Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dictionary Stories (a book about sentences found in a dictionary) is a creative way to look at dictionaries. Who knew that a dictionary contained mysteries and romance stories?

One way to improve your vocabulary is to read dictionaries.  Here's an interesting person who studied the "example sentences" in a dozen dictionaries for thousands of words... and short stories emerged.

Here is an example of a story that the author put together using SENTENCES from dictionaries.  His skill is finding a connection between two sentences.

Go here

You can see this book by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Three questions from an ACT Test -- Free Test Prep By Phone

Free Test Prep by Phone
See the Youtube channel

Take a photo of the question
Send the question to +1 (954) 693-6379
Look for the answer on the YouTube channel.

Here are three questions that were found in an ACT test.

ooooo ... ratios to ratios.  How do we make the connection?

We have "x:y" or "x to y"

We have "y:z" or "y to z"

They want us to give them  "x"z" or "x to z"


Plug in and look for the result that you want to find.

In this example, the formula says "7 cans of dog food in 3 days"

What would make the dog eat 14 cans of dog food?  We need ___ days
Ah ha!   SIX days.   

So if "d" is 3, then we will get "14 cans of food" as a result with the correct formula.

When we put "d=3"  WHICH formula gives us "14 cans of food"?   That's the aim of this video.


Look at the ANSWERS -- don't immediately solve the problem.

(1) When there is a fraction, we try to make sure the bottom numbers are the same.

(2) When we see ROOTS (radicals), we try to eliminate them from the bottom

I made an error in this problem because I immediately tried STRATEGY 2 (change square root of 2 into 2 by multiplying top and bottom by Square root of 2)

I should have LOOKED AT THE ANSWERS...  We can see that there is a SQUARE ROOT of 5 or 6 in several of the answers.


I should IGNORE Strategy 2 ("clear the roots from the bottom of the fraction") and focus on STRATEGY 1 ("Make the bottom number the same in the two fractions that we will add")

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Confused about what books to use to prepare for the SAT? "Can I use an older book?" Frequently Asked Questions about the SAT

What happens if I study with a book from 2008?   Have the questions changed very much?
REPLY:  Yes.  The questions that asked for "what is the relation?" are gone.  For example

Tepid:Boiling is like middle:_______

what's another word for an "extreme"?
a) path
b) cliff
c) peak
Clearly boiling is OVER tepid, so the _____ is OVER the middle.   A cliff could be anywhere on the mountain, but the PEAK is clearly over the middle of the mountain.

That sort of question is gone.

Many of the other questions that you will find in a book from 2008 are still relevant.  The key to remember is that most of the math is geometry, number sense and algebra, with a few statistics and trigonometry exercises thrown in.

Have they changed the strategies?  I've heard that it was NOT a good idea to guess the answer.
REPLY:  The penalty for wrong answers has been removed.

I've been a test-prep tutor since I scored a perfect 800 on the Math SAT in 1975.  The Verbal was 720.  Other students wanted to know the tips.  It's simple:  Keep looking at problems in the workbooks.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Free instruction online with Khan Academy

How to get a higher score on the SAT

1.  Look at at least 300 problems. is a start. for SAT and ACT.
2.  Look at the free examples online
3.  Collect the problems that you can't do
4.  Find a study buddy.
5.  Take the list of problems to your teacher (maybe your teachers will use these problems in class and then you will get the answers free)
6.  Send photos of the problems to (954) 646 8246 and eventually the answers will appear on blogs and the YouTube channel
7.  Hire a tutor.

Step 2 is perhaps the most time-consuming step because you hae to listen to someone's presentation.  Yawn.  But you can scroll through and find the method for each problem that the youtube channel gives.

KhanAcademy YouTube channel for SAT is a good source.

Here is an example

A second free source is shown here:

You can see more tips at