Tag Archives: standardized tests

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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Avoiding Bad SAT Essay Examples

Often, the biggest challenge of the SAT essay isn’t poor writing, but coming up with relevant and good examples within the short 25 minutes that you are given for the essay section. Someone told me that during her SAT test, she panicked after reading the prompt because no good example came to her mind and so she made up an example using her “cat”. After the test, she realized that her example had been really far-fetched and its link to the prompt hadn’t been the most relevant. She realized that one key thing she should have prepared for was good SAT essay examples.



[Continue reading to find out what to avoid when writing your essay…]

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NJ ASK Test Updates for the Transition to Core Curriculum Standards

The season for the NJ ASK standardized testing will soon be upon us– as will a few differences within the NJ ASK test.

New Jersey plans to fully align its assessments to the Core Curriculum Standards by 2015, and in the mean time, the NJ ASK is bridging the gap between the old and new standards with a hybrid test. Accordingly, the ELA section was altered last year for all grades, but for middle school students, in 2014 there are still changes to come to the content of the math section.

Standardized Testing

While the majority of schools have adjusted their instruction to prepare students for these changes and while many of the changes to the test will go without much notice and in fact, have had very little impact on the percentage of proficiency compared to previous years, there are a few modifications that makes the tests from last year and this year different than all previous NJ ASK tests.

Read on to learn about some of the most substantial changes you and your child can expect:

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Will a Calculator Help Me in the SAT?

There are a lot of misconceptions about using a calculator during the SAT. Students often wonder, is it better to use a really high-tech calculator? Or will my simple scientific calculator do the job? Will a calculator really improve my SAT score? The first important thing to note is that every mathematics question on the SAT can be solved without a calculator. So if you are unfamiliar with using a calculator during math tests, don’t try to force the issue during the SAT. Just solve those math problems the same way you’ve been doing them. Additionally, although using a calculator will not improve your SAT score, using a calculator may be helpful for some questions and also help you check your solutions more quickly.



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6 SAT Prep Mistakes

Preparation is key to any test, right? So all the prep I’ve been doing for my SATs must be helping me somehow, right? This is actually untrue! Although preparation is important for the SATs, there are actually mistakes we can make and things we should not do to prepare for the SATs.


[Continue reading to find out what these 6 SAT prep mistakes are…]

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A Daily Approach for the SAT

Oh man…my SAT is in a month’s time and I haven’t started preparing for it. In addition to my normal school work, extracurricular and the hundred other things I have to do, how am I supposed to even start preparing for perhaps one of the most important tests in my life? Unsurprisingly, with most of the SAT dates during the school term, albeit during a Saturday, many students see the SAT as another enormous challenge placed smack center amidst all the other commitments they already have. Many of these high school students are already barely sleeping 6 hours and are stressed out from trying to achieve high exam scores/class rankings.


Preparing for the SAT thus seems like an additional insurmountable challenge, where you face off thousands of students from all over the country who will contribute to your eventual score and ranking. Sometimes, the seeming difficulty of the SAT causes students to put off preparing for it till much later because “it just seems too hard and tiring to start right now”. Yet, taking a daily approach for the SAT is probably the best thing you can do to prepare for it!

  • Make it a point not to take days off! This is the first most important thing you have to take note of! Even if you only have 10 minutes on the bus or right before you fall asleep, study 10 new vocabulary words everyday and that tiny bit of work every single day will add up to a great deal in the long run.



[Continue reading to find out how to prepare daily for the SAT…]

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Avoiding Carelessness during the SAT

Wait, what??? 10 multiplied by 0 isn’t 10… 0! Grrr, and the value 8 wasn’t the radius but the diameter. How did I forget to divide it by 2 before using it in my calculations?? I could have improved my score by so much if I hadn’t made those mistakes… Have you ever been careless on a test? I know I have. If you have too, this post is definitely for you.

“Carelessness” is a condition that people have faced multiple times during test taking and has become a term commonly bandied about. I have often heard friends, and even myself, often say, “if only I had been less careless, I would have gotten a much higher score”. Moreover, the SAT is one test in which being careless and getting a question wrong will penalize the test-taker and cause points to be deducted from your score. Well, being more vigilant is not an unachievable dream. In fact, with a few crucial strategies and test-taking habits, we can all be a lot less careless.


[Continue reading to find out how to avoid careless mistakes on the SAT…]

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Does it Matter When I Take the SAT?

I remember looking at the handful of SAT test dates that one can take during a year and worrying about, firstly, how I could fit in more studying and test-taking around my already-packed high school schedule and, secondly, which date would be most advantageous to me given that I would be bell-curved against the other students taking it on that date. Advice such as “June is terrible because every other student will be taking it during summer” or “October is when all the smart kids sit for the SAT” and “December is definitely the best month because the smart ones would not have left it to the last minute so only the average ones will take it then” often inundated already stressed out high school students. Yet, was there really any truth in choosing test dates strategically to gain a testing advantage?

Does the date I take the SAT matter?

Does the date I take the SAT matter?

[Continue reading to find out whether the SAT test date matters…]
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Want to teach in China? Princeton Tutoring is hiring!

Princeton Tutoring is looking for a variety of teachers and college consultants for exciting, rewarding, and well-compensated positions with our partner organizations in China. These are immediate hiring needs, and we will be making offers on a rolling basis (so apply early!).

Annual compensation is highly competitive and commensurate with experience. All positions include housing assistance, airfare allowance, training, and a generous amount of paid vacation.

Available Positions:
1. College Consultants – URGENT!
2. SAT Teachers
3. AP Science (Chemistry & Biology) Teachers
4. SSAT/SAT Teachers

Please visit www.princetontutoring.com/international for detailed job descriptions and application instructions.

Welcome to the Princeton Tutoring Blog!

by Greg Wong and Kevin Wong

Who are we?

Welcome to Princeton Tutoring’s blog! We are an elite private tutoring company headquartered in Princeton, NJ. Since 2005 we have helped hundreds of students improve their confidence, increase grades, and gain admission into selective high schools and top colleges.

Our tutors are the nation’s highest performing college students and recent graduates.  They are high school Valedictorians, National Merit Finalists, and National AP Scholars. They are Princeton Dean’s list recipients and published fiction, poetry, and academic journal writers. Outside of their work with Princeton Tutoring, they are teaching assistants, tennis coaches, and dance instructors. Extracurricularly, they are actively involved in community service, are varsity athlete team captains, and are accomplished Grammy-performing musicians.

What is the goal of this blog?

Over the past several years, clients and friends have turned to us for advice on a variety of topics – “How can my child improve his organizational skills?”, “Should my son take the SAT or the ACT?”, “Which extracurricular activities and how many should my daughter focus on?”, “What are some of our recommended methods for reducing test anxiety?”, and so on.  In each case, we would respond by sending a carefully drafted response to a single person. What if we could share that information with a larger audience so more people could benefit?

Our goal with this blog is to address the most relevant academic (and occasionally non-academic) concerns of middle/ high school students and their parents by sharing tips and advice from the unique perspective of our tutors. You can also expect to see blog posts from teachers, college admissions counselors, and educators who are affiliated with Princeton Tutoring.

How is this blog organized?

The ultimate goal of many of our readers will be to gain admission into a top college of their choice. Therefore, we have organized our topics around the major components that will make you (or your child) an attractive college applicant:

  • General study tips (e.g. study techniques, time management, reading and writing tips)
  • Standardized tests (e.g. SAT/ACT, AP, SAT subject tests)
  • Extracurricular activities (e.g. summer, during the school year)
  • College admissions (e.g. essays, school selection, alumni interviews)

How to use this blog?

Looking for a specific topic? Try using the search function. Alternatively, click on any of the categories/tags listed on the right-hand-side of the page to view related groups of posts.

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Contact us!

If you have any questions/comments or if there is a specific topic you’d like to see, feel free to contact us at greg [at] princetontutoring.com or kevin [at] princetontutoring.com.

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Happy reading!

About the authors: Greg and Kevin are brothers and Princeton University graduates. They have over 20 years of experience in the educational services industry as tutors, mentors, and coaches. After several years as private tutors, they founded Princeton Tutoring in 2005 to continue their passion for education on a larger scale and to help more students achieve their potential.. Please click here for more information about Greg and Kevin.