Wednesday, June 22, 2016

SAT Prep Course B, Topics

I spent some time looking over the sample test and "sorting" by topic (or Proficiency, if you will). This list will morph a bit as ETS reacts to to results of the first few administrations, but it feels very much like it always has, with some updates.

My philosophy is to move from the obvious and the simple to the complex and multi-stage in each topic. Level one questions through level 4: "Easy", "Medium", "Hard", "Ignore Unless".

If the students are answering easily, jump to later questions. If they screw up, add in more scaffolding. Everything I do in SATPrep has already been "taught" - I provide the review and some test-taking strategies that are specific to the SAT. I also believe in using the old ETS question-type of Quantitative Comparisons as they provide a great opportunity to have good Number Theory discussions.

Here, then, is what I see:
(Please add anything in comments)

  1. compound fractions, mental math.
  2. rate, ratio, proportions 
  3. percents and decimals
  4. Pythagorean Theorem
  5. Pure Radicals ( √300 = 10√3)
  6. Stats: five-number summary, central tendency & number theory.
  1. linear functions
  2. scatterplots w/ writing equations
  3. inequalities
  4. linear systems - all three methods
  5. bar graphs, line graphs, odd choices for independent/dependent, other graphical interpretation. These are now included in the reading section.
  6. stats (mostly central tendency) and probability
  7. functions and function notation
  8. quadratics and complex numbers
  9. late algebra 2: rational, radical, polynomial functions
  1. Lines and angles
  2. Similarity (proportions, part-part or part-whole) and Congruence
  3. Right triangle trig
  4. Circles
  5. 3d shapes
  6. Pythagorean Theorem, radicals ( √300 = 10√3) as used in geometric questions
  1. Grammar - common grammatical errors. These are fun.
  2. Graphical Interpretation for the math that has been mixed in with the Reading
  3. Vocabulary - Latin and Greek, looking for patterns.
  4. Essays types - more about rejecting English class writing in favor of brutally efficient five-paragraph format.
  5. Reading non-fiction for content and vocab rather than talking skills
There is no teaching of reading skills at this level, only exposure to more reading. I assign essays, research, and articles written by college professors, scientists and other intelligent writers. "The Median Isn't the Message" by Steven Jay Gould, for example. In choosing, I look for complex sentence structure, dense thoughts, broad vocabulary and a willingness to assume the reader has a brain.

Next: some of the worksheets and problem sets.
This may take a few days because I want to wrangle things and rename files.

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