How to ace the SAT

Andrea Namen
Staff Writer

The SAT is a standardized test. In other words, just like any other exam, the SAT has common rules and patterns. In order to achieve mastery in the SAT, effective SAT preparation will involve learning to exploit these weaknesses in the test.


  1. Read carefully and make sure you comprehend everything you are reading.
  2. Use context clues.
  3. Use your time wisely.
  4. Before looking at the answer choices, try to complete the sentence with words that make sense to you.
  5. Don’t rush – consider every answer choice.
  6. Trust your first choice.
  7. If you’re really stuck for the meaning of a word, try to think of other words that have similar prefixes, roots, or suffixes.
  8. Eliminate choices in double-blank questions if the first word alone doesn’t make sense in the sentence.
  9. Base your answers to the questions solely on what is stated or implied in the passages.
  10. Read the italicized introductory text.
  11. Skip questions you don’t know to avoid wasting time. Return to them afterwards.
  12. Answer questions on familiar topics before unfamiliar topics.
  13. Read the passages before reading the questions.


  1. You may guess in this section. There is no penalty for wrong answers in this section.
  2. If an answer is a repeating decimal, just enter as many decimals as will fit in the grid.
  3. You may enter an equivalent decimal for a fraction as your answer.
  4. Do not try to enter mixed numbers.
  5. Know and understand formulas, definitions, and concepts.
  6. Read the questions carefully.
  7. Use the test booklet for scratch work.
  8. Try shortcuts if the question is time consuming.
  9. If you have trouble with a question, move on to the next one.
  10. Relax! A stressed mind cannot think as well as a relaxed one. Be confident in your ability and believe that you will do your best.

SAT Writing DO’S and DON’TS:

  1. Do take the time to read the prompt and make sure you understand what it’s asking.
  2. Don’t start your essay by paraphrasing the prompt. SAT essay graders know what the prompt is. Open up with a fact or an attention grabber.
  3. Don’t hide your thesis! Make sure it’s the last sentence of your introduction and verify your three reasons are clear.
  4. Do begin every paragraph, including the conclusion, with a transition word.
  5. Do make your examples specific. The SAT is not the place to offer up theoretical and/or vague examples.
  6. Don’t write in fragments or incomplete sentences.
  7. Do use appropriate punctuation when needed.
  8. Don’t introduce new material in your conclusion.
  9. Do use a rebuttal in your conclusion.
  10. Do leave yourself time to proofread. Watch out for common errors.

General Test Taking Tips:

Many students want a list of specific tips to keep in mind when taking the test. Here’s a list of tips from the College Board itself. Here are some that we’ve found from around the web. It’s up to you to judge which ones are valid for you:

  1. Build an SAT vocabulary list.
  2. Get a tutor.
  3. Experiment with different reading strategies.
  4. Know what to expect.
  5. Read in order to prepare yourself.
  6. Practice with official tests.
  7. Use impressive words in your essay.
  8. Use your calculator.
  9. Memorize math formulas.
  10. Stay relaxed.
  11. Bring enough pencils.

Summer Reading

summer-reading-logo-clear-backgroundReturning students, please note that your English teacher will expect you to read this summer. Each grade level has been assigned a specific book that you will be tested on at the beginning of next school year.

For a list of the assigned books, please click on the document link below. This information can also be found on the school website. If you have any questions, make sure to talk to your current English teacher before we break for summer.

summer reading books 15 16

Highlights of this year’s baseball season

baseballBy Kevin Cata
Staff Writer

The Mater Lakes Bears baseball team record was 15-11-1 this past season. The Bears are ready to make a state championship run.

The team had a great start to the season by winning their first game against Western High School, with a score of 8-7. Coach Cesar Temes has high expectation for this year’s team.

“We have a very young team this year,” said sophomore Alek Sierra. He added, “This season is a developing process for us.”

The team had only seven seniors on the team.

The team went on to win a playoff game against Monsignor Pace High School by a score of 1-0. Now the Bears are ready to take on St. Brendan High School in the district championship.

“That game on Wednesday was nail biting!” said sophomore and team member Edgar Perez.

Spring Break Diaries: England, France & Italy

Kelly Soles

With the help of EF tours, a great sponsor, and a wonderful group of people, we were able to conquer three countries in just ten days.

image (5)
Kelly poses with a friend on the Millennium Bridge in London.


On March 19, the group consisting of thirty-seven people including myself, boarded onto British Airways and prepared for take-off to our first stop in London, England! After an unfortunate hot and stuffy nine hour flight, we landed at Heathrow airport and got on a bus to begin sightseeing. On the first day of touring the cloudy, yet beautiful, city of London, we visited Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and rode the London Eyes. Due to the time change, we had been awake for over twenty-four hours on the first night. The exhaustion was real.

The second day in London was absolutely incredible. While some of the group went off to tour the Warner Brother’s “Harry Potter” studio tour, myself and the other remaining members of the group went on a guided tour of London! We visited Buckingham Palace where we saw the Changing of the Guard. From there we were given a few hours of free time. Taking that time to our advantage, we visited a local pub named “The Hung Drawn & Quartered.” The pub is located right across from the Tower of London, where we took a tour later. Inside the Tower of London is where they have all the beautiful, shiny crown jewels that make you feel like royalty just looking at them! After seeing the breathtaking jewels and crowns, we went to the torture chamber used many years before the Tower became a museum. It was a dark, eerie room with all sorts of painful tools and machines. The day ended with shopping around Oxford Street and then back to the hotel to prep for Paris.

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Spring Break Diaries: A European Adventure

By Lesly Nunez
Guest Writer

image (6) image (7)March 19 – 20 (Amsterdam)

Matching in a sea of red hoodies, Mater Lakes Academy students flocked the Miami International Airport to begin their two-week journey to Europe. Goodbye, Miami!

After a long 11 hour flight, we finally arrived in Amsterdam. The tour began with a visit to Seventeenth Century Canal Ring and Dam Square.  At first we were all frozen in our tracks, literally it was freezing! But with our might, we trudged on through the cold, shopping around the square and trying the delicacy of vlaaseus frites (fries and mayonnaise), and although that may sound somewhat strange, they were honestly delicious!

Later, we scurried off to visit the Anne Frank house. Through narrow stairways and hidden doors within bookshelves we made our way through the eerie yet fascinating place where Anne Frank wrote her infamous diary so many years ago. In addition we headed off to a diamond factory as well, and then afterwards we were treated to a dinner of pancakes. Yes, you heard it right my friends, pancakes! Sadly, they’re not the pancakes you’re probably used to – these were more bitter, almost like a crepe mixed with a soft taco shell. Although strange, still not so bad!

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