The AP Academy
Accelerated Prep Courses & Tutoring
PSAT / SAT / ACT
The SAT has been redesigned to test understanding and application of skills most important for college and career readiness. The questions have been modeled to reflect more of classroom work than in the past. The changes will be effective starting in spring 2016. This change will affect the current freshmen, who plan to take the SAT in their junior year.
There are many structural changes to the SAT:
• There will be three sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, Math, and the Essay.
The former Reading and Writing sections have been combined to the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.
As a result, the exam will be scored on a 1600-point scale. Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section will be scored on a 800-point
scale, and the Math section will be scored on a 800-point scale as well.
• The Essay section will be optional.
• The redesigned SAT will be offered in print and electronically at selected locations.
According to CollegeBoard, there are eight key changes to the exam’s content:
• Relevant Words in Context
SAT will now test relevant words that are used more commonly in classrooms and work settings.
They will also focus on words that change meanings depending on the context in which they are used.
• Command of Evidence
On the Reading and Writing sections of the redesigned SAT, students will be evaluated on their abilities to interpret and use evidence
found in sources such as graphics, historical documents, and literature.
• Essay Analyzing a Source
Students will analyze a source to explain how the author builds an argument, using evidence from the passage.
• Math Focused on Three Key Areas
The SAT will now focus on three key areas of math: linear equations and algebra; complex equations or functions; and ratios,
percentages, and proportional reasoning. Calculators will only be permitted on certain parts of the math section.
• Problems Grounded in Real-World Contexts
The questions in the redesigned SAT will be based on questions directly related to work in the real-world.
Students will be asked to revise and improve texts in different areas such as humanities, history, and social sciences.
• Analysis in Science and Social Studies
Students will be asked to apply their skills in reading, writing, and math to answer questions in science, history, and social studies
contexts. Given challenging texts and graphics, students will be tested on their abilities to solve problems based on science and
• Founding Documents and Great Global Conversation
The redesigned SAT will draw excerpts from America’s founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution,
and the Bill of Rights.
• No Penalty for Wrong Answers
Students will no longer be penalized for incorrect answers on the redesigned SAT. The students will only earn points for correct
answers. This is a change from a quarter-point deduction for each incorrect answer on the current SAT.
[ SAT Reading ]
The reading comprehension sections of the SAT exam are very challenging. To meet this challenge, students must become skilled in the use of roots and prefixes to help them decipher the vocabulary used in the sentence completion portions of the exam. In addition, students will learn approaches and strategies in solving some of the most common questions. Almost every exam will include questions in the following: word-in-context questions, analogy questions, questions determining tone, mood and attitude, as well as those focusing on main idea and primary purpose. In addition, students will practice test-taking strategies in general. Furthermore, students will demonstrate knowledge of the two dozen literary elements that commonly appear on the exam. Through enough practice and instruction, students will be able to recognize the common features of the SAT exam, improve their vocabulary skills, learn to make efficient use of their time and apply all of these skills as they progress towards achieving their personal best scores on the SAT exam.
Students Will Be Able To:
▪ Become familiar with the Reading portion of the SAT
▪ Demonstrate reading comprehension
▪ Demonstrate critical thinking
[ SAT Writing ]
The writing class is structured so that the student will excel in the writing portion of the SAT exam. The College Board focuses on grammar and structure to evaluate the students abilities. Each student will be given a week by week lesson on grammar with included practice. All rules that apply to the SAT will be taught to the students, followed by exercises that promote a stronger grasp of this particular concept. The students are responsible for homework assignments which are taken directly from previous SAT exams. As the class advances, the students are timed to ensure that they are comfortable with the SAT process. The goal is for the students to approach the SAT exam prepared and confident.
Students Will Be Able To:
▪ Become familiar with the Writing portion of the SAT
▪ Define and use vocabulary words frequently seen on the SAT
▪ Identify sentence errors and improvements
▪ Increase knowledge of the grammar multiple choice questions
▪ Increase confidence level with the SAT
▪ Complete a full SAT practice test in the designated time
[ SAT Essay ]
The students are taught how to write a strong, well-structured essay. Using grammatics and conventions, the class stresses an organized, detailed writing piece which answers the prompt effectively. The students are assigned an essay every week so that they will have as much exposure as possible to every type of SAT essay question. As the class progresses, their writing is strengthened through the use of specific references and SAT vocabulary.
Students Will Be Able To:
▪ Communicate effectively in writing
▪ Review essays to improve writing skills
▪ Complete sentences using vocabulary knowledge
▪ Analyze and develop points
▪ Structure and write essays in response to SAT prompts
[ SAT Math ]
The course will concentrate on the four main topic areas in the mathematics part of the SAT, which includes Numbers and Operations, Algebra and Functions, Geometry and Measurement, and Data Analysis, Probability, and Statistics. Through example tests and class discussion, we will cover different techniques to solve various problem styles. These techniques would include process of elimination, plugging in an answer (on multiple choice style questions), and working out problems by choosing your own number.
NOTE: This syllabus outlines the general format of an SAT class. Specific goals and tasks may vary depending on the needs of the students in a given classroom.
• SAT Scoring / Point system
• College standards
• Guessing techniques
TECHNIQUES & STRATEGIES
• Plugging in the best type of numbers for each type of question tested
• Techniques in plugging in the answer choices, starting with answer choice B
• General question types
• Cumulative Review
APPLICATION OF TECHNIQUES
• Literal Expressions
• Neat Algebra
• General Algebra
• Mean, Median, & Mode
• Lines & Angles
• Super Pythagorean Theorem
• Score and review daily assignments
• Introduction of new topic
• Perfection Drills
• Challenge Sets for students able to move at a faster pace
• Group work during the second half of the term, after students are familiarized with scope, style, & concepts tested
• Timed Drills
• 6 full-length exams administered throughout summer term
Official College Board back-tests used for accurate score analyses.
• Special Triangles
• Triangles & other Polygons
• Direct & Indirect Variation
• Coordinate Geometry
• Difference of Squares
• Venn Diagrams
• Patterns & Sequences
• Probability & Ratios
• Perimeter, Area & Volume
• Miscellaneous Topics
[ ACT English ]
The ACT English portion of the test includes five essays or passages, each of which is accompanied by a sequence of multiple-choice test questions. Different passage types are employed to provide a variety of rhetorical situations. Passages are chosen not only for their appropriateness in assessing writing skills but also to reflect students' interests and experiences.
• Grammar and Usage
• Sentence Structure
[ ACT Reading ]
The ACT reading section is similar to the SAT section in that its goal is to access the students abilities in reading comprehension through context and content. The test comprises four sections, each containing one long or two shorter prose passages that are representative of the level and kinds of text commonly encountered in first-year college curricula. Passages on topics in social studies, natural sciences, literary narrative (including prose fiction), and the humanities are included.
Determine Main ideas
Locate and Interpret Significant Details
Understand Sequence of Events
Compare & Contrast
Comprehension of Cause-Effect Relationships
Draw Meaning of Context-dependent Words, Phrases and Statements
Analysis of Author's or Narrator's Voice and Method
[ ACT Science ]
The Science section of the ACT is geared towards assessing the students ability to interpret data and information. Students will be given several sets of scientific information, each followed by a series of multiple-choice questions.
The scientific information is conveyed in one of three different formats:
• Data Representation (graphs, tables, and other schematic forms)
• Research Summaries (descriptions of several related experiments)
• Conflicting Viewpoints (expressions of several related hypotheses or views that are inconsistent with one another)
Recognize and Understand Basic Features of Provided Information
Examine Critically the Relationship Between Informaion and Conclusions Drawn or Hypotheses Developed
Generalize from Given Information to Gain New Information, Draw Conclusions, or Creaet Predictions
[ ACT Math ]
The test presents multiple-choice questions that require you to use reasoning skills to solve practical problems in mathematics. Knowledge of basic formulas and computational skills are assumed as background for the problems, but recall of complex formulas and extensive computation is not required.
[ ACT Essay ]
The optional ACT Writing test consists of one essay question for which students are allowed 40 minutes to plan, write, and edit their essays. The essay prompts address contemporary issues. After being provided with three diverse perspectives that encourage critical thinking about the issue, students are asked to develop their own unique perspective and explain the relationships among the varying points of view. As a whole, the Writing test calls upon tools of expository writing, evaluative argument, and rhetorical analysis.
[ Skills ]
Point Development & Strategy
Organization & Brainstorming
Outlining and Proofing