The Core: Common Core and (P)SAT Core | Writing

The Core: Common Core and (P)SAT Core | Writing

Students and parents tend to consider SAT/ACT test prep and school success as two completely separate missions. Yes, they look starkly different. Test prep can be seen as long-term preparation for the next official test date, and school success continuous reinforcement for a multi-year series of short-term goals.

But actually, they are highly interrelated! High performance in a rigorous school curriculum often means that a student has the skills and the mindset to do well in the rigorous test setting, and vice versa. This duality is most obvious in the English classroom and English sections of standardized tests.

Keep in mind: this doesn’t mean that preparing for one will take care of the other! Only with focused and strategic guidance can students prepare for both missions simultaneously with a high degree of success. And (P)SAT Core Reading & Writing at MEK will provide this focused and strategic guidance to help you to success!

Mr. Chris Cullen will guide you through how (P)SAT Core targets both SAT/ACT test prep and the Common Core Curriculum. You can also find more detailed information about the Common Core State Standard in this blog post.

(P)SAT Core and SAT/ACT Prep

The SAT and ACT were designed to measure how well states are meeting the expectations of the Common Core State Standards. In doing so, these exams pinpoint and test these common curriculum skills by asking students to answer a variety of question types each testing one or more core skills.

By teaching students writing concepts, how to identify question types and what strategies to use to answer them, (P)SAT Core A and B gives students the tools to more thoroughly develop Core Curriculum skills with every question.

Standard English convention questions ask students to identify proper usage of all word types, punctuation, and sentence structure. 

Expression of ideas questions ask students to use language effectively and practice thorough organization and development of ideas.

(P)SAT Core and Common Core

Below are the ways in which (P)SAT Core Writing aligns with the specific statutes outlined in the New Jersey Common Core State Standard. (P)SAT Core is divided in to A (higher level) and B (lower level) classes, in which students are placed based on their initial evaluation scores.

Common Core Standards

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. W.9-10-1

(P)SAT Core Writing Class

One of the main focuses of the (P)SAT Core class is teaching students the skills necessary to master Standard English Conventions in the areas of grammar and usage. 

 
Common Core Standards

Use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations. W.9-10.1B

(P)SAT Core Writing Class

Students in (P)SAT Core B are exposed to lessons that are centered around identifying parts of speech and identifying independent, dependent, and other various clauses and phrases, which is aimed toward helping them deconstruct and understand all facets of the English language in their everyday reading and writing.

Students in (P)SAT Core A are similarly exposed to lessons that address the above topics and are granted the opportunity to put these acquired skills into practice for regular homework persuasive SAT essays.

 
Common Core Standards

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. W.9-10.2

(P)SAT Core Writing Class

Students across all (P)SAT Core classes are consistently tasked with illustrating an all-encompassing command and mastery of punctuation rules, as well as with demonstrating proper capitalization and spelling when writing.

 
Common Core Standards

Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening. W.9-10.3

(P)SAT Core Writing Class

Though not the primary focus, Expression of Ideas questions (Development, Organization, and Effective Language Use) are regularly reviewed in all (P)SAT Core classes, which corresponds to this standard.

 
Common Core Standards

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies. W.9-10.4

(P)SAT Core Writing Class

In reading through and answering corresponding questions for various SAT Writing passages, students are charged with determining the meanings of unfamiliar words and phrases, using various strategies reviewed in class.

 
Common Core Standards

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies. W.9-10.4

(P)SAT Core Writing Class

In reading through and answering corresponding questions for various SAT Writing passages, students are charged with determining the meanings of unfamiliar words and phrases, using various strategies reviewed in class.

 
Common Core Standards

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies. W.9-10.4

(P)SAT Core Writing Class

In reading through and answering corresponding questions for various SAT Writing passages, students are charged with determining the meanings of unfamiliar words and phrases, using various strategies reviewed in class.

 
Common Core Standards

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies. W.9-10.5

(P)SAT Core Writing Class

Effective Language Use and Usage questions, in particular, regularly correspond with this standard, as students are asked to determine and/or recognize figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

 
Common Core Standards

Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. W.9-10.1

(P)SAT Core Writing Class

(P)SAT Core A students are regularly tasked with writing persuasive SAT essays, in which they have to analyze the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of an author’s or authors’ argument. In deconstructing these arguments, students must back up their own points with valid reasoning and relevant textual evidence.

 
Common Core Standards

Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. W.9-10.2A

(P)SAT Core Writing Class

Through regular assessments like weekly benchmarks and monthly simulation tests, (P)SAT Core students encounter questions that test them on the use of quantitative information from graphs, charts, and tables.

Get in on the success!

We’re hosting SAT and ACT test events every month! You can get started by signing up for one of our current test events and inquiring about (P)SAT Core Reading and Writing!

In the meantime, read more about (P)SAT Core Reading & Writing and contact us today to find out more!

I’m looking forward to having you in my classroom!

Chris Cullen

Chris has worked as a professional writer for over a decade and has applied invaluable real-life skills learned in the media and publishing industries to his work as a teacher. His easygoing demeanor, thoughtful nature, and strong passion for writing work in concert to help students gain a newfound appreciation for the written word.

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