Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Grammar Essentials for Dummies and SAT iPod Apps

047061837X For students competing for the decreasing pool of college scholarships, writing a stellar entrance essay can make all the difference. With discrete explanations of vital grammar rules, common usage errors, and the other key concepts people need to refer to most often, Grammar Essentials For Dummies provides crucial information to help students communicate accurately and effectively. This guide is also a perfect reference for parents who need to review critical grammar concepts as they help students with homework assignments or college entrance essays, as well as for adult learners headed back into the classroom and people learning English as a next language.

The Essentials For Dummies Series
Dummies is proud to present our new series, The Essentials For Dummies. Now students who are prepping for exams, preparing to study new material, or who just need a refresher can have a concise, easy-to-understand review guide that covers an entire course by concentrating solely on the most important concepts. From algebra and chemistry to grammar and Spanish, our expert authors focus on the skills students most need to succeed in a subject.

Heidi Says . . . though not as large as some of the other Dummy books I’ve seen (and used – because, yes, I’m not afraid to admit that – sometimes – I’m a dummy!), it is jam-packed full of great information.  For those who need a grammar reference book, I’d definitely recommend adding this one to your shelf. 

It’s divided into chapters, starting out with Chapter 1 – Grasping Grammar Nitty-Gritty, and ending with Chapter 12 – Ten Ways to Improve Your Grammar Every Day.  There’s a chapter devoted to subject-verb agreement, punctuation, capitalization, and improving writing.  Other chapters are devoted to various parts of speech.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for when looking at the Table of Contents, the Index at the back of the book is very thorough as well.

This book is a great resource for our homeschool, and will be used with various age/grade levels.  It would also be a nice reference book for any adult who need a little grammatical assistance.

This book is available from Wiley.  More information can be found here.  The whole Dummy Essentials series can be seen here.


mzl.htqghtti.320x480-75 The SAT Practice For Dummies App gets you ready for the biggest test of your high school years. And, the more practice you have, the better you’ll score. This app features more than 150 practice questions covering critical reading, writing, and math skills. You’ll also get two full length practice exams covering every section of the test WITH time limits – just like on test day. Our proven tips are designed to make test preparation and test day just a bit easier. Regardless of your academic strengths or weaknesses, the SAT Practice For Dummies App gets you test-ready.

App Features:
Study Questions
Over 150 practice questions cover EVERY type of question you’ll see on test day, including long passages, short passages, sentence completion, essays, error recognition, sentence revision, paragraph revision, numbers and operations, algebra & functions, geometry, and statistics, probability and logic. You’ll know instantly if you got a question right or wrong and WHY.

Test Yourself
Two, full-length, timed practice tests give you a feel for what to expect on the test. The practice tests cover all eight sections of the SAT and automatic scoring at the end of each section tells you your percentage score for that section. The ability to mark and then review only marked questions, gives you practice on what you need the most. And you can review all the answers at the end of each section or just the ones where you got the answer wrong.

Test Tips
Statistically, the SAT is used to determine how successful you will be in your first year of college – no pressure there. So, we’ve created an extensive list of tips designed to make your test day as successful as possible. Discover how to battle short passages, complete sentences, get through reading passages, read a bit faster, when to skip questions, what to double-check, the best way to spend the 25 minutes of the essay section, and ways to get and stay calm throughout.

Plenty of extra features get you test ready with real-world examples and applications. You’ll get:
- Details on what the SAT measures (critical reading, sentence completions, reading comprehension, writing, error recognition, sentence revision, paragraph revision, essay, mathematics, and how your score is computed)
- Taking the SAT under special conditions (learning disabilities)
- How and when to register for the SAT
- Taking the SAT vs. the ACT
Plus, a “Days Until the Test” countdown clock to help you focus and prepare. are.

mzl.cxpzbhct.320x480-75 The SAT Vocabulary Practice For Dummies App focuses exclusively on the vocabulary you need to know to get a good verbal score on the SAT exam. You’ll quickly increase your vocabulary with flashcards, practice tests, word lookup, and fun ways to incorporate new vocabulary into your daily routine, such as getting out of gym class or chores, placating an irate parent, refusing a date, bamboozling a traffic officer, or leaving a legacy in your yearbook. This app features proven study methods, such as making associations, repetition, and paying attention to prefixes, suffixes, and roots of words. Regardless of how strong or weak your vocabulary currently is, SAT Vocabulary Practice For Dummies App will build your vocabulary and boost your test scores.

App Features
- Flashcards -
Hundreds of easy-to-use flashcards feature the most widely tested words and definitions. Once you know the word, you can save in a separate stack, so you can focus on building your vocabulary with new words. BONUS: Our flashcards feature an option where you can study the prefixes, roots, and suffixes, most commonly used – everything from anti, to vid.

- Test Yourself -
Four, real-world practice tests give you a feel for what to expect on the test. The practice tests illustrate the meaning of words by placing them in the context of a sentence—usually through humorous stories. The ability to mark and then review only marked questions, gives you practice on what you need the most. Plus, explanations provided for each answer. Automatic scoring at the end of each test tells you your percentage score for that test. And you can review all the answers at the end of each test or just the ones where you got the answer wrong. An exclusive Genius Test challenges even the most gifted vocabulary student.

- Word Lookup -
A comprehensive, alphabetical listing of the most common words found on the SAT gives you an opportunity to review words at your own pace. Prefer to search for a word, no problem, the handy search feature finds the word you need quickly and easily. Complete with definition and handy “rhymes with” tips for pronouncing tough words, you’ll have a superfluous (excessive) vocabulary and you may even be sanguine (cheerful or optimistic) about the test.

- Extras -
Plenty of extra features get you test ready with real-world examples and applications. You’ll get:
- An overview of why paying attention to prefixes, roots, and suffixes can increase the number of words you are able to identify.
- How making word and people associations can increase the number of words you are able to recall.
- Repetition, Repetition, Repetition – incorporate a new word into your vocabulary and keep using and whola – you are on your way to expanding your vocabulary and impressing your friends and family.
- Ways to use compliments and put downs to remember more words.
- Putting new vocabulary words into tweets, e-mails, status postings, and school assignments- things you do each and every day and you’ll increase not only your vocabulary, but those around you.

Ten Ways to Put a Good Vocabulary to Use (and get what you want in the process):
- Titivate your love letters
- Get out of gym class
- Intimidate a mechanic
- Compliment the cook
- Get out of doing chores
- Placate an irate parent
- Refuse a date
- Bamboozle a traffic officer
- Frustrate your dentist
- Leave a legacy in your yearbook

Heidi Says . . . I know, I know, it’s been awhile since I’ve had to take a standardized test.  But, I teach my children every day, and I work for a magazine – I use a lot of words.  Still, I was hard-pressed to do well on the vocabulary test!  My mom tried too, and had trouble with it.  Thing is, though, these apps could get addicting.

I originally had my 16 year old daughter download them to her iPod, so that she could do the practicing.  Now, I want them on mine.  Practicing for the SAT using your iPod could become seriously addicting.  I want to master that test, and I don’t even have to take it! 

If you’re a geek, like me, or if you are looking for a way to practice for these tests yourself (or make practice fun and “techy” for your kids), you should seriously check out these apps. 

Both of these apps are available, along with various other test practice and “other” apps.  You can see the whole line here.  They are available directly from iTunes for $9.99.  I don’t normally like to pay for these apps, but these would certainly be worth the price. 

NOTE: I received free copies of the book and apps mentioned above in order to write this review.  I received no other compensation.

1 comment:

Hidden Jewel said...

I'm off to check out the SAT app! Thanks.

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