Summer Term students in the college prep classes are talking with teachers Lisa Rattray and Tiffany Best about recent changes to the SAT college admissions test. The new SAT will make its debut in March 2016 and impacts students in the class of 2017 and beyond.
At the start of the course, Lisa and Tiffany made it a priority to explain the options to the rising juniors and seniors, who can choose to take the current SAT, the new SAT, or the ACT. Different students exhibit strengths on different tests, so it’s important to assess which instrument will be most beneficial for each student in their individual college application process. Concurrently, students work to improve their test-taking skills in general, for a multipronged approach that gives them an edge as they embark on their educational career.
The intensive daily test prep course with Lisa focuses on math, reading, and writing techniques, and students take weekly diagnostic exams to put their skills to the test and chart their progress throughout the course. “Of the 25 students that have been taking the new SAT test each Friday, none are scoring as well when compared to their results on the existing SAT and ACT,” Lisa noted. “In the next phase of the course, we’ll work on improving their scores for a specific test.”
The course also includes vocabulary instruction with Tiffany each morning. Students learn new words every day and are tested frequently. “Study aids such as visuals help them connect the meanings. Interactive games involving technology also reinforce the new vocabulary,” she said.
In the final aspect of college admissions prep, students spend time refining their application essays to make them stand out, and talk with experienced college counselors to help them decide which college or university and which course of study best fits their passions and abilities.
Lisa, who has years of experience teaching and mentoring students through the college application process, says success for the students involves a combination of sharpening their skills, learning specific strategies, and maximizing their mental and academic performance. “It’s a process that we’ll tackle together,” she said, “and it’s always an exciting time to watch the dramatic improvement in the test scores as well as in their personal skills and confidence.”