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A blog about preparing for the SAT® the 1600.io way

Close the Loop: If Your SAT Study Cycle Has Gaps, It Will Stall

“‘Repetition is the mother of all learning’...repeat about 20 SAT practice tests and you will be on your way to the top 2% globally” The sentiment above, expressed by a student and based on the old Latin saw “repetitio mater studiorum,” is nearly universal. But it’s also wrong, and, when...

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1600.ioU SAT Micro-Lesson: Spend Less Time on the Reading Section By Spending More Time Reading

Many students struggle with the time constraints on the reading section of the SAT. There are five passages and 65 minutes allocated for the section, so students have 65 ÷ 5 = 13 minutes on average to complete the process of answering all the questions for a passage, and for some, that...

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Let’s Fix Your SAT Reading Section Mindset: The Three-Speaker Model

Over the years, we’ve observed thousands of students work their way through SAT reading passages, and the presence of one very common syndrome that impairs students’ performance has become clear to us: Students have an incorrect perception of who the speaker is behind the passages, the...

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SAT Prep Fallacies: You’re Not Taking the Test to Get Better at Anything, So Don’t Try

You might hear a tutor make the following argument, which is paraphrased from an actual statement: “What's your main goal? Many students (and tutors) go astray because they have the wrong answer to this question. Are you taking the SAT because your goal is to become better at reading, writing,...

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1600.ioU SAT Math Micro-Lesson: I’m Going to Send You to the Principal Square Root

tl;dr: By definition, the square root symbol produces a single value, and that value is the non-negative square root of the operand. One of the mathematical concepts that produces the most confusion among students relates to the square root operation. Many students mistakenly think that when a...

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Harvard or Hole-Digger: Debunking Paranoid Fantasies of SAT Test Takers

The set of extreme pressures that students are subjected to during the entire college preparation process – from their parents, their peers, society at large, and themselves – can terribly warp kids' picture of the road ahead and trigger totally unnecessary fear and anxiety. Rather than having...

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Calculators for the SAT: Tools of the Devil

The SAT has a Math - Calculator section, so naturally, students want to take advantage of that option to maximize their score and minimize the time needed to complete the section. Why do the math yourself when the calculator will do it for you? We're going to explain why that logic is simply...

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Micro-Cheating on SAT Practice Tests: You’re Stealing From Yourself

Here’s an all-too-common scenario: a student is scoring well on practice test after practice test, but when they take a real SAT, their score is hundreds of points lower. Yes, there are several legitimate reasons this can happen: test anxiety, physical illness, a terrible testing environment,...

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Announcing SMTEx™: The SAT Math Topic Explorer

If you've ever wondered how often a particular math topic shows up on the SAT, or you've struggled with a math problem from a practice test and you weren't sure what concept you needed to study (and where to find it in our Orange Book), we've got you. Announcing SMTEx, the SAT Math Topic...

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If This Isn’t Your Last SAT, Why Are You Freaking Out?

“In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love,” wrote Alfred, Lord Tennyson (stop groaning -- you came here to learn something). Obviously, old Alfred did not hang out with today’s high schoolers, because their spring thoughts are focused on the SATs, and “love” is...

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