Read an Excerpt
The New 3 R's: Reading, Writing, and Reasoning
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR VERBAL REVIEW
Whats all the buzz about the SAT Reasoning Test? For starters, the Analogies Section has been dropped, while short reading passages and a student-produced essay have been added. To be sure, the test has changed significantly. We know that the verbal part of the test looms as one of the most difficult and challenging parts of the entire college admissions process. If that includes you, this book will ease your mind.
With the coming of every year, a new crop of students prepares for the SAT. In bookstores, online, and in libraries, they face an untold number of SAT preparation books, with each one claiming to offer new, unbeatable strategies or to have somehow solved the SAT. Strategies can be vital test tools but they are not infallible guides. The SAT is not a mystery that needs to be cracked open but rather a known quantity that needs to be mastered.
The fact is, there are no instant answers or pat solutions when it comes to taking the new SAT.
Thats where this book comes in. Think of it as your personal Verbal tutor for the SAT. It is intended to aid you significantly in preparing for the Writing and Critical Reading sections of the new SAT. By studying with this book, you will learn how to work through SAT questions by applying simple, systematic rules to enable you to reach the right answers.
The practice questions you will find inside this book have been thoughtfully patterned after the actual SAT. Each answer is fully explained to provide you with a greater understanding of what the SAT expects from you.
Youll find this book to be perfect for self-guided study. Open it up anywhere and any time you are free to answer even just one question-on the bus, waiting in line in the cafeteria, or even between classes. The more you work at it, the more your skills will improve.
Understanding the SAT: Question Types
As you proceed through this book, you will learn and identify types of questions that appear on the two verbal sections of the SAT Reasoning Test. Part I reviews the Writing Section. Part II covers the Critical Reading section.
Each part begins with a review that briefly explains the strategies you should use in attacking the different question types. These reviews are followed by questions and their answers, which illustrate the points made over the course of the review material. All questions that follow the review material are representative of the questions on the actual SAT and will prove to be an excellent source of practice in studying for the exam.
Be sure to spend extra time on the question types that pose the most difficulty to you.
1. Locate the question type you are looking for by referring to the Contents in the front of this book.
2. Refer to the review material pertaining to the question type. You should become acquainted with the material discussed there.
3. Review the questions following the review material, in the order given. As in the actual SAT, the questions are arranged in order of complexity, from the simplest to the more difficult.
4. To learn and understand a question type, it will generally be necessary for students to review a question several times. Repeated review is essential to gain experience in recognizing how to answer the different question types.
To Find a Particular Problem
To locate one or more problems related to a particular question type, refer to the index. In using the index be certain to note that the numbers given there refer to question numbers, not to page numbers. This arrangement of the index is intended to facilitate finding a question more rapidly, since two or more questions may appear on a page.
If a particular question type cannot be found, refer to the Contents in the front pages, and then turn to the part that is applicable to the question being sought. By scanning or glancing at the material that is boxed, it will generally be possible to find questions related to the one being sought, without wasting considerable time. After the questions have been located, the explanations can be reviewed and studied in detail. For locating questions rapidly, acquaint yourself with the organization of the book as found in the Contents.
THE NEW SAT: WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
The introduction of the New SAT in March 2005 stands as one of the most publicized events in college-admission testing. By now you may have seen or heard any number of talking heads on television and radio, or perhaps you read some of the countless articles in newspapers or webzines. A lot of people seem to have a lot to say about the SAT. Millions have taken the SAT and millions more will do so in the future, but right now you care about the SAT only at the point where it intersects with you. So lets get down to business.
The New SAT notably differs from its previous version in that ETS has added a third component, the all-new Writing section. Whether you consider yourself a good writer or not, theres no time like the present to learn to do it better. By adding this section, ETS is really doing you a big favor! If youre not getting your message across now, just picture how much worse it will be down the line when you lose a promotion at work to someone who can!
Each of the three test sections is scored using a 200-800 scale, making 2400 the highest score possible. You will also receive subscores on the multiple-choice and Essay portions of the Writing section. The total testing time is 3 hours and 45 minutes.
The Essay section asks you to take a position on an issue and support it with examples from your studies and experience. The question is designed to be open-ended so you can successfully write your Essay in many different ways. You are not required to have any prior specific knowledge about the topic to write your Essay. The Writing section also includes multiple-choice questions that test your ability to identify errors in sentences, improve sentences, and improve paragraphs.
You are allotted 60 minutes to complete the Writing sections.
The Critical Reading (formerly known as Verbal) portions of the revised SAT still focus on vocabulary skills, though perhaps less obviously. Quite simply, a solid vocabulary remains a bedrock requirement for good across-the-board performance on the Critical Reading sections. Other questions test your ability to read at a strong pace while grasping a solid understanding of the material.
Analogies have been eliminated from the New SAT. The time allotted for these sections is 70 minutes.
The New FORMAT
Writing Sections: 60 minutes
In the Writing sections, you will answer multiple-choice questions that test your grammar and reasoning skills as well as write an essay similar to the type required on in-class college essay exams.
o Writing (35 minutes): 49 multiple-choice questions to measure your ability to identify sentence errors, improve sentences, and improve paragraphs.
o Student Essay (25 minutes): Write an essay that effectively communicates your viewpoint as well as defines and supports your position.
Critical Reading Sections: 70 minutes
There are two types of Critical Reading questions on the SAT:
o Reading Comprehension & Sentence Completion: 67 multiple-choice questions. Reading Comprehension questions follow four reading passages that test your reading comprehension and analysis skills. Sentence Completion questions require you to choose the word or words that best fit the meaning of each sentence provided.
The following summarizes the format of the Writing and Critical Reading sections of the SAT.
SECTION: Writing (brand new section)
CONTENT: Grammar usage, and word choice
ITEM TYPE: Student-written essay and multiple-choice questions
TIME: 60 min total: 25 min. for the student-written short essage and 35 min. for multiple-choice questions
SCORE: 200-800. The essay will be graded on a six-point scale similar to the old SAT II Writing Subjec Test grading system.
SECTION: Critical Reading (formerly called Verbal)
CONTENT: Critical reading adn sentence-level reading
ITEM TYPE: Sentence completions; reading comprehension: includes a new short passages section in additino to the traditional paragraph-length long passages.
TIME: 70 min total (previously 75 min.): 25-min. sections and one 20-min. section.
ABOUT THE TEST
Who takes the SAT? What is it used for?
Juniors and seniors in high school are the ones most likely to take the SAT. College admissions personnel use your test results as a way to decide if you can be accepted to their school. Because high schools across the nation have a variety of grading systems, the SAT score is designed to put all students on an equal footing. Your SAT score, along with your grades and other school information, helps colleges predict how well you will do at the college level.
If you score poorly on the SAT, it does not mean you should change your plans about going to college. Nor does it mean you will not do well in college. It just means you scored low. Should this happen, remember that you have options:
First, you can register to take the SAT again. Use the time before the next SAT administration to prepare as best you can.
Second, a poor score does not automatically shut the door to all colleges. College admissions officers use several criteria when reviewing applicants including your high school grades, your extracurricular activities, and the levels of your courses in high school.
Who administers the test?
ETS, a client of the College Board, which owns the SAT, develops and scores the test and currently administers it with the assistance of educators across the United States.
When is it best to take the SAT?
You should take the test as a junior or senior in high school. We recommend taking the SAT early in the school year. This allows you more time to retake the test if you are not satisfied with your first set of scores.
When and where do I take the SAT?
The SAT is normally offered seven times a year nationwide. The test can be taken at hundreds of locations throughout the country, including high schools. The standard test day is normally on Saturday, but alternate days are permitted if a conflict-such as a religious obligation-exists.
For information on upcoming SAT testing dates, see your guidance counselor for an SAT Registration Bulletin or request a registration bulletin from ETS as follows:
Educational Testing Service Rosedale RoadPrinceton, NJ 08541phone: (609) 921-9000 | e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ets.org
What about the registration fee?
You must pay a fee to register for the SAT. Some students may qualify to have this fee waived.
To find out if you qualify for a fee waiver, contact your guidance counselor.
What is the Student Search Service?
The Student Search Service provides your SAT scores to colleges. Colleges enrolled in this service receive information about you, especially if you express interest in their school. On your SAT answer sheet, you can indicate that you want enrollment in this service.
After the test
Once your test materials have been collected, you will be dismissed. Then your day is free. Go home and relax. Or reward yourself with some shopping. Or play a video game. Or hang with friends. The good news is that the hard part is over. Now you just have to wait for the results.