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Official in 2016: Redesigned SAT

posted Jun 2, 2015, 3:38 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 3, 2015, 12:31 AM ]

One major component of university application is the SAT score. It is the most common used standardized test that all American universities accept in determining a candidate's readiness for college. For the past 10 years, the test structure hasn't changed. That is about to change in 2016. Below are common questions that may give you a better understanding of what to expect in 2016. 

Why is College Board changing the SAT? 

College Board is changing the SAT to better mirror college classwork. They claim that the new SAT will focus more on essential things that research shows has the most impact on college readiness. 

Who does the 2016 SAT affect? 

It will impact students who are enrolling to college in fall 2017.

How many sections will there be in the new 2016 SAT?

There will be three sections: Evidence-based Reading and Writing, Math, and Essay. However, the Essay section will be made optional. 

How long will the 2016 SAT take? 

It will take approximately 3 hours, with an optional 50 minutes for the Essay section.

How will the test scoring change? 

The 2016 SAT scoring will be on a 400 to 1600 scale (200 - 800 points possible for the Evidence-based Reading and Writing, and Math). Scores for the Essay section will be reported separately from the 400 to 1600 scale and has a score range of 2-8. 

Furthermore, there will no longer be any penalty for any wrong or unanswered items. 

How will the 2016 SAT affect a non-native student? 

The section that will be heavily influenced in the 2016 SAT is the English section. Students are expected to engage in close reading, careful analysis and clear writing with supporting evidences. They need to interpret meaning based on context as well as be aware of possible multiple meanings of a word. 

There will be significantly more information/text for students to understand, dissect and analyze. Therefore, it is that much more vital for students to possess strong English skills. 


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 886-2-7718-7660. 


SAT_Question of the Day_Critical Reading

posted Mar 1, 2010, 7:51 PM by Chuang Tina   [ updated Mar 22, 2010, 12:09 AM ]

Mar. 19

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole. 

Rod monochromasy, a type of colorblindness that renders a person’s vision strongest when light is weakest, is so rarely ------- that it is often ------- . 
  1. encountered . . misdiagnosed 
  2. remedied . . contaminated 
  3. reported . . publicized 
  4. discerned . . transmuted 
  5. calibrated . . unappreciated 
<Hint> 
Your best bet in answering this question may be to plug each set of answers into the sentence to see which combination makes the most sense. 

<Correct Answer> A 

<Here's Why>
Physicians are less likely to be familiar with the symptoms of an illness that is rarely “encountered,” or seen. Therefore, it makes sense to claim that a rare condition is more likely to be “misdiagnosed,” or incorrectly identified. 

<Difficulty> Medium 

<Question Type> Sentence Completions 



Mar. 16

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole. 

While a “ rock” is usually defined as ------- , or a combination, of one or more minerals, geologists often ------- the definition to include such materials as clay, loose sand, and certain limestones. 
  1. a conglomeration . . limit 
  2. an aggregate . . extend 
  3. an element . . eliminate 
  4. a blend . . restrict 
  5. a product . . provide 
<Hint> 
The information after the first comma defines the word in the first blank. 

<Correct Answer> 2 

<Here's Why> 
Choice (B) is correct. If these terms were inserted into the sentence, the sentence would read, “ While a 'rock' is usually defined as an aggregate, or combination, of one or more minerals, geologists often extend the definition to include such materials as clay, loose sand, and certain limestones.” An “ aggregate” is the sum total of a combination of things, so a “ rock” is an aggregate of one or more minerals. In addition to minerals, geologists feel confident including other materials such as “ clay, loose sand, and certain, limestones” in their definition of a rock; they “ extend,” or broaden, the definition. 

<Difficulty>Medium>

<Question>Type: Sentence Completions

Mar. 11

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole. 

Numerous illnesses that were once difficult to ------- may now be diagnosed through ------- blood tests. 

  1. detect . . perfunctory 
  2. facilitate . . tedious 
  3. administer . . pre-emptive 
  4. treat . . grueling 
  5. observe . . inconvenient 
<Hint> 
The words “once” and “now” suggest that certain illnesses are no longer “difficult” to diagnose. 

<Correct Answer> A 

<Here's Why> 
It makes sense to say that certain diseases are no longer difficult to “detect,” or discover, now that doctors can diagnose them through routine, or “perfunctory,” tests. 
Difficulty: Medium Question Type: Sentence Completions



Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole. 

Mar. 8

Because he was ------- in the face of danger, the explorer won the government’s highest award for conspicuous bravery. 
  1. virile 
  2. heedless 
  3. dauntless 
  4. callow 
  5. timorous 
<Hint> The missing word is a synonym for “brave.”

<Correct Answer> C 
  • Here's Why: 

Choice (C) is correct. Someone who was “dauntless,” or fearless, when faced with danger might very well earn an award for bravery. 

<Question Type>Sentence Completions 


Mar. 2
The notoriously temperamental American actor Edwin Forrest was known for his ------- both on stage and off.
1. apologies
2. musings
3. inequities
4. histrionics
5. philosophies

<Hint>
The structure of the sentence suggests that the word in the blank will pertain to Forrest’s “notorious” behavior.

<Correct Answer> D

  • Here's Why:

The term “histrionics” in this context refers to Forrest’s theatrical performances as well as to the emotional outbursts that likely accompanied his temper.

<Difficulty> Medium

<Question Type> Sentence Completions

SAT_Question of the Day_Writing

posted Mar 1, 2010, 7:36 PM by Chuang Tina   [ updated Mar 19, 2010, 4:00 AM ]




Mar. 18, 2010

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E.

Most ships move (A) through the Suez Canal with (B) their own power, but large ships must (D) be assisted by a tugboat.

1. (A)
2. (B)
3. (C)
4. (D)
5. (E)

<Hint>
Pay attention to prepositions and what they mean in context.

<Correct Answer> B 

<Here's Why> 
The error in this sentence occurs at (B), where there is an improper idiom. The idiom is “under their own power,” not “with their own power.” 

<Question Type> Identifying Sentence Errors


Mar. 15

Part of the following sentence is underlined; beneath the sentence are five ways of phrasing the underlined material. Select the option that produces the best sentence. If you think the original phrasing produces a better sentence than any of the alternatives, select choice A. 

The well-preserved, 121-million-year-old fossilized bird embryo on display at the museum has several features that suggest that its young could move about and feed themselves very soon after they hatched. 
  1. its 
  2. her 
  3. their 
  4. the species’ 
  5. for this species 
<Hint> 
To what does the possessive pronoun “its” refer? 

<Correct Answer> 4
 
<Here's Why> 
Choice (D) is correct. It avoids the pronoun reference error of the original by using “the species” to indicate the kind of birds (birds of the same species) whose “young could move about … hatched.” 

<Question Type> Improving Sentences

Mar. 10, 2010

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E.

It weaves (A) across a strip of tropical land where (B) the Isthmus of Panama narrows (C) in the shape of a long flattened letter S, the Panama Canal
links the Atlantic(D) and Pacific Oceans.

1. (A)
2. (B)
3. (C)
4. (D)
5. (E)

<Hint>
Remember that two complete thoughts should never be joined by a comma.

<Correct Answer> A 
  • Here's Why: 
The error in this sentence occurs at (A), where a comma splice is created. To fix the comma splice, “It weaves” should be changed to “Weaving.” 
<Question Type> Identifying Sentence Errors

Mar. 5, 2010

Part of the following sentence is underlined; beneath the sentence are five ways of phrasing the underlined material. Select the option that produces the best sentence. If you think the original phrasing produces a better sentence than any of the alternatives, select choice A.

Its fossil record virtually unchanged over 100 million years, the Gingko tree is one of the oldest living species of tree.

1. Its fossil record
2. Its fossil record was
3. Its fossil record, which is
4. Its fossil record exists
5. Its fossil record, because

<Hint>
Try placing the adjectival phrase “Its fossil record … years” after the noun it modifies, “the Gingko tree.”

<Correct Answer> A 
  • Here's Why: 
Choice (A) is correct. It avoids the errors of the other options by using the phrase “Its fossil record” to describe what has remained “virtually unchanged over 100 million years.” 

<Question Type> Improving Sentences

Mar. 1, 2010

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E.

Except for (A) the phonograph, the performances of great musicians (B) and the voices of famous people would have been (C)
lost to history (D).

1. (A)
2. (B)
3. (C)
4. (D)
5. (E) (no error)

<Hint>
When choosing prepositions, pay attention to their meaning.

<Correct Answer> A
  • Here is Why: 
The error in this sentence occurs at (A), where there is in appropriate word choice. In this context, "Except for" doesn't make sense. Instead, "Without" is needed.

<Question Type> Identifying Sentence Errors

SAT_Question of the Day_Math_with Answers

posted Mar 1, 2010, 7:32 PM by Chuang Tina   [ updated Mar 18, 2010, 4:58 AM ]

Mar. 17, 2010

Read the following SAT test question, then click on a button to select your answer. 

ƒ(2n) = 2ƒ(n) for all integers n 
ƒ(4)= 4 

If ƒ is a function defined for all positive integers n, and ƒ satisfies the two conditions above, which of the following could be the definition of ƒ? 
  1. ƒ(n) = n – 2 
  2. ƒ(n) = n 
  3. ƒ(n) = 2n 
  4. ƒ(n) = 4 
  5. ƒ(n) = 2n – 4 

<Hint> 
It is easy to check whether ƒ(4) = 4 for the functions given. First, eliminate those functions for which ƒ(4) 4. Then evaluate the functions for some values, such as n = 1 or n = 2, to see whether ƒ(2n) = 2ƒ(n) for those values. 

<Correct Answer> 2
 
<Here's Why>

If ƒ(n) = n – 2, then ƒ(4) = 4 – 2 = 2 4, so the second condition fails. If ƒ(n) = 2n, then ƒ(4) = 8 4, so the second condition fails for this function also. The other three options satisfy ƒ(4) = 4, so it remains to check whether they satisfy the first condition. 

If n = 1, and ƒ(n) = 4, then ƒ(2n) = ƒ(2) = 4 and 2ƒ(1) = 2(4) = 8, so it is not true that ƒ(2n) = 2ƒ(n) for all integers n. This means that the function ƒ(n) = 4 does not satisfy the first condition. If n = 1, and ƒ(n) = 2n – 4, then ƒ(2n) = ƒ(2) = 2(2)– 4 = 0 and 2ƒ(n) = 2ƒ(1) = 2(–2) = –4, so it is not true that ƒ(2n) = 2ƒ(n) for all integers n. This means that the function ƒ(n) = 2n – 4 does not satisfy the first condition. 

However, if ƒ(n) = n, then ƒ(2n) = 2n = 2ƒ(n), for all integers n. Also, ƒ(4) = 4. Therefore, the function ƒ(n) = n is the only option that satisfies both conditions. 

<Difficulty> Hard 

<Question Type> Standard Multiple Choice


Mar. 12, 2010

Read the following SAT test question, then click on a button to select your answer. 

If the graph of the function ƒ in the xy-plane contains the points (0, –9), (1, –4), and (3, 0), which of the following CANNOT be true? 
  1. The graph of ƒ has a maximum value. 
  2. y 0 for all points (x, y) on the graph of ƒ. 
  3. The graph of ƒ is symmetric with respect to a line. 
  4. The graph of ƒ is a line. 
  5. The graph of ƒ is a parabola. 
<Hint> 

If three points in the xy-plane lie on a line, the slope of the segment connecting any pair of the points must be the same as the slope of the segment connecting any other pair of the points. 

<Correct Answer> D 
<Here's Why> 

If the graph of the function ƒ, which contains the points (0, –9), (1, –4), and (3, 0), were a line, then the slope of the segment connecting the points (0, –9) and (1, –4) would be the same as the slope of the segment connecting the points (1, –4) and (3, 0). However, the slope of the segment connecting the points (0, –9) and (1, –4) is 5, and the slope of the segment connecting the points (1, –4) and (3, 0) is 2. Therefore, the graph of ƒ cannot be a line. 

The statements in the other four options could be true. For example, if the equation of ƒ were y = –(x – 3)2, then the graph of ƒ would contain the points (0, –9), (1, –4), and (3, 0). The graph of ƒ would be a parabola symmetric with respect to the line with equation x = 3. The maximum value of ƒ would occur at the point (3, 0), and y 0 would be true for all points (x, y) on the graph of ƒ. 
<Difficulty> Hard 
<Question Type> Standard Multiple Choice

Mar. 9, 2010

What is the equation of the line parallel to the x-axis and four units above the x-axis? 
1. x = –4 
2. x = 4 
3. y = –4 
4. y = 0 
5. y = 4 

<Hint> 
Any line that is parallel to the x-axis is a horizontal line. 

<Correct Answer> 5 
  • Here's Why: 
A line that is parallel to the x-axis and four units above the x-axis is the vertical translation of the x-axis four units upward. Since the x-axis is a horizontal line and has equation y = 0, it follows that the line parallel to the x-axis and four units above the x-axis has equation y = 4. 

<Difficulty> Easy 

<Question Type> Standard Multiple Choice

Mar. 4, 2010

If 0.036 = 3.6 × 10t, what is the value of t?

  1. –3
  2. –2
  3. –1
  4. 2
  5. 3
<Hint> 
If t is a nonzero integer, multiplying a number in decimal form by 10t moves the decimal point to the right or to the left, depending on whether t is positive or negative, respectively.

<Correct Answer> B
  • Here's Why: 
If t is a nonzero integer, multiplying a number in decimal form by 10t moves the decimal point to the right or to the left, depending on whether t is positive or negative, respectively. (If t = 0, multiplying by 10t does not change the value of the number.) To get 0.036 from 3.6, you must move the decimal point two places to the left, so t = –2.
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Question Type: Standard Multiple Choice

Feb. 26, 2010

A florist buys roses at $0.50 apiece and sells them for $1.00 apiece. If there are no other expenses, how many roses must be sold in order to make a profit of $300?

  1. 100
  2. 150
  3. 200
  4. 300
  5. 600

<Hint>

Each rose brings a profit of $1.00 minus $0.50, or $0.50. How many $0.50s are there in $300?

<Correct Answer> E

  • Here's Why:

Each rose brings a profit of $1.00 minus $0.50, or $0.50. The number of roses that need to be sold to make a profit of $300 is $300 ÷ $0.50. This is 600 roses.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Question Type: Standard Multiple Choice

posted Feb 25, 2010, 8:51 PM by Chuang Tina   [ updated Aug 9, 2010, 2:20 AM ]



 

How to get an “Unfair” Advantage into the Ivy League + MIT/Stanford

posted Jan 24, 2010, 10:59 PM by Mark A. Hsu   [ updated Dec 13, 2010, 7:38 PM by Chuang Tina ]


Students and parents (and unfortunately many school counselors) are often unfamiliar with the Early Round (Early Action or Early Decision) option at many of America’s elite schools. We have crunched the data on the Early Round vs. Regular Decision admission rates, which should show you that whenever possible, you should apply to EA/ED.


Six Ivy League Schools offer the Early Action option. They are Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Penn and Yale.
 
Overall Early Round Estimated Regular Decision
Class of 2013 Admit Applied % Admit Applied % Admit Applied % ER/RD
Brown 2,708 24,988 10.84 551 2,343 23.52% 2,157 22,645 9.53% 2.47
Dartmouth 2,184 18,130 12.05 401 1,550 25.87% 1,783 16,580 10.75% 2.41
Columbia 2,497 25,428 9.82 594 2,945 20.17% 1,903 22,483 8.46% 2.38
Yale 1,951 26,000 7.5 742 5,556 13.35% 1,209 20,444 5.91% 2.26
Penn 3,926 22,939 17.11 1,156 3,666 31.53% 2,770 19,273 14.37% 2.19
Cornell 6,567 34,381 19.1 1,249 3,405 36.68% 5,318 30,976 17.17% 2.14
 
If you look at the admission rates for Early Round, they are significantly higher at all 6 schools. (We have developed a ratio, which we term ER/RD, which measures how great of an advantage ER applicants have.) The ER/RD ratio ranges from 2.14 (Cornell) to 2.47 (Brown). In simpler terms, it means you are 2.5x more likely to be admitted to Brown applying in ER than in RD.

Data for Stanford is equally revealing!
                Overall                  Early Round              Est. 
                                                                            Regular Decision

2013

Admit

Applied

%

Admit

Applied

%

Admit

Applied

%

ER/ED

Stanford*

2,385

30,428

7.84

689

5,363

12.85

1,696

25,065

6.77

1.90

MIT

1,597

15,661

10.2

540

5,019

10.76

1,057

10,642

9.93

1.08


Although the advantage of applying to ER for Stanford is less than the six Ivies, it is still very significant. You are twice as likely applying to ER than RD at Stanford.

The advantage is most significant when we take into context Harvard’s admission rate.
 

Class of 2013

Admit

Applied

%

Harvard

2131

29112

7.32

Princeton

2181

21964

9.93


Harvard and Princeton do not offer Early Action. The overall admission rate for Harvard is 7.32%. You would assume that Harvard being Harvard, the school should have the lowest admission rate in the U.S. But it turns out that both Yale and Stanford Regular Decision are more competitive than Harvard.

When we look at RD admission rates, Columbia and Brown are even more difficult to get in than Princeton, with MIT having nearly identical admission rates and Dartmouth a tad behind at 10.75%

*Stanford announced its 2010 EA stat on Dec. 13, 2010: 
 
 AdmittedApplied  EA admission%
 7545929 12.7 

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