Posts Tagged ‘Private’

Mastering ISEE Synonyms

Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished teaches tricks and strategies for mastering the synonym portion of the ISEE test.

First, figure out the definition of the word before looking at the distracting answer choices. Dissect the word and figure out the roots of the word. If you’re not sure about the roots of the word, then use a positive, negative, neutral strategy to find a matching charge of the word.
Test Preparation
Finally, go to the answer choices, and eliminate the three wrong choices.

Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Hi everyone, Alexis Avila, founder of Prepped and Polished LLC, here in
Boston, Massachusetts. Now one of the trickiest sections on the
independent school entrance examination, the ISEE test, especially for non-
native English speakers, is the synonym sections, but with a bit of help
learning tricks and strategies, you can easily make the ISEE synonym section
your most improved section.

Now the first thing that you want to do, is you want to come up with the
definition of the word before you look at the distracting answer choices.
So it’s okay if you don’t know the exact dictionary definition of each
synonym, as long as you can get the general essence of the word you’ll be
in great shape. So you do that by looking at the word’s roots. So in the
word excavate, there are two roots in this word, ex means exit, and cav,
root of cav means hull. Now if you don’t know the roots of a word, you can
still get the question right, try this approach. You might know that
excavate is not a positive word, like happy, it’s not negative word like
terror, it’s actually a neutral charge word, so if you know that, put a
neutral, a plus and minus, in parenthesis right next to the word, and when
you go to your answer choices, you’re going to eliminate any word that is
not a neutral word.

Okay, so now that you came up with some roots of the word, and you figured
out that excavate is a neutral charge word, let’s eliminate some choices.
Now we can eliminate in fact choice A, which is a negative word, and we can
eliminate C, pardon, which is a positively charged word, leaving us with
display and uncover. We’re going to go with choice D because uncover
closely mirrors the word excavate. So remember, if you take apart the
synonym and look for the roots and the charge of the word before you look
at the answer choices, then you’ll be in prime position to swiftly narrow
in on the correct answer. I wish you good luck and I’ll talk to you soon.

Did you find these ISEE Synonym tips helpful? What is your strongest/weakest section on the ISEE test?

Post your tips/comments below.

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October 26th, 2011
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Mastering SSAT Analogies

Alexis Avila Founder/President of Prepped & Polished teaches you a key technique for mastering the analogy portion of the SSAT test.
Test Preparation
First connect the stem words with a concise, meaningful, dictionary-style definition, and then apply this definition to the answer choices.

Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Hi, everyone, Alexis Avila, founder of Prep & Polished, LLC, here in
Boston, Massachusetts. Now, the trickiest section on the secondary school
admission test has got to be the analogy section, but with some help
learning some tips and strategies, you can easily make the analogies
section your best section.

Now, here’s the master strategy to doing really well on these analogy
questions. Now, you want to find a bridge between the two stem words by
creating a sentence that is concise and meaningful, that defines one word
in terms of the other, similar to a dictionary definition, and that is
illustrated and visual.

Okay. Let’s try this example. Now, this is a classic analogy, where there
is a clear connection between these two stem words, and you have to be a
detective and find out what that connection is. So this is an example of
not a very good connection. If you were to say, “A trunk is part of an
automobile,” what you’re going to do is apply “part” to all of your answer
choices and see how many choices you can eliminate. Now, is grass a part of
a lawn? Yes, it is, so you have to keep it. Is a button part of a
calculator? Yes, it is. Is paper part of a pen? Okay. Well, we’re able to
eliminate at least one choice. Is a closet part of a house? Sort of. You
have to keep it, but it’s not very good. Is a toe part of a body? Yes, it
is. But do you see how you left four choices open? That’s a reflection on a
bad sentence that you created between your stem words, so what you have to
do is refine your bridge, and you have to really think of one word in terms
of another as if you’re looking at a dictionary, and you look up the word
“trunk,” and it’ll say something about an automobile. You’ve got to think
like a dictionary.

Now, a better sentence would be to say, “A trunk, as a function, stores
things in an automobile.” So we’re going to use the word “stores.” It’s
concise. It’s meaningful. It’s a dictionary definition between the two
words. Now you’re going to see exactly what happens. A grass is a place
that stores things in a lawn. Kill it. A button is a place that stores
things in a calculator. Get rid of it. And we can already get rid of C. A
closet is place where you store things in a house. Looks awesome. We’re
going to keep it. And a toe is place that you store things in a body. I
doubt that. We’re going to go with D. It’s a clear analogy to the stem
words above.

So remember, if you nail the bridge, the connection between the two stem
words, you’ll almost always be able to narrow in on the right answer. So
work on your bridges, and I guarantee you’ll be successful on SSAT analogy
questions. I’ll talk to you soon. Good luck.

Did you find this SSAT analogy tip helpful? What is your strongest/weakest section on the SSAT test?

Post your tips/comments below.

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August 23rd, 2011
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