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General Strategies

General Strategies

These guides and articles discuss strategies that can be used on any test – the SAT, ACT, and more – and in school generally.

Study Strategies

The Limits of SAT & ACT Tips – Everyone loves “tips and tricks,” and I’ll give you plenty to help you conquer the SAT and ACT. But tips have limits. You need to strive for something more powerful.

How to Get Unstuck Between Two Choices – Ever get stuck between two choices and pick the wrong one? Here’s how to beat the test at it’s own game.

The Ultimate Last Minute Tip – What should you do the night before your SAT or ACT? The answer may surprise you.

Test Taking

4 Bs in a Row?! – What should you do if you bubbled in three, four, or more of the same letter in a row on a multiple-choice test?

Running Out of Time? – There are a lot of reasons you might run out of time on the SAT and ACT. Here’s one that you might not have thought about.

Reading

What is Critical Reading? – Critical reading is a skill that must be developed over time, and it is not something that we do when we read everyday, even in school. Learn what Critical Reading is – and isn’t – in this article & video.

Skimming vs. Close Reading – Skimming can be a useful tool when completing Reading tests, but you don’t want to overuse it – close reading will more reliably get you the correct answer on the New SAT Reading & ACT Reading tests.

Paraphrase Power – SAT & ACT Reading – Looking to improve your reading comprehension? Use these exercises to practice quickly and accurately paraphrasing passages and answering questions.

Summarizing – Practice how to quickly and accurately summarize a portion of a passage to answer a question.

Two Big SAT & ACT Reading Mistakes – Learn how to correct the two big mistakes many students make when completing SAT and ACT Reading questions.

How to Ace Boring Reading Passages – The SAT and ACT has their fair share of boring Reading passages. I’ll give you a strategy to help reduce boredom and keep your focus where it should be: getting questions right.

How to Stop Zoning Out When Reading – Learn how to avoid losing focus when reading passages on the SAT and ACT.

Biggest “Main Idea” Mistake – Watch out for this common error when doing main idea & primary purpose questions.

Math

One Powerful 800 Math & 36 Math Tip – Learn how you can “triangulate” your way to the right answer and maximize your chances of perfection.

Resist Algebra – Even though many problems can be solved algebraically, there’s usually a better way to solve them.

The Percent Trick – A useful tactic for solving percent change questions quickly & efficiently.

Setting Up Equations: Don’t Double Count – The SAT & ACT will try to beat you with this sneaky trick. Learn how to stop them.

Word Problem With Multiple Equations – Get familiar with this common question type for a +1!

Hard Geometry & Possibility – Learn to survey your “math universe” to help narrow down options for tackling even the hardest geometry problem.

Keep It Simple, Smarty – Don’t let the test makers intimidate you into overcomplicating questions. Look for the simplest solutions first.

Graphing Word Problems – Three strategies for creating graphs of functions from word problems.

Grammar

Avoid Passive Voice – While the SAT & ACT won’t test the difference between active and passive voice directly, it does pay know how to recognize passive voice since it often produces wordy answer choices.

Punctuation Problems – Having trouble with commas, semicolons, and colons? You might be missing a more fundamental problem.

Commas and Your Breath? – A common rule-of-thumb is to place a comma in a sentence “when you take a breath.” This advice is breathtaking in its lack of rigor.

Commas: The Two or None Rule – A handy rule to solve some of the commas questions you’ll see in ACT English and SAT Writing.

Misplaced Modifiers – Learn how to identify and correct these sneaky errors on SAT Writing and ACT English.

Starting Sentences With Because – Because the rule is taught so often, many students don’t realize that “starting with a sentence with because” is actually completely fine, as long as you steer clear of sentence fragments.

Sentence Clarity – Make sure your choices are clear and don’t introduce any vagueness or ambiguity.

General Strategies

These guides and articles discuss strategies that can be used on any test – the SAT, ACT, and more – and in school generally.

Study Strategies

The Limits of SAT & ACT Tips – Everyone loves “tips and tricks,” and I’ll give you plenty to help you conquer the SAT and ACT. But tips have limits. You need to strive for something more powerful.

How to Get Unstuck Between Two Choices – Ever get stuck between two choices and pick the wrong one? Here’s how to beat the test at it’s own game.

The Ultimate Last Minute Tip – What should you do the night before your SAT or ACT? The answer may surprise you.

Test Taking

4 Bs in a Row?! – What should you do if you bubbled in three, four, or more of the same letter in a row on a multiple-choice test?

Running Out of Time? – There are a lot of reasons you might run out of time on the SAT and ACT. Here’s one that you might not have thought about.

Reading

What is Critical Reading? – Critical reading is a skill that must be developed over time, and it is not something that we do when we read everyday, even in school. Learn what Critical Reading is – and isn’t – in this article & video.

Skimming vs. Close Reading – Skimming can be a useful tool when completing Reading tests, but you don’t want to overuse it – close reading will more reliably get you the correct answer on the New SAT Reading & ACT Reading tests.

Paraphrase Power – SAT & ACT Reading – Looking to improve your reading comprehension? Use these exercises to practice quickly and accurately paraphrasing passages and answering questions.

Summarizing – Practice how to quickly and accurately summarize a portion of a passage to answer a question.

Two Big SAT & ACT Reading Mistakes – Learn how to correct the two big mistakes many students make when completing SAT and ACT Reading questions.

How to Ace Boring Reading Passages – The SAT and ACT has their fair share of boring Reading passages. I’ll give you a strategy to help reduce boredom and keep your focus where it should be: getting questions right.

How to Stop Zoning Out When Reading – Learn how to avoid losing focus when reading passages on the SAT and ACT.

Biggest “Main Idea” Mistake – Watch out for this common error when doing main idea & primary purpose questions.

Math

One Powerful 800 Math & 36 Math Tip – Learn how you can “triangulate” your way to the right answer and maximize your chances of perfection.

Resist Algebra – Even though many problems can be solved algebraically, there’s usually a better way to solve them.

The Percent Trick – A useful tactic for solving percent change questions quickly & efficiently.

Setting Up Equations: Don’t Double Count – The SAT & ACT will try to beat you with this sneaky trick. Learn how to stop them.

Word Problem With Multiple Equations – Get familiar with this common question type for a +1!

Hard Geometry & Possibility – Learn to survey your “math universe” to help narrow down options for tackling even the hardest geometry problem.

Keep It Simple, Smarty – Don’t let the test makers intimidate you into overcomplicating questions. Look for the simplest solutions first.

Graphing Word Problems – Three strategies for creating graphs of functions from word problems.

Grammar

Avoid Passive Voice – While the SAT & ACT won’t test the difference between active and passive voice directly, it does pay know how to recognize passive voice since it often produces wordy answer choices.

Punctuation Problems – Having trouble with commas, semicolons, and colons? You might be missing a more fundamental problem.

Commas and Your Breath? – A common rule-of-thumb is to place a comma in a sentence “when you take a breath.” This advice is breathtaking in its lack of rigor.

Commas: The Two or None Rule – A handy rule to solve some of the commas questions you’ll see in ACT English and SAT Writing.

Misplaced Modifiers – Learn how to identify and correct these sneaky errors on SAT Writing and ACT English.

Starting Sentences With Because – Because the rule is taught so often, many students don’t realize that “starting with a sentence with because” is actually completely fine, as long as you steer clear of sentence fragments.

Sentence Clarity – Make sure your choices are clear and don’t introduce any vagueness or ambiguity.