Monthly Archives: February 2014

Quick Tips to Memorizing SAT Vocabulary

Almost every student’s least favorite part of studying for the SAT is memorizing vocabulary. I know that was the worst part of my SAT preparation for sure. However, as mentioned in the previous post, the SAT vocabulary is an important part and cannot be neglected! Here, I will go through some quick tricks and tips to help you minimize the tediousness and ace the SAT vocabulary!

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[Continue reading for tips on how to memorize the SAT vocabulary quickly…]

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“Hello, my name is Essay:” Writing a Gripping Introduction

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADid you know? The introduction to your academic essay might just be the most important paragraph. Not only does it house the road-map of your essay (the thesis statement) along with its motivator (the motive); but it also constitutes the starting point for your reader, who is, in the end, your most valued customer! You definitely do not want to bore your reader from the first sentence, even if you feel like you may be talking about the most boring subject on the face of the planet (trust me, I’ve been there!). Whatever your subject, you should be able to introduce it with pizzazz, in such a way that your reader has to keep reading.

Here are some tricks.

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Should I Study SAT Vocabulary?

How am I ever going to finish memorizing these 1000 vocabulary words for the SAT?  Is this even important for the SAT??? The SAT vocabulary used to be a large part of SAT prep. After all, if you could confidently memorize all those SAT words, you could have a perfect score on the SAT vocabulary section. Yet, nowadays, with analogies and antonyms gone from the SAT, studying for the SAT vocabulary only become directly important for the Sentence Completion part under Critical Reading. It seems that vocabulary has become less important in the SAT.



[Continue reading to find out whether studying SAT vocabulary is important…]

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A Writing Vocabulary: Academic Writing Part VI

vocabularyIt’s time to stock up on words! Now that you’ve become more familiar with the mechanics of academic writing (check out my recent blog posts on Sources, Citations, and Structure), we’re going to focus on the most basic aspect of the essay: the words themselves.

How exactly can you make your academic essay sound ‘intellectual?’ Believe it or not, by trading out a few of those boring verbs and adjectives, avoiding some common mistakes, and boosting your overall vocabulary, you can be sure to end up with a polished, professional, and truly academic –sounding essay!

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How Many Times Should I Take the SAT?

I’ve often heard things like, “Oh man…I missed my target score of 2300 by 20 points, should I retake the SAT to get the score I want?” or “The second time I took the SAT, my score improved by 50 points, should I try taking the SAT a third time?” Some students believe that they have nothing to lose by taking the SAT multiple times until they have achieved their ideal score, or gotten too tired of it. Yet, aside from the 4 hours each time you take the test, registration fees, and emotional and mental health, there are other factors why there is a limit to how many times you should take the SAT.



[Continue reading to find out how many times you should take the SAT…]

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Citation 101: Writing Academically Part V

citation-neededAs promised, today we are going to break down the basics of citations in preparation for that research paper you have hopefully (cough, cough) been diligently working on since last we spoke. Last time we discussed the different types of sources you might encounter in your research project. These include primary sources and secondary sources. If you need a refresher, look over Sorting your Sources before proceeding.

Today we’ll unpack methods on how exactly to “cite” those sources that you use in the body of your paper. Today, meet MLA and Chicago.

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Studying Root Words: Your Favorite Works of Fiction are Rooted in Root Words

Use some of your favorite fictitious words to unlock real words' meanings.

Use some of your favorite fictitious words to unlock real words’ meanings.

Many of our favorite authors use their knowledge of root words, Old English, and Germanic and Romantic languages to create meaningful names for fictitious people, places, and things. An understanding of words parts is essential to developing a great vocabulary, so delve into some of your favorite science fiction and fantasy to practice finding and decoding meaningful word parts!

Read on to see how some of your favorite words from Harry Potter, Pokemon, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and Star Wars can help you on your next vocabulary quiz!

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Developing Useful SAT Essay Examples

I remember that one of the biggest challenges I faced when tackling the SAT essay was having a wide variety of examples at my fingertips. Although the SAT essay is intended to measure your writing and argumentative skills, and not your knowledge of any particular subject, it is necessary to use good examples in your SAT essay to create a persuasive argument. Many of the essay prompts given on the SAT tend to be open-ended questions with multiple perspectives one can take. Almost all of these essay prompts deal with basic moral, social and psychological issues such as the meaning of freedom or courage.



[Continue reading to find out how to develop useful SAT essay examples…]

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Sorting your Sources: Writing Academically Part IV

research-paper-writingHave a research paper looming on the horizon? No problem! In continuation of my series on academic writing, I’m here to make the prospect of that research paper a little less daunting. Once you understand the “research mechanics” of a research paper, this will be easier than you think.

Let’s talk sources.

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Studying Vocabulary: If It’s Not Fun, You’re Doing It Wrong

According to a review of vocabulary acquisition research, the three most effective methods of vocabulary acquisition requires students to:

  1. connect new vocabulary with what they already know
  2. experience repeated exposure to new words
  3. use new vocabulary in meaningful ways
The king had such great washboard abs that he abdicated the throne to pursue a career in modelling!

The king had such great washboard abs that he abdicated the throne to pursue a career in modelling!

While repeated exposure echoes the philosophy behind the most traditional methods, such as vocabulary flash cards, matching games, and crossword puzzle practice, the most common methods used by students today completely neglect two of the three most essential and most fun parts of vocabulary learning.

Read on below to find suggestions for making the study of vocabulary both fun and effective by bringing connection-making and the meaningful use of vocabulary back into the equation.

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