SAT-English 1 (Grade 7) – Teacher: Matthew LaBarbera
We will start the class off by examining the SAT’s format. In the first few class sessions, I’ll familiarize the students with the length of the test, standard question types, and basic test-taking strategies. I’ll also be providing questionnaires for the students to fill in. These questionnaires will include some practice questions and ask about perceived areas of difficulty. I want to make sure that the class is specifically tailored to the needs of the students, so we’ll be using a curriculum which is based on my impressions of the class’s strengths and weaknesses.
I’m of the belief that the ideal way to learn SAT vocabulary is through seeing it in use, and to that end, I want to expose my students to a wide array of literature where SAT vocabulary will be used in appropriate contexts. Students will be expected to memorize Greek and Latin root words, which often hold the key to deciphering a difficult English term. I’ll be asking students to do in-class essays from time to time, and I’ll be critiquing their use of grammar, punctuation, and syntax. We’ll look at plenty of material drawn from old tests, especially critical reading passages. I want the students to feel comfortable with identifying key terms and main ideas. SAT scores are vital to college admittance, and I feel privileged to be able share my knowledge of the test with your student.
SAT-English 2 (Grade 8) – Teacher: George Habeeb
It’s my belief that your students will need to boost their critical thinking skills, test strategy, and overall reasoning strategies. We will not cover the math section but will prepare students for how to succeed in all sections. It is my belief that in teaching critical thinking skills, bettering reasoning and diving into personal test strategies that your test taker, student, and child will be more prepared for the SAT and University itself. With the redesign of the SAT we will align with future SAT focus for your students to get the most out of each class as we cover the following scope of content listed by the College Board below.
“SAT questions focus on skills that matter most for college readiness and success, according to the latest research. “
Words in Context
Many questions on the new SAT focus on important, widely used words and phrases found in texts in many different subjects. Some questions ask you to figure out a word’s meaning based on context. The words are ones that you will probably encounter in college or in the workplace long after test day.
No longer will students use flashcards to memorize obscure words, only to forget them the minute they put their test pencils down. The redesigned exams will engage students in close reading and honor the best work of the classroom.
Command of Evidence
The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and the SAT Essay ask you to interpret, synthesize, and use evidence found in a wide range of sources. These sources include informational graphics, such as tables, charts, and graphs, as well as multiparagraph passages in the areas of literature and literary nonfiction, the humanities, science, history and social studies, and on topics about work and career.
For every passage or pair of passages you’ll see during the Reading Test, at least one question will ask you to identify which part of the text best supports the answer to the previous question. In other instances, you’ll be asked to find the best answer to a question by pulling together information conveyed in words and graphics.
The Writing and Language Test also focuses on command of evidence. It asks you to do things like analyze a series of sentences or paragraphs and decide if it makes sense. Other questions ask you to interpret graphics and to edit a part of the accompanying passage so that it clearly and accurately communicates the information in the graphics.
The SAT Essay also tests command of evidence. After reading a passage, you’ll be asked to determine how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience through the use of evidence, reasoning, and/or stylistic and persuasive devices. Scorers look for cogent, clear analyses supported by critical reasoning and evidence drawn from the text provided.
Essay Analyzing a Source
The redesigned SAT Essay asks you to read a passage and explain how an author builds an argument to persuade an audience. This task closely mirrors college writing assignments because it is asking you to analyze how the author used evidence, reasoning, and stylistic and persuasive elements.
The new Essay is designed to support high school students and teachers as they cultivate close reading, careful analysis, and clear writing. It will promote the practice of reading a wide variety of arguments and analyzing how authors do their work as writers.
The essay prompt will be the same every time the new SAT is offered, but the source material students are asked to write about will be different each time.
Not all students will take the SAT with Essay, but some school districts and colleges require it. The SAT is the only assessment in the SAT Suite that includes the Essay. Learn more about the Essay.
Math that Matters Most
The Math Test focuses in-depth on three essential areas of math: Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math.
Problem Solving and Data Analysis is about being quantitatively literate. It includes using ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning to solve problems in science, social science, and career contexts.
The Heart of Algebra focuses on the mastery of linear equations and systems, which helps students develop key powers of abstraction.
Passport to Advanced Math focuses on more complex equations and the manipulation they require.
Current research shows that these areas are used disproportionately in a wide range of majors and careers. The redesigned SAT also includes questions on other topics in math, including the kinds of geometric and trigonometric skills that are most relevant to college and careers. Learn more about the Math Test.
Problems Grounded in Real-World Contexts
Throughout the SAT, you’ll be asked questions grounded in the real world, directly related to work performed in college and career.
The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section includes questions on literature and literary nonfiction, but also features charts, graphs, and passages like the ones students are likely to encounter in science, social science, and other majors and careers.
Questions on the Writing and Language Test ask you to do more than correct errors; they ask you to edit, revise, and improve texts from the humanities, history, social science, science, and career contexts.
The Math section features multistep applications to solve problems in science, social science, career scenarios, and other real-life situations. The test sets up a scenario and asks several questions that give you the opportunity to dig in and model it mathematically.
Analysis in Science and in History/Social Studies
The redesigned SAT asks you to apply your reading, writing, language, and math knowledge and skills to answer questions in science, history, and social studies contexts. In this way, the assessments call on the same sorts of knowledge and skills that you’ll use in college, at work, and throughout your life to make sense of recent discoveries, political developments, global events, and health and environmental issues.
The redesigned SAT includes a range of challenging texts and informational graphics that address these sorts of issues and topics in the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and the Math section. Questions will require you to read and understand texts, revise texts to be consistent with data presented in graphics, synthesize information presented through texts and graphics, and solve problems that are grounded in science and social science.
The Great Global Conversation and U.S. Founding Documents
When you take the SAT, you’ll be asked to read a passage from U.S. founding documents or the global conversation they inspired.
The U.S. founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers, have been inspired by and have helped to inspire a conversation that continues to this day about the nature of civic life.
Authors, speakers, and thinkers from the United States and around the world, including Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, Nelson Mandela, and Mohandas Gandhi, have broadened and deepened the conversation around such vital matters as freedom, justice, and human dignity.
The new SAT includes texts from this global conversation. The goal is to inspire a close reading of these rich, meaningful, often profound texts, not only as a way to develop valuable college and career readiness skills but also as an opportunity to reflect on and deeply engage with issues and concerns central to informed citizenship.
SAT-English 3 (Grade 10+): – Teacher: Davis Grubin
At this level, the students will have been preparing the basics of SAT English skills for some time, and will have quite extensive familiarity with the test and its format. Thus, I will be helping them structure their grammar, vocabulary, and thoughts in a way that will marry the two necessities of the SAT: speed and content. As we progress through the course, we will be composing multiple essays on various topics and completing grammar drills designed to train the students in how to use writing as a tool for thinking. I will begin class with a diagnostic test which will better clarify where the students themselves feel they need to make progress, and integrate that into my larger curriculum goals. These goals range from Greek and Latin etymologies to the specifics of Old French grammar (half of the English verbal system!).
There are two strategies for approaching the SAT, and the higher educational system in general. On one hand, one can learn the rules of the game and hope to reproduce enough tips on paper when the time comes. Or, one can learn how to integrate the knowledge itself into one’s thought process naturally, so that written essays feel more like thought exercises than an arduous maze. Any chess player can easily beat checkers, and in my class we will be applying the same principle to SAT English.