We've decided that not knowing the proper math and grammar terminology adds a layer of difficulty to the process of trying to improve your SAT score.
For example, try getting to the bottom of your errors with explanations like these (from the College Board):
It avoids the comma-splice error of the other options by turning the first independent clause, “This basic document is stating the liberties” into an appositive. An appositive is a subordinate noun phrase that renames a noun. In this revision, “A basic document” is the appositive that renames “Magna Carta,” and the dependent clause “that states the liberties” modifies “a basic document.”
Woof woof woof.
I don't get it.
Ok, I do finally know how to identify a "comma splice" (now, age 45, and 10 months into studying for the SAT), but I'm not sure I could pick out a "dependent clause" from an "independent one," and I would need the Google machine to help me understand the "appositive" portion of this explanation.
How am I supposed to organize my mental closet if I don't know the jargon?
According to Catherine, the terminology -- say "gerund" or "dangling participle" or "noun clause, " keeps reminding you that these are "different grammatical structures."
"Knowledge isn’t just facts and notions," she explained to me, "It’s facts and notions etc. organized inside a SCHEMA."
From Catherine's post about associative interference:
I'm also thinking more attention should be paid to teaching young children the terminology of arithmetic: addends, subtrahends, factors, and the like. I think -- I don't know -- that fluency with the terminology might help reduce associative interference. "All math looks alike": the 5 and the 2 in 5+2 look exactly like the 5 and the 2 in 5x2. But the words addend and factor have nothing in common whatsoever.
Illustrations by Jennifer Orkin Lewis