Literature Terminology

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: June 2004 Archive: Literature Terminology
By Norseviking (Norseviking) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 06:48 pm: Edit

For the SAT II Literature test, do I need to know all the terms Barron's includes on its tests. Someone said that the actual test she took didn't have any terms on it (not even simile or metaphor). Is this the general trend or does the actual test normally have these concepts.

By Ianep (Ianep) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 06:56 pm: Edit

whatever you do, don't forget aposiopesis or ----
Actually, i have no idea

By Redbarn (Redbarn) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 10:35 pm: Edit

I took the Literature test in June and there were no literary terms on it at all. My practice tests were rife with obscure terms, but my June test didn't have any beyond the basic ones: metaphor, tone, theme, etc.

That being said, the June test was harder than any practice test I had seen. I had been getting 720+ on all practice tests, and when I walked out of the June test, I thought I had failed, like 550-style. I ended up getting a 680, which isn't too shabby, but beware, it's a really tough test. If you didn't get over 700 Verbal, don't even consider taking it.

By Savoirfaire87 (Savoirfaire87) on Friday, June 18, 2004 - 11:27 pm: Edit

I thought the June test was difficult too. I was really nervous about the obscure literary terms, so I studied them a lot. Of course, they weren't on the test. Lucky me.

I pulled off a 720...somehow...and I didn't get over 700 Verbal on my May SAT. I usually score highly in Verbal on SAT practice tests...I just really screwed up somehow on one of the reading passages and I ended up with a 660. I got a 700 Verbal on my PSAT.

I don't think the Verbal sections really correspond to the Literature test. The poetry is really important to the Literature test. Make sure you can determine exactly what the poet is trying to express (emotion, idea, etc.).

The hardest thing for me was time management. I'd waste too much time reading the passages and thinking about them before searching for answers. As interesting as the excerpt may be, don't waste time--just get the questions answered. :)

By Elizabeth22 (Elizabeth22) on Saturday, June 19, 2004 - 10:29 am: Edit

Lit must have an awesome curve. I was so lost on most of the test and ended up with a 750. Not many kids take it, do they?

By Ilcapo (Ilcapo) on Saturday, June 19, 2004 - 02:43 pm: Edit

i also got freaked out by the barrons terms...but i soon realize that the barrons review for lit is HORRIBLE

buy kaplan, it has tons of practice tests

also, just a word of advice. my first practice test in Kaplan I got a 540 (and I got an 800 verbal). I took 9 more tests in 3 weeks, and got a 740 on the Lit Test

By Monoe (Monoe) on Saturday, June 19, 2004 - 03:50 pm: Edit

No, Liz, it's a horrible curve - feel proud!

I think it's the second-worst curve (after IC), so anything over 700 (and especially over 750) on it is impressive (unlike the language tests or IIC, where only 780+ (and especially 800) means anything.

But yeah, there are no terms on it. Although I was hoping for zeugma and syndeton and hendiadys and syzygy...:) But hey I'm a future English major.

By Elizabeth22 (Elizabeth22) on Saturday, June 19, 2004 - 06:15 pm: Edit

Yeah, I was hoping for some of those too- along with some litotes, homeoteleuton, and prolepsis. :-P

Do you take Latin, Monoe? Or are you strictly an English kid?

By Elizabeth22 (Elizabeth22) on Saturday, June 19, 2004 - 06:16 pm: Edit

Oh, and where did you find out about the curve?

By Rippledance (Rippledance) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 03:56 am: Edit

o.O Whoa... I took the June test as well and there weren't any literary terms on it - if there'd been all these terms I would probably have died. I studied a couple of literary terms off Kaplan the night before the test but none of those were tested. I feel lucky. Are you sure the curve was that harsh? I got 800 but I'll only know how many I got wrong in half a week or so. I'm pretty sure I made quite a few mistakes though.

P.S. Isn't syzygy a term in astronomy for three bodies in a straight line? What's the lit definition of it?

By Monoe (Monoe) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 07:25 am: Edit

Syzygy comes from the Greek 'syn' (together) and 'zukon' (yoked).

It refers to any combining of two parts in which neither part loses any characteristics - imagine oxen being yoked. It is an astrological term, yes, but it also means combining two feet into one metrical unit.

But I mean, come on - it's got no vowels but 'y', and three of them at that! Love this word. Yes, that was a command.

By Monoe (Monoe) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 07:33 am: Edit

And Liz, I don't take Latin, per se, but I know probably as much about it (not the grammar, but the words and their meanings) as the average Latin student my age. I've been reading word etymologies - and an overwhelming percentage of our words come from Latin, either directly or through Latinate languages.

Knowing one Latin word is like knowing the root of a tree (and thus knowing all connected to that root). Example:

Latin: plicare - to fold

Modern-day usages:


...and so many more. It fascinates me.

By Missj (Missj) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 05:40 pm: Edit

sorry this isn't related to terminology of SAT2lit but does anyone think it's possible get 700+ on SAT2lit if your verbal score is around 600s? =/

my 3rd SAT2 is chinese but i want to take another SAT2 in case since i am chinese (not a native speaker but i go to chinese school). science and history SAT2s are out of the question for me so i don't know what to do. maybe just stay with my SAT2chinese and hope it's ok? btw, i'm shooting for UCs or a decent college in CA.

thanks so much =)

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