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Silverturtle's Guide to SAT and Admissions Success


Replies to: Silverturtle's Guide to SAT and Admissions Success

  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    yvonne416 wrote:
    Hi Silverturtle,
    My friend recommended your guide and told me that it helped her scored 2360

    I would like to know is it possible to raise my critical reading score from 540 to 750 in 4 months?
    If so, what would be the best way to prepare for it?
    Is it better to read a lot or practice CR a lot or both in 4 months?

    Thank You!

    ps. I memorized 2400 vocabs and managed to get only one wrong in sentence completion. I just need a lot of help in long passages

    Well, it’s already been more than four months, so I’m afraid you’ll have to tell us how it went. It’s certainly possible to improve the Critical Reading score substantially once you master the strategies I alluded to a few posts back. It’s a section that requires great effort to prepare for and improve, but significant improvement is within reach for the student who indeed exerts that effort.

    Reading a lot, especially with a skeptical, analytical attitude, is a helpful habit for doing well on the Critical reading section. The most efficient practice, however, is to simply dig in to some official practice tests.

    I hope you were able to improve your score.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    kristiuna wrote:
    Dear Silverturtle,

    I am usually making around 7-8 mistakes per section in Critical Reading.But today sat and with no time-restriction made only one mistake in 1 section.I think i needed around 40 minutes or more.
    I started practicing only one month.

    Is it a good strategy to spend such a great deal of time and focus on performance or not?
    If yes,when do you think is appropriate to move on time restriction?

    If you have ample time before you must take the SAT, I would say to move to timed practice only when you believe you’ve maxed out your ability to slowly answer the questions. If you have less time, you’ll need to work on speed sooner than that, but you should still dedicate one to two months of preparation to exclusively untimed work for question mastery.

    In order to get the benefits of both styles of preparation, make sure that even when you time yourself, once time is up, go back and slowly answer any questions you think you missed before you check the answers.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    Opinion559 wrote:

    Everyone on CC are talking about this book "Rocket Review Revolution" as the ultimate for SAT Prep. Do you recommend this? It is over $150 on amazon! Is it still being published?

    I haven’t used it. Others on CC who have I’m sure can give you their opinions. $150 is obviously excessive, though.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    UChalpz1 wrote:
    I have a question on #7 of the improving sentence section.

    7. To persuade his parents to let him study abroad, Kenneth described other students' positive experiences, [explains how foreign study would benefit his future career, and assured] them that he could get financial aid.

    (A) No change
    (B) explained how foreign study would benefit his future career, and assured
    (C) explaining how foreign study is beneficial to his future career, and assures
    (D) he explained how foreign study would benefit his future career, and assuring
    (E) in explaining how foreign study would benefit his future career, and he assures

    The answer is B but if i were to plug it in it would sound really weird...

    The sentence is merely three independent clauses whose verbs are in a list. Kenneth described, explained, and assured. When the verbs are listed as such, each one must be parallel. In this case that manifests as each being in the simple past tense.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    fatherofm wrote:
    my daughter has 2380 in SAT 1 and 800 in math 2 and hoping to get atleast 760 in Litt in October. Her GPA is 3.5 and she has 2 C's , one in Freshman year and one in her Sophomore year. We are looking at bottom 10 of the top 20 schools. Vanderbilt is the one we are seriously considering. Duke and U of Chicago are other choices. Pre-med is what she wants to do. Should we look at Ivies? Having been an active CC observer I think with Low GPA and High SAT Vanderbilt will be a good choice for her. Please HELP>

    If she is a senior, she’ll have already received her results, in which case I hope she was accepted somewhere she thinks she’ll enjoy.

    In deciding where to apply, you seem to be focusing a bit much on where her application would be accepted rather than where she would like to go. Her scores are obviously phenomenal, and the GPA is good enough for almost any school, considering that it is the product of an upward grade trend. (Freshman and sophomore years, especially the former, are less important.) I don’t know the rest of her application, such as the vital element of her extracurricular contributions, but from what you’ve provided she would be a competitive applicant anywhere.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    GaleSkylex wrote:
    23. The number of travelers which reached the Americas, by accident or design, well before Columbus is enormous, if we are to believe every claim. No error

    I still don't get this one. I know which or that have to be used for objects and who is used for people, but shouldn't which/that be correct over who since a "number" is an object?

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    “Which” should be changed to “who.” Your thinking that “which” and “that” modify objects rather than people (for whom “who” is used) is correct. Note, however, that it is not –- to be precise -- the travelers’ number that reached the Americas (this is merely a retrospective conceptualization of individuals as a single unit) but instead the travelers themselves.

    The adjectival clause “which reached the Americas” modifies “travelers,” not “The number of travelers,” so we should write “who reached the Americas.”
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    @Silverturtle May I ask where you ended up going to college? Just curious where a 2400'er (yes, I just made that a noun) chooses to go to college.

    I chose to attend Brown but went on leave during my first semester. I may enter Columbia this fall as a member of the Class of 2017. Those who’ve scored extremely well on the SAT and/or ACT don’t really travel in clustered flocks to colleges, among those I know. They are of course most prevalent at the most selective colleges.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    Reckie wrote:
    Your box is full and I can't get chanced! :L

    Sorry about that. I have addressed relatively few of my PM’s over the last months and have almost completely disregarded the many requests for my self-chancing tool. I still have the updated version ready to share, if people continue to hold interest. It’ll probably be available for download online sometime soon. I’ll post about it in this thread.

    My inbox should be ready to take new PM’s now.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    AdiMur wrote:
    @Silverturtle (or anyone else) do you have any tips for a high school senior, who wants to go to med school, who's checking out colleges? Such as what factors to consider? Any ones that you recommend?

    Pre-med school selection need not, in my recommendation, differ much from that for any other interest. Colleges with particularly collaborative student bodies, smaller classes, and attentive professors will make the road to medical school more pleasant.

    Above all, though, whether you get into medical school will be dependent almost entirely on your GPA, MCAT score, and extracurricular involvement. You can achieve favorable credentials along those dimensions no matter where you attend. Colleges with many pre-medical advising resources and research availability may help you gain access to more interesting extracurricular opportunities; very challenging curricula will ready you for the MCAT better; and colleges with grade inflation will help out your GPA.

    I hope you have found an undergraduate college you like, where you can prepare to be a doctor without too much stress.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    MuffinFTW wrote:
    Any update on the book's progress?

    The content of the book has largely been done for some time. (I finished up most of my contributions about two years ago.) Various sources of busyness on my and my co-author’s parts have stalled things over time, though. I still hope to get the finished product out as soon as possible. I think it’s a fine work that could help a wide group of students. I will post updates on the project here as they are warranted. Thanks for asking.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    PandaManda wrote:
    Hey Silver! Do you think the best time to take the SAT is in Dec. or Jan.?

    No test date is intrinsically superior for a high score over the others, because of well-designed curve normalization procedures. In general, I’d say take the SAT when you feel you’ve prepared to near your potential or you’ve lost the fire to dedicate productive effort into preparing. May sure you take it at least once before you finish junior year. If one is already a senior, take it in December, as colleges don’t universally accept late January results.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    SuperbBast wrote:
    I just read one of your explanations for a question silver turtle. I saw how I just memorized basic grammatical patterns and structures without delving deep enough into them.

    The ACT/SAT is literally testing the same concept every time for grammar, and you have to follow the basic rules 100% as they exist. My ACT English sub scores were 17/18 for Grammar and much lower for Rhetoric (I still managed a 30).

    What would be the best way to improve my rhetorical questions so I can improve my score? Is it likely that there were patterns between them that I may have not realized?!

    Rhetorical questions are principle-driven, similar to the Improving Sentences questions on the SAT Writing section. First rule out any choices that contain ungrammaticality of the technical sort. Then favor clarity and precision of meaning, for which context must be considered. Among any remaining choices conciseness ought to distinguish.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    Thanks Silverturtle for the amazing guide! I have a quick question. You say that being an international adversely affects one's chances, listing examples of China, India, UK. I'm from Australia and I'm wondering if that applies to me too?

    To my knowledge Australia is not among the more salient countries whose US applicant competition is most brutal. That knowledge is limited, though. Your most telling option is to learn what the history of applicants from your school or region is; compare those applicants’ profiles and results to your application to see what you ought to expect. Best of luck.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    This question's over-analyzed, I thought, but in spite of it I got it wrong.

    What's the answer here?

    In (areas where deer roam freely), residents must dress to protect themselves against deer ticks that might transmit diseases.

    A) areas where deer roam freely
    B) areas roamed by deer freely
    C) areas, freely roamed by deer
    D) areas, in which there are deer that roam freely
    E) areas which deer roam free

    What is the answer and why are the rest of the answers wrong? Explanations? Gracias.

    Choice (A) uses an adjectival clause to modify “areas”: “where deer roam freely.” “Where” is an acceptable relative pronoun in this context because it links to a location.

    Choice (B) also employs modification of “areas” but using a participial phrase: “roamed by deer freely.” This is also an acceptable way to describe “areas.” The problem with (B) is that “roamed” is in the past tense, which is not logically parallel with the use of the present tense in the independent clause. The sentence means to indicate that deer continue to roam freely.

    Choice (C)’s modification flavor is incorrect. “Freely roamed by deer” is also a participial phrase as in (B), but the comma after “areas” renders the phrase a non-restrictive (also called “non-essential) modifier. This indicates that “freely roamed by deer” intends merely to describe “areas” rather than specify to which particular areas we are referring. Logically, we intend to restrict the infinite potentialities of areas down to only those areas where there are free-roaming deer. Choice (C), like choice (B), also incorrectly uses the past tense.

    Choice (D) uses an adjectival clause to modify “areas.” So did choice (A) with the substitution of “in which” for “where,” which is fine. However, the comma after “areas” repeats the aforementioned problem from choice (C): The modification should be restrictive, which cannot be achieved when the modifier is separated by a comma.

    Choice (E) is wrong because “free” should be “freely”; adverbs, not adjectives, modify verbs. Here “freely” modifies the verb “roam.”

    Choice (A) is the only correct option.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    DadinConn wrote:
    Silverturtle please advise. Two of my children need advice in studying for the SAT. My daughter is in 10th grade and son is in 8th grade. Both children were born in October and could of been held back a year (should of?). Mastery of public school material gives older daughter some challenges more then my son. Daughter has taken PSAT with not the greatest results. My oldest child, daughter didn't make time to really study for SAT. She is a senior now and took the SAT twice, May in junior year, 1,980 or so and September senior year 2,190. She had the self study Princeton review book and I don't think it was used intensively. My senior was very busy with clubs and year round athletics.

    I want to take corrective action with my younger children and you seem to be the expert. Can you recommend a direction for me to pursue so my children can learn the necessary skills to test well?

    Thank you.

    2190 is a very good score, and you and your daughter should be proud. That score alone wouldn’t have made her uncompetitive for even the most selective colleges. I hope her admissions results included at least one school she likes.

    For your children who haven’t taken the SAT yet, my preparation advice is that which I generally give. In summary, I recommend focusing on slowly taking official practice tests in order to master the question types and reasoning methods, eventually practicing speed and efficiency by taking timed tests. This preparation can be augmented with supplemental knowledge acquisition, such as learning any math concepts with which a student is unfamiliar, reviewing some vocabulary lists if Sentence Completion questions pose a problem, and learning fundamental grammar (for which my guide in particular should be of use). You can read the rest in the original posts of this thread.

    If school distractions impinge upon SAT preparation to a stressful degree, preparing during the summer is helpful. Your tenth grader can prepare this summer and take the test sometime during her junior year. Your youngest can wait a couple years before thinking about the SAT; in the interim, he should focus on exerting himself in his classes, finding his extracurricular interests, and otherwise enriching his academic and social lives however he likes. Good luck to them.
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