Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
    (1964-1969)
  • Stanford University
    (1969-1984)
  • Princeton University
    (1988-2003)

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    (1966-1977)
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    (1977-1987)
    International Office Director
    (1987-2002)

Tips for Acing CR and Writing

Guest Columnist

college admissions expert advice from eprep.com4 Tips to Ace Your SAT Verbal and Writing

Every kid has nightmares about facing the SAT exams, one of the hurdles to their progress to a good college. Enough cannot be said about the importance of these tests, so it is imperative that preparation is thorough, because only with intensive study and planned strategy can you ace the SATs. Most students find it hard to score high marks on the verbal and writing portions; although mathematics is difficult, it can be aced if you study diligently. With the essay, sentence completion and other parts of the verbal and writing tests, you never know how you’re going to be judged, so the best you can do is prepare as well as you can by:

Starting young: The SATs may come into your life only when you graduate from high school, but that’s no reason to wait till your senior year to prepare for them. In fact, the groundwork for the SATs has to begin when you’re old enough to understand how important these exams are in your life. If you practice improving your vocabulary and reading as a daily habit right from the time you can read, you’re going to have an edge over the competition when you take the SATs.

Reading the right kind of books: It’s not enough that you read; what’s more important is that you read the right kind of books. There are some authors who improve your English and vocabulary and entertain as well, so make sure you include their books as part of your education. While your interest may lie with popular best sellers, you must make an effort to get through and enjoy books that are known to have words that are commonly found in SAT vocabulary questions, like Brian Aldiss, Kim Stanley Robinson, Vladimir Nabokov and K.W. Jeter.

Improving your handwriting: You’re going to have to write the essay using pen and paper, without the help of a word processor. So work on writing a few pages everyday so that your handwriting is neat and presentable even when you’re writing at top speed. You also need to be able to write a complete essay without your fingers cramping or your writing going awry.

Improving your presentation: You need to work on your presentation skills and learn how to use intelligent quotations in your essay, understand how to split it into paragraphs, and most important of all, know how to organize your thoughts and put them down in a cohesive format, one that flows from beginning to end and makes sense.

Remember, acing the SATs is a task that’s all in the mind. If you train yourself to think positively, you’re definitely going to be able to do well.

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This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of engineering degree online at her blog The Engineering A Better World Blog. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: katsanders25@gmail.com.