Test Taking Strategies

Mastering the SSAT Fiction Story Essay

Here’s what you need to know about mastering the SSAT fiction story essay, which requires creative writing and using your imagination. If you are taking the middle level SSAT, you will be required to write a fiction story essay based on a prompt; if you are taking the upper level SSAT, you have the option of writing a standard essay or writing the fiction story essay. Either way, you won’t have much time, just 25…

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Mastering the Reading Sections of the ISEE/SSAT Tests

The key to mastering the reading sections of the ISEE/SSAT tests is two-fold: reading the passage effectively, and answering the questions efficiently. The reading section of the ISEE/SSAT tests is designed to assess how well you are able to grasp the main idea and tone of a passage. The most important thing to remember is that you are not expected to retain details as you read. This is different from how you probably read other…

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Structuring Your Standard Essay for the ISEE or SSAT

The key to structuring your standard essay for the ISEE or SSAT is to ensure you have the proper format. Here’s the general format for a successful standard essay: Introduction Sentence 1: Thesis/Answering the question Sentence 2: Introduce your first supporting paragraph (what you’re going to say in the second paragraph) Sentence 3: Introduce your second supporting paragraph (what you’re going to say in the third paragraph) Sentence 4: Sum up your ideas and transition…

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Mastering the ISEE Essay

The key to mastering the ISEE essay is preparing yourself for the difficulty of developing a full essay within 30 minutes. Before we discuss the details of the essay assignment, there’s something you need to know: your ISEE essay is not being scored. It will be sent along with the rest of your test to the schools to which you are applying. It is going to be looked at alongside your admission essay (if the…

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Traps to Look Out For on the Synonym Section of the ISEE/SSAT Tests

The synonym section of the ISEE/SSAT tests is very challenging due to the difficult vocabulary, as well as the traps that the test-makers include to confuse you. The first trap to look out for is the Secondary Part of Speech Trap. Sometimes the word has a secondary meaning when it is used in a different part of speech. For example, words can be both a noun and a verb, and have different meanings depending on…

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Mastering Vocabulary on the ISEE/SSAT Tests

The key to performing well on the verbal sections of the ISEE and SSAT tests is mastering vocabulary. One of the main ways to understand how words are built is to study prefixes and roots. It is important to be able to break words that you do not recognize into pieces and decipher the meanings, because it’s better to be able to understand how words are made up than to just memorize them by rote. …

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How to Study Vocabulary Most Effectively for the ISEE and SSAT Tests

In order to perform well on the ISEE and SSAT tests, learning to study vocabulary is crucial. The Verbal section of each test challenges the vocabulary skills of even the strongest students. It can be difficult to study vocabulary with your busy schedule, but without making it a priority, you will not be able to perform well on the synonyms and analogies portions of the SSAT exam or the synonyms and sentence completions portions of…

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The One-Two Pass: General SSAT Test Taking Strategy

In the Synonym, Analogy, and Math sections of the SSAT, it is important for you to become comfortable with the one-two pass strategy.  In the first pass, you should only attempt problems that you feel you have a good chance of being able to answer correctly. In the second pass, you should attempt the remaining problems. By using the one-two pass strategy, you won’t get caught up on a difficult problem halfway through and run…

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The One-Two Pass: General ISEE Test-Taking Strategy

In the Synonym, Sentence Completion, and Math sections of the ISEE, it is important for you to become comfortable with the one-two pass strategy.  In the first pass, you should only attempt problems that you feel you have a good chance of being able to answer correctly. In the second pass, you should attempt the remaining problems. By using the one-two pass strategy, you won’t get caught up on a difficult problem halfway through and…

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