Dr. Gary Gruber's Essential Guide to Test Taking for Kids: Grades 6 7 8 9

Dr. Gary Gruber's Essential Guide to Test Taking for Kids: Grades 6 7 8 9

by Gary Gruber, Maria D. Guarnaschelli

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These guides are intended to be used by parents for preparing their children to pass standardized tests with high scores. In each, Gruber demonstrates strategies for analyzing test questions that involve analogies, vocabulary, sentence completion, reading comprehension, writing ability, mathematics skills, and quantitative comparisons. The explanations are clear and the strategies helpful. Older students and adults also might find the suggestions useful in preparing for the SAT or GRE examinations. The questions and examples are the same in both books in the sections devoted to analogy, prefixes, roots and suffixes, and sentence completion. Both have lists of essential words with many words in common. The sections on reading comprehension, writing ability, and mathematics skills do have appropriate graded material. Libraries and schools would want both books. Shirley L. Hopkinson, Library & Information Science Div., California State Univ., San Jose

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.48(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


Analogies are used on many standardized tests, and many educators feel that analogies are the best indicators of "intelligence" and "aptitude." Analogies require students to think abstractly and analytically as opposed to working out problems in a rote fashion. Here is a simple example of an analogy:


(A) man : boy
(B) servant : master
(C) kitten cat
(D) actor director

The question asks the following: CHILD is related to ADULT in which way? The same way that (A) man is related to boy, (B) sertant is related to master, etc.

Analogy Strategy— Always Put Analogies on Sentence Form.

It is advisable to show your child the best way of attacking analogy questions before he or she learns the wrong method. It is very easy to be lured into a wrong but good-sounding answer to an analogy question. For instance, in the example just given, one might at first glance think that CHILD is comparable to boy, and ADULT to man, and so select Choice A, which is incorrect. Or, one might choose B, because the relation of a CHILD to an ADULT seems like that of a servant to a master. But Choice B is also wrong. And so on.

But there's a fail-safe way to answer analogies without being lured into the wrong choices: You put the analogy in the form of a sentence and then find the words in the choice that fit the same sentence form.

In solving Example 1, you would say, A CHILD grows up into anADULT. Now try each of the choices using the same sentence form:


(A) A man grows up into a boy. The truth is just the opposite. So go on to B.

(B) A servant grows up into a master. This isn't true either. Go on to C.

(C) A kitten grows up into a cat. This is true. But go to D to

make sure.

(D) An actor grows up into a director. This could be, but is not necessarily true.

So the only answer that fits is Choice C, which is the correct answer.

This sentence method is very powerful, and if your child uses it, he or she will never have trouble with analogies. The method will last him or her an academic lifetime, from grade school through graduate school.

Here's a more difficult example:


(A) glove : hand
(B) tie : shirt
(C) stocking : shoe
(D) thimble : finger

Note that if you do not use the sentence method just shown, you can easily be lured into any of the choices, since they all sound like they're associated with the analogy HELMET : HEAD. Therefore, the most exact sentence possible must be used, and then all the choices tried with the same sentence.

Here's a good sentence: A HELMET is worn over the HEAD. Now try the choices.

(A) A glove is worn over the hand. This sounds good.This

(B) A tie is worn over the shirt. This is too sounds good.

(C) A stocking is worn over the shoe. No. finger.

(D) A thimble is worn over the finger. Yes.

So which is the right choice? Since there is more than one choice that sounds good, we must modify the sentence to make it more exact What does a HELMET really do? It is not just worn over the head, it is used primarily to protect the head from a solid and perhaps sharp object. So we can say, A HELMET is worn over the HEAD to protect it from objects. Try the choices now.

(A) A glove is worn on the hand to protect the hand froma 6 71 objects. No a.

(B) A tie is worn on the shirt to protect the shirt from objects. No.

(D) A thimble is worn on the finger to protect the finger from objects. Yes!

So Choice D is correct.

Meet the Author

Gary R. Gruber, Ph.D., is recognized nationally as the leading expert on the SAT, test-taking methods, and critical thinking skills. His books on test taking and critical thinking skills have sold more than seven million copies.

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