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800 Verbal- Study Tips

pakiman87pakiman87 - Posts: 28 New Member
edited September 2006 in SAT Preparation
you 800 verbals or close, how did u study? Seriously. No jokes. Did u use a specific book, read widely, or use another technique. Pass on the knowledge.
Post edited by pakiman87 on

Replies to: 800 Verbal- Study Tips

  • zantedeschiazantedeschia Registered User Posts: 7,841 Senior Member
    I took a princeton review course, and the tips they had were very helpful. Like, don't read the critical reading passage, fill in your own answers for sentence completion, bridges for analogies, etc. I also used some verbal workbooks from Barrons and Kaplan. Reading is good too, especially good newspapers.
  • jewcrewandjoshjewcrewandjosh Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    It depends on what your strengths and weaknesses are. I've pretty much never missed a critical reading question, so I just studied vocabulary lists for the analogies and sentence completion. You should probably take a practice test and see what you need to work on - usually any problems with analogies and sentence completion come from not knowing the definition of a word, not the inability to actually do the analogy.
  • tealteal Registered User Posts: 875 Member
    Here's a tip i heard: before the test, read the newspaper or something so that you can warm up; and that you're not warming up during the test
  • mag00mag00 Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
    I think we need to get some more tips in here, so I can at least get 700v... (1500 if I could ^_^). 70 points sound possible to me... maybe I'll read some of the AP english books early (think every book on the list that they tell you to pick expamples from for AP english).
  • scherzo123scherzo123 Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
    mag00- i have the same problem. I know i can get an 800 math (with a little study) and my verbal is a 690- 10 more points and an 800, and that will be a good score just about anywhere... i will buy some books and study!
  • pakiman87pakiman87 - Posts: 28 New Member
    keep it coming! don't hold back! if somebody gives a tip, anything useful, it won't hurt them a bit and it will benefit many! DON"T VIEW THIS POST, SAY SOMETHING
  • tokenadulttokenadult Registered User Posts: 17,471
    pakiman87 asked, "you 800 verbals or close, how did u study? Seriously. No jokes. Did u use a specific book, read widely, or use another technique."

    I got a (recentered) 800 verbal on the SAT back in the 1970s, after a one-year grade skip, so I was sixteen when I took the test. That was back when nobody in my region of the country did prep courses and nobody took the test more than once. All I did to prepare was READ, READ, READ, and READ in any kind of book that I found interesting. I also read various magazines. We didn't have video game consoles in those days, or computer games, and boys had to amuse themselves by reading if they were interested in the things you can read about in books. Just read. Read what you find interesting. Read a variety of printed matter on a variety of subjects. It worked for me. I think it will work for my children too--they are avid readers, and the oldest has already taken an SAT I for a seventh-grade academic talent search that turned in a pretty good verbal score (even though we lived in a non-English-speaking coutntry for three years when he was elementary school age). The SAT I verbal test is a test of reading (English). Practice reading, and you'll get to be better on the test.
  • ramakongramakong Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    Here is a tip that works to help you with the analogy section. Instead of looking for a relationship between the words like they tell you to do in the directions..just make up a sentence that defines the first word. You just need to make sure the second word is in your definition (usually the last word). The technique will work for every analogy..they all all definitions.

    If the first word is a noun, then start your defining sentence: ___is a thing that.....
    or _____is a person who.....
    If the first word is a verb, then start your defining sentence: to ____means to......
    If the first word is an adjective then your sentence will be:
    _________ means with or without _______ (the second word)

    If you don't know the words, you can still get the sentence. For example, lets say the analogy is : UNBLIP : BINK You don't know either of those words since I just made them up. Look at the answer choices to see what part of speech UNBLIP is. If it's an adjective, then your defining sentence would be UNBLIP means without BINK.

    On the last test: SANQUINE: OPTIMISM ...same thing
    Just remember..the test makers are all about dictionary definitions when they write the analogy section.
  • haosquaredhaosquared Registered User Posts: 1,292 Senior Member
    It's so trite but it really works. Memorize vocab words. Practice skimming articles. I know a lot of people favor not reading the passage, but I think reading it actually helps because then you can place the all the questions in a context.
  • feulerfeuler Registered User Posts: 278 Junior Member
    It's all about mindset. I don't mean during the test, I mean in life. Whenever you read something, whether a novel, history textbook, or newspaper, get into the mindset of reading it CLOSELY. Look up any words you don't know, try to understand the mechanics of how it's written, etc. If you do this throughout your life, you will build up the skills necessary for critical reading, a side product of which will be a good verbal SAT score.

    As for specific SAT stuff, as much as I hate the concept of memorization, it helps. And, to be fair, it is helpful to do anyway; it can save you trips to the dictionary when reading for English class or whatever. www.number2.com has a pretty good free vocab studying system, and I found Kaplan's "Vocabulary flip-o-matic" a good way to learn words. Whatever works.

    Also, make sure you know the test. Do a practice test or two, and review it THOROUGHLY, so you see the little tricks and idiosyncrasies of the test and nothing catches you off guard on game day. You should not have to wonder "what answer to THEY want?" on the test day, because you should already have a grasp for the kinds of answers they are looking for.

    I got a 790 if it matters.
  • bayarea24bayarea24 Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    I got an 800 verbal...no studying either. The only tip I have is read the critical analyses; I could not answer the questions effectively without doing so. Also, studying vocab is probably essential. I got lucky on htis, I ddint study but I luckily knew all the words so it was ok.

    On the other hand I only got 610 on the math, so maybe they gave me some free points on the verbal....take everything i say wiht a grain of salt
  • raven001raven001 Registered User Posts: 877 Member
    790 Verbal here... I used Princeton Review's WORD SMART on CD (listened to it in the car while driving places). It helped quite a bit.. highly recommended!
  • slipstream99slipstream99 Registered User Posts: 1,930 Senior Member
    Used the Sparknotes wordlist. What's important is that you find a word list that is on your level. For example, my friend took the $800 PR review course and she brought over her vocab book. I looked through it and realized that of those 500 or whatever words, I probably didn't know about 4 or 5. With the Sparknotes list I went through and covered up the definitions and tried to define each word out loud. If I was way off or had no idea, I highlighted that word and studied that. In the end, then, I only had about 25-30 words to learn and in the meantime I refreshed all the words that I had somewhere in the back of my mind.

    For critical reading, I don't think there's any really good "prep" material. My advice if you're taking the SAT soon is to just go into the test confident about it and try to spend 10 seconds or so after you read the passage to tease out the main point. I found that doing that helps me a lot on the broader questions.

    Good luck.

    Btw, I also got 790v.
  • obilisk18obilisk18 Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    I have a 770 at the moment but I think I managed an 800 on the Oct one (stupid collegeboard). Basically, all I've ever done to prepare was read and look over techniques. I've probably read close to 2000 books in my lifetime, and when it came time to take the SAT's, I was pretty prepared for the verbal section. Personally, I dislike Princeton Review's technique for the critical reading. I think reading the passages is the safest and best way. (I tried Princeton review's way on my second testing and I wound up with a 710...6 wrong on critical reading). Just blaze through the analogies and sentence completions, and you'll have time to thoroughly read each passage. I generally spend 5-7 minutes just reading critical reading passages in each section. In my opinion, sentence completions are complete jokes if you have even a modest vocabulary. First of all, the answers are right in the sentence. The clues are so obvious they could bludgeon you. In the double word blanks, just look for words within the sentence that signal that the two words should be opposite, or the same (in this way it's very similar to analogies, except they essentially give you the answer with the clues). For the single word blanks, just look for words that signify that the word in the blank should be positive or negative etc. Then fill the blank in with a word you think would fit. Then look at the choices. Right off the bat you should find at least a few words that you know don't fit. You'll usually be left with 2 choices that are possibilites and from there, even if you don't know what either word means, you have a good chance of getting it right by guessing. On the analogies it's all in the bridge. Create a strong bridge, and you can walk anywhere. Once you have your bridge, you should be able to eliminate choices that fall into the following categories: 1. On hard questions, eliminate any choices that remind you of the question. 2. If you see two choices that have identical relationships, you can usually eliminate both. 3. Eliminate choices where the two parts of the analogy have no relation to each other. Now following these guidelines for analogies is a little tougher if you don't have a solid vocabulary. So to improve your general vocabulary, I'd read. Not only does it improve your vocab, but it improves your reading level. Memorizing really only helps you significantly on the analogies (which are only about 1/3 of the verbal section) since sentence completions can be answered correctly even with a modest vocabularly. Reading improves your ability in all three sections. Here are some suggested readings: 1. 1984 2. A Brave New World 3. Catch 22 4. Walden. You might also want to try reading sections of the Federalist Papers as they are chock full of good stuff. I had to read all of the papers last year, and felt that my vocabulary had noticeably improved as well as my general comprehension level. Anything by Faulkner is excellent as well. Hope this helps.
  • FlyingPennyFlyingPenny Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    really helpful posts above!
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