Archive for August 2012

Principal vs. Principle

In anticipation of the start of school, I thought it would be a good idea to feature these two words.

I know that they aren't exactly SAT/ACT vocabulary words, but I recently saw them misused in a prominent place on a school district website - who shall remain unnamed! - so I figured it was worth a post.

When it comes to running effective schools, there's no doubt that we need both good principals and good principles. But which is which?

Reward yourself for studying

Let's face it. Studying for the SAT or the ACT is not always fun.

Sometimes, you just need some extra motivation to get yourself to hit the books. And there's absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.

In fact, rewarding yourself for studying or in fact, rewarding yourself for tackling any challenging task, has been proven to help you make progress. The hard part is doing it effectively.

Here are two things to keep in mind:

Veracious vs. Voracious

For those of you who have studied Latin, words like veracious or voracious are a slam dunk.

For those of you who haven't studied Latin, don't fret! Instead of identifying Latin word roots, you can try making word associations.


What other words sound like veracious? How about: verify? veritable? verdict?

That's right! Because all of those words are derived from the Latin word root VER or VERI which means true and genuine.

What other words sound like voracious? You'll have to be a bit more creative on this one. How about: omnivore? herbivore? carnivore?

That's right! Because all of those words are derived from the Latin word root VOR or VORAC which means to swallow or to devour.

The Key to SAT, ACT, or GRE Essay Writing Success: Practice, practice, practice!

I fully admit that this blog is based on my own experience.

SAT, ACT, or GRE Essay Writing

I took the GRE a few years ago and I had a plan for how I would prep for both the Verbal and the Quantitative sections. But I figured that I didn't need to practice for the Analytical Writing section because I wrote all the time - at my job and as a hobby - so why would I need to practice writing? It was in the bag!

BIG mistake. I did well on the Verbal and Quant sections, but I bombed the Writing section.

Well, I didn't totally bomb it, but I certainly didn't get the score that I needed. The essay writing sections on the SAT, ACT, and GRE test your ability to think quickly and to produce clear and concise commentary in a very compressed amount of time. And these skills only come with practice!

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Dessert vs. Desert


Okay, I know what you're thinking. Dessert is not exactly a SAT or ACT level vocabulary word.

But desert* is. And not the Saharan kind either. I'm talking about deserting someone, something, or some place.

And it would certainly be comical if you got the two mixed up. So here's an easy tip that I've always remembered - courtesy of my 9th Grade English teacher - thanks Mr. Schwartz!