[{"title":"SAT Changes – International Test Dates and More!","content":"The College Board<\/a> announced today a reduction in the number of SAT test dates<\/a> available. Starting this fall, it will cut the number of test administrations overseas from six a year to four: http:\/\/www.usnews.com\/news\/top-news\/articles\/2017-02-22\/college-board-tightens-sat-exam-security-but-key-risk-remains?src=usn_fb<\/a>.\r\n\r\nThe SAT will only be offered in October, December, March and May.\r\n\r\n[caption id=\"attachment_5254\" align=\"alignleft\" width=\"338\"]\"highschool-tests\" Image Source<\/a>[\/caption]\r\n\r\nThis June\u2019s international test sitting will be canceled. Further security measures include providing law enforcement and other government agencies with the names of test prep companies and individuals suspected of stealing test materials. College Board will facilitate anonymous reporting of cheating, and prevent individuals from taking future tests. This is likely to tackle culprits who attend multiple sittings of the exam to game it for future utility.\r\n\r\nHow does this affect your student\u2019s test taking schedule? Significantly. In the past, The Edge<\/a> suggested taking exams in January, May or June of junior year(Grade 11\/Year 12), and then October of senior year(Grade 12\/Year 13). This schedule had been optimal to allow for 3 sittings and ample time in between to test prep.\r\n\r\nThe new schedule to take the exams will be: December, March, May for the more capable students and March, May and October for everyone else. Students should now focus more of their summer prior to Grade 11 to study intensively for the exam rather than waiting for the junior year Christmas Break to prepare for the January exam.\r\n\r\nFor the December exam sitting, spend about a month in the prior summer taking a test prep course or self-practicing, and then spend the fall doing further prep once or twice per week while making sure to do at least 3-4 mock exams to acquaint yourself with test day conditions.\r\n\r\nThose preparing for the May exam will need to use the Christmas holidays, Chinese New Year (if available), and Easter Break to put in the test prep time.\r\n\r\nThe October test sitting during senior year will gain importance for many who will use the summer before senior year to cram. Putting in 30-150 hours of prep that summer in preparation for the SAT should be the norm for students looking to make that 150-200 point increase that The Edge\u2019s students typically attain.\r\n\r\nThis is a positive step to deal with the rampant cheating clouding SAT results in the last decade. However, until recycling of exams is completely eliminated, students living in Asia with access to certain resources will continue to have a serious advantage.\r\n\r\nContact us for more information.\r\n\r\nCWB: 2972 2555 | MK: 2783 7100<\/strong>","excerpt":"The College Board announced today a reduction in the number of SAT test dates available. Starting this fall, it will cut the number of test administrations overseas from six a year to four: http:\/\/www.usnews.com\/news\/top-news\/articles\/2017-02-22\/college-board-tightens-sat-exam-security-but-key-risk-remains?src=usn_fb. The SAT will only be offered in October, December, March and May. This June\u2019s international test sitting will be canceled. Further […]","link":"http:\/\/theedge.com.hk\/sat-changes\/","category":"Announcement","catIcon":"http:\/\/theedge.com.hk\/wp-content\/uploads\/2014\/11\/announcement-logo.png","background":"http:\/\/theedge.com.hk\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/02\/SAT-Changes-300x225.jpg","date":"

ICS Courses: 20 Mar - 24 Mar 2017<\/h3>\r\n[table id=13 \/]\r\n\r\n*All courses are held at our Mong Kok Center\r\n\r\nAddress: 2\/F, Kelly Commercial Center, 570-572 Nathan Road, Mong Kok<\/a> | Phone: 2783 7100 \/ 2972 2555\r\n\r\nCall us or sign up<\/a> now for more details!<\/strong>\r\n

SIGN UP HERE!<\/a><\/strong><\/h3>","excerpt":"Good news for all International Christian School (ICS) students! We have a list of special spring break Test Prep courses available for you.As the final ACT (April 8th) and SAT (May 6th) of the school year are fast approaching, sign up for our ACT\/SAT\/SSAT courses and prep well during your one-week holiday. All ICS students […]","link":"http:\/\/theedge.com.hk\/ics-special-test-prep-courses-2017-spring-break\/","category":"Announcement","catIcon":"http:\/\/theedge.com.hk\/wp-content\/uploads\/2014\/11\/announcement-logo.png","background":"http:\/\/theedge.com.hk\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/02\/ICS-special-TP-courses-300x225.jpg","date":"

\u00a0By James Rodkey<\/a><\/b><\/h3>\r\n

(ACT, SAT, SSAT, English Builder, ESOL, and Latin\u00a0tutor at The Edge Learning Center<\/a>)<\/p>\r\n\"Old\r\n\r\nHow Important is Vocabulary on the new SAT<\/a>?<\/b>\r\n\r\nOne of the most dramatic changes from the old format of the SAT, which the College Board<\/a> administered from 2005 to 2016, to the current format is the way in which vocabulary is tested. In the old SAT format, vocabulary was a significant hurdle for many students, as each exam had 19 questions that explicitly tested difficult vocabulary words, questions that often looked like this:<\/span>\r\n\r\nThe commentator characterized the electorate as ________________________ because it was unpredictable and given to constantly shifting moods.<\/span>\r\n\r\n(A) mercurial<\/span>\r\n\r\n(B) corrosive<\/span>\r\n\r\n(C) disingenuous<\/span>\r\n\r\n(D) implacable<\/span>\r\n\r\n(E) phlegmatic <\/span>\r\n\r\nThese questions were difficult for several reasons. First of all, rather than appearing in the context of a paragraph or passage, sentences appeared in isolation, limiting the information students could use to deduce the meaning of the missing lexical items. Secondly, the vocabulary words given as answer choices were often extremely difficult, like \u201cphlegmatic\u201d and \u201cmercurial\u201d in the example question, words that few English speakers likely know. How many of those five answer choice words do you know? Take this moment to consider the serendipity of your situation if you\u2019re taking the SAT now rather than a year ago or more.<\/span>\r\n\r\nIn response to years of criticism of questions like the example above, the College Board completely rethought how vocabulary should be tested on the SAT. Now, vocabulary-centered questions appear in both the Reading<\/a> and Writing and Language<\/a> sections of the test, and always in the context of larger passages. The words that appear on the test are also decidedly more common, as the College Board has consciously endeavored to include only those words that high school students are likely to encounter in their scholastic activities. All of this means that intensive vocabulary study is no longer a necessary component of preparation to take the SAT. That is <\/span>not<\/span><\/i> to say, however, that vocabulary doesn\u2019t matter anymore. Let\u2019s take a look at how vocabulary is tested on the new SAT.<\/span>\r\n\r\nAs I mentioned before, vocabulary questions now appear in both the Reading section and the Writing and Language sections of the test. In the Reading section, vocabulary really only appears in what we call \u201cVocabulary-in-Context\u201d questions, which look something like this:<\/span>\r\n\r\nAs used in line 1 and line 65, \u201cdirectly\u201d most nearly means<\/span>\r\n\r\nA) frankly.<\/span>\r\n\r\nB) confidently.<\/span>\r\n\r\nC) without mediation.<\/span>\r\n\r\nD) with precision.<\/span>\r\n\r\nImmediately it should be clear that this question is quite different from the example on the old SAT. Notice that the vocabulary words, both in the question stem and in the answer choices, are not particularly difficult, and that context is much more vital in answering this question. We can\u2019t answer the question without reading and understanding the passage, even if we know what all the vocabulary words in the answer choices mean.<\/span>\r\n\r\nThe Writing and Language section tests vocabulary slightly more traditionally. A typical vocabulary question might look something like this, in what we call a \u201cPrecision and Concision\u201d question:<\/span>\r\n\r\nPlanned obsolescence, a practice whereby products are designed to have a limited period of usefulness, has been a cornerstone of manufacturing strategy for the past 80 years. This approach increases sales, but it also stands in <\/span>austere<\/span> contrast to a time when goods were produced to be durable. Planned obsolescence wastes materials as well as energy in making and shipping new products.<\/span>\r\n\r\nA) NO CHANGE<\/span>\r\n\r\nB) egregious<\/span>\r\n\r\nC) unmitigated<\/span>\r\n\r\nD) stark<\/span>\r\n\r\nIn this question, we simply have to consider the context of the sentence and choose the word that most <\/span>precisely<\/span><\/i> (hence, \u201cPrecision and Concision\u201d) fits the sentence. In these questions, the answer choices are usually words that have some overlap in meaning but differ in their usage, as in this example. All four of the answer choices generally mean \u201csevere,\u201d but only one of them works best in describing the noun \u201ccontrast\u201d that follows. Here some students with less developed vocabularies may begin to run into problems \u2013 if you don\u2019t know what \u201cegregious\u201d or \u201caustere\u201d or \u201cunmitigated\u201d means, you can\u2019t confidently choose or eliminate it. For questions like this, work methodically: read the sentence in context, make a prediction that encapsulates your understanding of the word in question, and eliminate answer choices based on that prediction. If you have to guess, at least make the guess as educated as possible by eliminating based on your prior knowledge.\r\n<\/span>\r\n\r\n[caption id=\"attachment_5186\" align=\"alignleft\" width=\"415\"]\"SAT<\/a> Source<\/em><\/a>[\/caption]\r\n\r\nStudents who struggle with questions like the last one often want to know how they can improve their vocabularies. Unfortunately, there isn\u2019t a simple answer for the new SAT, as there is no magical list of words that you can memorize and instantly improve your scores. That doesn\u2019t mean that you\u2019re powerless to improve your vocabulary, however. The best thing that you can do, that we can all do, to learn new words is to read. Read a wide range of materials targeted at educated adult audiences. When you see a word you\u2019ve never seen before, make a note of it. Write it down somewhere; curate a list of new words that you want to incorporate into your lexicon. Learn them, use them, make them your own; an expansive vocabulary is an asset that will benefit you throughout your college years and into your professional life.<\/span>\r\n\r\n(For those of you dying to know the answers to the sample questions mentioned above, they are, respectively, A, C, and D. Now go learn what \u201cphlegmatic\u201d and \u201caustere\u201d mean.)<\/span>\r\n\r\nNeed help on your SAT? Sign up for our one of our classes<\/a> today!","excerpt":"\u00a0By James Rodkey (ACT, SAT, SSAT, English Builder, ESOL, and Latin\u00a0tutor at The Edge Learning Center) How Important is Vocabulary on the new SAT? One of the most dramatic changes from the old format of the SAT, which the College Board administered from 2005 to 2016, to the current format is the way in which […]","link":"http:\/\/theedge.com.hk\/changes-vocabulary-old-sat-new-sat-format\/","category":"Edge Insights","catIcon":"http:\/\/theedge.com.hk\/wp-content\/uploads\/2014\/11\/announcement-logo.png","background":"http:\/\/theedge.com.hk\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/02\/James-blog-cover-300x225.jpg","date":"

ACT vs SAT Seminar: Which one should you take?<\/span><\/h1>\r\n\"ACT\r\n\r\nCome to our ACT vs SAT Seminar to learn more about the new SAT and ACT from Our Head of Content Development and resident Test Prep expert, Nick Marshall<\/a>. He will cover the\u00a0differences between these 2 exams by section (English, Reading, Math, Essay), \u00a0go over what's been on\u00a0the most recent actual exams,\u00a0and much more.\r\n