know that the questions increase in difficulty as you go along. The first 30 questions are easy, the next ten or so a little harder, and the last 20 are genuinely difficult. This bit on information will help you get a better sense of how to pace yourself through the test.

Test Preparation

2. Know what you are good at:
The section’s order of difficulty is not the final word on which questions you will find easier or harder. You will be better at some concepts than others and you can use this to your advantage. For example, if you are near the end of the section and are looking at the last 15 difficult questions, you should glance over all of them and single out the ones that deal with topics you are comfortable with. By doing this you will be able to use your time more efficiently and boost your score as a result.

3. Do not be afraid to go back to Middle School:
If you are an 11th or 12th grader who gets good marks in math class, then you will likely be well prepared for the more difficult topics on the ACT math section, because you deal with those topics in your day to day classes. You may also be caught off guard by questions testing elementary math concepts you have not looked at since 8th grade. It is natural for unused skills to deteriorate. Fortunately, it is easy to get back on top of old math topics. Just devote a few hours reviewing your old books or notes and it will all come back, plus you will not have to deal with the embarrassment of being a good student who gets two of the first five questions wrong.

4. Do not waste time:
The most rewarding thing about math in the real world is facing down a difficult problem and finally overcoming it through great effort, unfortunately this is not the case on the ACT. You only have an average of 60 seconds to answer each question. You do not receive extra credit for solving more difficult problems and should always try to pick up every possible point in the easier portions of the test before devoting five minutes to a question in the 50’s. You also need to be willing to leave a question and move on if you have been working on it and do not see a path to the answer. You can always return to questions later if you have time.

5. Stay confident:
In my experience, this section induces more mental breakdowns than any other. Students face so many different questions and topics that they are almost certain to go blank on a few. You need to have a short term memory for this section. Individual defeats happen, but they cannot be allowed to affect your psyche and performance on following questions.

Bonus: There is no guessing penalty on this or any other ACT section. You should never leave blank questions on your scorecard. The ACT does not do you any favors and you should avoid doing any favors for it.

Did you find these ACT Math tips helpful? Which tip resonated with you the most?

Post your tips/comments below.

Subscribe to our Blog Feed

Become a Fan on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

March 22nd, 2012
Tagged
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in
ACT
Comments (3)