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ACT, SAT

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ACT, SAT & ESSAY WRITING Dr. Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson, Ph.D., M.P.H., B.S. Epidemiologist Postdoctoral Fellow Wayne State University School of Medicine – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: ACT, SAT


1
ACT, SAT ESSAY WRITING
  • Dr. Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson, Ph.D., M.P.H., B.S.
  • Epidemiologist
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • Department of Family Medicine and Public Health
    Sciences
  • shawnitasj_at_gmail.com

2
Objectives
  • Discuss ACT and SAT
  • What they are, test components, strategies for
    success
  • Compare and contrast ACT SAT
  • Advantages/disadvantages of both
  • Discuss admission/scholarship essay writing
  • Role of the essay
  • Where to start when writing
  • Mechanics
  • Tips
  • Should you have a reviewer?
  • Answer questions

3
ACT
  • American College Testing

4
What is the ACT?
  • Achievement test, measuring how much you learned
    in school
  • Up to 5 components
  • English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an
    optional Writing Test
  • Scale scores range from 1-36
  • Two scores for writing Test
  • Combined english/writing score (1-36)
  • Writing sub-score (2-12)
  • Comments from one of the trained readers
  • ACT national average score is 21
  • Typically taken first in junior year

5
Basics of preparation
  • Become familiar with the content and format of
    ACT
  • Learn appropriate test-taking strategies
  • Use ACT Online PrepACTs test preparation
    program
  • Review The Real ACT Prep Guidethe official
    test prep book
  • Take ACTs free practice test
  • See your counselor for other test preparation
    materials
  • Visit the ACT website at www.actstudent.org

6
The Best Preparation Is A Solid High School
Curriculum
  • English 4 Years
  • Mathematics (Algebra 1 and above) 4 Years
  • Social Studies 3 Years
  • Science 3 Years
  • Foreign Language 2 Years
  • Arts 1 Year

7
REMEMBERTest scores are only ONE factor used
for college admissions and scholarship
decisions!!!
8
  • What is the national average score for the ACT
    and what score do YOU want?!?

9
ACT English
Editing five short passages 75 questions - 45
minutes 9 minutes Per passage
Usage - Mechanics Skills 40Q 53
Rhetoric Skills 35Q 47
Punctuation 10Q 13
Grammar and Use 12Q 16
Sentence Structure 18Q 24
Strategy 12Q 16
Organization 11Q 15
Style 12Q 16
Conciseness Ambiguity Low-level usage Shifting
point of view
Tense Subject-verb agreement Pronoun use Adverb
vs adjective Double negative Idioms Possessives co
mparisons
Run-on Comma splice Fragment Coord
conjunction Parallelism Misplaced
modifiers Clauses Subordination Split
construction Unintended meaning
Paragraph development Sentence-level
structure Paragraph-level structure
Comma Semicolon End-stop Dashes Hyphens quotes
Appropriate support Main idea Audience Effective
Opening sentence Concluding sentence
10
I grew up with buckets, shovels, and nets waiting
by the back door hip-waders hanging in the
closet tide table charts covering the
refrigerator door and a microscope was sitting
on the kitchen table.
ACT English Practice Question
  1. No change
  2. Waiting, by the back door,
  3. Waiting by the back door,
  4. Waiting by the back door
  • No change
  • Would sit
  • Sitting
  • Sat

11
ACT Math
60 questions - 60 minutes
Direct use of math facts or formulas 32Q 53
Word Problems 16Q 27
Inference/ decision making 12Q 20
Pre-Algebra 14Q 23
Elementary Algebra 10Q 17
Intermediate Algebra 9Q 15
Geometry 14Q 23
Coordinate Geometry 9Q 15
Trigonometry 4Q 7
12
PRACTICE ACT MATH PROBLEM
  • What is the value of x when 2x 3 3x 4 ?
    A) 7 B) -1/5 C) 1 D) 1/5 E) 7

13
ACT Reading 4 Passages 40 Questions 35
Minutes
Read 750 words Prose/Fiction 10Q 25
Read 750 words Humanities 10Q 25
Read 750 words Social Science 10Q 25
Read 750 words Natural Science 10Q 25
Explicit Questions 14Q 35
Implicit Questions 26Q 65
Specific Detail
Sequence Cause/Effect Comparison
Authors Voice Main Idea
Generalization Conclusion
Words in Context
14
ACT Reading Practice Question
  • (65) Existing that way all the time, on the edge
    of hunger, on the edge of kindness, gave Abshu an
    appreciation for a life fully lived. Do whatever
    job makes you happy, regardless of the cost and
    fill your home with love. Well, his home became
    the community center right around the corner from
    Brewster place.
  • As it is used in line 65, the term the edge
    refers to a place where Abshu felt
  • most alive.
  • unfulfilled.
  • defeated.
  • most competitive.

15
ACT Science Reasoning
7 passages - 40 questions - 35minutes
3 passages Research Summary 18Q 45
3 passages Data Representation 15Q 37
1 Passage Conflicting Viewpoint 7Q 18
Identify data points Identify units/labels Identif
y trends Identify variables Identify controls
3
Understand 7Q 17 5
1
3
Hypothesize Conclude Compare Evaluate
Analyze 20Q 50
6
5
9
Extrapolate Interpolate Predict Generalize
Generalize 13Q 32 5
9
1
3
16
ACT Science Reasoning Practice Question
  • Spent fuel (SF), a radioactive waste, is often
    buried underground in canisters for disposal. As
    it decays, SF generates high heat and raises the
    temperature of the surrounding rock, which may
    expand and crack, allowing radioactivity to
    escape into the environment. Scientists wanted to
    determine which of 4 rock typesrock salt,
    granite, basalt, or shalewould be least affected
    by the heat from SF. The thermal conductivity
    (how well heat is conducted through a material)
    and heating trends of the 4 rock types were
    studied.
  • The scientists calculated the temperature
    increase that would be expected over a period of
    100,000 yr in each rock type at a point within a
    site holding buried SF.
  • According this study, if another set of
    temperatures had been calculated for a time
    1,000,000 years in the future, the calculated
    temperature increase in any of the 4 rock types
    would most likely be closest to
  • 0C
  • 10C.
  • 20C.
  • 30C.

17
10 Strategies for ACT
  • Skip the directions
  • Skim the whole section
  • Pace yourself
  • Answer the easy questions first
  • When in doubt, guess
  • Dont lose your confidence with tough questions
  • Frequently check your place on the answer sheet
  • Dont get sidetracked by the unimportant
  • Understand what youre being asked
  • Stop a minute or two before your time is up
  • BONUS Make a study plan and follow it

18
SAT
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test

19
SAT WHAT IS THE PURPOSE?
  • Aptitude predicts your potential for future
    success
  • Assess your academic readiness for college
  • Provides a path to opportunities, financial
    support and scholarships
  • Measures the skills required for success in
    college and beyond!

20
SAT
  • Taken 1st time in spring of junior year
  • Indicates how well you use skills and knowledge
    attained in and out of the classroom
  • How you think, solve problems, and communicate
  • 3 hr and 45 min exam
  • 10 sections
  • 3 critical reading sections
  • 3 math sections
  • 3 writing sections
  • 1 experimental section
  • Total score is between 600-2400
  • National average for the SAT is 1510

21
SAT
  • Offered 7 times a year
  • January, March, May, June, October, November,
    December
  • Students can register at www.Collegeboard.com
  • SAT Fee Waivers are available
  • Cost is 45.00 and includes 4 score reports

22
SAT Critical Reading
Time Total 70 minutes Two 25-minute sections One 20 minute section
Content Reading Comprehension Single paragraphs Longer passages Paired paragraphs Paired longer passages Sentence level reading
Question Types Multiple-choice with 5 answer choices Critical Reading Sentence completions
Score 200-800
23
SAT Writing
Time Total 60 minutes 25-minute essay One 25-minute multiple choice section One 10-minute multiple choice section
Content Grammar and usage Word choice (diction)
Question Types Multiple choice with 5 answer choices Identifying sentence errors Improving sentence errors Improving sentences Improving paragraphs Student-written essay
Score 200-800 essay sub-score 2-12
24
SAT PRACTICE WRITING PROBLEM
  • Hoping to -------the dispute, negotiators
    proposed a compromise that they felt would be
    --------to both labor and management.
  • A) enforceuseful
  • B) enddivisive
  • C) overcomeunattractive
  • D) extendsatisfactory
  • E) resolveacceptable

25
SAT Math
Time Total 70 minutes Two 25-minute sections One 20-minute section
Content Algebra I Algebra II Geometry Data analysis, statistics, probability
Question Types Multiple-choice with 5 answer choices Student-produced responses (grid-ins)
Score 200-800
26
SAT SUBJECT AREA TESTS
  • Measure your knowledge and skills in particular
    subject areas
  • SAT Subject Tests fall into five general subject
    areas

English Languages
Literature Chinese with Listening
History French
US History French with Listening
World History German
Mathematics German with Listening
Mathematics Level 1 Spanish
Mathematics Level 2 Spanish with Listening
Science Modern Hebrew
Biology E/M Italian
Chemistry Latin
Physics Japanese with Listening
  Korean with Listening
27
10 Strategies for SAT
  1. Create a study plan and follow it
  2. Dont get stuck on any one question
  3. Learn the directions in advance
  4. For the essay, develop your ideas and express
    them clearly, using examples to back them up
  5. For the writing multiple-choice questions, think
    about the simplest clearest way to express an
    idea
  6. For sentence completions, as you read, try to
    predict what word should go in each blank
  7. For reading comprehension questions, skim the
    passage to see what its about
  8. For the math multiple choice, youre allowed to
    use a calculator, but it wont help you unless
    you know how to approach the problems
  9. For the math grid-ins, you must come up with the
    answer and fill in the grid
  10. Relax the night before the test

28
or both????
29
  • What is the difference between an aptitude and an
    achievement test?

30
ACT/SAT COMPARISON
  • SAT
  • Aptitude Test
  • Given 7 times per year
  • Reading, Math, and Writing
  • ¼ of a point deduction for wrong answer on
    multiple choice
  • 200-800 points per section, for a total score of
    600-2400
  • ACT
  • Achievement Test
  • Given 6 times per year
  • English, Math, Reading, Science Reasoning, and
    optional Writing
  • No penalty for wrong answer
  • 1-36 for each subject, averaged for a composite
    score, 2-12 for the Writing Test

31
ACT/SAT COMPARISON
  • SAT
  • Math section includes Algebra I, Geometry, and
    Algebra 2
  • Sends 4 free reports to colleges of your choice,
    each additional report is 10
  • Formulas given for math section
  • ACT
  • Math section includes Algebra I, Geometry,
    Algebra 2, and Trigonometry
  • Sends 4 free reports to colleges of your choice,
    each additional report is 10
  • No formulas given for math section

32
  • SAT Advantages
  • SAT Disadvantages
  • 10 short sections, the longest of which is
    25-minutes  
  • Tests 9th and 10th grade math, plus a few
    reasoning concepts
  • About 1/4 of Critical Reading questions are
    vocabulary-based
  • Score choice choose to send best scores while
    suppressing lower scores
  • The SAT is about 4 hours long
  • ¼ point penalty for wrong answers
  • If you dont like writing essays, the SAT begins
    with a timed essay that is graded and factored
    into your writing score

33
  • ACT Advantages
  • ACT Disadvantages
  • Time demand can be profound
  • Science section is challenging for those w/
    difficulty reasoning with numbers and graphs  
  • Math concepts include trigonometry
  • ACT English will certainly challenge knowledge of
    colons, hyphens, commas, etc  
  • Only 4 sections, the longest is 1 hour
  • 3 hours long
  • Score choice only send your highest score to
    colleges
  • No penalty for incorrect answers

34
Additional Resources
  • College Information
  • CSO College Center www.CSOcollegecenter.org
  • The College Board www.collegeboard.com
  • Petersons www.petersons.com
  • The Common App www.commonapp.org
  • Hobsons Collegeview www.collegeview.com
  • Colleges That Change Lives www.ctcl.org

35
Additional resources
  • Testing
  • ACT www.act.org
  • ACT Fee Waiver Instructions www.actstudent.
    org/faq/answers/feewaiver.html
  • SAT The College Board www.collegeboard.com
  • SAT Fee Waiver Instructions www.collegeboard
    com/student/testing/sat/calenfees/feewaivers.html
  • Preliminary SAT(PSAT) www.collegeboard
    com/student/testing/psat/about/html
  • Free Test Prep from Number2 com www.number2.com
  • The Princeton Review www.princetonreview.com
  • Kaplans Test Prep www.kaptest.com

36
ESSAY WRITING
37
WHY DO I HAVE TO WRITE ESSAYS?!?
  • Gives some context for your accomplishments
  • Allows you to add your voice to the admission
    process
  • Gives readers insight into you as a person
  • Allows admission/scholarship committee to
    evaluate
  • Writing style
  • Language usage
  • Organization
  • Persuasion skills
  • Confidence

38
Role Of The Essay
  • Allows you to add information that you couldn't
    share in other parts of the application
  • Adds clarity, depth, and meaning to information
    collected in other parts of your application
  • Enables you to make the best possible case for
    why you should be admitted/awarded a scholarship

39
Role Of The Essay
  • It's your only chance to explain to college
    admissions/scholarship committee why you are a
    good fit
  • become more than just another application
  • become an individual
  • share your personality
  • your goals
  • your experiences
  • explain any opportunities or obstacles that have
    affected your academic record

40
  • TRUE OR FALSE (and why)If I write one good
    admission/scholarship essay, I can send the same
    essay to all of the schools/scholarship search
    committees?

41
WHERE DO I START?
  • Complete the application FIRST!
  • Use the application to help you
  • Think about your life story and how you will
    convey it
  • Think about your academic experiences as a whole
  • Connect the issues raised by the application to
    your responses in your personal statement
  • Find the questions that your readers might ask
  • You as the writer have a responsibility
    anticipate answer your readers' questions, even
    before they are asked

42
NOW WHAT??
  • Investigate and explore your audience
  • Info about the universities their admissions
    process
  • What does the committee want to find out about
    applicants through the personal statement?
  • This info can be found on the university or
    scholarship website
  • Explore Yourself!
  • The more comfortable you are with writing about
    yourself and your story, the better your essay
    will be!

43
Mechanics of Writing the Essay
  • The body must relate to the first sentence of the
    paragraph
  • Use transition words
  • Your conclusion is crucial
  • Revise, Revise, Revise!
  • Read aloud what you have written to help you
    locate areas that dont make sense
  • Put your draft aside for one day, then read it
    again and revise
  • Be original - be yourself
  • Tell a story - your story
  • Remember to put things in the words and language
    with which you are comfortable
  • Dont use big, fancy words, especially if you are
    not sure of the meaning of the words
  • A simple style is best
  • Good writing sounds like speech rather than a
    vocabulary review lesson
  • Use clear, vivid writing style

44
Tips for Writing
  • Get Personal
  • A successful essay is the one where the reader
    learns about you and your life
  • Details, Details, Details
  • Use details to personalize your essay and to make
    it more interesting
  • Be Honest
  • Write about what really happened and who you
    really are
  • Dont just list the facts
  • The why and how about the information is also
    important
  • Use specific, concrete examples and language
  • Avoid generalities like "being on the track team
    was fun
  • Make sure your response directly addresses the ?
  • Expand on information contained elsewhere in your
    application

45
Tips (cont)
  • Get right to the point
  • Adding unnecessary info is distracting and not
    helpful
  • Adhere to word restrictions
  • Better to be under the limit than over the limit
  • Responses should complete the application
  • The personal statement is an extension of your
    application
  • It should provide new information
  • Do not repeat things you've already said in other
    parts of your application
  • A strong essay demonstrates self-awareness, a key
    indicator of intelligence

46
In your essay did you
  1. Discuss how you responded to these circumstances
    or challenges?
  2. Discuss your interest in your intended major?
  3. Discuss how your interest developed?
  4. Describe any relevant work or volunteer
    experience youve had?
  5. Discuss your long-term goals after the Bachelors
    degree?
  1. Assist the reader in learning about you?
  2. Explain experiences, accomplishments, and point
    of view that you would contribute?
  3. Explain your attributes and experiences that are
    not evident from your academic record?
  4. Describe any unusual circumstances or challenges
    you have faced?

47
Should You Have Someone Review It?
  • Having someone review the essay is a necessary
    step in the process
  • Incorporate the suggestions for improvement
  • Fine line between having your college essay
    edited and having it rewritten by the reviewer
  • Ultimately, the essay you submit must be your
    work, not the reviewers
  • Be careful about suggestions for major revisions
    like changing the basic thoughts and content of
    the essay or adding things that are NOT truly
    your story
  • An essay that is written by someone else is not
    yours and should not submitted with your
    application

48
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
  • General Websites
  • http//www.collegeboard.com/apply/essay_skills/
  • http//www.carleton.edu/admissions/essay/
  • http//www.west.net/stewart/beste.htm
  • http//www.accepted.com/college/dosdonts.aspx
  • http//www.accepted.com/college/tenwritingtips.asp
    x
  • http//www.accepted.com/college/miningyouridentity
    .aspx
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