Tag Archives: vocabulary

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica. “The Office” can teach us what alliteration means without the use of any mind-numbing flash cards or lame apps that make you want to fall asleep. Join us for our crazy new way to study SAT/ACT vocabulary, 1-hour “The Office” Themed vocabulary party. Did we say party? We meant class, but this one might feel more like a party. Improving your verbal score has never been more fun!   This two-hour online Master Class is ideal for any student seeking higher test scores on the verbal sections of the SAT & ACT as well as a stronger foundation in college-level vocabulary.   Advance registration is required. Register through our Student Information Form and specify The Office Vocabulary Master Class. We will reply to registrants by email with the invitation to this Zoom seminar.   ABOUT YOUR HOST: Hilarie Lloyd is a professor and tutor with a passion…

Read more

The general public still holds the SAT synonymous with highly advanced–some might say abstruse, arcane, or esoteric–even though the last major test revision dispensed with question types devoted to that topic. I often joke that the test makers veered away from strict vocabulary testing for two important reasons. First, graphical literacy matters more than an advanced lexicon in the 21st century. Second, College Board and ACT both realized that they don’t need to throw fancy words at students who struggle just as much with everyday terminology! To be fair, grammar and reading questions designed to challenge vocabulary knowledge don’t test basic words any more than they test highly advanced or technical terms. Instead, test makers focus on a sweet spot called Tier Two Vocabulary. The concept of sorting vocabulary words into tiers is linked to the influential book Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction by Isabel Beck, Margaret McKeown,…

Read more

The elimination of Sentence Completions as the last standalone vocabulary question on the SAT have people convinced that knowing a wide range of words in English isn’t important anymore. After all, we can just look up unfamiliar words on our cell phones, right? Don’t set your flashcards on fire just yet; vocabulary still matters. If anything, certain types of words will matter more than ever. The SAT and ACT both continue to challenge vocabulary comprehension in a variety of ways, including but definitely not limited to passage-based reading questions. What should change is how students develop the kind of advanced, ready vocabulary that promotes success on tests, in school, and in life. Those canned lists of 5000 SAT words won’t cut it anymore, if they ever did. Yes, memorizing certain tightly-focused lists can deliver crucial points on test day and learning the Latin and Greek roots of words promotes a…

Read more

At first glance, both the SAT and the ACT seem to have eradicated all of their vocabulary questions. Gone are the SAT questions where you had to choose the most fitting word for the blank in the sentence, and long gone are the old “analogy” questions of my SAT days. (ANALOGIES : SAT :: DODO BIRD : WORLD.) Do students need to bother with vocabulary at all, anymore? YES. Just because the obvious vocabulary questions are gone doesn’t mean that a strong college-bound vocabulary isn’t still helpful. There are still many challenging vocabulary words throughout the tests; the difference is that now the tests are more likely testing your ability to know how a word is being used in context. For example, more and more passages on the Reading section of the tests are coming from older texts from the 1800’s or 1700’s. These older texts often involve a lot…

Read more

Did you hear that SAT Scores from the graduating class of 2015 were low this year? In fact, total scores in all 3 sections are the lowest they’ve been in decades. Should we panic? Don’t worry… there’s always time to freak out later. For now, let’s tackle the question that’s perplexing the pundits who breathlessly exclaim that SAT Scores Continue Troubling Downward Slide, but No One Knows Exactly Why. I’d like to share three possible reasons:   EXPANDED POOL OF TEST TAKERS Rumors of the SAT’s imminent demise have been slightly, or perhaps prematurely, exaggerated. A record 1.70 million students from the class of 2015 took the SAT. A higher percentage of students than ever were either underrepresented minority students and/or used fee waivers. We should be encouraged, rather than despondent, that the testing pool now includes so many more students that did not traditionally pursue enrollment in four-year colleges…

Read more

5/5