On episode 156, Jordan talks about how …
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“My daughter had a great experience preparing for the SATs. The tutor was extremely helpful, and fully engaging. She worked really hard, and improved tremendously (over 450 points), thanks to the approach and methodology used by Prepped & Polished.”
SAT Writing Instructor Terri of Prepped & Polished, LLC in South Natick, Massachusetts teaches you how to approach the SAT essay. Similar to the way Bode Miller approaches an Olympic skiing event, Terri shares Gold Medal advice on how to pace yourself wisely during this section.
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About Prepped & Polished:
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
SAT Tutor Terri K. of Prepped & Polished, LLC in South Natick, Massachusetts teaches you five tips and one bonus tip for sentence improvements on the SAT writing section
1. Read the entire sentence carefully.
2. Don’t waste time reading choice A carefully.
3. Do not read the choices on their own.
4. Aggressively identify common problem areas in the sentences.
5. Eliminate any answer choice that changes the meaning of the original sentence.
BONUS TIP: If you get into a jam, select the most concise answer.
Are you getting ready for the SAT? Which of Terri’s sentence improvement tips for SAT writing section did you find most helpful?
Post your tips/comments below.
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“As a junior in high school I can tell you about stress. Sure, it’s not heart surgery or rocket science, but with a combination of school work, extra-curriculars and sports, life can make even the calmest student tense up. The SAT’s and ACT’s were the largest source of tension for me, I worried almost constantly about how I was going to do and how that would effect my life. I finally asked my mother if we could look into tutoring, to help me achieve my best on the SAT’s and ACT’s and remove some of the stress. She found Prepped and Polished in a matter of days, and after my first tutoring session, I knew it was the right choice. My tutor was extremely kind and supportive of my endeavors, he never made me feel guilty about a rough grade or a less than stellar piece of homework. He helped to build my confidence about taking the test and school in general, which in turn boosted my grades in school. I saw a great improvement in my test scores and felt, for the first time ever, really knowledgeable at the end of the SAT and ACT. I cannot thank Prepped and Polished enough for aiding me in my quest for better scores and also improving upon my attitude. I have already started recommending the business to friends and relatives, and only wish the best to the people of Prepped and Polished in the future.”
By Alexa M., SAT Math Tutoring Instructor, Prepped & Polished, LLC
This question comes up regularly, and the short answer is: it doesn’t matter. Take whichever test you feel you can do well on. Really. Even MIT does not require that you take the Math 2, though they do insist you take one of the two math tests. Unless you claim on your application that you intend to be a math, physics, or other math-intensive major, your choice of test is unlikely to make a significant difference to your application.
The College Board’s official statement on the matter is: “If you have taken trigonometry or elementary functions (precalculus) or both, received grades of B or better in these courses, and are comfortable knowing when and how to use a scientific or graphing calculator, you should select the Level 2 test. If you are sufficiently prepared to take Level 2, but elect to take Level 1 in hopes of receiving a higher score, you may not do as well as you expect. You may want to consider taking the test that covers the topics you learned most recently, since the material will be fresh in your mind.”
It is useful to be aware of the fact that scores on the two tests are not comparable. Because the Math 2 is taken primarily by those who would describe themselves as “math people”, the overall scores tend to be higher. A 700 on the Math 2 will put you at around the 50th percentile. Fortunately, colleges know this, but it can be a bit of a shock when you receive your scores (especially if you are a self-described “math person”)!
What are the differences between the two tests?
• The Math 1 directly covers plane geometry, which the Math 2 doesn’t cover at all.
• The Math 2 emphasizes a number of major topics that aren’t covered on the Math 1:
o Properties of complex numbers, not just their arithmetic
o Parametric equations
o Polar Coordinates
o Coordinate geometry in three dimensions
o A great deal more trigonometry (graphs of trigonometric functions, radians, Laws of Sines and Cosines, trigonometric equations)
o Standard deviation
If you’ve covered the topics on the Math 2, you may want to sign up for the more advanced test. You can change your mind (and your tutoring!) up to two weeks before the test, so there is no harm in starting to prepare for the Math 2 and then deciding you are not ready for it.
Below is a more detailed chart of the differences between the two tests:
Alexa graduated from Reed College and earned a Master’s degree in math from the University of Pennsylvania. She has tutored students at every age and level from 10 to adult and from basic math through AP calculus, multivariate calculus and beyond.
Are you gearing up for the Math Level 1 or Level 2 Test?
“We highly recommend Prepped & Polished. My daughter Emily was having a difficult time with the math portion of her SATs having spent months with a different tutoring service. She spent about six weeks with an incredible tutor at Prepped & Polished and learned some incredibly useful techniques, strategies and study habits. She was very well prepared for the January SAT and went in with a lot of confidence. She got the results back and raised her math score by 130 points!! Prepped & Polished was very flexible in offering tutor times and gave her an appropriate amount of prep work for each session. She never felt overwhelmed. With her new test results Emily can now pursue several of the colleges she originally thought were out of reach. Thanks so much to Alexis and everyone at Prepped!”
“I brought my daughter to Prepped and Polished for SAT Prep. Alexis helped her tremendously!! He gave my daughter useful test strategies and really helped her to focus and improve on her weaknesses. Her scores improved greatly, almost 200 points, along with her confidence. I would recommend Alexis and Prepped and Polished to anyone looking to give their high schooler the best chance to get into their college of choice. Thank you Prepped and Polished.”
“I hired Alexis for my daughters for their college SAT’s and to polish up their essay writing. Alexis’s work with them was thorough and tailored to their needs. The program was terrific and Alexis was a compassionate professional, just what my high schoolers needed. They both were well prepared for their SATs and the essay part. Best of all, Alexis had them ready for these dreaded exams with the confidence and ability to achieve their goals, which they did. Thank you Alexis.”
“Just a note to let you know that our daughter Beatriz improved 190 points in her recent SAT exam over her previous performance. It is clear that the tutoring with Prepped and Polished had a very positive effect, and her mother and I want to thank you for your efforts on our daughter’s behalf.
Coming as Bea does from a foreign culture (Spain) and having attended a British school all her life, she was not as familiar with the SAT format as her counterparts in America. Therefore the coaching she received from you was doubly important – first, to fathom the test and learn strategies for taking it, and second to grasp the concepts and knowledge that the test is based on.
Bea has applied early action to Princeton, and we will be sure to let you know the results on December 15th!”
“I am pleased to provide my strongest possible recommendation for Alexis Avila. Alexis has worked with my oldest son and is currently working with his brother preparing for the SAT exam. Both children are good students attending boarding schools (Milton Academy and Lawrence Academy) but have had difficulty with standardized testing. Alexis provided the boys with a practical understanding of the tests and taught useful strategies for both the SAT and ACT. My oldest son showed significant improvement of his scores as he worked with Alexis and is now attending Lawrence University, which was his first choice. In addition to providing quality study tools and strategies, Alexis was able to adapt to the boys busy athletic schedules ensuring they completed the full course of study in time to make an impact on their test performance. The boys both felt very comfortable with Alexis and more confident taking the tests after working closely with him. I plan to have my younger boys work with Alexis and feel the investment was worth the benefit to my older children.