托福100+,我依然读不懂SSAT小说
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托福100+,我依然读不懂SSAT小说

2022年的上半年就这样快过去了,申请美高的同学们今年可真是太难了,由于新冠疫情上半年托福和SSAT不断取消考试,身处上海的同学们更是足不出户身不由己。

虽然很残忍,但是蘑菇小黑板还是提醒您:春天过去了,SSAT考试还远吗?距离下半年第一场SSAT考试只剩4个月了!

那么对于今年申请的学生,接下来应该如何高效备考SSAT也是大家非常关心的。


SSAT作为美国私立高中的入学考试,分四个科目(阅读,词汇,数学和写作)考察。


写作:不算分,但学校会参考学生的写作情况招录;

数学:相对比较简单,大多数中国学生只要基础ok,练习量足够,当以800分作为目标分;

词汇:之前的文章中, 蘑菇的老师们已经给予了相当多的关于词汇背诵的经验与诀窍,此处不做赘述。

阅读:应该是大家觉得最难的科目了,相比较托福雅思等针对非母语者的英语语言考试而言,对学生的文学素养要求更高,集中体现在对诗歌和小说之类特殊文体的考察。


因此很多学生即使托福取得了高分自认为上知天文下知地理却依然吃了“没文化”的亏,搞不定SSAT阅读。很伤脑筋!


这篇文章首先通过小说《了不起的盖茨比》教大家了解SSAT小说的考查方式。



提到了不起的盖茨比,老蘑菇们应该还记得去年6月的蘑菇盖茨比风舞会,那一晚蘑菇们梦回邮轮,明月高悬,长空万里,黄浦江两畔灯火通明,平凡的霓虹灯中藏着不一样的光彩,交杯换盏,舞姿摇曳,歌声撩人,刹那间仿佛回到20世纪初那个喧嚣的”爵士时代“。

此刻身处“疫情时代”,已经被连续封控两月余的我回想起往事总总不禁流下两行清泪。



言归正传,去年蘑菇舞会的dress code 的灵感正是来自于SSAT考察小说《了不起的盖茨比》哦,着装要求参与人员体现出”爵士时代“纽约的宏伟与绚丽。


原文欣赏

There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.


那年夏天,我邻居的房子常常在夜里传来音乐声。那蓝色的花园里,许多男男女女飞蛾似的在呢喃,香槟和星辰之间走来走去。



通过了不起的盖茨比

看SSAT小说考核内容

1、原著节选:意味着故事发生的场景不明确,情节不完整,人物关系比较模糊。考生需要在有限的时间内还原故事情节,梳理人物关系和文章主旨。

2、百年经典小说:原著出版于1925年,创作年代较为久远,遣词造句会与现代英文习惯有出入,并且充斥着大量非学术性词汇,因此会大大地加阅读难度。

通过了不起的盖茨比


SSAT小说阅读考核题型

小说和其他文本一样会从main idea和 high order两个角度出题,具体可以从 detail, inference, extract the meaning of the word, author’s tone/attitude, origin/style 以及literary device等角度入手。接下来我们就结合实际文本和题目来看几个例子。


Para. 1

There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his

blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the

champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving

from the tower of his raft or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two

motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplane over cataracts of foam.

On weekends Mr. Gatsby’s Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and

from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station

wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight

servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with scrubbing-brushes and

hammer and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.

It can be inferred form Para. 1 that Mr. Gatsby ______ through the summer.

A. entertained guests from everywhere every weekend

B. invited his guests to ride in his Rolls-Royce at weekends

C. liked to show off by letting guests ride in his vehicles

D. indulged himself in parties with people from everywhere

E. Was popular among his guests


这是一道推断题,需要对Gatsby的行为进行推断,回到原文我们发现文中并没有直接提到Gatsby参与的行为,但我们可以通过关于in his blue gardens, his guests, the tower of his raft, his two motor-boats, Mr Gatsby’s Rolls-Royce, his station, his eight servants等的描述推断出Gatsby是这些舞会的host。因此答案是a。 


注意:这道题我们还可以采取排除法,仅仅通过第一段的事实我们无法推断出他是否like to show off, indulge himself in parties以及popular among guests,它们包含原文没有的主观情感故可以排除cde。虽然原文提到了rolls-royce, 但是原文的陈述是On weekends Mr. Gatsby’s Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight.与b选项的表述还是有出入的,故排除。


做完这道题大家不难发现,虽然我们不知道节选小说的前因后果,但是根据已知的情境以及对应的问题选项(题目也能够提供视角帮助我们更深入理解文本内容)可以对故事的核心要素进行合理的推测,还原场景,情节,人物关系等信息,从而更好了解文章主旨以及增强阅读阅读信心。


做阅读理解也是锻炼心性的过程,不要轻言放弃,阅读王者往往也是心理强者,山重水复疑无路,柳暗花明又一村,做着做着可就不豁然开朗了啊!


Para. 10

Dressed up in white flannels I went over to his lawn a little after seven and

wandered around rather ill-at-ease among swirls and eddies of people I didn’t know –

though here and there was a face I had noticed on the commuting train. I was

immediately struck by the number of young Englishmen dotted about; all well dressed,

all looking a little hungry and all talking in low earnest voices to solid and prosperous

Americans. I was sure that they were selling something: bonds or insurance or

automobiles. They were, at least, agonizingly aware of the easy money in the vicinity

and convinced that it was theirs for a few words in the right key

32. According to Para. 10, the author felt ______ at Gatsby’s party.

A. dizzy

B. dreadful

C. furious

D. Awkward

E. Abnormal


双商送命题➡️

该题为ssat阅读中特有的tone/attitude question,主要考察小说中的人物或作者对于某件事物所持有的态度和情感。


该题型的难点主要体现在:

1、 “智商”—选项词汇难度大,考生们需要运用智商掌握大量与情感态度相关的词汇。

2、 “情商”—读懂句子,还原故事情节和梳理清楚人物关系可能还不够,需要我们中学生们心智非凡,具备同理心,能够揣摩人物的心理活动,从而作出相应的语气态度等情感的判断。

这道题在在原文中并没有直接陈述作者的情感,也没有出现选项中形容词。我们通过定位关于作者的动作描写并分析这些内容来判断作者的情绪。 

文中描述作者相当不自在(ill-at-ease)地游荡于(wander around)一群前来参加party的陌生人中,他默默地观察着一些年轻人,发现他们衣冠楚楚看似在享受派对其实混杂在人群中向一些富人兜售保险债券。据此我们可以判断作者的感受应该是比较尴尬不适的,排除了选项中的生词障碍后,正确答案为d。


今天的分享简单介绍了SSAT阅读的内容和题型,其中节选涉及的2道题代表了2种常考题型:推理题,语气态度题。


SSAT还有形形色色的考核题型需要考生们多做了解如detail, extract the meaning of the word, author’s origin/style 以及literary device等。


从上面的文章和题目中大家也可以看出,SSAT和托福阅读的考查维度大相径庭所以即使托福考了100+,只能代表基本的听说读写语言能力过关,而SSAT阅读中还涉及到很多考察点。


所以同学们在备考过程中一方面需要增加小说阅读量,积累词汇,特别是学术词汇,提升阅读速度,做一个有文学素养的中学生;另一方面需要多做SSAT阅读习题,借助题目所提供的视角深入研读小说文本,了解考察角度,同时在练习中掌握阅读技巧从而提高答题准确性。

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