All You Need To Know About SAT: Part 6

Written by: Helen Donohoe


***Helen Donohoe, M.S.Ed., is a teacher of English and French in the Hamilton/Burlington area. She holds practice SAT sessions on Saturdays on an informal, drop-in basis at Cedar Springs Racquet Club where she is a member, long-time tennis hacker and aficionado.

In this section of the website we will be publishing short paragraphs on various aspects of SAT. Please leave your questions/comments here, and Helen will be happy to respond to any specific concerns from students/parents***



Last week I outlined skills you require to gain fluency in reading and to acquire the rhythm of reading that you need to be able to understand the meaning of a sentence/paragraph.

This week the topic is phonics – it sounds like what you did in the primary grades but it is an essential skill in the reading process as you prepare for the SAT. Phonics means sounding out the sections – syllables – of long words and deciding where to put the stress on the word.


1.       vacillate ( means to keep changing your mind between two choices)

va/si/late  The stress is on the first syllable. Some students pronounce this word incorrectly as vakillate.

Remember the rule for the letter “c” followed by a vowel:

c followed by a is hard, as in cat, caution

c followed by e is soft, as in ice, certain

c followed by i is soft, as in circle, citrus

c followed by o is hard, as in copy, costume

c followed by u is hard, as in cut, current

c followed by y is soft, as in cyclone, cynical

Apply this rule when sounding out new words. It works!

2.       loquacious (a loquacious person is one who talks a great deal) The word is broken up like this:

lo/kway/shous   The stress is on the second syllable.

3.       magnanimity (means great generosity of spirit)

mag/na/ni/mity  The stress is on the third  syllable.

  • Practise words like these with a friend or family member. Remember that SAT is conducted in silence. You have to practise phonics and reading skills aloud long before the test.

Book of the week “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. A short, easy-to-read novel.

Next Gen Tennis League promises exciting matches

The Next Gen Tennis League again saw some great tennis last weekend at The Credit Valley Tennis Club and Burlington Tennis Club. This promises that Saturday the 24th will feature some exciting matches and very competitive tennis. All three matches will be played on Saturday October 24th, with Team Byte Network Security facing Team Hydrogen at noon (Burlington Tennis Club).

ITF Men’s 85 World Team Championships Renamed the Lorne Main Cup

Toronto, October 13, 2020 – The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Tuesday that, as of 2021, the Men’s 85 World Team Championships will be renamed the Lorne Main Cup after the late Canadian. Lorne Main was selected for the honour following a unanimous vote by the ITF Seniors Committee, and approval from the ITF Board of Directors, after his name was put forward by Tennis Canada as part of the nomination process.

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

Yves Boulais: No Excuses… Get Working

Yves was proud to work with players including Greg Rudsedski, Patricia Hy, Oliver Marach, Eugenie Bouchard and Rebecca Marino, who achieved excellent results on the world stage. He was an Olympic Coach in Barcelona 1992 & Atlanta 1996, and Captain of the Canadian FedCup Team 1998 – 2000.

Update on UK Tennis Situation with Master Louis Cayer

I would like to share a mindset I instil in all the players I coach, one I believe has greatly influenced all of the player’s performances; “whatever happens, I can handle it.” This mindset is achieved through a systematic, tactical development process, so that whoever the opponent, whatever the surface, regardless of the environment, or scoring, the players can, and will rise to the challenge as it is presented.

Tennis Guru, Louis Borfiga Shares What Makes “A Good Coach?”

Many are asking this question, each with their own opinion, their own truth. In reality, it is difficult to answer with certainty, as the evaluation method can vary from one person to another. However, when you think about it, when you look at the references in the field of coaching in various sports, there are certain common and fundamental elements that I will describe to you here…