Posts By: Melissa Slive

Make Every Day Your Birthday!

SAT and ACT readings are, plain and simple, boring to read. Therefore, I encourage all of my students to stop reading, and start hunting. What are you hunting for? Clues to the author’s message – the main idea that relates to all of the questions. As you’re hunting, stop and check out the buts! “But”,… Read more »

Know Your Current Events!

This week Time magazine published its annual 100 Most Influential People, and I practiced my yearly ritual of reading it thoroughly, taking notes as I read. Why did I do this? Because bringing in current events is the key to getting a strong SAT essay score. History, literature, sports and personal examples all provide powerful… Read more »

Be a Stripper!

No, don’t panic; I have not gone to the wild side. I am talking about being a sentence stripper! It’s fairly easy to hear a subject-verb error in a sentence. Test makers know this…and test makers are slightly evil. Therefore, they hide simple subject-verb errors in flowery, complex sentences in which the subject gets lost…. Read more »

The ACT Science Cheat Sheet

Want to ace the ACT science section? Follow these surefire strategies: Go out of order: There will be one reading passage plus six chart or graph passages. Save the reading passage for last, as it takes the most time and you don’t want to get stuck (or frustrated!) right from the start. Time yourself: Each… Read more »

Take Control of the SAT this Weekend!

Many students are taking the SAT this weekend, so I am sending you my best SAT test-taking strategies. Please share these tips with your child. Remember, YOU control the test. Don’t let the test control you! General Test-Taking Tips CHOP AWAY This is a multiple choice test. You won’t always be able to immediately pick… Read more »

Ace the Game

When it comes to the grammar section, imagine you’re in the thick of the World Series of Poker. Put on your best poker face, and concentrate on the hand in front of you. Certain types of mistakes trump all others. Look first for mistakes in pronoun and subject/verb agreement, as these are the Royal Flush… Read more »

How to Tackle the Test Like a Pro!

Taking the ACTs and SATs is like playing in the Superbowl: you need extreme focus, you can’t let your opponent psych you out, and your future is riding on your performance. To emerge victorious, you must be physically and mentally prepared to crush your opponent. In order to win the championship ring – that college… Read more »

Don't Miss the Joke!

Sarcasm. That tricky little tone. Most SAT exams (not all) contain questions that require students to understand and find sarcasm within a passage. These questions are usually level 5 questions (hardest) and the hardest type of question for me to teach. Sarcasm: the use of irony to mock or show contempt. This tone is subtle… Read more »

Tips to Rock the 2013 ACT!

Here’s one New Year’s resolution you won’t want to break: rock the 2013 ACT! You can make this resolution a reality with these five helpful tips: English: The context (style and structure) questions usually require more thought than the grammar questions do. Focus first on just the grammar questions within each 15 question passage (there… Read more »

Tips to Rock the 2013 SAT!

As we ring in 2013, I want to share my four most popular SAT tips. (Next week I will give you my four most popular ACT tips.) Please share these tips with your child to ensure great testing success in 2013! I wish all of you a new year filled with laughter and joy. Reading… Read more »

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