Tell me the story
Whenever someone sends me their scores, I reply back with the same question:
How'd you do it?
My favorite email last week was from a father of a daughter who is a junior in high school. She took both the SAT and the PSAT this month (October). And lest you think to yourself, "that's too much...." Guess what?
She rocked it!
- Critical Reading 800 (99%)
- Math 750 (97%)
- Writing 770 (99%)
Here's how he responded to my "How'd she do it?" email:
Math: I had her do medium and hard level Blue Book questions. After less than two weeks I realized she was doing so well I moved onto writing (skipping 2/3 of Blue Book math). It was a judgement call on where to spend the limited resources (time).
Reading: She doesn't know how or why she got an 800. She was shocked! Her pattern (recently) was to miss one CR (or none) and then miss one or two vocab.
Reading & Writing: I was pushing Erica's suggestions to her continuously. Stacey had her do an exercise (because of timing issues) where time was reduced by one or two minutes for a CR section section. She did that several times.
And a lot of good old fashion luck!
Another emailer said, "My client, xxx told me yesterday that her daughter improved her SAT math score nearly 200 points by reading that Philip Keller book."
And another emailer said that PWNtheSATs Math Truism -- is true:
If you just want to break 600, you can skip FIVE QUESTIONS PER SECTION if you get all the rest of the questions right. Seriously.
You can read all about this truism in this post -- and if you still want to read more, read this one too.
I'm sure you're thinking to yourself right now, "If this truism is so true, why hasn't she tried it?" And honestly, I'm lol'ing as I read PWN's post on the matter: "Don't be obstinate!"
I want to write back to him and say, "I'm not obstinate. I'm special. I'm different. I'm unique."
I can't stand it when I flip to the end of a section and see some luscious triangle problem on #20 that I feel sure I can do, or a #19 function table that I just practiced.
When PWN was here yesterday, and we were going over my full timed practice SAT from last week, he very politely (and possibly even too subtly) said to me, "Let's talk about the math."
And I kind of smiled, and said back to him, "Yeah, you know, Catherine and I've been thinking maybe I should try that suggestion of yours about spending more time on the first 15, instead of barreling through the section."
And then I added, "You don't think I'm stubborn, do you?" To which he very delicately said back to me, "Um, First Serve Debbie?"
OMG, I'm obstinate.
I honestly can't believe it. In a million years, I never would have described myself as obstinate, I swear to you. I thought I was flexible.
I'm hereby taking a public vow to try said truism, which is, in fact, espoused by all my favorite experts, on the next SAT (November 5, 2011). I'm even going to try it tomorrow on a full practice SAT from the Red Book (not to be confused with the Blue Book).
Ok, back to the purpose of this post:
I'm curious to hear from others, How'd You Do it?
Illustrations by Jennifer Orkin Lewis