Alexis Avila talks about how test preparation is …
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WATCH my interview with Stacey Howe-Lott, Videocast here:
On episode 116, Alexis Avila talks to SAT tutor and educator Stacey Howe-Lott. Stacey took the SAT about 45 times, answered approximately 10,000 questions, provided 20,000 explanations, and, has helped more than 500 students improve their scores.Stacey graduated from University of Puget Sound, with a B.A. in English, and has a Masters in Education from University of Virginia.
On today’s episode Stacey talks about her experiences working as an online SAT tutor and gives us a peak into the world of test prep, revealing the good and bad!
Great free SAT resources: PWN the SAT (challenging math), and The Critical Reader (reading and writing)
Advantages to online tutoring: most kids are comfortable online and you spend less time commuting to appointments
Best way for a student to increase his score? Know yourself and your weaknesses, then work on addressing them
A good tutor is: empathetic and an expert
How to avoid getting a bad tutor? Ask for references and talk to both parents and students
Take home tip for parents: Breathe, and choose one test to take (ACT or SAT)
Words of wisdom for teens: You can do anything you put your mind to, find your areas of improvement and work on them.
For another related conversation, check out my podcast w Debbie Stier,Episode #30, DebbieStier: Meet the Woman Who Took the SAT Seven Times in One Year
For more information, visit: Prepped and Polished.com.
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What was your biggest takeaway from this podcast? Do you have any questions for Stacey Howe-Lott and Alexis Avila?
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SAT Instructor Terri of Prepped & Polished, LLC in South Natick, Massachusetts teaches you how to master three traits on the new SAT essay.Learn the new SAT essay tips to be confident while going for taking the exam.
1. To master your reading score you want to demonstrate comprehension of the passage and a have a clear understanding of the authors thesis.
2. To master your analysis score you need to focus on relevant features of casinos in Colorado text and provide support for claims/points made in your response.
3. To master your writing score you must provide a precise central claim, create an effective organization/progression of ideas, successfully employ a variety of sentence structures, use precise word choice, maintain an appropriate style and tone, and show command of conventions of standard written English.
These 3 new SAT essay tips will be really helpful in getting over the
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SAT Verbal Instructor Terri of Prepped & Polished, LLC in South Natick, Massachusetts lists three common grammar mistakes students often make and how to avoid them.
1. Avoid idiom errors by memorizing sets of words that must go together, usually involving a verb and preposition.
2. Avoid pronoun agreement errors by making sure pronouns agree in number and gender.
3. Avoid parallel structure errors by making sure that a series of equal items is written in the same logical structure.
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Prepped & Polished, LLC is a premier educational services company founded by educators in 1999. Our mission is to provide you with the highest-quality customized learning experience available. We will help you achieve top grades, higher test scores, and meet your academic and professional-related goals. Whether you are looking for in-person or online Tutoring and Test Preparation, we are here to help you succeed. Our caring, dynamic educators graduated from some of the most elite schools in the nation, including University of Michigan, Harvard, Brown, and MIT. They are ready to provide you with the strategies, tools and guidance necessary to ensure academic and professional success. Prepped & Polished proudly serves Boston and its surrounding areas including: Weston, Wellesley, Wayland, Sudbury, Dover, Needham, Belmont, Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Newton, Brookline, Sherborn, Carlisle, Boston
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Do you have a hard time memorizing things? Which tip did you find most useful?
Post your tips/comments below.
SAT Verbal Instructor Terri of Prepped & Polished, LLC in South Natick, Massachusetts gives a comprehensive overview of the four most important SAT sentence completion strategies.
1. Use logic to predict the missing word
2. Find the clues in the sentence
3. Determine the connotation of the missing word
4. Plug in the answer choice and eliminate
Bonus Tip: Remember to always read the sentence after you have selected your answer choice to see if it makes sense!
Do you struggle with sentence completions? Which of Terri’s SAT sentence completion strategies did you find most helpful?
By Steve R., AP US History and SAT Subject Test Instructor, Prepped & Polished, LLC
The AP United States History exam is a challenging one, and it can be intimidating to study for. Here are five tips to help you figure out where to start, and to help you put things in perspective as you try to tackle this test.
The exam consists of 80 multiple choice questions (for which you have 55 minutes to complete) and a free-response section. This section consists of two essays (about 70 minutes to complete both) and a Document-Based Question, or DBQ (about 60 minutes to complete).
1. Focus on the 19th and 20th centuries
Over 80% of the multiple choice questions are likely to be on the period of 1790-1980. Only a few questions will deal with American history post-1980, and a chunk will deal with 1789 and before. If you’re prioritizing your study time, don’t expend too much energy on the colonial period.
2. Practice DBQs
The Document-Based Question will ask you to interpret 10-15 documents and answer a question based on your prior knowledge and those documents. Be sure to practice interpreting documents before you take the AP exam. Be sure that you’re an expert at determining the APPARTS of an historical document (APPARTS stands for Author, Place and time, Prior knowledge, Audience, Reason, The main idea, and Significance). Doing well on the DBQ will really bump up your score.
3. Don’t stress out about getting every multiple choice question right
Although doing very well on the multiple choice section will really benefit your score, having outstanding free response and DBQ essays will ensure an excellent score. The essays are graded on a scale from 1-9. These essays, especially the DBQ, are weighted heavily in your score. For instance, consider this: if you average a 7 on your essay questions, you can still receive a 5 on the AP exam if you answer only half of the multiple choice questions correctly (averaging a 7 is tough but doable). Do plenty of practice essays in preparing for the AP exam, and always think about how you would put what you’re studying into an essay.
4. Best prep books: Kaplan and Barron’s
As I mentioned in my post called Five SAT US History Insider Tips, the best test prep books for AP United States History are Kaplan and Barron’s. Just like for the SAT Subject Test in U.S. History, Kaplan’s study guide is comprehensive, and Barron’s is very readable. Both will be great for making PERSIA charts, which I explained in the previous post as well.
5. Answer every multiple choice question, even if you have no idea
Unlike on the SAT Subject Test in U.S. History, there is no penalty for wrong answers on the AP U.S. History exam. Even if you have absolutely no idea, mark an answer to each and every multiple choice question. There’s no down side to doing so, and who knows, you might guess right!
Steve R. holds a B.A. from Brandeis University, where he majored in History, African and Afro-American Studies, and Politics. He earned departmental honors in History, and his senior thesis, Black Jesus in the Twentieth Century, was published in 2011. He currently works at Brandeis University in Development and Alumni Relations, where he helps to run many of the University’s Annual Giving programs. Steve has experience tutoring AP, SAT, ACT, United States history, and writing, and he has helped students with their college admissions essays. –
Are you taking the AP US History Subject Test? Any questions or additional tips you’d like to share?
Registration Deadline May 3rd, Late Registration Deadline May 4th-17th