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Lexicon — List A

Accord agreement. We’re in accord on that point. The Camp David Accords = peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. Discord = disagreement.

Curtail to stop, end, reduce, restrict or limit. The U.S. needs to curtail deficit spending. Curtai l n. The curtain coming down curtails the play. Icon any image or symbol. Iconoclast a person who goes against tradition or challenges traditional beliefs. clast clash. A person who clashes with the icons of society is an iconoclast.

Discordant in disagreement, incompatible, dissonant, sounding unpleasant together. My friend is in a punk rock band, but their sound is totally discordant. Clashing chords.

Mitigate to make less serious or reduce in severity; to “soften the blow;” to make less harsh or painful. The developers were asked to mitigate the environmental impact of the new building. A baseball mitt mitigates the impact of the ball.

Arid very dry. Arizona is an arid zone – a. 1

Usage below the line.

and enlightenment values. 3. To establish a lasting peace between the warring parties, a meaningful ___________ that addresses past grievances must be reached. 4. Because he cast his adult characters with child actors, confusing audiences ________________.

5. of

The unexpected sheep crossing

herd the

frustrated motorists.

6. The lack of rain and the ___________ climate has desiccated the land and caused the drought. 7. There is no foolproof way to prevent auto thefts, but using a “Club,� or other steering-wheel locking mechanism will ____________________ the risk. 8. Unfortunately, the peace negotiations quickly degenerated into ____________ and open hostility between the two sides. accord

Extra Credit:

discord arid

discordant curtailed irreverent (from #4) desiccated (#6) 2

icon mitigate


chagrin (#5) degenerated (#8)

Ten Tall Tales The following ten cartoons teach 200 important and common vocabulary words. As you read, predict the meaning of each italicized word from the context, the words around it, and write your definitions in the spaces provided. Answers appear on p. 168. Finally, go back and speak aloud the key phrases that will help you really learn how the words are used.

Boy Meets Girl

I saw her at the diner: Traci from my high school, whom I find aesthetically appealing.

Her vivacious personality makes her popular.

I checked her out surreptitiously, glanced at her discreetly out of the corner of my eye. 3

I was in a quandary. Should I cower in the corner or summon the fortitude to say hello?

I overcame my trepidation. “Anyone sitting here?” I pointed to the empty seat.

But she harangued me, “Who are you? What even is your name?” Darn, I thought, forgot to even introduce myself. Maybe I’m being too brash, brazen and audacious.


Looking down at my tousled shirt, I also noticed my appearance – unkempt, disheveled.

“But I’ll share my burger and my b-b-b-everage,” I stammered. “And what’s more, I’m adept at making you laugh.”

She laughed, irritation placated. I sat adjacent to her at the counter, avoiding an afternoon of solitude.



Strategies for Sentence Completions

of all the hard words but also present a great opportunity to boost your score with a few good strategies.

Tragically, the rock star was known for ______________ behavior, showing no restraint in his abuse of drugs and alcohol, right up until his untimely death.

Can you identify which word or phrase the blank needs to match? Underline it: no restraint unrestrained or even bad would be good initial guesses. You don’t have to write these, but look for a similar word in the answer choices. Rule 1: Underline key words the blank refers to. Rule 2: Anticipate Our example seemed easy until you see the choices: (A) intemperate (B) loquacious (C) magnanimous (D) laconic (E) mercenary Now would a good time to be honest with yourself. If you knew none of these words, skip the question and bank your time for the longer readings. Rule 3: – usually the last couple in each set – if you don’t know the words. There’s no point wasting time on a question that will come down to a guess. Your score will be determined mostly by the long readings. Give yourself enough time for those and go back to the hardest sentence completions at the end, if you have time. 6

“If you’ve been studying your word lists, you know loquacious means talkative and laconic means the opposite – quiet, taciturn, not talking much.” Since the question has nothing to do with the rock star’s speaking volume, cross these out. Your answer: ________? (Answers appear on p 167.) Rule 4: Actively eliminate the wrong choices and guess from the remaining ones, even if you are unsure of the answer. “Don’t panic if the SAT tries to overwhelm you with hard words. You may not know the meaning of four of the choices, but if the one word you do

Consider this example: The facial expressions of the islanders can be misleading – the people always seem to be smiling, but the cheerful exteriors often belie a personal history of ______________. (A) autonomy (B) wanderlust (C) turmoil (D) decadence (E) euphoria

Were you able to spot a word that works, even if you were unfamiliar with most of the other words? Now let’s examine a sentence with two blanks: Despite years of poverty and ___________, the (A) celebrity ... condemned (B) depression ... scorned (C) abundance ... praised (D) revelry ... detained (E) adversity ... acclaimed Pause at the comma and underline the words poverty and. Can you sense answer choice. Which three can you eliminate? Your answer? 7

Rule 5: Analyze one blank at a time to get a few quick cross outs. Note: the word in the blank isn’t random. It forwards or reverses another idea in the sentence. For example, in the “poverty” sentence above, the and suggests a continuation of poverty, while despite signals a reversal of being poor and disadvantaged. Rule 6: Look for Forwarding or Reversing signals like these: Forwarding Reversing and, also, furthermore, as, despite, however, although, in addition, because, but, though, while, not only, since , ; : nonetheless, whereas Even if you don’t see these exact words, try to get a sense of whether the blank continues or opposes another idea in the sentence. Notice how the punctuation symbols , ; and : can suggest a forwarding of meaning. Rule 7. Choose the better blank. Go after the blank you get a better feeling for, often the second blank in the sentence. For example: Comments intended as ___________ can actually cause insult and inflict pain, if uttered in a ___________ way. (A) benevolent ... conciliatory (C) innocuous ... belligerent (E) beneficial ... gregarious

(B) theoretical... friendly (D) derogatory ... hostile

Would something inflict pain if said in a friendly, conciliatory or gregarious way? Cross out A, B and E. You may be able to guess the right answer, even if you don’t know innocuous (harmless) or belligerent (hostile). Rule 8: When in doubt, use your ear.

If you forget all your rules on the test, don’t panic. Read the sentence five times, once with each answer choice filled in, and listen for the one that sounds best.



Sentence Completion Practice:

Practice the following 17 challenging fill-ins, using the strategies described above to work around the words you don’t know. Then study the definitions presented on p. 48 and try the sentences one more time, playing your own grader, before peeking at the answer key. 2. Bacteria display a remarkable degree of ___ and thrive in nearly every environment on the planet. (A) mimicry (C) humility (E) avarice

(B) discord (D) adaptability

3. The biographer portrayed Ali as an _______ boxer, one who refused to be conquered or defeated. (A) indomitable (B) unstable (C) inert (D) incalculable (E) innocuous

1. The student’s feelings about graduation were decidedly ____; although thrilled to finally finish school, she was nonetheless _____ about the prospect of finding a job.

4. With such _____ of evidence against the defendant, it would be ____ to convict him.

(A) enthusiastic ... despondent (B) blissful ... saddened (C) ambivalent ... apprehensive (D) rash ... invigorated (E) mixed ‌ jubilant

(A) an abundance ... immoral (B) a minimum ... probable (C) a lacking ... best (D) a cornucopia ... unwise (E) a dearth ... unfair 9

7. The new chief has tried to restore the reputation of a department _____ by allegations of _____. (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

dispirited ... excellence sanctified ... promiscuity glorified ... lethargy decorated ... impropriety tainted ... corruption

5. It would be an _________ to encounter a Komodo Dragon on a casual stroll through Golden Gate Park, because they are indigenous to a few small islands of Indonesia. (A) abatement (C) anomaly (E) innovation

8. After the water pipe burst, the carpeting became drenched, and soon the entire hallway was _____.

(B) abundance (D) altruism

(A) recreated (C) renovated (E) desiccated

6. After decades of fighting and open _______, the prospect of peace among the _______ warlords still seems remote.

(B) inundated (D) augmented

9. His essay on feudal monarchies is rather ______; while glossing over a number of subjects, it explores none in depth.

(A) discord … belligerent (B) conflict … amiable (C) harmony ... disgruntled (D) collaboration … bickering (E) diplomacy … feuding

(A) superlative (C) stilted (E) superficial 10

(B) fascinating (D) condemnatory

10. His teachers know him as a ____, always waiting until the last moment to begin an assignment. (A) devotee (C) mentor (E) dilettante

(B) cynic (D) procrastinator

11. When dialog between the players and owners collapsed, a mediator was hired to help find an ____ settlement. (A) anomalous (C) erroneous (E) equitable

(B) improbable (D) arbitrary

14. The usually _______ Ms. Jones shocked everyone when she suddenly stood up and delivered a/an ____ speech to the assembly.

12. The scientist admitted candidly that his discovery was not brilliant but ______; his success was a stroke of pure chance. (A) exemplary (C) erratic (E) assiduous

(A) laconic ... impassioned (B) succinct ... concise (C) reserved ... pointless (D) spontaneous ... premeditated (E) outgoing ... irate

(B) pretentious (D) fortuitous

13. The utilitarian design of the new building has pleased pragmatists, but those who find the structure hideous wish the developers had also considered ______ qualities.

15. The increased use of vehicle transportation has led people to a more _____ existence, resulting in a lack of exercise that is _______ to their health.

(A) monetary (C) subtle (E) practical

(A) gregarious … harmful (B) comfortable … lethal (C) sedentary … detrimental (D) lethargic … benevolent (E) docile … alienating

(B) aesthetic (D) mitigating


16. The breeder hoped his rabbit colony would quickly ____ and grow to a population of over a thousand. (A) dissipate (C) mitigate (E) propagate

(B) irrigate (D) degenerate

17. Searching for a concrete plan to end the recession, the President was disappointed by the report, which he found _____ and lacking enough _____ suggestions. (A) confusing ... dubious (B) nebulous ... specific (C) comprehensive ... important (D) informative ... notable (E) prescient ... general



Start by rewriting the numbers in order: 6, 8, 10, 12, 14. Do you see the symmetry? The average must be 10, because the other numbers are evenly spaced above and below 10. Removing the average itself, 10, won’t change the average.


The average, or arithmetic mean, is one of three ways to describe the statistical center of a list. (The others, median and mode, are covered on pp. 104 - 105 below.) “Tyler, how much do you make at that job?”

“Why would removing the average not change the average, Professor David?” “Well, imagine you had an 85 test average in Algebra. What would happen if I dropped your lowest test grade?”

“My average would go up.”

“But if I were so cruel as to drop your highest grade, your average would go down. If I dropped a score of 85, right at your test average, your average would remain unchanged.”

Can you see why 500 is his average without having to work it out? Sometimes you will be asked to spot this type of symmetry within a group of numbers:

But you will usually need to find the average from the definition: the sum of the numbers divided by the number of numbers.

What number can be removed from the following list without changing the average: 6, 14, 8, 10, 12? 13

Practice: Find the average in each

Now multiply both sides by 5 to clear the fraction.

lettered list below. (A) 2, 11, -10 (B) 3, 8, -7, -12

So 86 + 93 + 91 + 82 + x = 90 x 5. Use your calculator to obtain:

(C) x, y

352 + x = 450

(D) m, n, p

Subtract 352 from each side; x = 98. What is the average daily salary for the work week below? Day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday


Salary $108 $140 $120 $115 $117

1. If the average of 7, 8, 9, and x is 10, what is the value of x?

Here’s a typical SAT problem: Ann’s four test grades are 86, 93, 91, and 82. What does she need to score on her fifth test to bring her average up to 90 for the five-test period?

2. The average of a, b and 3 equals 6. What is the average of a and b?

Solution: Think of the unknown grade as x, and set the sum of the grades over five equal to the average: 86 + 93 + 91 + 82 + x = 90 5


Total: The key to solving more advanced average problems is to work with underlying totals. Find the total by multiplying the average by the number of numbers. For example, suppose a player is averaging 10 points per game after 5 games this season. Then he or she has scored 5 x 10, or 50 total points. This illustrates a formula you haven’t learned in school. If you can remember the following phrase and how to use it, you will know how to solve two challenging types of SAT math problems: ANTs live in the DiRT.

How to use the ANT: After four algebra tests, Ann has an 88 average. What does she need to score on her fifth test to bring her average up to 90 for the five-test period? Solution: Almost the same as an earlier example, this one is best solved using the A x N = T formula. Let T1 be the total points so far on all four tests combined. Then T1 = 88 x 4 = 352. Now go back to the formula and let T2 be the desired total for a 90 average on 5 tests. Then T2 = 90 x 5, or 450. Finally, subtract the two totals to obtain the number of additional points she needs: T2 – T1 = 450 – 352 = 98. Compare the next two examples to see how the ANT formula is really the DiRT formula in disguise.

ANT stands for: Average times Number is Total. A x N = T. DiRT stands for: Distance is Rate times Time. D = R x T. 15

Solutions: 1.) Let D1 equal the D1 = 20 x 4 = 80 miles. Let D2 equal the distance for the second part of the trip; D2 = 30 x 6 = 180. So total distance is 80 + 180 = 260 miles. Finally, for the whole trip, the car drove 260 miles in 4 + 6 = 10 hours. 260 = r x 10 . The rate is 260 á 10 = 26 mph. 2.) Let T1

1. A car returning from Tahoe in a blizzard drove at an average speed of 20 miles per hour for four hours, and then at 30 miles per hour for the next six hours. What was its average speed for the 10 hour trip?

4 games. T1 = 20 x 4 = 80 points. Now T2 = 30 x 6 = 180 points in the next 6 games combined. So the player scored 80 + 180 = 260 points in the whole 10 game season. 260 = avg. x 10, so his or her average is 26 points per game.

2. A basketball player averaged 20

Average Practice

of a season and 30 points per game for the next six games. What was the player’s scoring average for the entire 10 game season?

1. What is the average of (3x + 4), (4x – 3) and (5x + 5)? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

5x + 5 6x + 2 4x + 2 4x + 3 6x + 3

2. A player has averaged 19 points per game for the 8 games his team has played. How many total points does he need to score in the next 2 games to raise his average to 20 points per game for the 10 game season? 16

6. On a test, the boys’ average score is 80 and the girls’ average is 90. If there are 15 boys and 10 girls in the class, what is the test average for the whole class? (A) 83 (C) 85 (E) 87

(B) 84 (D) 86

3. Five people in an elevator weigh an average of 120 pounds each. When a sixth person enters, the average weight in the room increases to 125 pounds per person. What does the sixth person weigh?

4. If the average of x and 5x is 18, what is the average of 2x and 3x?

5. Jose climbed up a mountain at an average rate of 2 miles per hour and down the same trail at a rate of 3 mph. If his total hiking time was 10 hours, how far was the climb up the mountain? (A) 8 miles (C) 12 miles (E) 16 miles

miles per hour. What was its average

(B) 9 miles (D) 14 miles

8. If the average of 3 different positive integers is 60, what is the greatest possible value for one of these integers?


Median and Mode Median and mode are the two other measures of the center of a list. Median is the middle number on a list, after the list has been ordered from smallest to largest. Median sounds like middle. What is the median of the following list: 2, 5, 10, 20, 6?

3. Sam’s bowling scores for five games were 47, 39, 63, 34, and x, with x a positive integer less than or equal to 300. If Sam’s median score for these games was 39, which of the following could be the value of x?

If two numbers remain in the middle, average them to find the median. The mode of a list is the number that appears most often.

(A) 20 (C) 60 (E) 100

Mode sounds like most. What is the mode of the following list: 2, 5, 7, 3, 5, 4, 7, 6, 7, 8 ?


1. The table below gives the scores for 32 students in a class. What is the mode quiz score? Quiz Score 6 7 8 9 10

Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Number of students who scored that score 1 8 9 8 6

(B) 40 (D) 80 Enrollment in College X Number of Students 459 651 909 572 n

The table above shows student enrollment at College X over a five year period. No two years had the same enrollment. If the median enrollment for the five year period was 572, what is the greatest possible value of n?

2. The numbers below represent scores on a test for one class. The median test score exceeds the mode score by how much? 55, 60, 60, 60, 72, 85, 90, 95, 95


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Noe Valley Tutor 94114: Cartoon Teaching tools  

18 pages of cool vocabulary and math lessons!

Noe Valley Tutor 94114: Cartoon Teaching tools  

18 pages of cool vocabulary and math lessons!