Revised for the new SAT format, the latest guide by a test-taking expert includes math skills, a 150,000-word vocabulary builder, essay tips, and five practice tests. $20,000 ad/promo.
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Gary R. Gruber, Ph.D., is recognized nationally as the leading expert on the SAT, test-taking methods, and critical thinking skills. His books on test taking and critical thinking skills have sold more than seven million copies.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
I. Important Facts about the New SAT
What Is the Now SAT?
The new "Scholastic Aptitude Test" (formerly called the SAT) is now called the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT-I Reasoning Test). It is still a three-hour college entrance test, but it now has 7 sections, 5 of which are timed 30 minutes each and 2 of which are timed 15 minutes each. The new test contains 60 counted math questions in three math sections and 78 counted verbal questions in three verbal sections. One section is experimental and does not count toward any score.
The SAT-II tests, which are primarily used for college placement don't count toward the SAT-I score. For example, the new SAM Writing Test is used by most colleges for college firstyear English class placement. At the end of this book is a section explaining the new SAT-II Writing Test with practice examples and strategies for the new Essay. You may want to look at this section, although preparation for this Writing Test will not increase your SAT I Reasoning Test score. For most of the colleges that use the test for placement only, you may not want to overstudy for this SAT-11 test in order to be more accurately placed in an English class geared to your current level. You would then not risk being matched up in the English class with students way above your level.
How Is the SAT Scored?
The SAT is scored from 200 to 800 on both puts, verbal and math.
What Is the National Average Score?
The average national SAT score in 1996-97 was 505 for the verbal and 511 for the math. Note that in 1995 the SAT scoring scale was adjusted so that the "average" was renormed to 500 for the verbal and 500 for the math.
Now Much Is Each Question Worth in SAT Points?
On the SAT you get a raw score (the number of correct answers minus a small penalty for incorrect ones). You also get a scaled score, which is derived from the raw score. This scaled score is your actual SAT score. Each additional question you get right can increase your score by about 10 more points.
What Verbal Background Must I Have?
The reading and vocabulary level is at a 10th- to 12th-grade level, but strategies presented here will help you even if you are at a lower grade level.
What Math Background Must I Have?
The SAT includes questions related to only first-year elementary algebra and plane geometry. However, if you use common sense and rely on just a handful of geometric formulas, you really don't need to have taken a full course in geometry. If you have not taken algebra you should still be able to answer many of the math questions using the strategies presented.
When Is Guessing Advisable?
Although there is a small penalty for wrong answers (1/4 point for 5-choice answers and 1/3 point for 4-choice answers), in the long run, you break even if you guess or leave the answer blank. For a full explanation of why, see page 166, Strategy 3. So it really will not affect your score in the long run if you guess or leave answers out.
Should I Take an Administered Actual SAT for Practice?
Yes, but only if you will learn from your mistakes by seeing what strategies you should have used on your exam. Taking the SAT merely for its own sake is a waste of time and may in fact reinforce bad methods and habits.
What's on the Now SAT?
This is what the new SAT will contain:
•Analogy questions and Sentence completions (same as SAT before 1994)
•Reading comprehension questions involving longer passages and many questions involving critical thinking. Some vocabulary questions will be presented in "context" in the reading passages.
•Antonyms (Vocabulary opposite questions) were deleted from the old SAT, but it will still be important for you to know vocabulary as it will appear in the Analogies, Sentence Completion, and Reading.
•The Regular Math questions are oriented to more real-life situations and rely on deeper thinking.
•Ten of the questions do not have multiple choices, but require the student to "grid" in an answer.
•The Quantitative Comparison questions are similar to the questions on the-old SAT.
•Calculators will be allowed, but every question can be solved without a calculator.
Can I Got Back the SAT with My Answers and the Correct Ones After I Take It? How Can I Make Use of This Service?
The SAT is disclosed (sent back to the student on request with a $10.00 payment) 3 of the 7 times it is given through the year. Very few people take advantage of this fact or use the disclosed SAT to see what mistakes they've made and what strategies they could have used on the questions.
Check in your SAT information bulletin for the dates this Question and Answer Service is available.
To receive an order form for test results, write: College Board, ATP, P.O. Box 6203, Princeton, NJ 0854I-6203.
How Do Other Exams Compare with, .the SAT? Can I Use the Strategies in This Book?
Most other exams are modeled after the SAT, and so the strategies used here are definitely useful when taking them. For example, the GRE (Graduate Records Examination, for entrance into graduate school) has questions that use the identical strategies used on the SAT. The questions are just worded at a slightly higher level. The ACT (American College Testing Program), another college entrance exam, was changed in the fall of 1989 to reflect strategies that are used on the SAT.
How Does the Gruber Preparation Method Differ from Other Programs?
Many other SAT programs try to use "quick fix" methods or subscribe to rote memorization.
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