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.

Shermaine G.

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoAll of us at ePrep are thoroughly impressed with the new WordSmith Challenge top score. Shermaine G. appears to have what the College Board calls “a large and varied working vocabulary.” Not only are we convinced that Shemaine will do well on the CR section of the SAT, but we are also convinced that her verbal skills will help her succeed in college and life beyond.

Please tell us your secret, Shermaine.

SAT Essay Rubric – Use of Language

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoThis entry is the third of 5 video posts dedicated to explaining the 5 different categories of the SAT essay grading rubric – or scoring guide. In this entry you’ll find out how essay graders view your choice of vocabulary words.

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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…)

SAT Vocabulary Lists – Web 2.0 Style

Eric Barnes

eprep test prep video

“One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.” – Evelyn Waugh

Wordsource | Quizlet | Dictionary Tooltip Review

By now you’ve likely heard about “Web 2.0″, which means a lot of things but generally relates to the new wave of websites that look and feel more like desktop applications. Another Web 2.0 hallmark is the rise of social networks and user generated content (a fancy way of saying that end-users – meaning YOU – play an active role in creating the content that drives the site). High school kids are more likely to encounter new vocabulary online instead of reading the newspaper or a magazine. Today we profile a collection of websites and tools that make the building of your vocabulary less painful, if not even mildly fun. (more…)

SAT Vocabulary: Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep video

We all remember that classic scene in the movie Caddyshack when Carl, the Bushwood greenskeeper, plots the demise of the gopher while humming “Great Green Gobs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts”. Based on this quote, or any number of the cleaning product commercials on TV, you might think you understand the definition of ‘grime‘. Not so fast! If you’re anything like me, you will be surprised to discover the definition is not so straightforward.

Join me in this prepcast video as I explain why it’s so critical to take the time to look up vocabulary words, not just to score higher on your SAT, but to prepare yourself for success in life. (more…)

SAT Tips for International Students

Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep video If you are an international student who is not a native English speaker and you would like to strengthen your college application, you’ll want to watch this prepcast for some expert insights. (more…)

SAT Vocabulary – Lesson 4

Karl Schellscheidt

free sat test video Ah…the finish line. If you haven’t watched Lessons 1, 2, and 3, stop reading this and go watch those videos! :) Vocabulary for the SAT can be a royal pain in the you-know-what. But the dividends of a broad vocabulary are even greater than a higher SAT score. Stick with me as we come to the finish of our little focus on SAT vocabulary. (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…)

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