# File - Score Improvement Team Mentors

```SAT Success
2013 - 2014
Objectives
• Understand the SAT
• Learn the techniques for getting your
best score
• Practice the techniques
Understanding the SAT
• Content
• Structure
• Scoring
Content
– Sentence Completions
– Passage Based Reasoning
• Math
– 20 Questions
– 18 Questions (multiple choice, grid-ins)
– 16 Questions
• Writing
– Correcting Errors, Sentences, Paragraphs
– Essay
Structure
• All questions are NOT created equal!!
– Some are Easy
– Some are Medium
– Some are Hard
How are the Questions Structured?
• Every group of Math questions and every group of
Sentence Completion questions can be divided into
thirds by difficulty. For example:
Easy
1234567
Medium
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Hard
15 16 17 18 19 20
6
How are the Questions Structured?
Easy
1234567
Medium
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Hard
15 16 17 18 19 20
• On the easy third, the average person gets all the
average person are actually the right answers
• On the medium third, the average person’s hunches
are right only some of the time.
• On the hard third, the average person’s hunches are
almost always wrong
7
The Nature of SAT Questions
Remember: All Questions are Not Created Equal!!
Easy
Medium
Hard
Another Perspective on
SAT’s Hard Questions
Scoring
• The SAT is not scored like any test you’ve taken
(from Kindergarten to present)
– You are rewarded for “right” answers, but penalized
So, the way you approach this test is different
from any other test you’ve taken
You try to get as many questions right as
possible, as few questions wrong as possible,
and omit the remainder of the questions
10
Scoring
• You don’t have to answer all the questions on the
Math portion of the SAT to get a good score:
To get
a score of
350
400
450
500
550
560
600
650
700
750
800
You Need
(raw points)
5
10
17
24
30
31
35
42
47
50
54
11
Scoring
• You don’t have to answer all the questions on the
Critical Reading portion of the SAT to get a good
score:
To get
a score of
350
400
450
500
550
560
600
650
700
750
800
You Need
(raw points)
9
15
23
30
36
38
44
51
57
62
67
12
Scoring
• You don’t have to answer all the questions on the
Writing portion of the SAT to get a good score:
To get
a score of
350
400
450
500
550
600
650
700
750
800
You Need
(raw points)
13
19
26
32
38
45
51
57
62
67
13
Techniques for
14
The BIG Technique:
The Process of Elimination
3. The capital of Afghanistan is
(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)
(E)
Paris
Sydney
Kabul
Louisville
Remember: Finishing the SAT is not the goal -- getting
15
Guessing Technique
• If you can eliminate at least one wrong answer choice
then you should consider guessing.
For each right answer I’ll give you one Dollar - \$1.00 = 1 raw point
For each wrong answer, you give me a Quarter
1. Xxxx ____ xx___xxx.
(A) ????? : ?????
(B) ????? : ?????
(C) ????? : ?????
(D) ????? : ?????
(E) ????? : ?????
2. Xxxx ____ xx___xxx.
(A) ????? : ?????
(B) ????? : ?????
(C) ????? : ?????
(D) ????? : ?????
(E) ????? : ?????
- \$0.25 = 1/4 raw point
3. Xxxx ____ xx___xxx.
(A) ????? : ?????
(B) ????? : ?????
(C) ????? : ?????
(D) ????? : ?????
(E) ????? : ?????
4. Xxxx ____ xx___xxx.
(A) ????? : ?????
(B) ????? : ?????
(C) ????? : ?????
(D) ????? : ?????
(E) ????? : ?????
16
Sentence Completions:
• One blank:
–
–
–
–
–
Look for key words in the sentence
Get a feel for the tone of the sentence (positive, negative)
Uncover the answer choices one by one and deal with each in turn; circle
possibilities, put a line through wrong choices
• Two blanks
–
–
–
–
–
Look for key words in the sentence
Get a feel for the tone of the sentence (positive, negative)
Uncover the answer choices one by one and deal with each in turn; circle
possibilities, put a line through wrong choices
– Try to eliminate 1st or 2nd word that doesn’t make sense
17
Sentence Completions:
1. While some dancers at the ball were as
smooth as professionals, others were clearly
still ---- in their movements.
(A) graceful
(B) able
(C) agile
(D) uncertain
(E) despondent
3. A ---- theme in the author’s account of
slavery is the degrading and ---- effect of
the living conditions slaves were forced to
endure.
(A) recurrent . . soporific
(B) pervasive . . dehumanizing
(C) persistent . . innocuous
(D) controversial . . demeaning
(E) prominent . . alluring
2. Now that the factory has been ----, robots
do most of the work.
(A) accredited
(B) isolated
(C) fortified
(D) inspected
(E) automated
18
• Read the italicized portion at the top
• Go immediately to the questions and, where
applicable, identify where the answers are found in the
passage.
• Read all of the first paragraph of the passage and the
first two sentences of each succeeding paragraph
• Read the entire last paragraph, especially the last
sentence of the paragraph.
• Use the Process of Elimination to answer the
questions. (Remember: Easy – Medium – Hard)
19
Easy-Medium-Hard Questions
• The Critical Reading Passage questions are “all mixed
up” in terms of their level of Difficulty.
• Fortunately we know what the Easy, Medium, and Hard
questions look like:
– Easy – There are 2 types
• Main Idea (“The primary purpose is . . . . “ “The main idea of the passage is . . . “)
• Vocabulary in Context (As used in line 14, the word “romantic” most nearly means . . .”)
– Medium – There are 2 types
• Recognizing a paraphrase (Another way of saying something; a different way of saying the same
thing. The correct answer will paraphrase a statement in the passage, not give a direct quote).
• Attitude, Mood, Tone (The author’s attitude toward ___ can be described as ____”; “ The tone of the
passage can be described as . . . .
– Hard – There are 2 types
• Inference – (“It can be inferred from the passage that. . .” , The author mentions _____ to show
_____. . .”)
• Comparison questions (How does the information presented in Passage 1 compare with the
information presented by the author in Passage 2?)
20
Math Techniques for Getting Right Answers
80-90% of all SAT math problems can be solved using one of
these 3 approaches:
1. Use the formulas in the
Reference Information Box
1. Backsolving – Use the test answers
Example: If 44 is the average (arithmetic mean) of x, x, x, 35, and 65 then x =
(A) 40
(B) 42
Notice that the numbers are in numerical order
(C) 44
(D) 48
(E) 50
Example: The sum of four consecutive positive even integers is z. In terms of z, what is the sum of
the two middle integers?
(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)
(E)
(z-12)/4
(z-6)/2
2z + 6
z/2
(z2 – 3z)/4
Notice the variables in the answer choices
21
Math Techniques
150o
xo
100o
xo
xo
xo
xo
r
4
yo
1
xo
xo
s
yo
75o
xo
3
1
22
Math Techniques
120o
zo
zo
xo
zo
23
Increasing Your Math Score By 50 Points!
• Your approach to the section with the Grid-ins will
• This section follows the rule of Easy, Medium and
Hard, but in a slightly different way.
Easy
1 2 3 9 10 11 12
Medium
4 5 6 13 14 15
Hard
7 8 16 17 18
24
Essay Technique
• Take a sheet of 8 x 11 &frac12; paper and on one side
list works of the literature read in high school,
together with what the major themes of each
book. Short story, or poem were.
• On the reverse side of the paper, list 10 major
life experiences (5 Good experiences and 5 Bad
Experiences) and the lessons learned from
each of these experiences.
• These items will provide examples you can use
on any SAT essay
25
Essay Technique
The Structure of the Essay
• Introductory Paragraph
– Agree or Disagree with the Prompt
– Give 2 reasons why you agree or disagree
• Supporting Paragraph #1
– State the first reason why you agree or disagree with the prompt
– Use 2 or 3 good examples to support your reason
• Supporting Paragraph #2
– State the second reason why you agree or disagree with the prompt
– Use 2 or 3 good examples to support your reason
• Concluding Paragraph
– Summarize by restating why you agree or disagree with the prompt
and the two reasons you gave above
26
Practice the Techniques
27
Questions?
28
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