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The Problem with Recycled Tests

Posted by Sharon DeNunzio on June 16, 2016 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

I’ve been in the habit of taking the June ACT test and October SAT test for several years now. I generally view the June ACT as one of the more challenging tests of the year, although generally not as difficult as the December test. 


I was surprised to find my June 11th test in English and Math to be easier than I had expected. The Science section was not as difficult, other than one passage, as I had expected. I sensed ther...

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Understanding New SAT Inflated Scores, Percentiles and Concordance

Posted by Sharon DeNunzio on May 25, 2016 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)


College Board released scores almost two weeks ago from its March 5th National New SAT test date and the public school weekday New SAT test administrations. A flurry of articles, reports, and inflamed letters has appeared in response.


The highlights of what we have learned so far include:


Score Inflation:...

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ACT Research posts new article explaining New Essay scores

Posted by Sharon DeNunzio on May 19, 2016 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The ACT has very recently posted a new technical research article for constituents to explain and defend its scaled scores on the New Essay format that was introduced in September of 2015. The main points of the ACT Research paper are:


1. Based on the research studies and the September and October 2015 administrations of the ACT tests, the results indicate that the New Writing test has “similar reliability, precision,...

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Number One Tip for ACT test-takers

Posted by Sharon DeNunzio on March 22, 2016 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I offer small group mock testing frequently for my students who tutor with me, usually at least in the form of a baseline test and a mock test shortly before their first real tests. Although I take real ACTs and real SATs side-by-side with other juniors and seniors, I hadn’t had the opportunity to observe from the perspective of one who sits at the front of a class. I also hadn’t had the opportunity to walk around such a large group of students to watch their tech...

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A Random Walk down the SAT Score Trail

Posted by Sharon DeNunzio on February 2, 2016 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (0)


Collegeboard is about to introduce its New SAT in just one month.

These recent events --
• misprinted test booklets
• “anomaly” tests with unusual scales, and
• the past month&#...
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Features of a Top-Scoring SAT Essay

Posted by Sharon DeNunzio on November 6, 2015 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

On the current SAT, the 25-minute essay section comes first. It helps set the tone for the rest of the test. Done well, a winning essay will help a student relax and feel confident with the start of the multiple choice sections. If not done well, the essay will linger in the mind of the student and erode his confidence. This is the one somewhat right-brain activity on the SAT. I would argue that top-scoring essays are somewhat formulaic, however. It is easier to know ...

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Lifestyle Area #3 -- Get Your Sleep!

Posted by Sharon DeNunzio on October 31, 2015 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)

A while back, I started a 3-part blog on the 3 key Lifestyle areas to achieve peak performance on the SATs/ACTs. In my first blog, I addressed Nutrition. In my second blog, I addressed Meditation. In this blog, I address SLEEP. These three elements are the foundations for a balanced, healthy lifestyle that lead to peak performance in testing and other life events.


SLEEP NEEDS

Everyone needs sleep to fu...

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Lifestyle Area #2 -- Add Meditation to your daily ritual

Posted by Sharon DeNunzio on May 12, 2015 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (1)

A few weeks ago, I started a 3-part blog on the 3 key Lifestyle areas to achieve peak performance on the SATs/ACTs.  In my first blog, I addressed Nutrition.  In this blog, I address Meditation.  In my final blog, I will discuss sleep.  These three elements are the foundations for a balanced, healthy lifestyle that leads to peak performance in testing and other life events.


Meditation:  Archeologists and sc...

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Recent Changes to format of and increasing complexity of ACT

Posted by Sharon DeNunzio on April 17, 2015 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Based on other master tutors’ opinions shared in tutoring forums in which I participate, many of us believe that the ACT content has consistently become more challenging over the recent years. Further, the ACT has recently introduced minor changes in format of which students should be aware. The recent changes in format have taken place in the Reading and Science sections. The ACT has announced that it will be changing its essay in September 2015, but for the next two...

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Address these 3 Lifestyle Areas to Achieve Peak SAT-ACT Performance

Posted by Sharon DeNunzio on March 28, 2015 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)


Students and parents continually ask me what else they should be doing in addition to SAT or ACT practice to perform better on the real standardized tests. My most frequent question is, “What should I be eating the (morning, week, month) of the test? Let me address this question first.


Nutrition is the foundation for academic performance, and this is particularly true on Test Day. What is good nutrition?

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