Tag Archives: grammar

Punctuation may be used to clarify meaning in written English, but the rules governing these marks tend to be anything but clear to modern high schoolers. Luckily, we can teach every rule the SAT and ACT test on commas, colons, semicolons, dashes, apostrophes, and other marks in a surprisingly short and engaging session. Plus, mastery of punctuation marks makes anyone a better writer! This seminar is perfect for any student who still struggles with punctuation questions on the tests or in school.   This online seminar is part of our August Seminar Series. The fee is $25 for this program or $99 for as many of the month’s seminars as you like.   Advance registration is required. Register through our Student Information Form and specify August SAT & ACT Punctuation. We will reply to registrants by email with the invitation to this Zoom seminar.   ABOUT YOUR TEACHER: Hilarie Lloyd is…

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Every time I see this e-card, I have to laugh. Most of our students would smile too, since we always call out “for all intensive purposes” as a classic word usage error. The grammarians at the College Board and ACT, Inc. have been known to torment kids with, among other things, eggcorns and malapropisms: An eggcorn is an idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker’s dialect. The new phrase introduces a meaning that is different from the original, but plausible in the same context, e.g. take it for granite instead of take it for granted. We create eggcorns all the time when we try to decode the lyrics to our favorite songs. A malapropism, on the other time, occurs when the substitution creates a nonsensical phrase. Classical malapropisms generally derive their comic effect from the fault of…

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SAT Writing and ACT English put you into the role of an editor. While high schoolers generally approach English as sometimes reluctant readers and writers, they don’t have as much experience as editors. That, however, is where the magic happens. Skillful editing turns a draft into a polished document. Every published work you’ve ever read has been worked over by one or more editors; most are reviewed by both copy editors for grammar and content editors for effectiveness. On these tests, students need to wear both hats. Thus, the first step on any ACT English or SAT Writing and Language grammar question is to find the errors. After all, most of the questions will have at least one error that demands a fix. Grammatical errors usually sound wrong to attuned ears, so read each underlined section silently to listen for errors. Use your eyes as well, because punctuation errors in…

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If today’s high school students are tomorrow’s leaders, our future looks very bright, at least in most respects. Where teens excel intellectually, emotionally, and technologically, however, they fall astonishingly short grammatically. If you don’t believe me, ask the nearest high schooler at hand what a preposition is. That dazed, deer-in-headlights look will tell you everything you need to know. Identifying a preposition should be simplicity itself, considering we use them in nearly every single sentence (including this one!) These basic, everyday words like of, to, in, on, for, and with are essential to communication. Yet, they pass unnoticed. Most teens–probably most people–can barely recognize let alone define a preposition. Actually, even the experts struggle to express exactly what a preposition is in easily understandable terms. Dictionary.com defines a preposition as “any member of a class of words found in many languages that are used before nouns, pronouns, or other substantives…

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While the multiple-choice grammar sections of the SAT & ACT stand out as fairly straightforward in terms of testing content, test takers generally find themselves surprised by two major observations: First, most native English speakers struggle with the fundamental mechanics of their mother tongue. Second, grammar entails more than just mechanics, punctuation, and sentence structure. Obviously, students seeking the highest scores on these sections need to sharpen their grammar skills before test day. The SAT & ACT test the rhetorical aspects of communication represented by the SAT subscore category Expression of Ideas: thesis, organization, transitions, word choice, style, and tone. Organization questions stand out as consistently challenging, but what makes them so tough? These questions ask test takers to identify the proper place in a passage for a selected sentence or paragraph. Answering these questions correctly requires insight into the point an author is trying to make and how that…

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Struggling with speed and comprehension on the English section of the ACT? Missing points because you can’t get to all the questions in time? Students who have been speaking English all their lives still struggle with this section when they don’t know how standard written English and effective communication are tested or how to tackle the passages quickly. Don’t worry… we can help! In our Timed ACT English class, students review the powerful Chariot Learning strategies for ACT English, then work on official passages and questions under timed supervision. We review after each passage to address both specific grammar questions and test taking techniques. This is a single 2-hour class open to both new and existing Chariot Learning students. The fee is $80 for new students and $70 for current and past Chariot Learning tutoring students. Registration in advance is required. No refunds will be issued on the day of…

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