SAT Subject Tests: What Are They and Should You Take Them?

One question we’re often asked when we present at high schools, college fairs, or parent meetings is “What are SAT Subject Tests and should I

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take them?” Well, keep reading and by the end of this you should have as clear an answer as it’s possible to give.

What are SAT Subject Tests?
SAT Subject Tests are one hour exams on a variety of topics. They provide colleges a more detailed insight into your academic skills in a particular subject area than the SAT does. Many parents may remember hearing about or taking the Achievement Tests (if you graduated high school in the 80s or 90s) or the SAT IIs (in the first half of the 00s). Well, “SAT Subject Tests” is simply the latest name for those same exams.

Ten Reasons Why the PSAT Matters


Our friends at International College Counselors recently published this advice on their blog and we thought we’d

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Many students are about to take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) in mid -October and many of them are probably wondering why it’s so important.Almost all high school students take the PSAT during their junior year. Some students take thePSAT as sophomores and even freshmen to get the feel for the test.Here are 10 reasons to take the PSAT and why it matters to do well:

SAT Tips: Idioms

Today’s QOTD is a great example of one of the “grammar rules” that the SAT loves that is more like stuff to memorize than it is rules to apply. Since our job is to help you out, we’re going to explain the concept behind this question so you know what to do if you see a question like this on the test. One of the things that makes this question so tough is that it’s testing idioms.

Is the SAT Sounding the Death Knell of Robust Lexicons?

I am sure that following David Coleman’s speech at the annual NACAC conference yet another round of articles will penned decrying the burden of the malevolent SAT vocabulary. For years, students have been alone in their lamentation of the SAT’s propensity for underscoring the deficiencies in their respective vocabularies. Now these students have an ally in the new College Board president, who’s taken to joining the cacophony surrounding the SAT and its “arcane” vocabulary. In each of his public comments about the impending changes to the SAT, he’s been taking swipes at the words tested on his own exam. His comments have carried the implication that these tested words are no longer relevant, popular, and by extension not useful to learn. He has given tacit endorsement (whether intentional or not) to the idea that there is such a thing as an “SAT word” (a word that one learns for the SAT and will never use again). This rhetoric from the architect of Common Core State Standards and the de facto baby daddy of the Forthcoming New SAT (let’s call it: FNSAT), may be exciting for students, should be concerning to all of us logophiles.

SAT QOTD: When in doubt, write it out!

College Board Question of the Day June 15On June 15th the College Board QOTD apparently killed those not yet prepared for the SAT. Well today we’re going to help the 154,000 of you that got this question wrong (and all of you who’ve yet to try this question) by showing you great strategy that would make this question a piece of cake.

Today’s strategy is: When in doubt, write it out!

SAT QOTD: Modifiers and Ray Allen

Since of course you’re doing the College Board QOTD every day, you should focus on learning as much as you can from doing those questions. Prepping for the SAT is not just about learning rules and facts, but it’s also about learning what the SAT likes and what the SAT tests. Knowing what the SAT will test most frequently will give you an edge and make you more efficient on the test.

The Question of the Day from June 14th, 2013 was a great example of a common rule the SAT loves to test: modifiers! If you understand modifier rules, you’ll easily be able to pick up 4 – 8 questions every test, and that could translate to 80 more points for your Writing score.

Test Prep: A few tricks to beat the test?

I’m always stunned by the lack of clarity that people have about what test prep is and what test prep isn’t. Many people seem to believe that test preparation involves sprinkling pixie dust on a test-taker and waiting for the score to soar to new heights. Think about how often you’ve heard of “tricks” to “beat the test.” Now don’t get me wrong, I know it’s largely the test preparation industry that sold the nation this bill of goods (thanks Joe Bloggs), but the impact of this thinking is being compounded by the current atmosphere in education of over-testing, misuse of testing, and over-reliance on test results. This post will clarify “once and for all” what test prep is and what it isn’t. I hope after this post that I’ll never again hear the phrase “just a few tricks” combined with “get me a great score.”

“I just need a few tricks to boost my score.”

ACT vs SAT: The Amazing Race

ACT is to SAT as Wedges is to Fries

In our continuing ACT vs SAT series (if you’ve not been following you might want to click this link and check out the others), we break down the difference in pacing on the two tests. We’ll help you make sense of pacing and timing on the SAT versus the ACT. You’ve probably already read or heard that the ACT is a faster test than the SAT, and we’re here to give that a little more context and help you figure out what that means to you.

 

Timing

When people say “The ACT is a faster test” what they really mean is that the ACT overall allots less time per question.  

ACT vs SAT: The only difference that matters

Darth SAT vs Darth ACT

In our continuing quest to put to rest the fruitless debate between the two college entry behemoths, we give you the definitive answer to which test you should take.

After all talk is over and after all the pros and cons have been listed, the one and only difference you need to worry about is which test you do better on!

No matter what the group statistics imply, no matter what your friends have done, no matter who was admitted with which scores last year, all that matters is which test provides you the best opportunity to demonstrate to colleges your ability to do well at their school.

Don’t Increase the Hype: The SAT is a’changing

Not too long ago the College Board hired David Coleman as the new president and his first few months can be summarized by the Wu Tang Clan  – “Kaboom, guess who stepped in the room!” In just a few short months, Coleman has kicked up enough dust to make notoriety seekers like  Lady Gaga and Madonna proud by speaking of the failures of the College Board and its programs (notably the SAT and AP).

“I have a problem with the SAT writing” – David Coleman, president of the College Board

 

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