Aino Education critical reading

Image DescriptionComprehension

Aino Critical Reading courses promote the following comprehension topics: main idea, supporting idea, synthesis, structure, and classification. These are the SAT passage-based reading comprehension questions that students are most likely to encounter.

Background Knowledge

Building background knowledge is another staple of Aino Critical Reading courses. We select texts that expose students to various topics, terms, facts, events, and figures from history, science, literature, and other subjects or genres. With this knowledge in hand, students are positioned to approach SAT reading passages and college coursework with far greater confidence and ease. Moreover, they are likely to perform at a higher level in both realms if they have timely recall of pertinent content.


The literal meanings or denotations of words can both lead and mislead a reader. Aino’s Critical Reading courses work to help students not only understand how words can be defined, but how those definitions are used by the author either to directly inform or to indirectly satirize.


The associated meanings or connotations of words are an author’s most powerful tool. Much can be suggested in a concise way. Aino Critical Reading courses assist students in their quest to excavate the social and emotional implications of a given text title or key word.

Literary Elements

Aino Critical Reading courses teach literary elements and devices, including: characterization, setting, imagery, theme, and many more.


The ability to infer meaning requires a strong grasp of each of the above skill sets. Aino Critical Reading courses build these skills incrementally, culminating in the ability to infer. Inference topics include: suggestion, intention, assumption, tone, and state of mind.

Aino Education critical writing

Persuasive Essay

Aino Critical Writing courses address writing prompts with particular interest paid to critical lens prompts, information dependent prompts and literary interpretation prompts. We teach students the writing process, including how to brainstorm, outline, draft, edit, and revise their work. For both timed and un-timed persuasive writing, we highlight the importance of using the following skills:

  • Positioning (thesis & support)
  • Articulation (word choice & audience)
  • Organization (transitions & paragraphing)
  • Selection (evidence & quotes)
  • Development (explanation & application)

Personal Essay

In order to help students better market and sell themselves to colleges and universities, Aino has developed personal writing assignments that speak to the specific character traits and poignant stories that admission committees are looking for. Furthermore, we stress mastery of the writing process to identify and improve the use of the following skills in each personal essay:

  • Plot Arc
  • Character Development
  • Sensory Detail
  • Vivid Showing
  • Dynamic Dialogue

Aino Education Vocabulary

Power Words

Aino Vocabulary courses mine power words (words that commonly appear on the SAT) from the Critical Reading and Abstract Reasoning texts. Each course (ten sessions) negotiates over one hundred power words in ten word increments. This process of extracting words from a primary source and negotiating them via assessments, classwork, homework, and activities prepares students for SAT passage-based vocabulary questions.


By drawing these power words from the texts students are already negotiating, Aino Vocabulary courses are designed to teach students how to unlock word meanings based on the context in which they are used.


With a concrete understanding of context in place, Aino Vocabulary courses then ask students to demonstrate proper usage of the words by placing them in a new context that conveys the correct meaning.


Aino Vocabulary classes also teach students to read the DNA of power words. Students exponentially increase their word wealth by gaining the ability to break words into roots, prefixes, and suffixes that they know and then reassemble those pieces into a unified word meaning (even absent full context). An emphasis on etymologies, synonyms, and word families further adds to each student’s lexicon. This ability to associate related words and word parts is an essential skill not only for the SAT passage-based vocabulary questions, but also for the sentence completion (fill-in) questions.

Aino Education Grammar

Word Choice

Aino Grammar courses investigating word choice will familiarize students with common errors, idioms, and misplaced modifiers. Common error topics covered include: that vs. which, who vs. whom,  amount vs. number, and I vs. me. Idiom topics covered include: preposition use and conjunction use. Modifier topics covered include: adjective vs. adverb as well as descriptive, comparative, and superlative adjectives.


Aino Grammar courses investigating agreement will familiarize students with subject-verb agreement, including both tense agreement and number agreement, as well as pronoun-antecedent agreement. Tense topics covered include: confused subject, distracting clause, not accounting for a conjunction, and subjects that sound plural.

Sentence Structure

Aino Grammar courses investigating sentence structure will familiarize students with fragments, run-ons, parallelism, split infinitives, and modifiers. Fragment topics covered include: no subject, no predicate, and unnecessary preposition. Run-on topics covered include: comma splice, no punctuation, and no conjunction. Parallelism topics covered include: gerunds, infinitives, passive vs. active, and clauses vs. phrases. Modifier topics covered include: dangling modifiers and misplaced modifiers.