A tip for SAT takers: don’t fight the test

One of the most-common issues that many SAT-takers face, particularly in Critical Reading, is the seeming randomness of many of the answers. While I do agree that the College Board occasionally does in fact come up with a set of answers choices that are uniformly awful, this is actually a pretty rare occurrence. I say this because I have had countless conversations with students about why their (incorrect) answer was truly the right one, or why such-and-such answer could not possibly be correct. While I...
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Does SAT Writing really count?

The short answer: Sometimes it can count for a lot, and sometimes it doesn’t count at all. The long answer: While Writing does not count as much Critical Reading, it still does count at most schools, so it’s advisable to take the section seriously. If a school does not consider the score, there will be an explicit announcement on the admissions page. If you’re scoring in the 700’s on CR and in 500’s on Writing, which is unlikely but theoretically possible, you can’t assume that...
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Where do critical reading passages come from anyway?

One common belief about the reading passages that appear on the SAT/ACT is that they are written specifically for the exam — this assumption is mostly false, but it does contain an element of truth. One on hand, reading passages are always taken from pre-existing sources and are often written by well-known authors of both fiction and non-fiction. There is a heavy emphasis on contemporary prose non-fiction, and works composed prior to the 20th century are relatively rare as compared to works written in the...
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