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800 Verbal- Study Tips


Replies to: 800 Verbal- Study Tips

  • celebrian25celebrian25 Registered User Posts: 15,373 Senior Member
    maybe we could include math pointers too! I think I can easily get a 770+ in verbal, but math has never been my strong point
  • antsmrchingantsmrching Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    I am a math science kind of guy, and my may 04 test had a verbal of 650. I knew I had to get double 7's. Here is the key for those like me: VOCAB. that is it. VOCAB CARDS. do ten a day. at the end of the week, review the 70. at the end of the month, review 280. Keep going. I started at the beginning of the summer, and continued up til the october test. I got a 740 on verbal. I saw so many questions i would have gotten wrong if I had not simply taken the time to learn some words, which we should all know anyway. I hope this helps, unfortunatly there is now easy way out.
  • amdandrewamdandrew Registered User Posts: 287 Junior Member
    Reading is very important because it helps to build a strong vocabulary. Also, there are countless tricks that can be used on the questions, mainly analogies, that make murky questions become quite clear....i.e. a prep class is worth your money if it really means a lot to you!
  • pakiman87pakiman87 - Posts: 28 New Member

  • freakishfreakish Registered User Posts: 724 Member
    I got an 800- took a Kaplan SAT course before the tests, but I NEVER studied any specific words. It can't help if you really think about it, unless on some odd chance that one word you memorized was on it. Try to just know about words- their roots, and prefixes, and stuff like that. If you've taken other courses, try to apply your knowledge to that. Here's a complex example, lol:
    My friend who took the october SAT I told me an analogy was sanguine: optimistic (i think it was)..

    so i thought ok, sanguine...hmmm. that sounds like sangre in spanish, which means blood. And in psychology, i learned that hippcorates thought if you have a lot of blood, then you are warm-hearted, cheery, or even....OPTIMISTIC. so you know theyre synonyms, and there you go. (That one was of course very complex, but there you go).
  • ramakongramakong Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    freakish..you are right. It's impossible to memorize all the words that just might appear on the SAT. The important thing is to figure out how to get the right answer when you don't know the vocab word. Those are the only ones you are getting wrong anyway. Back to the analogies...if you remember that they are ALWAYS DEFINITIONS..when you look at sanguine: optimism...there are only two things it can be: sanguine means you have optimism or you don't have optimism.
  • amnesiaamnesia Registered User Posts: 2,153 Senior Member
    yeah i had sanguine :: optimistic...

    i got that analogy right i think.

    i havea 580 verbal and seriously want a 650 at the very least... I think critical reading passages threw me off.
  • CC AdminCC Admin Administrator Posts: 32,419 Senior Member
    I went form 660 verbal to 770 by reading "Word Smart." Also whenever reading something highlight words you cant give a definition for! Look up every word!
  • matheholicmatheholic Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    I got 800 verbal and math on the Oct. 9 SAT (though it's still amazing to me), so I'll try to say what I think.

    I'm in Canada and did not give a thought to US colleges until August (call it peer pressure...). So my mom and I made a trip to the library and reserved every book that Newfoundland had on the SAT: Barron's How to Prepare for the SAT I, PR's Cracking the SAT I, and three that were positively archaic. Personally, I feel that Barron's and PR are all anyone needs, as well as the 10 Real SATs if you want to shell out the cash. I really wanted it, but it would have taken too long to deliver. Actually, Barron's has 7 practise tests and PR has 3, so that should be enough anyway.

    Maths was okay for me, so I focused a lot on the verbal. Sentence completions are straightforward--it's very important to know vocabulary, pick up on trigger words, assign "positive" and "negative" connotations to phrases, and recognize idioms. I found that the hardest SCs just had harder words. On that note, I developed vocabulary by memorizing the entire Barron's 3000 word list, but that was because I have a weak vocabulary in general and fancied kicking it up a notch (also, I had 2 months to prepare). I still recommend going through the entire word list, but definitely memorize the High Frequency list (or the Hit Parade in PR). However, anything that looks <i>too</i> obscure--just forget about it. You don't need special vocabulary workbooks either; just keep plugging away and try to memorize say 5 pages of vocab a day. About reading, it's a good idea in order to get a feel for idioms, but I wouldn't spend a surfeit of time reading when more reassuring results can be obtained from practising tests and questions. Moving on, analogies were the bane of my existence!!! I'm glad they're getting the shaft. The best prep beyond the obvious sentence formation is to recognize precise formats of these sentences. For example, memorize the list of common analogies in Barron's and know that synonymn variants are of the form "____ exhibits _____", etc. And always pick the most specific relationship that still expresses the original meaning. Finally, I despised critical reading. My first grade teacher told my mom I had "no reading comprehension," so I really had to study for that section of the SAT. In answer to the classic debate, I like reading the passage first and getting the gist. Forget about doing the questions with line numbers first and main ideas later...just go in order and be confident. Very important: before you do any questions, in a sentence summarize the main point (the "what", the aspect being considered, and the opinion on the aspect). Read the blurb to find out the source, and from that, make a prediction for the tone or message of the passage (for example, if it's written by a scientist, then it is probably pragmatic and reinforced with scientific facts). This is really great for dual passage, in which almost always you have to compare styles or tones. Then answer every question keeping the main idea you jotted down in mind. I found that I could usually eliminate choices down to 2 and then got stuck, but when I asked which one most clearly and precisely supports the main point, I got all the questions right.

    Well, that's my wisdom. Hope it helps everyone who is worried about verbal. I know that it kept me from sleep for 2 months.
  • amnesiaamnesia Registered User Posts: 2,153 Senior Member
    So you got a 1600? hot man, real hot. I wish I could get that... was it your first try?

    I have done a ton of Princeton Review already, but I found some of the math REALLY tricky on the SAT in October... trickier than I had planned.

    Did you read the passage first, and then answer the questions?
  • matheholicmatheholic Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    Yup, first try!

    Yes, definitely passage first. The blurb can also be VERY helpful. Getting the impression and main idea is the most important thing ever; just to a quick jot of tone and thesis.
  • amnesiaamnesia Registered User Posts: 2,153 Senior Member
    I guess it is like playing Doom or Counter Strike? The more practice, the easier it gets. Even when the competition changes and the player's tactics... as long as you are good, you can nail 'em in a death match.

    1600 first try... wow... that would make my day more than anything at this point.

    I was told my Princeton Review to go straight to the questions and refer to the lines. 580 on verbal is NOT what an Ivy wants.
  • SalikSyedSalikSyed Registered User Posts: 727 Member
    yeah only counterstrike is fun and SAT I verbal studying is uber fun.... lol ...

    any one know how to go from 700 --> 750+ in 2 weeks?

    i got that 800 m now i need a good verbal ( igot 620 oct9. but i HELLA CHOKED i can 700 every practice test ****?! i mention this all the time to get it off my chest plus 620 is embarassing... :( )
  • amnesiaamnesia Registered User Posts: 2,153 Senior Member
    620 embarrassing? I'm at a 580!
  • IlovepokerIlovepoker Registered User Posts: 192 Junior Member
    Even when I was 12 I was scoring in the high 6's and my last score was a 770. I don't think it's because I'm smarter than anyone else, it's just that I've always been an avid reader. Look, SAT verbal is definitely harder to improve on than SAT math. I truly think the biggest thing is word knowledge. It's too late to vastly expand your vocabulary through reading so you basically have to cram. Try to learn 20 new words every night (Barron's has some good lists) and keep building on those. In other words the next night you review your 20 and learn a new 20. If you're good at memorization this is the best way to study for the SAT. Also be careful to understand whether the word is a verb, noun, or adjective...otherwise you might get tripped up on the analogies. Reading comprehension I always found pretty simple, and I believe this is mainly because I was confident about it and didn't second-guess myself too much. My method was to read the passage at a relatively normal pace, then go through the questions one by one. Make sure you answer EXACTLY what the question is asking. Also, don't out-think yourself. You have to trust yourself on the reading comprehension and not get bogged down in uncertainty. Confidence is HUGE on the SAT verbal. In general, go with your first instinct and don't be afraid to take risks. This is english guys and we all speak english...you have to believe that breaking 700 is easily attainable.
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