SAT Prep Tip: SAT Pacing

Art by Dale Eadeh (BC Teacher and Artist)

One of the most-discussed strategies for test preparation is pacing. Here we’ll delve a bit more into what pacing actually means and how you can use it to maximize your SAT score.

What is pacing?

Pacing is your pre-planned strategy for answering the greatest number of questions with the highest level of accuracy. Pacing should not be confused (or conflated) with speed or efficiency. When we refer to pacing we don’t mean how quickly you answer an individual question, but rather your plan for how many and which questions you answer during the test. Read on for our tips on how to make an effective pacing plan!

SAT Prep Tip: Critical Reading

Art by Dale Eadeh (BC Teacher and Artist)

Today’s topic is the SAT’s Passage-Based Critical Reading, i.e., the part of the SAT that makes most student cringe and break out in hives. Hopefully after reading this you’ll not only feel better about Passage-Based Reading, but may actually start to like it.

What makes SAT Reading different from school reading?

There are three significant things about SAT Passages and Questions that make them different from the reading most high school students do. If you understand these things, then you will be much better prepared for them.

SAT Prep Tip: Calculators

TI-84 Graphing Calc ($100 - $125)

As many of you might know, the SAT allows the use of calculators. However, you may wonder which calculator you should use for the SAT. This post will help you decide which calculator to get and how to use it most effectively on the SAT!

While the calculator is a helpful tool for the SAT, it is by no means necessary. In fact, here is what the College Board says about calculators:

Every mathematics question on the SAT can be solved without a calculator. However, using a calculator may be helpful for some questions.

Let’s check out what that means and what calculator we may want to bring to the test.

Revised GRE, Anyone?

As you probably know, ETS unveiled its Revised GRE yesterday. We wanted to find out just how “revised” it was, so we signed ourselves up, and I spent a solid 4 hours taking it yesterday (8/2/11). Fun times, let me tell you (and no, we’re not masochists, just Test Prep dorks…er, studs). I got first crack at it, so here’s my commentary. We’ll have more to follow as others on the staff subject themselves to the same pain in the coming weeks.

Let’s start with a few particulars:

More B-schools in for GRE

A recent press release from ETS, the company responsible for producing the GRE, indicates that in the last two months more than 100 business schools world-wide signed up to begin accepting the GRE. This activity brings the total number of business schools accepting the GRE above 600, including 60 of the top 100 schools on the latest US News & World Report ranking. The question becomes, what exactly does this mean for people considering business school?

May 2011 SAT Vocabulary: Insipid Purveyors of Daunting Mischief

Sometimes, seeing what’s on the SAT can prepare us for future tests.  Since vocabulary is so important, we got a couple of word nerds together to go through the May 2011 SAT test and pull out the most notorious words –  a task they performed with celerity.

Study Tips: Don’t interfere!

We (we, the world, not we Bell Curves – which is singular anyway but that’s another story) know more now than ever before about the workings of the human mind and memory, thanks to the field of cognitive neuroscience. What does this mean for you, you ask? These advances have very practical applications, especially for students who wish to improve the efficiency of their studying.

Official GMAT iPhone/iPad APP: Better than the OG?

So GMAC’s new Official GMAT App has finally arrived. We were excited to check it out and provide a product review for people considering a purchase. Before we get into the review, let’s take a look at some information on the app:

GMAT Tip: Patterns

Many hard GMAT quantitative questions present problems because of the exceedingly time-consuming calculations needed to solve, or because the way to solve the problem isn’t easily apparent. One solution to these kinds of problems can often be found by identifying and using patterns. Here’s some helpful information to help you utilize the presence of patterns to improve your accuracy and efficiency (which is what you should seek rather than speed) on GMAT Quant:

January 2011 SAT Vocabulary: Virtuosos Subvert the Miniscule Prodigy

At Bell Curves, we love going through old SATs to beef up our vocabulary and assuage potential polemical debates on deleterious topics.  What can we say, we’re mercurial that way.

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