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What is the SAT I ?

Many colleges and universities require their applicants to take a three-hour standardized examination called the SAT I. Consequently, most of you as high school juniors or seniors will take this test as part of the college admissions process. The SAT I, which is written and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), purports to evaluate students’ verbal and quantitative reasoning abilities. As a result, you will actually get two scores: a verbal score and a math score, each of which lies between 200 and 800. For both the verbal and the math tests, the median score is 500,meaning that about 50 percent of all students score below 500 and about 50 percent above 500. In discussing their results, students often add the two scores (the sums range from 400 to 1600, with a median of about 1000) and say,” John got a 950,” or “Mary got a 1300.”


Why Do So Many Colleges require you to Take the SAT I ?

In the United States, we have no national education standards. So a B+ from one teacher doesn’t necessarily represent the same level of accomplishment, as does a B+ from another teacher, even in the same school. Given how hard it is to compare the academic achievements of students who come from public and private schools in urban, suburban and rural areas throughout the United States. The SAT I provides college admissions officers with a quick way to compare applicants from thousands of different high schools. On one day, hundreds of thousand of students throughout the united states (and in many foreign countries) take the exact same version of the SAT I, and a verbal score or 670 means exactly the same thing at a private school in Massachusetts as it does in a public school in California.


How Do I Sign up to take the SAT I ?

Your high school guidance office should have copies of the SAT program registration Bulletin, which provides information on how to register for the test by mail. If your school is out of them, you can get copies from:

College Board SAT I
P.O. Box 6200
Princeton NJ 08541d-6200

You can ask to have a bulletin sent to you by phoning the College Board office in Princeton from 8.00 am to 9.45 pm. Eastern time on weekdays (9.00am t0 4.45pm on Saturdays). The numbers is (609) 771-7588.

In addition to registering by mail, you can also register for the SAT I on line. To take advantage of this service, go to: www.collegeboard.org You will need to have your social security number and/or your date of birth, plus a major credit card. On-Line registration is fast and efficient. However, not everyone is eligible to use it. If you plan to pay with a check, money order, or fee waiver, you must register by mail. Similarly, if you are signing up for Sunday testing, or if you have a visual, hearing, or learning disability and plan to take advantage of the services for students with Disabilities Program, you must register by mail.


What Does the SAT I Test?

The verbal sections test your critical reading skills and your vocabulary. One goal of the exam is to determine whether when you read a passage you understand what the author is saying and can make valid conclusions based on the text. Another goal is to determine if the level of your vocabulary is sufficiently high for you to be able to read college level texts. The verbal sections contain three types of questions: sentence completion questions, analogy questions and critical reading questions. This book will teach you the strategies that will enable you to attack each question intelligently and will help you to develop the high-level vocabulary you need to score well on the verbal sections of the SAT I. The quantitative sections of the SAT I am less a test of your knowledge of arithmetic, geometry, and algebra than they are of your ability to reasons logically. What many students find difficult about these questions is not the level of mathematics-much of the exam is based on grade schools arithmetic, and almost every question is based on mathematics that is taught by the ninth grade. Rather, the difficulty lies in the way that the students must use the mathematics they already know as they reason through the solution. In this book, you will learn all the strategies you need to decipher these quantitative questions successfully.

Beyond your vocabulary, reading ability, and reasoning skills, the SAT I tests something else: Your ability to take standardized tests. Some students are naturally good test takers. They instinctively know how to use standardized tests to their advantage. They never freeze, and when they guess they are correct far more often than the laws of averages would suggest. You probably have at least a few classmates who are no brighter than you a who don’t study any more than you, but who consistently earn higher test grades- and you hate them! Don’t. Just learn their secrets. In classes in private tutorial, and through previous editions of this and other books, we have helped millions of students to become better test-takers. Now it’s your turn.


How Important is the SAT I ?

In addition to your application form, the essays you write, and the letters of recommendation that your teacher and guidance counselor write, colleges receive two important pieces of numerical data. One is your high school transcript, which shows the grades you have earned in all your courses during a three-year period. The other is your SAT I score, which show how well you did during a three-hour period one Saturday morning. Which is more important? Your transcript, by far. However, your scores on the SAT I definitely do count, and it is precisely because you want your SAT I scores to be as high as possible that you purchased this book. If you use this book wisely, you will not be disappointed.


What is the Format of the SAT I ?

The SAT IL is a three-hour exam, divided into seven sections, but because you should arrive a little early and because time is required to pass out material, read instructions, collect the test, and give you short breaks between the section, you should assume that you will be in the testing room for about three and a half to four hours. Although the Sati consists of seven sections, your scores are based on only six of them. They are four 30 minutes sections (two math and two verbal) and two 15-minute sections (one math and one verbal). The seventh sections are either a third 30-minutes math section or a third 30-minutes verbal section. It is what the ETS calls an” equating” section, but is commonly referred to as the “experimental” section. It is used to test out new questions for use on future exams. However, because this extra section is identical in format to one of the other sections, there is no way for you to know which section is the experimental one, and so you must do; your best on every section.


THE VERBAL SECTION

There are three types of questions on the verbal portion of the SAT I:
i. Sentence completion questions,
ii. Analogy questions and
iii. Critical reading questions.
There are 78 questions in all, divided into three sections, each of which has its own format. You should expect to see. Although not necessarily in this order:

35- Questions Verbal Section Questions

1-10 sentences completion questions Questions
11-23 analogy questions Questions
24-35 critical reading questions

30-Questions Verbal Section Questions

1-9 sentence completion questions Questions
10-15 analogy questions Questions
16-30 critical reading questions

13 Question Verbal Sections Questions

1-13 critical reading questions on paired passages

As you see, the three verbal sections typically contain a total of 19 sentences completion questions, 19 analogies, and 40 critical reading questions. More than half the verbal questions on the SAT I directly test your reading. Pay particular attention to how the first two of these sections are organized. These sections contain groups of sentence completion questions followed by groups of analogy questions. The group of questions are arranged roughly in order of difficulty: they start out with easy warm-up questions and get more and more difficult as they go along. The critical reading questions however, are not arranged in order of difficulty. Instead, they are arranged to follow the passage’s organization: Questions about material found early in the passage come before questions about material occurring later. This information will be helpful to you in pacing yourself during the test.



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