ACT® Prep Plan: Week 6 – Science & English

Let’s add on the final 6 points in the ACT® science section! In addition to 3 Research Summaries and 3 Data Representation passages on test day, you want to be ready for the Conflicting Viewpoints passage.

Keep building your English section score with 5 points for Word Choice and 3 points for Sentence Sense questions.

Once you watch both the Week 6 Science and Week 6 English videos, you’ll be ready to complete your ACT® practice for this week. Options for Week 6 practice include:

  • Completing the following segments in your Grockit ACT® Study Plan:
    • ACT® Science – Conflicting Viewpoints (final segment)
    • ACT® English (segments 11-13):
      • Run-ons
      • Modifiers
      • Sentence Sense
  • Joining in pre-scheduled group games
  • Creating your own group games
  • The Real ACT Prep Guide:
    • ACT® Science – complete the Conflicting Viewpoints passage in three separate practice tests
    • ACT® English –  complete the entire English section in two separate ACT® practice tests

Have fun earning points!

 

SAT® Essay Template and Sample

The SAT® essay is always the very first section on test day. Doing well on Section 1 helps you to tackle the rest of the test with confidence. While you can’t be sure what the essay will ask about ahead of time, you can use the same general structure for every SAT® essay!

The following provides helpful suggestions for writing your essay. You do not need to copy this approach exactly; think of it as an extremely useful framework.

SAT® Essay Template:

Paragraph 1 –

  1. Rephrase the prompt.  Ex. “Many people wonder if valuable experience is gained only through achieving goals.”
  2.  Agree or disagree.  Ex. “Goals have value whether or not they are achieved because of the lessons learned.”
  3. Tell the reader what two or three examples you are going to use. Ex. “Movies, books, and personal experiences provide excellent examples of the value of goals that were not fully achieved.”

Paragraph 2 -
1st example
5 Sentences:
1. Use a transition word or phrase like “To begin,” and then introduce your example.
2 – 4 Explain the details of your example using specific dates and people
5. Tell the reader how your example proves that your ONE side of the argument is true.

Paragraph 3 –
2nd example
5 Sentences:
1. Use a transition phrase like “Also,” and then introduce your example.
2 – 4 Explain the details of your example using specific dates and people.
5. Tell the reader how your example proves that your ONE side of the argument is true.

Paragraph 4 –
3rd example
5 Sentences:
1. Use a transition phrase like “Also,” and then introduce your example.
2 – 4 Explain the details of your example using specific dates and people.
5. Tell the reader how your example proves that your ONE side of the argument is true.

5th paragraph -

  1. Use a concluding transition word and restate your thesis
  2. Mention the examples you used and the fact that they support your thesis
  3. Conclude with a broad statement about the topic (optional) Read more

What does inference mean on the GMAT? GRE? LSAT?

GMAT Inference LSAT GRE Prep

Is there a difference between “inference” as the test sees it, and what we think of as an inference in real life?

 

Making an “inference” in everyday life means making an educated guess based on the available evidence. If I see my friend stagger in with a bloody nose, I probably would infer that he’d been in a fight. But that wouldn’t have to be true: He might have walked into a door, or fallen down coming out of his car, or any number of other possible explanations for his predicament.

 

But an “educated guess” isn’t good enough for a standardized test, which has to have one and only one correct — credited — answer. On a test, “inference” means must be true based on the given evidence. And remember, the testmaker has always set up the evidence (the reading passage) such that one, and only one choice can be credited. Bottom line — on a standardized test, an inference will always have heavy and undeniable support.

 

When I get an inference question wrong, it’s usually because I pick an answer that’s stronger than the passage it’s based on. How can I fix this?

 

When attempting Inference questions, be careful of overstatements. An inference can be no stronger than the text it’s based on. If the author very carefully uses language like “some,” “most,” “usually,” that’s not going to support a statement about whatalways is true. (Such an overstatement would have to be based on language that uses “all,” “every,” “only.” See the difference?) As you practice, try to make the distinction between opinions and ideas that allow for exceptions (“qualified”) and opinions and ideas that are ironclad-certain (“categorical”). That difference will help you with inference questions.

 

I am struggling with Inference. What do you suggest?

 

Students tend to get inference questions wrong for two reasons: (1) They misunderstand the scope of the text, and select a choice that veers too far away from what the author is writing about. Or (2) they misread the strength of the author’s statements, and select a choice that is too strong — too definite, too unqualified — for what the author is saying.

 

My teacher keeps saying “make your mistakes happily.” But how can I be happy about getting things wrong? All I get is frustrated.

 

Bob Verini

When you find out which of these bad habits you’re falling into, you can start to fix them. And remember this: The best way to identify a bad habit is to make a mistake and correct it. So don’t beat yourself up when you get inference questions wrong! Treat the mistake as a welcome learning opportunity!

Bob VeriniKaplan Test Prep Expert

 

ACT® Prep Plan: Week 5 – Math & Reading

Let’s add on 18 more points in both the ACT® math and ACT® reading sections! This week’s strategic focus includes:

ACT® Math:

  • Plane Geometry – 7 points
  • Coordinate Geometry – 6 points
  • Operations – 3 points
  • Logic & Sequences – 2 points

ACT® Reading:

  • Social Science – 9 points
  • Humanities – 9 points

After you watch both videos, be sure to complete your ACT® math and reading practice for this week. Options for Week 5 practice include:

  • Completing the following segments in your Grockit ACT® Study Plan:
    • ACT® Math (segments 8-15):
      • Exponents & Roots
      • Linear Equations
      • Quadratics
      • Logarithms & Complex Numbers
      • Word Problems
      • Polygons & Geometric Figures
      • Coordinate Geometry
      • Properties of Quadrilaterals
    • ACT® Reading (middle segments):
      • Humanities
      • Social Studies
  • Joining in pre-scheduled group games
  • Creating your own group games
  • The Real ACT Prep Guide:
    • ACT® Math – questions 31-50 in three separate practice tests
    • ACT® Reading – questions 11-20 (Social Science) & 21-30 (Humanities) in three separate practice tests

Have fun earning points!!!

 

The 3 Forgotten GMAT Sentence Corrections

GMAT Sentence Correction Subjunctive Possessive Split Infinitive

You may feel confident with the most commonly tested grammar rules on the GMAT Sentence Corrections – subject-verb agreement, verb tense, pronoun reference, pronoun number, misplaced modifiers, parallelism, idioms, false comparisons, and quantities. It’s hard to imagine any other grammar rules that could possibly be tested, but you can bet the GMAT test writers are pretty exhaustive. Here are four grammar rules that don’t receive as much attention; you’ll need to master these if you’re going for a top score.

1. Subjunctive Mood

You won’t see the subjunctive mood tested on college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT; it’s purposely reserved for the GMAT for good reason. Most of the English verbs we use are in the indicative mood – that is, verbs that have happened, are happening, or will happen. The subjunctive mood is used to express wishes or possibilities that have not happened.

The most common subjunctive verb that you might encounter is were, the subjunctive form of was.

Example 1: If he were athletic, he could make the football team. (He is not actually athletic, so the verb communicates an idea that does not really exist).

Notice that “If he was athletic…” would be incorrect, even though you may not recognize such an error in speech or writing.

Example 2: The teacher requires that you be present on the final day of class.

The indicative conjugation would be “you are present,” but since “requires” triggers the subjunctive mood, we use be.

Example 3: She recommended that each student bring his or her homework every day.

The indicative conjugation would be “each student brings,” but since ‘recommended’ triggers the subjunctive, we use bring.

Notice that these verbs are often followed by subjunctive clauses:

Ask, demand, insist, order, prefer, recommend, request, require, suggest, wish

Read more

ACT® Prep Plan: Week 4 – English

Get ready to earn more points in the ACT® English section!

We’re using the ACT® English recommended approach with a strategic focus on four key categories:

  • Connections – 7 points
  • Verb Tenses – 6 points
  • Wordiness – 5 points
  • Punctuation – 5 points

After you watch the Week 4 instructional video, be sure to complete your ACT® math practice for this week. Options for Week 4 practice include:

Go get those points!

 

ACT® Prep Plan: Week 3 – Science

Get ready to tackle 30 of the 36 total points you can earn in the ACT® science section. You will have 3 Research Summaries and 3 Data Representation passages on test day, so understanding how to approach these passage types is essential to scoring well.

RESEARCH SUMMARIES:

  • Includes a set of experiments
  • Focus on the:
    • Purpose – what are the researchers testing?
    • Method – how are the experiments set up?
    • Results – what did the researchers find?

DATA REPRESENTATION:

  • Presents written information as well as data in tables and/or graphs
  • Focus on the:
    • Purpose – what are the researchers testing?
    • Method – how are the experiments set up?
    • Results – what did the researchers find?

After you watch both the Week 3, Part 1 and Week 3, Part 2 videos be sure to complete your ACT® science practice for this week. Options for Week 3 practice include:

Happy studying!

 

SAT vs. ACT: Which one should you take?

Take a 5-minute quiz and find out which test is right for you!

In general, the SAT® is a good option for students who can use logical reasoning to answer questions. Each section is 25 minutes or less, so you don’t have to pay attention for super-long stretches of time. The pace of the SAT® reading section is much more manageable than the pace of the ACT® reading section and contains short passages as well as sentence completion questions.

What kind of score will you need on the SAT? Find out: http://grockit.tv/satscore

It’s helpful to know that the ACT® is great for students who can put the time and effort into studying for this test. The ACT® is designed to be straightforward and approachable. You want to practice your time management in the reading and science sections, since they require you to move quickly, but there is no wrong answer penalty. You can put down an answer to every single question even if it’s a complete guess.

Want to try it out? Take a mini-ACT diagnostic: http://grockit.tv/actscore

GRE® Vocab: Use Context to Define the Top 52 Words

You will see GRE® vocabulary on test day in a variety of ways. Your verbal score is generated from your answers to 40 questions that are split up among two separate sections of 20 questions each. You will have 30 minutes to complete each section, so be ready to tackle Sentence Equivalence, Text Completion, and Reading Comprehension questions.

Knowing how to decipher difficult vocabulary by using the context is extremely helpful in maximizing your GRE® verbal score. See if you can figure out the definitions of the Top 52 GRE® vocabulary words using the sentences below. To check your predictions with exact definitions, you can hop over to this blog post.

  1. The student’s poor performance on the latest test was an anomaly since she had previously earned excellent grades.
  2. Politicians have been known to provide equivocal answers to reporters’ questions.
  3. The lecture was lucid and straightforward, allowing the students to fully grasp the concepts presented.
  4. Unforeseen costs can precipitate a budget crisis.
  5. A massage can assuage the soreness in your muscles.
  6. High school students often struggle with novels that are more erudite than they are entertaining.
  7. Medical jargon includes many opaque terms like macrosomic, which describes a newborn who weights more than 4,000 grams.
  8. The prodigal prince bought lavish gifts and planned expensive events.
  9. Scientists continue to research cancer to solve the enigma of its primary cause, which will hopefully lead to a cure.
  10. The child showed a fervid fascination for superheroes, pouring over comic books for hours. Read more