So I’ve been doing whatever I can to spread the word about the guide. I’ve been tweeting, posting, emailing educational professionals, the works. If you can help out, please do!
So, I did it. I finished the first pass of editing the guide. There were a lot of typos, and a few places where I was able to make the language clearer. I also expanded the General Strategy section and the final “Other Important Tips” section. The new guide is 35 pages long, which is 2 pages longer than the first version. I also included a brief page to describe the proper way to utilized the guide (some of my formatting decisions may seem odd) and I changed the color of the Knowledge Check category from dark yellow to orange to make it more visible. I also changed the Awareness Check category to indigo for the same reason. The final product looks even cleaner than the first edition. I’ve included a screencap of the only example that had four of the six categories, which also happened to be one of the few that I had to review some material before I was able to effectively explain it.
Needless to say, I’m pretty proud.
The next step in the project is to actually field test it with people who will be taking the upcoming SAT and see if the darn thing actually works. I also need to start setting up the website where I’ll be hosting the guide, and I need to look into an necessary licensing I’ll need to obtain in order to legally receive donations for the project. I intend to keep the guide free forever, but I also want to be able to expand on it, so I plan on soliciting donations to purchase an Adobe Illustrator License, a Wacom Tablet and screen-capture software to possibly make a complementary video lecture series, and to offset the website hosting expenses. I also might have to do some marketing in order to actually make people ware that the guide exists, but that step (and all steps, to be quite frank) hinges on the reality that the guide actually helps. If it doesn’t, then I either need to scrap the whole thing or make some major modifications. However, I have a pretty good overall feeling about the whole thing. My grandfather, who is a professor of psychology with a focus on developmental psychology and a big hand in the public education system, thinks the guide is great (he was also my primary editor). Here’s hoping he’s right!
This was the most difficult example to effectively explain. I had to stop and think about the solution method for quite some time, and if I can’t immediately discern how to solve a math problem, it’s generally fairly difficult. Anyway, I found myself having to explain the general idea behind calculating ranges of values based on given restrictions. The restrictions weren’t actually explicitly given, but had to be extrapolated from given mode and median values, and then we had to calculate the minimum and maximum values for a range of possible means. I procrastinated doing this example for a while just because I was like “uuuuuuuuuungngngngngh I DON’T WANNA,” which is childish but understandable after doing 16 of these. Anyway, I have a feeling that as the questions get more difficult, “Abstractive Reasoning” will crop up more often.
I was hoping to get more done during this week, but true to form, I was lazy and had less demanding things to do, so the only progress I made this week was what I did in class on Friday. Better luck next week, hopefully.
I like this one because I got to do a little bit of set theory.
So far, the project has been going fairly well. I find myself spending a good deal of time working on it outside of class, so that helps me get a jump in case I fall behind (like I did this week). so far I’ve learned that the hardest part about constructing each example isn’t coming up with explanations, but properly formatting all the text. I’ve tried making all or most of my mathematical statements italicized times new roman in keeping with the format of most textbooks, but that means I have to go back and individually modify every font each time I need to change style or color. It would be nice if I could hotkey some of these processes, but the publisher program I’m using is the free version of a program developed by a small software company, so the perks of using an adobe program are a pipedream for now. I hope to complete quite a few examples every week, as I want to be able to launch the beta of the project before the next SAT test date.
My initial idea of the best way to tackle the SAT math section in a way that could make sense to the average student taking the test was to devise a system of tagging each question as a particular type of question, since most of the SAT question can (in my opinion) fall into one of five or so broad categories. I also thought it would be important to draw people’s attention to the extraneous information some questions can have, which is why the first few pages of the guide are dedicated to outlining both of those concepts. I plan on revisiting these sections as I create more content and adding to the extraneous information section and possibly even the question classification section.
I was shooting for a minimalistic but aesthetically comforting design, hence the two color template scheme.
Next update will have some of my worked examples (which I’m a little nervous about because I only have a vague idea of what I’m doing and I’ll be perfecting them as I go).
EDIT: I have done ZERO spell checking on these. There are glaring errors you probably notice after two seconds. I’m saving the editing process for after I get a good portion of the guide done.