Studying vocabulary for the SAT, GMAT, TOEFL, or any of these standardized tests is a waste of time. There I said it. Why is studying vocab a waste of time you ask? I'll give you not one, but three reasons:
1. There are more than 750,000 words in the English language according to AskOxford.com. Can any of these words be on your test? Yes. Do you really have time to learn the definitions of all of them? No.
2. Vocabulary is not directly tested. With the exception of a few questions on the SAT and TOEFL, there aren't really any questions that ask you "what does this word mean?". These questions are usually asked is indirect ways. Basically, the question makes it seem like you need to know the definition of a word to get the answer right. Well, you actually don't. You can always use context clues--the other words in the sentence or paragraph--to help you figure out the answer.
3. You have more important things to do with your time (and I don't mean watching TV). Considering that you should spend three months or less studying (not cramming) for the test, there are other concepts to learn that relate directly to the test. Suck at probability? Well, it's on the SAT and GMAT. Use your time to improve it. Can't write an essay to save your life? Well, you have to write one not matter which test you take so learn how.
Teachers, test prep companies, and the test maker do not want you to know that learning vocabulary for tests, like the SAT and GMAT, is useless. Why not? Is there some global conspiracy to get students to read and study hard? Of course not. Vocabulary is easy to teach. Vocabulary flash cards fill books. Vocabulary adds to the mystery of the test. Focus on the important stuff and leave vocabulary out of it.
Note: The only exception to this discussion is the GRE. GRE verbal, as it is currently designed, is heavily vocabulary based. Rather than learning 1,000 new words that may not be tested, focus on learning Latin and Greek roots. You'll get more mileage out of your studying.
Want to find out what you should be studying? Email APPLY ME and we'll help you figure out!
Here's a question we are asked frequently:
Are non-American citizens eligible to take the GED exam in Dubai?
Good news!! Non-American citizens are eligible to take the GED. Once you successfully pass all 5 GED tests, you will be sent an official transcript of your exam scores. High school equivalency certificates (to show to universities and put on your wall) will be issued by the District of Columbia (DC) Department of Education in the USA.
You can read more about the International GED policies here.
You can even take the GED in the UAE if you are not a resident of the UAE. Here's what you do:
Click here if you need to know where to take the GED in Dubai (it's the only test center in the United Arab Emirates!).
Please note that we no longer offer GED preparation.
Ask and we'll answer!
In addition to great information that we think you should know, we are now taking your questions to post them (and the answers, of course) for other readers on the APPLY ME blog. In our Ask APPLY ME segment, we'll provide the question, answer, and links for more information.
If you have any questions that you can't find the answers to on the web and want our expert advice, email your question to APPLY ME.
What are the SAT (II) Subject Tests?
The SAT Subject Tests are a group of tests designed to test you on your knowledge of different subjects. They used to be called the SAT II Tests because the original SAT was called the SAT I. Now they are referred to as the SAT Subject Tests. Unlike the SAT, they are only 1 hour long (each) and do not have essays.
There are 17 different SAT Subject Tests:
* U.S. History
* World History
* Mathematics Level 1 (Math IC)
* Mathematics Level 2 (Math IIC)
* 9 Language tests (Chinese, German, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Spanish)
Which SAT Subject Test do I need to take?
The school you are applying to should specify which SAT Subject Test you need to take. Math IIC is a common test requirement for schools in the U.S. and Canada. Several local schools, including the University of Sharjah, give credit or course exemptions for high scores on the Math IIC test. Some schools require you to take the Math I or IIC tests as well as a science subject test of your choosing. So, decide which colleges and universities you want to apply to and then double check their requirements before registering for a test.
Who makes them?
The SAT Subject Tests are made by ETS, the same people that make the SAT (I) and administered by the College Board. The registration process for an SAT Subject Test is just like that of the SAT and the tests run on the same schedule.
What's on the SAT Subject Tests?
Unlike the SAT, which tests critical thinking and analytical abilities, the SAT Subject Tests are supposed to be tests of what you should have actually learned in high school. As knowledge based test, the SAT Subject Tests care more about what you know (content) rather than how good you are at tips and tricks. The content of each test is based on the particular subject. For example, the U.S. History Subject Test will test you on various aspects of U.S. history from the pre-Columbian period (before European settlement of the U.S.) to the present.
The number of questions on the test depends on the test. The Chemistry Subject Test has 85 questions, for example, while the Literature Subject Test only has 60. Check out the College Board's website for more information on your specific test and sample questions.
How are they scored?
All of the subject tests are scored from 200 to 800.
What is a good score?
As with the SAT, a good score depends on the requirements of the college or university you want to attend. In general, though, 600 is a good score.
How do I prepare the SAT Subject Tests?
The best way to prepare for the SAT Subject Tests is to review your lessons in school for that particular subject and do lots of practice tests. Book World by Kinokuniya in Dubai Mall has many SAT Subject Test guides from which you can choose. Since it's a content based test, there is not really a guide that offers a better "technique." You just need a good review and plenty of practice problem. Local education institutes can also help prepare you for the SAT Subject Tests.
If you need help with the Literature, Math (IC and IIC), U.S. History, World History, or Chemistry, email APPLY ME.
With the next SAT cycle coming up and GMAT pressure building, it's important that you maximize your time and energy. Do things that will yield big results. Don't procrastinate! The longer you wait to start studying, the less time you have to adequately prepare. We recommend that students prepare at least 6 weeks for the GMAT and SAT, and as long as 8 weeks for tests like the TOEFL or IELTS.
Procrastination can take many forms, even if it seems like you are working, perhaps you aren't working on the tasks you should be working on. Here are some signs you are procrastinating:
Fortunately, there are cures for procrastination. Depending on the strength of your procrastination, I recommend using one or all of these ideas to get your test prep moving.
1. Create a study plan. Decide how much time you can commit to studying (even 1 hour a day helps) and stick to it. One hour a day done consistently is much better then an 8 hour binge on Saturday.
2. Start small. Pick one section of the test to begin with, buy a book, and try to cover one or two topics each time. Don't forget to end each study session with drilling (doing a set number of problems in a certain amount of time).
3. Email APPLY ME. Nothing saves time and motivates like signing up for a small group class or getting private instruction with a tutor. Email us and we will work together to create a reasonable study plan to get your preparation going!