SSAT & ISEE Exam Preparation

mult choice

I’ve been helping a young man prepare of an exam.  He wants to enter high school in the U.S.  But as a foreigner, he will need to take either the SSAT or the ISEE, depending on the school he chooses.

One of the things we do is learn a set of at least 10 words each week.  He uses flash cards, writes the words over and over, and uses them in sentences in order to learn and remember the definitions.

And then I QUIZ him!

Here’s a list of some of the words he studied recently.  Can you fill in the blanks below with the correct word?

Atone     Don      Subsidy       Compel       Barbed       Splintered       Obscure       Dispute

  1. The wooden board broke and ________________ into pieces.


  1. In the olden days, women would __________________ a beautiful hat at Easter.


  1. He felt badly over what he had done.  It was time for him to __________________ for his sins.


  1. He and his friend were caught up in a(n) ___________________ over which movie to see.


  1. He was so tired.  But he knew his mother would have a good reason that would  _________________ him to go.


  1. The junk yard had a(n) __________________ wire at the top of the fence.  No one could climb over it.


  1. He didn’t have enough money for the school.  Luckily, the government gave him a(n) _____________________.  Another usage:  The smaller company was purchased by the larger company.  It now operates as a(n) _________________ of the larger one.


  1. He didn’t know anything about his ancestors.  His heritage was quite ____________________.




School Vocabulary for Kids

If you are sending your child to an English speaking school, there are basic words they should learn to assist them in the classroom.


I came across this fabulous video today, “School Objects:  English Vocabulary.” You can find it on YouTube, posted by AME836.  Below is the link to the video, but I suggest you check out all of AME836’s videos by clicking here.

This video shows the written vocabulary with photos.  The words are pronounced slowly and carefully.  It also includes a quiz.  What a wonderful way to learn English!

Future Tense – Am going to vs. will

When does one use “am going to” instead of the simple future tense, “will“?

It is not an easy lesson to learn – but it is not impossible.  As a native English speaker, I recently found that I did not know the rules.  I thought it was one of those things I just knew “intuitively” or really, from years of listening and speaking.

But when faced with this lesson last week, I found my answers to be “wrong” according to some local English teachers. Well, after doing the research, I found that those teachers were wrong.  Like much else in life, this lesson too is not always an either/or situation.  Sometimes the answer is “both.”

Below are links to the lesson (videos) and online quizzes for practice!


Video Lessons:


Link to more quizzes:

ESL Jeopardy – Verb Tenses

While preparing for a lesson today, I came across a fun website.  Do you know the Jeopardy TV game show?  This site lets you set up your own Jeopardy game with as many as four teams. Give it a try:

Verb Tenses Jeopardy

You should spend a few minutes clicking through other parts of the website. has a lot of fun ways to learn and practice English for KIDS of ALL AGES!