High School 2 College

March 26, 2012

20 More SAT Words You Absolutely Must Know

Filed under: SAT,vocabulary — highschool2college @ 4:14 pm
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20 More SAT Words You Absolutely Must Know


discriminating – able to tell the difference between similar things


superficial – surface; not deep


wistful – nostalgic; looking back on “the good old days”


inferior – not as good as something else


revere (reverence, reverential, reverent) – respect for something (with religious overtones)


irreverent – disrespect for something that people normally respect


cynical – not trusting, skeptical


misconception – wrong idea


censure – formal accusation; disapprove


novel (novelty) – something new, never done before


erroneous – an error, mistaken


innovation – something new, not done before


tenacious (tenacity) – holding on to something and not letting go


cursory – surface, not in depth


connoisseur – an expert in something, especially something that is enjoyable


irrefutable – cannot be refuted or argued with; absolutely certain


equivocate – change one’s mind back and forth; flip-flop


exuberant – extremely happy


relentless – continuing without letting up or stopping


prosaic – common, everyday, not special





Quiz on the the 20 MORE SAT Words You Absolutely Must Know

Filed under: SAT,vocabulary — highschool2college @ 4:11 pm
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Find the opposite of these words – if you can!  (You may need a dictionary.  Look up words you don’t know):


1.  superficial                                   ____a.  respectful


2.  prosaic                                          ____b.  laud


3.  irreverent                                      ____c.  of better quality


4.  cynical                                          ____d.  gullible


5.  censure                                        ____e.  in depth


6.  erroneous                                   ____f.  intermittent


7.  inferior                                          ____g.  dilettante


8.  connoisseur                                ____h.  special, poetic


9.  equivocate                                   ____i.  correct


10. relentless                                       ____k.  be resolute


Find synonyms for these words.  Not so easy, are they?


1.  discriminating                              ____a.  false fact, erroneous idea


2.  wistful                                           ____b.  nostalgic


3.  revere                                            ____c.  dogged, persevering


4.  misconception                             ____d.  picky, choosy


5.  novel                                             ____e.  superficial


6.  innovation                                     ____f.  admire


7.  tenacious                                     ____g.  joyful


8.  cursory                                          ____h.  creatively new


9.  irrefutable                                     ____i.  invention


10.  exuberant                                  ____k.  incontrovertible

20 SAT Vocabulary Words You Absolutely Must Know

Filed under: SAT,vocabulary — highschool2college @ 12:25 am
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20 SAT Words You Absolutely Must Know


terse – brief; to the point; not using many words


ambivalent – not able to make up one’s mind; not sure; vacillating between two choices


disparage – say something not nice about someone or something; criticize


mitigate – soften; lessen the severity


advocate – speak or work on someone’s behalf


underscore – underline; highlight; reinforce


aesthetic – having to do with beauty or physical appeal


pragmatic – practical


undermine – make things worse for someone; weaken the floor under someone


analogy – form of comparison (hand is to glove like head is to hat)


anecdote – a brief, personal little story, often mildly amusing


credible – believable


idiosyncrasy (idiosyncratic) – quirks; individual odd way of doing something


plausible – possible


condescension (condescending) – looking down on someone; talking to someone as if he is inferior


indifferent – not caring; makes no difference


atypical – not typical


demise – death


contemporary – happening at the same time as something else; someone who lived at the same time as someone else


peril – danger

Vocabulary Quiz for the 20 SAT Words You Absolutely Must Know

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Do you know the 20 SAT Words You Absolutely Must Know?

What is the opposite of these words?









Can you find the right word to complete these sentences?


1.  I was late, so I appreciated that his excuse was at least (indifferent/ idiosyncratic/ terse).


2.  Although he was guilty of stealing, the fact that he was stealing bread for his hungry family (mitigated/ undermined/ imperiled) his punishment.


3.  Because I’ve worked in the schools for many years, I often volunteer to (underscore/ condescend/ advocate) for parents who have specific requests of teachers.


4.  I can’t (underscore/ undermine/ advocate) enough how important it is to learn these vocabulary words.


5.  Since the pretty blouse was too flimsy to keep me warm, I had to exchange it for something more (credible/ idiosyncratic/ pragmatic).


6.  I need new office furniture, but since it will be used by so many students, I’m less concerned with its (plausible/ contemporary/ aesthetic) qualities than I am with its practical features.


Match the synonyms:


1.  undermine                                   ____a.  superior attitude


2.  analogy                                        ____b.  living at the same time as someone


3.  anecdote                                      ____c.  opposite of support


4.  condescension                           ____d.  danger


5.  contemporary                              ____e.  comparison


6.  peril                                               ____f.  “A funny thing happened to me last week.”

March 15, 2012

College Visits for High School Students 101

I’m sure you’ve been getting college brochures in the mail but don’t wait for colleges to come to you.  You have to go to them.  April break is the perfect time to go.  Earlier than that could mean cold, inclement weather.  Once May starts, many schools stop their tours so the students can concentrate on their finals.  By mid-May, all the students have gone home for the summer.  So take advantage of the month of April.  Go during the break.  Take a few long weekends and go.

But where?

By now, you should have been to Princeton Review and done the “Counselor-o-Matic” survey (also called “Best Fit School Search”) to get a list of colleges you might be interested in.  Remember to click on “see all colleges” after you get the initial lists of safety, good match, and reach schools.  If so, you should have at least 20 schools that might just fit your needs.

Now it’s time to plan a college tour or two.

First, group schools together.  List potential schools according to these categories:

  • rural (country – not near a city or even much of a town)
  • suburban (near a college town or within an hour of a city)
  • urban (right in the middle of a city with or without a campus)
  • small (under 5,000 undergraduates)
  • medium (5,000 – 10,000 undergraduates)
  • large (over 10,000 undergraduates)
  • far north (of where ever you live, more than 5 hours by car)
  • north (of where ever you live, 2 – 5 hours away by car)
  • close (within an hour or two of where ever you live)
  • south (of where ever you live, 2 – 5 hours away by car)
  • far south (of where ever you live, more than 5 hours away by car)
  • you’re going to start collecting frequent flier miles

The purpose of grouping schools is to make sure you visit one from each category if you can.  If you find out you hate urban schools, you can cross the rest of the urban schools off your list.  If you love the energy of a really big school, you can eliminate the small schools from your list.  Like most high school kids, you might think you like one kind of school or another, but many kids completely change their mind once they visit a few.

Find out where the schools are.  Visit the colleges’ websites and use mapquest.com or google maps to start planning your visit geographically.  Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York are huge states — Philadelphia is closer to New Jersey than it is to Pittsburgh.

Find out when the tours are.  Some schools have tours and information sessions.  Others have one but not the other.  I like the tours.

Once you decide which schools you can see in a day (ideally, you should see two schools a day, but you might be able to squeeze in a third if you have to), go on those schools’ websites under “prospective students” to find out when the tours are.  Some schools only have tours on weekends.  Some schools only have tours during the week.  Reserve a spot if the school recommends or requires it.

It’s much harder to get the feel of a school without a tour.  Sure, they’re led by a perky student who is just in love with the place, but you’ll learn a lot by what she says and what she doesn’t say and by how she answers the questions of the other prospective students on the tour.

Be polite. Do stop in to visit the admissions office.  If you can prearrange an interview, do so.  Dress neatly.  You don’t have to look like you’re applying for a job in corporate headquarters, but don’t wear anything ripped, dirty, or provocative.

Be brave. Go to your admissions meeting ALONE. Mom and Dad shouldn’t come with you into your interview.  Ever.  If you’re nervous, practice what you might say with a friend or your parents or with me, but go in alone.  Have a few questions ready, something you can’t find out on their website.

Here are a few questions that might be worth asking someone in admissions if you can’t think of any on your own:

  • how many kids  graduate each year with the major I’m interested in?
  • do you house freshmen together?
  • do most of your graduates go on to graduate school or do they get a job right after college?
  • tell me about campus security.
  • is any of your campus wi-fi?
  • what percentage of kids belong to fraternities/sororities?

Practice answering questions, too.  Here are some questions they will likely ask:

  • why do you want to go to this school? (One good answer is, “My guidance counselor feels it would be a great fit for me.” Another might be, “My cousin just loves it here,” or “I met your rep at a college fair and it sounds just perfect.”  Gush a little.)
  • how did you hear of us? (Answer:  You have a great reputation for (whatever your major is or whatever they’re known for).)
  • tell me about yourself  (Answer:  I think I’m a really good student with lots of interests.)
  • what do you hope to get out of college (Answer:  I’m looking to grow academically and socially)
  • what did you think of the tour? (Answer:  it was great!  No other answer will do.)

Be nosy. Spend some time in the student union or in the cafeteria.  Eavesdrop on what kids are saying to each other.  Go up to a random kid and ask questions.  Tell him you are considering this school and ask if you can talk to him for a minute.  Ask nosy questions, questions you wouldn’t ask someone in admissions:

  • would you tell your best friend to go here?
  • what’s the best thing about this school?
  • what’s the worst thing about this school?
  • is it hard to get into the classes you want to take?
  • are the professors approachable and helpful?
  • is there anything to do here on weekends?
  • is the food tolerable?
  • is there anything to do off campus?
  • do kids go to the teams’ games?
  • would you pick this school again if you had to reapply?

If you really can’t bring yourself to ask questions like this, have your parents do it.  They won’t mind – I promise.  As a matter of fact, send them off to the cafeteria while you’re at admissions and let them find a few random kids to quiz.

You will forget which school said which things,  and which school had which features.  You will.  Take cell phone photos and/or write on college brochures to remind yourself of any impressions.  Write yourself notes, like “This was the school with the smelly dorms,” or “This was the school with the amazing view.”  Don’t wait until you get home.  Write up a review for yourself of each school when you get back into the car if you can.

Thank you notes are completely optional. If you had an admissions visit and you remember the name of the person you spoke to, a quick email is a nice touch, but nothing more formal is required or expected no matter what your parents tell you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment on this blog or send me a Facebook message through my page Wendy Segal Tutoring:  highschool2college.

Wendy Segal

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