Vocabulary and the SAT

The College Board has made a big show of proclaiming that it has removed the “SAT words” from the SAT. The problem is that unless you “dumb down” the reading passages, the dreaded higher tier vocabulary words will still exist. The problem with asking students whether they think words like assiduous and deleterious are useful…

Book Suggestion: America’s Women

Having a sense of American history is an important aspect to doing well on the SAT and ACT. That is, it isn’t necessary, but it will help place ideas and references in context. However, the vast amounts of material available on the subject make American history seem just too daunting. I have a solution. Gail…

The New SAT Essay

Some of my students did their first practice new format SAT on Saturday, and they panicked when they hit the Essay. It was so daunting in its complexity, and after having sat for over 3 hours of testing, they were a little numb. All complex tasks become easier if we break them down into simpler…

Cultural Bias and Testing

The Hidden Hurdle Standardized tests are rigorously designed in an attempt to be impartial, but bias sneaks in. For international students cultural bias is a hidden hurdle. It isn’t insurmountable, but it does affect performance. The problem is two-fold: generational and cultural. Generational bias creeps in because the test makers are of a certain age…