Summer Reading and SAT Scores

Summer reading often is not on the top of a student’s to-do list. Usually, over the break students use their time to hang out with their friends, enjoy the weather, and do activities outside. Kids don’t want to “waste” their time reading. (Of course, there are students who enjoy reading for

fun, but this blog post is not intended to convince those who already enjoy reading to read). To those students who groan at the very sight of a book during summer vacation, this blog post is for you. “Why should I read over the summer?” you ask yourself and every adult within earshot. If contemplating reading a dusty, ancient, library book seems like a chore, then you should listen up.

Reading fluency is essential for those high SAT scores that you want. During the summer months, when you will primarily read buzz feed articles and personality quizzes, play video games, and go outside to swim, hike, or play sports, you are not wasting your time.

Relaxation is absolutely important to one’s happiness, and you should continue to do that. But you should also make some time for reading, because the few hours you spend a week on a book, either for fun or for school, will increase your SAT/ACT verbal scores tremendously.

It’s pretty obvious that reading over the summer will have this effect. If you spend some time on reading a book, your ability in understanding the reading passages on the tests will increase. You may learn new words naturally, and recognize them on the exam more easily. You will be able to comprehend passages faster and more clearly. You will have practiced patience for reading through a dense text with a lot of information. You will naturally go back and search for answers in the text, and will remember where to find the answers more readily. With more experience with reading, the easier it becomes, and the more you will enjoy the experience and the faster you will get. If you enjoy it more, you will be less nervous when test day comes around, and you’ll score higher because you will not make as many mistakes.

Blog Post by Rachel S. Stuart a Tutor and Featured Blogger for Academic Advantage Tutoring

rachel-close-up-good-pic (183x200)

About Rachel

I have always been a proud “nerd.” When I could, I always helped my friends with their homework because I just loved to teach them how to think about the world differently. In particular, history and writing have always been my specialties. When I was a little girl, my aspiration was to one day be a history professor! I hope to begin Master’s classes in the field of education and continue to be fascinated by changing technology in the classroom and different ways of engaging my students’ creativity!
Honors and awards: Phi Beta Kappa, Highest Honors in History Honors Program at Emory, Recipient of
the Theodore H. Jack Award, Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Sigma Alpha, Dean’s List at Emory.
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Avoid Three Things on Your College Application Essay

During the summer before a student’s Senior year of high school, students and parents work hard on college applications. Some college deadlines start in the beginning of August! This is a time that students and parents are understandably nervous about applying to college. Students wonder if their junior year shows both their academic rigor as well as their commitment to activities outside of school. Students want to get into their “dream school” but they often do not know what to do every step of the way. Students often struggle with writing a thoughtful essay to

Submit to colleges to demonstrate their character. Here are some specific
take-aways that I find help my students:

 

  1. Make sure to answer the prompt!

One of the biggest problems I’ve noticed is that students don’t address the question laid out in the prompt. This demonstrates one of two things: either the student did not understand the prompt or the student was not capable of answering the prompt. Both faults can be detrimental to a student’s overall application. Admissions committees ask specific questions for a reason. They want to know if you will fit into the culture of the college, and that the student’s values align with those of the college. They need this information to make the best decision, for you and for

college. Don’t jeopardize your admission by not answering the prompt directly.

 

  1. Don’t write in clichés

Writing in clichés is something that tutors, teachers, and admissions committees dislike vehemently. Why? A couple of reasons: Clichés come from popular culture and are often only understood by a particular group. Your essay should be clear and concise – anyone and everyone should be able to read it and understand your thoughts. Furthermore, using clichés shows that the student didn’t actually take the time to think about the prompt and answer the question from his or her own experience. The admissions committee will question if the information you include in your essay is exclusively your own thinking, or if you are borrowing

work from someone else.

 

  1. Maintain your tense

When writing an essay, students sometimes jump from the past tense to the present tense to the future tense, not realizing the havoc it wreaks on the reader’s mind. My advice to students is to pick a tense and stick with it throughout the essay. You do not want your admissions committee reader to be confused about when something happened. Don’t allow verb tense errors to take over your paper.

Blog Post by Rachel S. Stuart a Tutor and Featured Blogger for Academic Advantage Tutoring

rachel-close-up-good-pic (183x200)

About Rachel

I have always been a proud “nerd.” When I could, I always helped my friends with their homework because I just loved to teach them how to think about the world differently. In particular, history and writing have always been my specialties. When I was a little girl, my aspiration was to one day be a history professor! I hope to begin Master’s classes in the field of education and continue to be fascinated by changing technology in the classroom and different ways of engaging my students’ creativity!
Honors and awards: Phi Beta Kappa, Highest Honors in History Honors Program at Emory, Recipient of the Theodore H. Jack Award, Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Sigma Alpha, Dean’s List at Emory.
Please follow and like us: