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15/06/2011

Get Ready for the SAT

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  • Ally

    Ally

    自小熱衷鑽研英語、分享心得,酷愛研究遣詞用字、文法活用,討厭硬記生吞詞彙生字、死記爛背文法規則。自有一套獨特的英語教學方法——「語境技巧」(Context Approach) ,著重語境理解及語文邏輯,達到有效表達和溝通。慨歎學生過於考試主導(exam-oriented)、死操試題、不求甚解,欲藉著學生爭取優異成績的鬥志,驅動學生有效地應付英語公開試,同時提升英語水平,求分數同時求學問。

    大學畢業後即任會考及高考班英文老師,現為資深英文導師及英語專欄作家,熟悉各大英語公開試,例如:SAT, IELTS, TOEFL, HKCEE, HKASLE, HKDSE。

    進攻SAT

To get ready for the SAT, it is important to know what the test is about, what it is expected of you and familiarize yourself with the test format. Having all your study materials ready and handy at the beginning will also greatly facilitate your revision. Aim high at improving both your SAT score and your English at the same time.

Predictor of your college success

 

If you plan to study in a college in the US, taking the SAT is a must. The SAT serves to provide an effective predictor of your college success, as with GMAT of your MBA success. The SAT, also called the SAT Reasoning Test, measures critical thinking, analyzing and problem-solving skills learned in the high school that are required in college. So, it assesses what you learned in the high school, suggesting the best way to get ready for it is to study hard in school. True as it is, now that you are about to take the SAT, you will still certainly benefit from familiarizing with the test format. Looking at it the other way around, since the SAT effectively assesses how well those skills of yours are, if you prepare well using the SAT exercises, you should be able to improve those skills and, hence, score high.

The test format

 

The SAT measures your critical thinking, analyzing and problem-solving skills through writing, reading and math. Each section accounts for 800 scores of the SAT. The test always begins with the essay, followed by other sub-sections at random:

 

 

A test of more than grammatical accuracy

 

The focus of this column will be on the 2 language sections – writing and reading.

 

The writing section is nicely structured with buildable inter-woven sub-sections from analyzing grammatical structures within a sentence, then going beyond the sentence level to the wider context of paragraphs and writing the whole essay:

 

Identifying sentence errors→Improving sentences→ Improving paragraphs→ Writing an essay


Students should learn to appreciate the close relationship between these sub-sections and gain the positive feedback effect that while you are improving your performance on one sub-sections, you are improving others.


The reading section is composed of “sentence completion” and “passage-based reading”. The former is essentially a vocabulary test while the latter assesses how well students use reasoning and inferencing skills to comprehend what is stated or implied in the context of the passage.

Besides “identifying sentence errors” and “sentence completion”, it is clear that the SAT, like other well-established language tests such as IELTS and TOEFL, is more interested in effective communication rather than grammatical accuracy. The SAT requires students to recognize not only grammatically correct sentence composition but also, more importantly, how sentences, paragraphs and essays can be written, organized and developed in a logical and coherent manner to achieve effective communication. Hence, students should not concentrate solely on grammatical accuracy; adopting “Context Approach” which emphasizes appropriateness to context and the logical nature of language is as crucial.

The rich official resources

 

Official exercises published by the College Board of the SAT are the most reliable resources for your practice of the SAT. The questions are set with the same stringent standard of the real SAT tests. The following materials provide a sufficient pool of reliable exercises for your preparation of the SAT. An attractive plus of the online practices is that they generate immediate online score reports and essay scoring.

 

Recommendations:

  • Exercise book (with 10 official tests): The Official SAT Study Guide: Second Edition.
  • Online tests (with 10 official tests): The Official SAT Online Course

 

       If you have any questions or enquires, feel free to visit my facebook page: www.facebook.com/allylo.english.


(Next Tue: Identifying sentence errors)

 

 

 《經濟通》所刊的署名及/或不署名文章,相關內容屬作者個人意見,並不代表《經濟通》立場,《經濟通》所扮演的角色是提供一個自由言論平台。

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