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.

By-line:

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.

SAT Vocabulary Building Options

Michelle Hartwell

eprep test prep videoSAT Vocabulary Building Manga?

For SAT students that dread traditional vocabulary building techniques but love manga media, there is a new product on the market — the manga graphic novel edited to contain SAT vocabulary words. Take a popular fantasy book, rewrite it a bit to include SAT required vocabulary words and you have an academic twist on a manga story. (more…)

When to Guess on the SAT Critical Reading Section

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep video
I’d like to briefly share my thoughts with you on guessing in the critical reading section. The critical reading section has two different parts: The first part is sentence completion; there are blanks in the sentence and you need to fill it in with the answer choice. Each answer choice will have a word or a couple of words if there are two blanks; you need to understand the context of the sentence. You then need to pick the words that fill in the sentence properly from the SAT vocabulary list. (more…)

How to Approach SAT Reading Passage Questions

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT reading passage questionsIn this prepcast, we’ll discuss how to handle the reading passage questions on the SAT exam. You might be surprised, but these questions are less about comprehension than knowing what to look for.
(more…)

Sam’s Story Update

Karl Schellscheidt

sat test expert advice from eprep.comOn August 10, 2006, I posted a video entitled “Critical Reading Another Way – Sam’s Story.” In that “SAT prep” video I described how a student of mine, Sam, crushed a critical reading section the first time he experimented with a new technique. The technique involved reading the questions first and referring to the reading passage only as needed. At the end of that video, (more…)

SAT Vocabulary – Lesson 3

Karl Schellscheidt

free sat test video After watching vocabulary Lessons 1 and 2, you’ve hopefully committed to building a list of new words you encounter, not just for the SAT test, but also for life beyond. The early frustration you feel “acquiring” new words will ease as you get better and better at acknowledging a new word, writing it down, and committing it to memory. (more…)

SAT Vocabulary – Lesson 2

Karl Schellscheidt

free sat test video In Lesson 1 on SAT Vocabulary, I empathized with the situation of being too tired or busy to stop and look up a new word in the dictionary. Seriously, who has time building a SAT vocabulary list? Any student taking the SAT test! However, looking up new words in the dictionary is not just the burden of SAT test takers – it should be the discipline of any person. Hear me out in Lesson 2 on SAT Vocabulary as I’ll explain why this is sage advice. (more…)

The Freshman and Sophomore SAT Test Advantage?

Karl Schellscheidt

free sat test videoHigh school freshman and sophomores have one discrete advantage over juniors and seniors when it applies to the SAT test, and that is the benefit of time. In this video I discuss what freshman and sophomores could be doing today to ensure they don’t get behind the ball when it comes time for taking the dreaded SAT test. Time is on your side. (more…)

Critical Reading Another Way – Sam’s Story

Karl Schellscheidt

free sat test videoAre you a slow reader and struggle to finish all the questions on the SAT Reading section? If you answer ‘yes’, you are in good company. In this video, I share the story of my student Sam, who was willing to try a new strategy when completing the Reading section that dramatically improved his score and confidence. Taking the SAT is no different than most challenges in life. When facing your weaknesses, it pays sometimes to alter your strategy. (more…)