From Quora: Answer to "Does the ACT or SAT penalize you additional points for getting an answer wrong? Is there a benefit for guessing on questions you don't know on either test?"
No. Neither one has a “guessing penalty.” The SAT used to, but doesn’t now. So guessing at questions that you don’t know or don’t have time to solve gives you a 1 in 4 chance of getting the right answer just by chance.
NOTE: The SAT subject tests (not the regular SAT) STILL DO have a guessing penalty, where you lose 1/4 of a point for every wrong answer - i.e., not only do you not get the point for that question, but you lose 1/4 of a point you already earned. So DO NOT guess on the SAT subject tests (e.g., Spanish, physics) unless you can eliminate one answer as obviously wrong. Why? Because if you guessed the whole test at random, you’d lose 1/4 of a point 4 times, then get one point the 5th time, which would add up to a net gain of zero. If you can eliminate one answer as wrong, then you’d lose 3/4 of a point (3 * 1/4) for every one you guessed correctly, and end up 1/4 of a point ahead. Hope this helps.
From Quora: Answer to "If I have a 1270/1600 SAT, would paying for a prep course help me get up to a 1400/1600?"
A prep course could work, but you could also get a private tutor (like me) for about the same money, which would give you individualized attention. Also, as JJ Bhutto posted, you can prepare essentially for free using Khan Academy videos (and lots of others, including the ones on my YouTube channel- search on “John Linneball Tutoring”) and the downloadable/online practice SATs available at the College Board site : SAT Practice Tests
Find out if the college you’d like to attend requires the SAT; if it does, it probably will accept the ACT. More and more colleges don’t actually requires the SAT or ACT these days - you might want to see if a college you like is one of them.
It’s basically a more advanced version of the SAT or ACT - reading, analytical writing, and high school-level math. The reading is more advanced, the essay in and the analytical writing is also more advanced, which makes sense since the GMAT is meant for college graduates who intended to attend business school. The math is about the same difficulty as the SAT or ACT, since many GMAT takers haven’t taken much college-level math.
If you worked reasonably hard in college, and you review GMAT math (any review book will do, and hiring a tutor is better), you’ll do fine.
From Quora: "What are my odds of getting 1400 in the SAT, without preparing for the test but taking AP Language and Honors pre-calculus for the whole year?"
I can’t know that without knowing you, your courses, how you performed, etc. If you’re a high-performing student (either near the top of your class, or even in the middle at a really rigorous high school), you could score a 1400 without prep, but why risk it?
A decent SAT prep book is at most a $30 investment, or you can probably get a used one from someone for free or a few dollars. You can even borrow them for free. Spend about 30 hours (maybe 2 to 6 hours a week) just practicing so you’ll know the format of the test, the kinds of tricks they use in the math questions, how they justify which are the “best” answers for reading questions, and basic grammar, punctuation and writing style.
The math section has questions with tricks that don’t measure your math ability so much as your ability to read directions carefully, avoid being tricked by inaccurate diagrams not drawn to scale, or use shortcuts for certain problems.
The reading has questions with two correct answers, but one is “better” than the other, and it’s not always obvious why one is “better” unless you’ve practiced and know how the SAT people think.
Most of the grammar is easy, but some official Standard American English isn’t really how people in the U.S. speak or write in everyday life, and SAT-land writing style may be different from yours - the SAT people have different ideas about redundancy than you might have (they don’t seem to understand writing style, humor, etc.). They expect you to know parallelism, the passive voice and why to avoid it, and other things your schools may not have taught you.
Finally, the SAT essay is different from most essays you’ve had to write in high school, where you analyze a piece of writing without arguing for or against the point expressed in the writing. You have to just explain HOW the author makes the main point, not whether or not the point itself is valid.
From Quora: My Answer to "Is it possible to do worse on an standardized test (take, for example, the SAT) by being sick (varying from the common cold to a stomach sickness) on that day?"
Yes. Anything that distracts you from the test will cause problems. A cold probably won’t affect you much, but a stomach virus that’s making you have to get up and go to the bathroom every few minutes will seriously reduce your time, and thus your score.
No standardized test will give you extra time for any reason, including illness, a car accident on the way, and in one story I’ve heard about the California Bar Exam, a test-taker actually reviving another test taker who had a heart attack during the test!
If you’re really sick on test day, I would suggest you just not show up, and contact the College Board BEFORE test time to let them know why. I believe the SAT and ACT people will let you reschedule tests if you let them know before test time, but I’m not 100% certain how far in advance you have to reschedule to avoid losing your whole test fee and having to re-pay for the test. See this link to get the official College Board information on this topic. Changing Your Registration Information
In any event, the fee is NOT the main consideration here. If you are sick with a contagious illness on test day, please don’t go and infect others just because you “need” to take the test. That’s one reason to schedule the test BEFORE the last possible date you can take it and meet admissions deadlines. Also, if you know you’re really sick after the test starts, you can “cancel” your scores. See here - Canceling Scores
Hope this helps!
Here's the video.
Here's the essay I wrote in the video:
In the speech “Beyond Vietnam - A Time to Break Silence,” Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. makes a compelling case for the proposition that the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War is unjust using ethos (facts and commonly accepted values or ethics), pathos (appeals to emotion through powerful descriptive language), and logos (logic). Dr. King’s speech makes a powerful moral argument for U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam and a renewed American commitment to the War on Poverty in the U.S. itself.
The first element with which Dr. King strikes the reader is pathos. In the first paragraph, King refers to his being a “preacher by calling,” which in addition to giving him some moral authority, or ethos, brings the reader into a frame of mind where he or she can contemplate ethics – good and evil. King then describes “the poverty program,” commonly referred to as the “War on Poverty,” as a “shining moment in that struggle,” namely the battle for civil rights for African-Americans and other minorities in the U.S. He references “experiments, hopes, and new beginnings,” all of which have positive connotations, especially when placed together. This happy juxtaposition of positive terms, however, immediately contrasts with King’s next statement. “Then came the buildup in Vietnam.” Even without more, that statement immediately brings to mind negative connotations. The Vietnam War was the first U.S. war where images of death and destruction, including the deaths of U.S. troops, were televised nightly on news broadcasts. King then mentions that the war caused “this program” to be “broken and eviscerated, as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war.”
Obviously, the image of American society as some kind of psychopathic child destroying important social programs as some unwanted toy in order to pursue its new “play” at war is incredibly powerful emotional language. “Eviscerated” literally means a person or being’s internal organs (or “viscera”) being torn out. King mentions that the war on poverty could not be fought effectively if “men and skills” were drawn into “adventures like Vietnam” “like some demonic destructive suction tube.” King then concludes that the Vietnam War is “an enemy of the poor,” which requires him to “attack it as such.”
In the second paragraph, King noted that the Vietnam War was not only “devastating the poor at home,” but “sending their sons and brothers to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population.” He also cites the “cruel irony” of watching “black young men” fight “to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia” which they had been denied at home in America. He succinctly sums up the sadly ironic situation by stating “[W]e have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools.” King cites to similar segregation in housing to emphasize his point – that blacks dying for “freedom” denied to them at home was not only the most savage form of injustice and hypocrisy, but also unacceptable under any worthwhile system of morality, which leads him to the conclusion “I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.” King’s citation to the facts of school and housing segregation and the fact that these things are wrong and hypocritical in a “free” society are splendid examples of the effective use of ethos in a speech.
In the third paragraph, King describes his efforts to encourage African-Americans to shun violent protests, stating “I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems,” while facing the counterargument that the U.S. government itself was using violence to solve it problems in Vietnam. King then states “I knew I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed [e.g., African Americans] without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today- my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.” King uses his moral authority as a non-violent preacher and advocate of non-violence to address why he feels the need to address violence on the global scale, such as war, and not just violence in the U.S. His use of repetition with the repeated phrase, “For the sake of…” emphasizes his belief that non-violence is the solution and only salvation of the poor, of minorities, of the U.S. government, and the people of Vietnam who were being killed in the Vietnam War.
King uses this emotional argument, layered upon the ethos of common Judeo-Christian morality, to lead into the fourth paragraph, where he answers the question “Aren’t you a civil rights leader?” with his stated mission “[t]o save the soul of America” from the corrupt use of unjust violence in any form against any person or group, and that the mission could not be limited to obtaining “certain rights for black people.” King forcefully compares the U.S. government and society to a human body, stating “If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned [like the corpse of a poisoning victim], part of the autopsy must read : Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes or men the world over.” King finally concludes that those who would improve America and save it from its darkest impulses must head “down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.”
King thus compares the struggle for civil rights to a journey down a strenuous and demanding hiking path, where those who wish to work for justice must “work for the health of our land” by struggling against the injustice wreaked by the powerful in the U.S. government, not only against African Americans in the U.S., but against Vietnamese nationals in Vietnam.
King’s use of ethos is detailed above, in that he cites to the fact of Vietnam war scenes being broadcast on television every night, the irony of black soldiers purportedly fighting for freedom they did not fully possess at home, and the facts of educational and housing segregation. King also relies on the obvious ideas that unjust death, torture, poverty, and social segregation based on race are wrong. King also cites to the obvious fact that money spent on warfare cannot be spent on social programs to help the poor.
King’s use of logos is very simple. Since he relies on the basic notions that no one deserves to suffer for no other reason than his or her race, it makes no sense to fight for racial equality for one group (black Americans), but not another (the Vietnamese). Since the Vietnam War not only oppressed the Vietnamese, but drew much-needed money away from social programs intended to help the poor and minorities in the U.S., King’s inexorable logic leads him to oppose the Vietnam War.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech uses ethos in the form of commonly-accepted Judeo-Christian morality, pathos in the vibrant description of racial injustice and intolerable violence, and logos in the form of the compelling conclusion that any civil rights movement must aim for peach and justice for all people worldwide, not just some in the U.S. It is a classic example of a persuasive moral argument against war and for racial and civil justice.
New video from John Linneball Tutoring: ACT English Test Done in Real Time! https://youtu.be/PTdmYDUnENU
I discuss some more American idioms related to money. Click here. Please like and subscribe if you like this video! - it REALLY helps me, and doesn't cost you anything.
https://youtu.be/npGD08pds1Q Here it is!
Author: John Linneball Who did you think? ;-)
I'm the proprietor and only tutor for this business; that's why I named it after me.