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Breaking Down the SAT: Sentence Completion

Sat Sentence Completion

The sentence completion portion of the SAT is designed to test your vocabulary and reading comprehension through the use of contextual clues. The section will provide you with a series of incomplete sentences where the test taker is responsible for filling in the missing word or words from the choices provided. A multiple choice consisting of five potential answers will be supplied for each question.

Approximately one-fourth of the critical reading section of the SAT is comprised of sentence completion questions. Furthermore, each of these questions must be answered within the span of a minute in order to allow for enough time to complete the test. As a result, it is vital that students familiarize themselves with the format so they can answer as quickly and competently as possibly.One strategy for answering these types of questions is to fill in your own words to complete the sentence. This allows your mind to quickly understand the context of the sentence and the type of word that would be appropriate. Once you have selected your own word, you can also answer the question simply by locating the proper synonym. If there are multiple answers that seem synonymous with the word you chose, read the sentence with both words and confirm which makes more sense. Another tactic is to pay close attention to specific words or phrases that alter the context, such as “however” and “in addition.” These words serve as clues to whether the word contrasts or complements the preceding statement. For instance, the following is an example of a common type of sentence completion question taken from B Line Test Prep’s free SAT online course:Although H.P. Lovecraft wrote many of the world’s most influential horror stories, during his lifetime he was ____.A) famous
B) unrivaled
C) obscure
D) renowned
E) masterfulExamining this sentence, we can see that there is a clue at the very beginning. The word “although” indicates there will be a contrast or unexpected outcome at the end of the sentence. As the first portion of the sentence lauds Lovecraft as an influential writer, we can surmise that during his lifetime he was anything but. Using the stratagem listed above, we can fill in the blank with the words “not influential” or “not very good.” Shuffling through the potential answers, all seem to imply the opposite save for C) obscure.

Like most sections of the SAT, the sentence completion section is ordered from the least to most difficult question. Therefore it is imperative you move quickly through the early portions in order to allow for enough time to complete the test. You can take advantage of an SAT prep to further acclimate yourself to the questions and time constraints in order to better prepare you for the actual exam.

SAT Preparation for Sentence Error Questions

Sat Preparation

Everyone who takes the SAT exam must do their best to pass the sentence error section of the test.

Were you able to catch the error in the above sentence? Try again.

The pronoun “their” does not agree with its antecedent “everyone.” If you were able to discover the error, you have demonstrated a thorough understanding of what the sentence error section of the SAT exam will ask of you.

The New Writing Section
The new writing section of the SAT exam is comprised primarily of Identifying Sentence Errors questions: 20 questions at the beginning of the multiple choice portion and another 10 at the back, for a total of 30 questions. The basic concept of these questions is to determine whether the provided sentence contains a grammatical mistake and to identify from four underlined options. If there is none, select the fifth option titled “No Error.” Basic in theory, this section of the writing section can be challenging for students and requires practice and a thorough understanding of agreements, sentence mechanics, and grammatical proofing.


Sat Preparation Strategies and Tips

 


The best way to begin your SAT prep for the writing section of the exam, is to tune your “inner ear,” or rather, developing an innate ability to detect mistakes by sound. Just as our eyes can signal that we have misspelled a word incorrectly, our ears can also alert us to sentences structured incorrectly. Repetition is one of the best ways to strengthen your aural response, reading sentences similar to the ones found on the SAT aloud. You can also select authoritative sources such as The New York Times or other quality publications to read from. This can be a lengthy process and for students coming up on the SAT exam date, there are other strategies and tools available to help prepare for the writing section.

Online SAT prep courses can help increase your confidence and boost your test scores by providing the essential ingredient of practicing questions in an actual SAT test format. Free SAT online prep courses vary in regards to what they offer but researching your options in advance will help you determine which SAT preparation exam will be most beneficial to you.

Check out B Line Test Prep’s SAT online course and other free resources to prepare you for test day.

Overcoming Testing Anxiety

Testing Anxiety

Testing anxiety is a problem faced by even the best of students. Performing well on tests is more important today than ever. This is why it is important to find effective strategies to overcome testing anxiety. Overcoming testing anxiety means doing better in school and scoring higher on important tests such as the SAT.

Most testing anxiety stems from a fear of poor performance. Students, worried they haven’t studied enough, become anxious preceding the test. Procrastination leaves many students cramming at the last-minute. The best solution to this problem is becoming comfortable with test material far in advance. Being confident that you will do well provides anxiety relief. This is even more important when preparing for a test, such as the SAT, which impacts a student’s future. A solid SAT test prep schedule is essential to help you be as ready as possible. Given the availability of free SAT onlineprep materials, there is no excuse for not being prepared.Test taking is like any other skill; it takes practice to master. Taking practice tests is essential to any SAT test prep schedule. There are many online free SAT prepresources available. You can also review textbooks with practice tests and questions to help prepare for a test. This is one way to help anticipate potential test questions and find areas that need extra attention. In addition, this is also a good way to feel more confident going into a test. If you have any questions be sure to talk with your teacher. If you experience severe anxiety before a test, talk with a parent or guidance counselor. They can help you find ways to cope with your anxiety.Don’t study hard the day before a test. Read over summaries of the material and then put your books and prep work away. Take time to relax, go to bed early, and get plenty of sleep. Not spending the evening cramming and being well rested will leave you feeling confident. Being rested, calm, and confident the day of an exam will help you prevent anxiety, recall information, and follow test directions.During the test, if you feel yourself getting anxious, take deep breaths and remind yourself of how ready you are for this test. Knowing how to calm yourself down before and during a big exam is a valuable skill that will be useful throughout your entire academic career.

Is My SAT Score Good Enough?

Sat Score

For many high school students taking the SAT for the first time, looking at your scores can be puzzling. It’s not easy to know if your scores are good enough for the colleges you are applying to or if you should retest in the hopes of raising your scores. A “good” SAT score is different for every student and depends on your plans for the future, your career of choice and your college goals.

While going through the process of searching for your college of choice, you’ll want to take a look at the numbers in the area of college ranking and admissions. A good rule of the thumb when it comes to the SAT scores for each college is to look for the 25 – 75th percentile. This is a good way to get a feel for where most students rank. There will always be exceptions on both ends of the scale, some with very high scores and others who may have entered with other qualifications but lower scores, but this is a good general rule to follow. Something you can ask about is if the college offers bonuses for those with higher scores which may include things such as the possibility of testing out of certain classes during your first year of college, merit based grants or other such perks.

To give some examples, the 25 – 75th percentile scores for Stanford University are 2000 – 2310 and the 25 – 75th percentile scores for Harvard University are 2100 – 2380. For another example, the 25 – 75th percentile scores for the University of San Diego are 1700 – 2030. As you work on translating your scores, identifying these numbers will help you greatly in understanding where your scores should be in order to apply to and attend the colleges of your choice. Having specific goals in mind will make it much easier for you to see and know if your SAT scores are good enough as your final scores or if you may want to work on improving your scores and retake the test a second or third time.

In the event that your SAT scores fall in the average range of those of your school of choice, you might still want to work on them in order to increase your chances of being accepted. One tried and proven way to help you in your SAT prep in through online SAT prep courses. On the other end of the scale, if your scores are way above the ones you need, you may be just fine and use those SAT scores and choose not to retest.

Another thing worth taking a look at are the different subject areas and how they breakdown. Usually, colleges like to see students with well-rounded scores, in other words, not having very low scores in some areas and very high scores in others. It’s normal to have a bit of variation between your scores, especially in the areas of your interest and talent where you may excel. If, however, your scores are too uneven, it may be good to do further SAT prep whether through personal study, tutoring or online SAT prep courses. Take some time to work on the subject area you are weaker in and then retake the test to up your scores.

For more information on B Line Test Prep’s SAT prep, check out their free SAT online course.

How to Succeed on the SAT

How to succeed on the sat

The SAT, also known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, is one of the primary requirements for students looking to get into college. If you are a student who is invested in furthering their scholastic career or you are a parent who has a college-bound child, SAT prep is going to be an integral part of the college application process. The test consists of three sections, including critical reading, math and writing, and the test itself takes three hours and forty-five minutes to complete. While it is acceptable to take the test several times, it is an endurance trial, and ideally a student should only take it once.

When you are looking for SAT prep options, classes immediately become one of the first options on the table. However, the truth of the matter is that classes are not absolutely required; as a matter of fact, free SAT prep resources can keep the student grounded and in control of the situation. For example, one of the best ways to prepare for the SAT is to take sample tests. Sample tests not only give you an idea of what to expect, you’ll also find that they teach the student to pace him or herself. One of the major criticisms of this type of testing is that it penalizes students who do not operate well under pressure, and taking practice tests helps you eliminate that.

One thing that someone taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test should be aware of is that it rewards people who react well to testing in general. If you are a student who has a knack for understanding the way testing works, this test will be comparably easier for you than it is for someone who tests poorly. However, even students who test poorly can get a good score if they drill in the time frame that is given to them. Practice doing timed versions of practice tests; use B Line Test Prep’s free SAT online course so that you can do them in a timely fashion.

Another way to ensure that you succeed is by understanding a few basic pieces of information regarding the test. While each of the three sections are weighted equally, the math section is considered easier than the writing or reading sections. Consider your own strengths as a student and think about where you need to do work. If you are strong in math but weaker in writing communication, use this information to focus your studies.

When you are looking at cramming for the Scholastic Aptitude Test, remember that you should always focus on vocabulary. The written section is extremely focused on words and word choice, and one way to study for the test is to memorize the word lists that are available. However, more important than learning the words by heart, is being able to use them. Students demonstrate their mastery over the words by using them correctly. Instead of just memorizing the word meanings, you’ll find that it is very easy to simply remember the words by memorizing them as they appear in sentences. This not only cements the meaning but allows you to figure out what the word means from context.

Also consider what your test taking mode of operation is going to be. For example, one way to take the test is to go through and answer all the questions that you are relatively sure about first. This allows you to get all the way through the test. One problem that many test takers have is that they do a few questions and then they get bogged down. This can be disastrous if the slowing down happens early in the test. Instead, get through all the easier questions and then go back and answer the more difficult ones, taking your time.

Finally, when you are considering preparing for this test, remember that it is not the only one that you can take. The ACT is set up differently and most colleges that accept one will accept the other. Consider what your strengths are and which test plays to them.

Taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test can be quite daunting, but remember that you can do well with the right preparation.

 

How to Solve SAT Passage-Based Reading Questions

Sat Passage Based Reading Questions

Students can use these tips for how to solve SAT passage-based reading questions to ensure that they do the best on this exam. This test is an essential component of the college admissions process, and students should try to score their very best. There are a variety of studying options that are available for students, and there are several free SAT prep courses that provide the techniques that are essential to success. The SAT includes two parts of critical reading: the passage based reading questions and solving sentence completion questions.
The passage based reading questions include short passages that are in the range of 100 to 900 words and the subjects that are covered in these sections are variable. They are designed to test a student’s ability to comprehend the passage they read and are not intended to test for knowledge, which should already be known. Students may also encounter two passages, which deal with the same topic, and they are asked to contrast the ideas that are discussed in the particular sections.

Experts have recommended a number of tips for students to approach this test, and most people improve their scores when they rely on the following free SAT prep tips.

Reading the questions first is one of the tips that most experts recommend. This will provide students with an overview of the information that they are supposed to be find in the passage. Students may think this is a waste of time, but it is really a time saving strategy. This test is timed, and takers should take advantage of the techniques that will enable them to have plenty of time to finish all of the questions without getting stressed. Reading the questions first enables students to look for particular things while they are reading, and this makes answering the questions much easier.

B Line Test Prep’s SAT prep tip #2 that is recommended by experts is to label the particular questions that are encountered. Questions are generally referred to as general or specific, and these can easily be marked with a G or an S. Students can enter this information next to the questions about a particular text, and most of the SAT prep experts recommend that the specific questions are answered first. This provides more information and will make the general questions easier to answer.

Highlighting the text as it is read enables takers to quickly refer to relevant passages. When students read the questions first, they can also highlight the sections that will relate to particular questions. The test administrators encourage students to make as many marks as they want in the booklet, and this is a great way to keep track of difficult questions. The main points of the entire passage can be underlined or circled, and then this information can be used to answer the questions.

Answering the questions with the answers hidden also enables students to be sure that they have the correct answer. This may seem foolish at first, but many of the questions include answers that are meant to distract the participants from the real answer. If a person has a good idea of what the correct answer is, they can then find the correct answer from the list. Test takers are assured that if they follow this tip, they will not be distracted by some of the answers that are clearly wrong. This is a time saving technique, and most people find this to be a valuable way to approach the SAT.

Doubting an answer is another waste of time, and the first answer that is marked is usually the correct one. It can be frustrating and time consuming for a person to double check their answers and doubt them. This is unproductive, and many people lose a lot of their precious time when they try to scrutinize the answers that have already been given. This is a timed test, and students should be sure that they have ample time to finish the entire section. Questions that seem doubtful can be marked, and at the end of a section they can be double checked. This provides students the time they need to finish the test, and it also gives them time at the end to ensure the accuracy of their answers without the stress.

 

Is Texting Good For Students?

The Student Texting

First, we have to admit that texting is here for the long haul. Today, the average 13 to 17 year old sends more than 2,500 text messages per month, according to recent research. While this may be a problem for most schools, some educators feel that texting has educational value in that it can teach beneficial language skills, according to the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina. The consensus is that when teenagers’ text often, they are more likely to confuse text language such as LOL and OMG, with traditional syntax, and this unconventional grammar will sneak into their schoolwork. In spite of this, teachers say this issue is nothing to worry about, and is not based on actual proof.

Progressive thinking teachers feel that the relaxed writing style of text messaging can be integrated into class lessons. A new study carried out by the California State University has discovered that texting can increase a teen’s writing in informal dissertations and numerous other writing coursework. A teacher in Orange County, NC asked students to decode passages from classic literature to text-speak in order to express language conception in various contexts. Another study found from the CSU study backs-up the idea that, “text-speak is not some type of English language gibberish, but is a type of second language with its own style, and it expands teens’ language skills.” However, research does admit that too much texting can damage student’s performance on most conventional types of essay inscriptions.

In addition, there are health concerns as well with texting. New reports have acknowledged psychiatrists’ and physicians’ concerns that texting could eventually damage children’s sleep patterns and their competence to think for themselves. There is also a bit of uneasiness about texting and driving. It has been noted that texting and driving can be a more serious problem than drunk driving. On the other hand, civics teacher Ms. McCanless states “texting has evolved into an established part of teenager’s lives. It can be utilized as a genuine tool as opposed to a means of conflict.” Students questioned by a North Carolina newspaper stated “they regularly text their friends at nighttime whenever they have questions concerning homework or about when assignments are due.”

Many ask “what is the real issue with texting in school? Are there ways to balance the technology to increase students’ learning?” While face-to-face discussion is better than texting, especially when it comes to important matters such as drugs, intimacy issues and grades; if a teen spends a lot of time texting, it is time to take advantage of this growing phenomena. A one-year study by researchers at a prestigious university in England discovered that, rather than tarnishing teen’s ability to read, write and speak proper English, texting appears to assist them in recognizing rhymes and speech patterns, granting them increased literacy skills more than children who rarely use mobile phones.

Abbreviations such as “CU 18r,” “OMG,” or “TTFN,” and similar text speak are really helping to develop kids’ reading and writing ability which also leads them to subconsciously practice spelling. This study was conducted in this area to initially notice if there was any link between text abbreviation and literacy skills since there was so much negativity about this subject in the media. In the final analysis, it was discovered that not only was the link powerful, but that text usage was in fact escalating the development of phonological responsiveness and reading skills. Furthermore, texting seems to be an important form of contact with written English for countless children, which in turn enables them to rehearse reading and spelling day after day.

It seems that teens are smarter than some adults will give them credit for. They are able to acknowledge the difference between school and texting that require certain linguistic skills along with utilizing the correct conventions in the appropriate circumstances. Then again, there is no denying that there are dangers linked with texting too frequently. Sleep deprivation, cyber-bullying and information overkill are all serious issues that face kids who have access to mobile phones 24-hours a day. Illiteracy is another question altogether though, and everyone is still waiting for the answer. Until then, researchers will “C U 18r” with the results.

For more information on SAT prep, check out B Line Test Prep’s free SAT online course.

Knowing Which SAT Questions to Skip

Which SAT Questions to Skip

On the SAT, each question will fall into one of three categories: questions you can answer, questions you can’t answer, and questions you could probably answer if you had enough time. This last category is where the right strategy can really help you to improve your score.

When to Move On

For starters, you need to recognize when it’s time to move on to the next question. If you spend too long trying to solve any one problem, you run the risk of not even making it to other questions that you definitely could have answered correctly.

Additionally, if you spend too much time on a question that’s too hard, you waste time that you could have spent correctly figuring out a harder, but still solvable, question.

If, on first read, you can’t eliminate even one answer choice, skip the question entirely. Your time is better spent on questions where you are more familiar with the material.

If you can eliminate one or more answer choices quickly, but narrowing the choices down to just one correct answer is taking too much time, come back later. You should make your way once through the entire section and answer every item that you can solve with minimal effort first, then go back through a second time to tackle the more challenging items.

When to Guess

Understanding when it’s in your favor to guess on the SAT, versus when it will hurt you, comes down to mathematics. Remember, each question has five answer choices. An incorrect answer reduces your raw score by 0.25, while a correct answer is worth 1 point.

Let’s pretend for a moment that you don’t even look at any of the questions and just randomly select bubbles on your answer sheet. Odds are that you would be correct one-fifth of the time — but you would be wrong four-fifths of the time. For each 1 point you gained, you would lose 0.25 points, four times. 4 * 0.25 = 1, so this cancels out the 1 point you gained, leaving you with a net score of zero.

However, if you can eliminate just one answer choice, the odds are now in your favor to guess. Now, random guesses would give you a correct answer once every four times, and an incorrect answer three out of four times. 1 point – (3 * 0.25) = a net gain of 0.25 raw points.

The bottom line: if you can confidently eliminate just one answer, you should guess instead of leaving the answer blank.

 

Create a Code Language

So, you’ve made your way through the entire section once and answered all the questions you knew you could. You have seven minutes left, and it’s time to make your way back through the section a second time to take a stab at some of the questions you left for later. But…which questions were those, again?

Make the most of those precious last few minutes in each section by clearly marking each question in your test booklet, so you can see at a glance which questions — and which answer choices within that question — are still in need of your attention.

Circle questions to which you want to return. These items are the ones to which you want to draw the most attention, as you’ll need to be able to spot them quickly during the last few minutes of the section. When you go back through, you’ll have no trouble spotting the circled items. Don’t be afraid to make big, bold circles — remember, you want to catch your attention when you’re flipping back through the test booklet.

Draw a large question mark over questions that seem too hard. You don’t want to spend your valuable time on these items instead of easier ones, but there’s always the chance you’ll still have an extra couple of minutes at the end to give these a second look. Remember, if you can eliminate even one answer choice, you make it worth your while to take a stab and guess.

For answer choices, cross out choices that you are confident are wrong. This will save you from having to look again at choices that you’ve already ruled out.

Having trouble deciding between two answers? Lightly circle them to indicate they’re your preferred answers. When you come back, you’ll know immediately that you think you found (or narrowed down) the answer, but that you should still consider the other options.

 

 

Leave Yourself Hanging

When you realize you have to move on and leave a question unanswered, make it as easy as possible to pick back up where you left off if you have time at the end to return to it. While the next step in the equation may seem obvious to you in the moment, the memory won’t be as fresh by the time you make your way through the rest of the test.

Before starting the next question, jot down a quick phrase or note reminding yourself of what the next step should be. If it’s a math problem, write the next equation if you can–but don’t solve it.

Not sure what the next equation is? Erase the last answer that you did calculate, leaving the calculation itself. While moving back a step might seem strange at first, when you come back later, being able to jump right in will help jog your memory, and can shave precious seconds off the time it takes to finish.

Create a SAT Prep Plan

The Scholastic Assessment Test, commonly known as the SAT, is required for entrance into many colleges and universities and is taken by thousands of high school juniors each year. For the serious student who is already trying to keep up with the normal rigors of high school, studying for the SAT can often be overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be as intimidating if the necessary steps are taken for preparation.

 

The first step is to sign up for the test. This process is very simple; it requires giving some basic personal information and paying a fee. One very important thing to remember is that it is strongly advised to register ahead of time to insure reserving a spot at the most convenient location.

 

Many students may wonder if it is necessary to take the optional PSAT, which is a preliminary test. While the PSAT is very similar to the SAT and can help prepare the student for the whole testing process, it is not identical and does not allow review on items that are missed. The PSAT can, however, help the student find areas needing improvement so those areas can be focused on when studying.

 

Whether the choice is made to take the PSAT or not, the next step is to set up a study schedule and obtain practice books. Consistency is the key. If test preparation is started months before taking the test and studying is done three to five days a week, the actual daily study time can be kept to a minimum. Fifteen to 30 minutes a day should be sufficient. If it’s hard to find time to study, try to make use of time on the bus, take advantage of a lunch break or even get up a few minutes early to study. Flash cards and lists of difficult vocabulary words can be made, so heavy books don’t need to be carried everywhere.

 

There are many practice tests for SAT prep which can be found in bookstores or online. These practice tests allow review of questions that are missed. Some online versions even give helpful explanations as to why the correct answer is the best choice. Remember it is important to work on specific areas of weakness. To prevent burnout it is advisable to alternate between different subjects. As testing day gets closer it will be necessary to devote a little more time to serious preparation and begin to take the full length practice exams. It might be helpful to set a timer for each exam in order to prepare for the time constraints of the actual test.

 

Finally, the night before the test it is important to get a good night’s sleep. On test day get up early, allowing plenty of time to get ready and eat a good breakfast.

 

The Scholastic Assessment test is a very important test and should not be taken lightly. With a little hard work, organization and planning, SAT prep can result in an excellent test score opening up options for college and resulting in a successful future.

Win $50 to Best Buy just by studying for the SAT

B Line Test Prep encourages high school students to prepare for the SAT in order to boost scores. Their online SAT prep course is completely free and is filled with review sections, eight full-length practice tests, more than 1,200 vocabulary words, the ability to track progress and much more.

 

By signing up for SAT prep and completing practice tests 1-6, you will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Best Buy gift card.

 

Follow these easy steps to be entered into the SAT Prep Raffle brought to you by B Line Test Prep

 

Step 1: Sign up for B Line Test Prep’s free online SAT prep course

Step 2: Complete practice-tests 1-6 and pass all of them with 50 percent or higher

Step 3: Like us on Facebook

Step 4: Comment on our Facebook page stating your favorite thing about B Line Test Prep

 

You must complete all four steps in order to be eligible to win. The winner of a $50 Best Buy gift card will be chosen on Thursday, November 10 at 5pm PST.


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