Spock public domain image (Image credit NBC television)

NEW SAT Reading Test

Posted on 9th December 2015 in Tampa SAT Preparation

Yeah, you know by now that the last time the old SAT is going to be given is January of 2016. So, let’s talk a little about the NEW Sat Reading Test. What is different about it?

The College Board says that “The redesigned SAT Reading Test is a carefully constructed, challenging assessment of comprehension and reasoning skills with an unmistakable focus on careful reading of appropriately difficult passages in a wide array of subject areas. Passages are authentic texts selected from high-quality, previously published sources.”

That’s not all that different from the old SAT. The old SAT passages were generally drawn from published sources and covered a variety of disciplines: social sciences, natural sciences, literature, biography, or memoir. The new SAT combines the reading and writing sections into a new evidence-based reading and writing section that will be scored from 200-800. The new section will consist of a 65 minute reading section and a 35 minute writing and language section. The essay is now optional and now 50 minutes, not 25. New SAT essay will be an analysis of a provided passage.

Here is what has changed and what remains the same on the SAT evidence-based reading section:

  • Know Your T. Jefferson and J. Madison: Each new SAT reading test will contain one passage drawn from a U.S. founding document (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, or Bill of Rights) or a text that is part of the great global conversation about liberty, equality, or justice.
  • Get Graphical: The new SAT reading test will include informational graphics (charts, tables, graphs, etc.) that takers of the test must interpret correctly to answer some new SAT reading section’s questions.

Spock public domain image (Image credit NBC television)

  • Turn On Your Inner Spock: Students taking the new SAT reading section will encounter question that ask which portion of the text is the best evidence/support for the answer to other questions. The new SAT reading will require close reading of texts and sophisticated understanding of evidence and deductive and inductive arguments.
  • Use Context Clues: Students will be asked the meaning of words in context. Designers of the new SAT reading test are less apt to test obscure vocabulary (as some of the hardest sentence completions on the old SAT often did) and more apt to ask for meaning in context for words that are common to a variety of academic disciplines.
  • Expect Paired Passages: If you have done old SAT critical reading sections, you know about long and short paired passages. The new SAT reading will continue to feature paired passages (two passages addressing a common theme from contrasting points of view).
  • Kiss the Guessing Penalty Goodbye: The new SAT will not have the quarter-point guessing penalty.

Hope that helps. I think the new SAT evidence-based reading section is a bit easier than the old SAT’s critical reading sections. Don’t let the new SAT reading test stress you out. If you need help preparing for the new SAT, contact Tampa English Tutor Eric Anderson at 813.787.8959.

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Goodbye Old Sat

Posted on 29th November 2015 in Tampa English Tutor, Tampa SAT Preparation

Wow. I have been tutoring the old SAT for years.It’s hard to believe but January will be the final time the old SAT will be given. I just booked my first appointment with what will probably be my final SAT prep client for the old SAT.

Image by Josh Davis aka Fort Forth Squach. licensed cc by nd 2.0.   See more of his images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thedavisblog/

Image by Josh Davis aka Fort Forth Squach. licensed cc by nd 2.0. See more of his images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thedavisblog/

If you are prepping for the new SAT, I would be delighted to help you. I offer SAT tutoring for all sections except the math. No contracts. Right to your door. Call Eric at 813.787.8959.

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Good Luck to My Hillsborough County SAT Tutoring Students

Posted on 21st February 2014 in Tampa SAT Preparation

I have been working with two very dedicated students to prepare for the SATs. Both have worked hard to improve their scores since the start of the school year. I wish both of them both good luck this week!

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Boy reading

5 Steps to Improve Your SAT Critical Reading Score for HS Sophomores

Posted on 16th December 2013 in Tampa SAT Preparation

1. Read regularly. Read a good newspaper. I like the WSJ, but the NYT or Christian Science Monitor would work fine. Read one or two articles in areas that you normally would not. If you don’t follow international affairs, read an article or two about diplomacy in the Middle East. If you don’t know much about economics, read a good newspaper’s reporting of the news on the economy. If you are a freshman or sophomore, you can improve your score dramatically by doing as little as thirty minutes a day of focused, active reading.

Boy reading

Boy Reading image by Jasmic. Licensed cc by ND 2.0. See more of Jason’s images in his Flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasmic/

2. Read a novel that you haven’t been assigned in school. When you encounter an unfamiliar word or phrase, look it up. If you’re reading on an e-reader of have a smart phone handy, you can learn a new word in context in a few seconds. Ask your Language Arts teacher to help you develop an outside reading program. When I was a sophomore at Dover High School, I asked my English teacher, Mr. Wright, to recommend books I should read to develop a better vocabulary. It worked. By the time I was a senior, I scored in the 97th percentile on the Critical Reading part of the SAT.

3. Take a practice critical reading test – Even if you only take a section or two, you will have a much better idea of which areas you need to improve. Which types of passages give you trouble? What subjects did you encounter that were unfamiliar? Consider using your electives to strengthen your knowledge in these areas.

4. Ask a successful SAT critical reading student how he or she prepared. Most people will be flattered when you ask them to share their success story. Take notes.

5. Look up the college or university that you dream of attending. See what kind of Critical Reading score the school expects applicants to have. Set a specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time-bound goal to attain that score. Write it down and work backwards to the daily actions needed to get yourself there.  Start.

Working with a good SAT Critical Reading tutor can also help you improve your SAT Critical Reading Scores. I tutor SAT Reading and Writing in New Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills, FL and the surrounding areas. Call me at 813 787 8959.

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SAT Critical Reading and Writing Student Makes 200-Point Gain

Posted on 6th June 2013 in Tampa SAT Preparation

I just got off the phone with the father of one of my favorite SAT tutoring students. He just got his SAT results! It’s his second time taking the test and he retook to improve his scores to get into his first-choice school. The great news is that he made a 200-point gain!┬áThe even better news is that the school accepted him, even before it received his score report for the second attempt.

J, congratulations on making such a large gain in a short time.

NYC Marines marching in Memorial Day parade

This image of the First Battalion of the 9th Marines courtesy of NYC Marines. See more of his photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycmarines/. The image is licensed under CC Attribution 2.0.

If your son or daughter will be preparing for the SAT and wants help with the Writing or Critical Reading sections of the SAT, please call me. My name is Eric and I’m at 813.787.8959. I tutor students in New Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Odessa, and the surrounding area.

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