While the old College Board SAT vocabulary type questions are gone, you’ll still find SAT vocabulary words in the reading passages. Studying for a standardized test can be such a drag, you need to incorporate some fun SAT study tips. When you’re engaged, your more likely to retain the information. Here’s a fun SAT study tip.
At the beginning of the summer I told my daughters that I wanted to watch movies with them – lots and lots of movies!
For their education.
Any literary movie they wanted to see.
To which my oldest slyly asked, “Like 50 Shades of Gray?”
What I meant – and my daughter knew I meant – was movies based on literary classics.
Who honestly likes literary classics?
Wait a minute! I said this was a fun tip didn’t I? And who in their right mind thinks that literary classics are FUN? (Well, besides English teachers. On second thought, English teachers aren’t in their right mind.)
I completely understand that feeling. At the expense of looking “less smart”, I’ll admit that I don’t like to read “great literary novels.” I don’t have the same literary taste as those who pass out the lofty literary awards. I hated most of the books my English teachers assigned.
But because so many women love Jane Austen, that I thought her books were worth a try. I hate to admit it as a writer, but even as an adult I would get bored after the first few pages and give up.
Then, I purchased my first Kindle. Like everyone else, one of the first things I did was load it up with free books! Most of the free books that I recognized were classics, so among those were a Jane Austen novel or two. But I still – even on new technology – I found them boring.
Until I rewatched Emma, based on the Jane Austen novel of the same name.
My epiphany. (See what I did there? That’s a great SAT vocabulary word!)
It was such a great movie, I was inspired to try once again to try reading Jane Austen.
To my surprise, I liked it!
Next, I found a free version of a Pride and Prejudice television mini-series. Reading the book afterward – even though I knew the ending – I couldn’t put it down.
Now I understood what all the hype was about! I was officially a Jane Austen groupie. I am still astounded that someone could write a book two hundred years ago that still captures my attention and imagination today.
This made me wonder if I could introduce my daughter’s to the world of Jane Austen at a younger age. Would they then also enjoy reading the books?
The first SAT prep plan
I decided to start at the same place, with the movie version of Emma. Last summer, I told my daughters that we would watch a movie, and then after they read the book with the same name, as a reward we would watch another, and so on. But while my daughter’s enjoyed the movie, they never managed to make time to read the book.
Ironically, I will lay part of the blame for them not reading the book at the foot of required summer reading that their teachers claim will improve their reading. Also to blame are the mounds of homework from their advanced and AP classes that leave them little to no free time during the school year. Avid readers when they were younger, all of my kids have read less and less for pleasure as they are required to read more and more for their classes.
As the school year started, all chance of reading a Jane Austen novel disappeared with their spare time. But, one daughter did happen across a passage from Emma – in a practice PSAT that they gave at her school. And because she had watched the movie, she found the passage easy to read and aced the questions! (In fact, while preparing this post series I came across this lesson plan that said that a college teacher found that in her class students who watched the movie Emma before reading the book had a better understanding of the novel.)
The new plan – an SAT study hack
Now, I doubt we will get so lucky that every passage on the PSAT or SAT will come from a movie we happened to watch. But, I reasoned, if we watched enough movies, she would at least be more familiar with the writing style and vocabulary of advanced literary works.
Also, because of the early derailing of the plan last summer, and trying to get away from the demand and prize model of teachers, I decided to not “require” the reading of the novels before we watched another movie. Instead I would expose my daughters to as many movies as I can and encourage them to read the novels. For one thing, the novel that first really captures their interest might not be the first one we watch.
So that’s the plan. To watch as many movies inspired by literary classics as we can this summer. If nothing else, at least by the end of the summer we would share some fun times watching movies together! Search this blog for more SAT study tips posts for movie and book suggestions, as well as my thoughts on which movies are the best for improving your SAT vocabulary and reading comprehension.