Multiple Choice Writing Tips—Subject-Verb Agreement

Don't get distracted! You could misses a subject-verb agreement error!

Don’t get distracted! You could misses a subject-verb agreement error!

Many people finds that subject-verb agreement errors is easy to spot. They makes our sentences sounds weird. So how can the SAT get away with quizzing you over subject-verb agreement? By distracting you!

One of the easiest ways for the SAT to trick students into not noticing a lack of subject-verb agreement is to separate the subject and the verb enough to where we don’t immediately pick up on the error. Consider the following example:

The population of American alligators, (A)dangerously small a few years ago, (B)are (C)now estimated at (D)more than one million. (E)No error Continue reading “Multiple Choice Writing Tips—Subject-Verb Agreement” »

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SAT Vocabulary—Ephemeral

This Week’s Word: Ephemeral
/ɪˈfɛm ər əl/    [ih-fem-er-uh l]
adj.

Ephemeral describes something short-lived or something that lasts for only a day.

Squirrel Corn is a spring ephemeral, a plant that grows and blooms in early spring and lies dormant for the rest of the year.

Squirrel Corn is a spring ephemeral, a plant that grows and blooms in early spring and lies dormant for the rest of the year.

Synonyms: Fleeting, evanescent, transitory

Word History: The term ephemera was adopted into 14th century English from Latin as a medical term, describing a fever or ailment that lasted only a day. The Latin traces even further back to the Greek ephḗmeros, meaning of/for/during the day. Now the noun ephemeron (pl. ephemera), denoting something short-lived or meant for limited use, is less common than the adjective ephemeral. However, the form of the word with the -al suffix can also be used as a noun to denote something that lives for a day or a short while, such as a flower or insect.

Sample 1: Some argue that pop culture in the age of the internet is much more ephemeral than it was when the television reigned supreme; the “information superhighway” has sped our access to new ideas up so much that widespread fads, jokes, and even debates last only a short while before being replaced by the next big thing.

Sample 2: At the end of the movie, Roxie learns that the public’s macabre interest in her crime was entirely ephemeral, fading immediately after her acquittal.

Sample 3: Yuki saves tickets, postcards, notes, and other ephemera for her scrapbook.

 

 

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SAT Math Example Problem: Factoring and Quadratic Equations

SAT Math Example Problem 1

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SAT Vocabulary – Indolent

This Week’s Word: Indolent [in-dl-uh nt] adjective

Bouguereau-Rest_at_harvest(1865)

“Rest at Harvest (1865)” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Indolent means having or showing a disposition to avoid exertion; to be lazy. In medicine, indolent refers to something that causes little or no pain, or is relatively benign.

Synonyms: Languid, Slothful, and Lethargic.

Etymology: “Indolent” comes from the Late Latin indolentem, which means “painless.” The sense of “easy living” comes from the French indolent.

Sample 1: “I like the word ‘indolence.’ It makes my laziness seem classy.” -Bernard Williams

Sample 2: “We do not know today whether we are busy or idle. In times when we thought ourselves indolent, we have afterwards discovered, that much was accomplished, and much was begun in us.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Indolent is part of your Test Masters SAT & PSAT Vocabulary list. Students have either been tested on this word during past SAT/PSAT exams, or it has a very high chance of appearing on an exam in the near future.

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Miss the last SAT vocabulary word? Check it out here!

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June SAT/ACT Registration Deadline Approaching!

Sharpen your pencils! The SAT is right around the corner!

Plan on taking the June 6th SAT or SAT Subject Tests? Or the June 13th ACT? Don’t forget to REGISTER!

The registration deadline for next month’s tests is MAY 8th—that’s THIS FRIDAY, folks! If you don’t want to pay any late fees*, head on over to the College Board’s website to register for the SAT or the ACT’s website  to register for the ACT.

Remember, you cannot take SAT Subject tests and the regular SAT on the same day, and your next chance to take either the SAT or Subject Tests won’t be until October, so be sure to plan your testing calendar accordingly—since it’s the end of the year, this June 6th administration is a great time to fit in any Subject Tests for courses you’re just now finishing up!

And you have a whole month, so don’t forget to prepare with Test Masters!

*SAT Late registration ends May 27, 2015.
ACT Late registration ends May 22, 2015.

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Building a Resume over the Summer, Part 1: Jobs!

You might find that moderately priced soaps are your calling!

You might find that moderately priced soaps are your calling!

Summer is just around the corner, and, if you don’t already have a summer packed with camps, volunteering, and summer school—or even if you do—it’s time to think about getting a summer job.

Yes, as you make the transition into “adulthood,” carefree summer days will unfortunately start becoming filled with that awful “R” word—responsibilities (*shiver*). But if you want your resume to be competitive, you’ll need to show colleges that you took initiative even when school wasn’t in session. Besides, summer jobs aren’t all that bad! You can make new friends, gain new skills, and, if you’re like me, acquire new stories about the crazy people you encounter that you can tell later in college. And you’ll be more financially independent than your friends who didn’t get summer jobs! But what kind of summer employment is best for you? Continue reading “Building a Resume over the Summer, Part 1: Jobs!” »

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College Compass Welcomes New Writer, Katherine

College Compass is very happy to welcome new writer Katherine! Katherine graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology and Plan II Honors from the University of Texas. She earned a 2350 on the SAT in 2008 and has earned perfect scores in both the Math and Writing sections (if only she could read!). She absolutely loves helping people reach their potential, finding new books, and exploring the outdoors when her Netflix schedule allows it. She will be starting a graduate program in primatology in the fall. Katherine is a former Test Masters student and current Test Masters Math instructor. Be sure to keep an eye out for her awesome SAT and ACT Math example problems and solutions!

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If you guys have any questions for Katherine, be sure to Ask Test Masters!

 

 

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SAT Vocabulary—Ribald

This Week’s Word: Ribald
/ˈrɪb əld/    [rib-uh ld]
adj.

Ribald describes particularly lewd speech or humor. Something that is ribald may be irreverent or vulgar to the point of being abusive.

Synonyms: indecent, obscene, scurrilous

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen  is quite well-known for his willingness to play the most ribald characters to the extreme.

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen is quite well-known for his willingness to play the most ribald characters to the extreme.

Origin: While ribald is most often used as an adjective, it can also denote one who engages in licentious behavior; both uses of the word came into Middle English by way of the Old French ribaud/ribauld, from the Frankish riben, which literally means “to rub” but has various other meanings that you can probably guess. This is cognate of the Old High German riban, which also has some colorful connotations.

Sample 1: Mercutio’s ribald behavior was meant to amuse the groundlings, Shakespeare’s low-class audience members.

Sample 2: At first, Mrs. Fletcher thought Mr. Herring might have murdered his daughter-in-law, whose reputation for being anywhere from inappropriate to downright ribald at business meetings had cost his firm business on many occasions.

Ribald is part of your Test Masters SAT & PSAT Vocabulary list. Students have either been tested on this word during past SAT/PSAT exams, or it has a very high chance of appearing on an exam in the near future.

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Have a question? Ask the experts at Test Masters!

 

 

Miss the last SAT vocabulary word? Check it out here!

Interested in SAT Sample Questions? Check them out here!

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SAT Vocabulary—Histrionic

Actresses playing Lady MacBeth may find it hard not to be overly dramatic given the histrionic nature of the character.

Actresses playing Lady Macbeth may find it hard not to over-act, given the histrionic nature of the character.

This Week’s Word: Histrionic
/ˌhɪs triˈɒn ɪk/    [his-tree-on-ik]
adj.

Originally a noun used to identify an actor, histrionic is now most often used to describe overly dramatic behavior. It can also be used in a broader sense to describe something relating to actors/acting.

Synonyms: melodramatic, theatrical

Word Facts: Derived from the Latin histrio, later histrionicus, meaning “actor,” the word was adopted into the English language in the middle seventeenth century (just after Shakespeare’s day, otherwise I’m sure he would have used it). It is antiquated to use the word as a noun in substitution of the word “actor”; however, the noun histrionics can now be used to refer to overly dramatic displays of emotion. Continue reading “SAT Vocabulary—Histrionic” »

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College Profile: Austin College

One of the oldest schools in Texas.

One of the oldest schools in Texas.

The college search is nothing if not daunting, and with many universities it’s clear even in the application process that you will be integrated into their system merely as a number. For some, the big, state school model is ideal; after four years of the quintessential college experience—cheering at football games, switching majors, pulling all-nighters, joining an intermural sports team, etc.—you’ll get a degree that employers will probably pretty readily know the value of (for better or for worse).

But for those of us looking for something a little different, it can be hard to find those little hidden gems of schools tucked away in the most unassuming towns in the country. A while ago, we posted a blog about one such school, Ohio Northern Univeristy, and now, we’ve decided to keep shining the spotlight on some of those small schools for our savvy College Compass readers. Today’s university of choice is Austin College, the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of Texas still operating under its original name and charter. Continue reading “College Profile: Austin College” »

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