Monday, April 22, 2013

Essay historical topics

Christian's Essay Topics are awesome:

Top Essay Topics

http://www.esatpreptips.com/historical-examples-for-sat-essay/

Dictionary.com on iPhone is one sweet tool

Check out my latest tool for SAT Vocab. When a student misses a word, she immediately looks it up on the dictionary.com app. Then she marks it as a favorite. Within minutes she has permanent iPhone flashcards for her specific weaknesses. Once she knows them, she can unfavorite. 

What is the advantage? When will she be without her phone? Not often.

I make my students show me their phones at the beginning of tutoring and quiz them on the list. Words should be coming on and off every week. Another great advantage is the pronunciation tool. Being able to say a word correctly is imperative because when you read you say the word in your head.

Get the app and get to work.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Eliminate the SAT?

I am always reading articles on why to eliminate the SAT. Here's another:

Five Reasons to Eliminate the SAT.

Allow me to address one issue, "rich" students can afford to pay for tutoring and increase their scores.

All six of you who read this post already know that I am a professional SAT Tutor. My clients are economically successful. Mainly because they have great educations and unbelievably hard work ethics. And they instill the same in their children.  Excuse me, but isn't this one of the primary reasons we want people to go to college - economic opportunity [not to mention having an educated population is simply better than an world full of ignorance].

Yes, practicing math increases scores. Duh. Going to the gym and lifting weights increases strength. Running increase speed and decreases body fat. A fat rich kid cannot pay a personal trainer to lose weight for him or make him stronger. The kid has to do the reps and pound the pavement.

Scores go up when students work. My "rich" parents know this because they work. My "rich" students are the hardest working group of people I have ever met. They are genuinely nice teenagers who strive for excellence. They do a ton of homework, they play sports, they are in activities, and they spend many additional hours preparing for college admissions.

Some may argue that my college prep students do not have a free and fulfilling childhood because they do not get to play as many video games. Yet, later in life when they are enjoying the rewards of their work in an expensive vacation home and traveling the world will it sill be argued that their life is unfulfilled?

So here is the bottom line, I KNOW for a fact that high SAT scores directly correlates to a student's ability to work hard. Work that many other students are unwilling to undertake like practicing prime numbers, factors, functions, geometry, and reading vocabulary words.

Is it perfect? Of course not! That is ridiculous. It is A measure of work. And a cost effective one at that. In utopian drivel regarding college admissions looking at everything about a student allow me to ask the real question: Who is going to pay for the legions of admissions officers it will take to read mountains of AP's, essays. and unique applications? I know no one really wants to.

So a common test that is a starting process in admissions in not evil. It is just a starting point. And it does measure work ethic. Period. I wish that I had had prep material to practice on in 1981 when I took it. I would have had a higher score and maybe even more scholarship money because I would have worked at it.


By the way, being poor never stopped anyone from becoming stronger through doing pushups. Information on how to increase SAT scores through practice is free and widely available. The library and YouTube are rife with tips and tricks. I have a free YouTube channel on SAT math problems. And I taught at an inner city school full of the poorest people I have ever met. I was paid to come early and stay late to tutor for free. In the years that I attempted to give to the poor what the rich pay for, I could count on one hand the number of students who seriously took advantage of the opportunity.