Our Prep Process
Tutoring by a Content Expert
You're always going to be working someone who knows the tests inside and out.
That expertise will be applied to provide the best personalized instruction and strategies.
Session time will be budgeted with topic frequency and level appropriateness in mind at all times.
Initial sessions will focus on error minimization, basic strategy, and familiarization with the test itself - what's tested vs. what's not, structure, and scoring.
Subsequent sessions will address content review and remediation plus analysis of student homework.
Once all essential content has been covered, sessions evolve into section/test performance dissection.
Practice, Practice, and More Practice...but not too soon
Students will be assigned homework between sessions. While initial assignments may seem light, trust that it is so students will neither burn through limited prep material prematurely nor reinforce bad habits that will need to be undone.
There will always be Mathchops assignments designed to quickly identify areas of difficulty and improve content proficiency and pacing. Sometimes the assignment will be one or more sections/modules of one discipline assigned; other times it may be an entire test or more.
With your wallet in mind, we assign students anything that can be done without the tutor for homework. This allows the sessions to be incredibly productive, a major reason why we won't be recommending anywhere near the same number of hours of tutoring as some other folks out there. Students will need to do their homework as lessons are planned with completed homework in mind.
We encourage our students to explain problems and concepts to their parents and /or peers as a means to engage with the material in novel ways and deepen their own understanding.
Materials from the Test Makers
There's no better way to prepare for an ACT or SAT than by doing old tests from the people who make the tests. Our priority is to utilize content from ACT and/or College Board to provide our students with the most authentic examples of what they will encounter on test day.
In the interest of full disclosure, we will be utilizing some 3rd party material for the digital SAT preparation as there are currently only 4 released tests. It is our intent to use a BlueBook test for initial diagnostic, one part way through the process, one before the first real test administration, and the last before a second real test administration. Once the College Board releases more tests, we'll update this approach.
Rest assured there is more than enough content out there for the ACT as it is not undergoing a seismic overhaul.
We care about the mental health of our students and recognize that there is a significant psychological element involved when it comes to taking a standardized test like the ACT or SAT.
We recommend a 3 month runway for test prep because we know that life happens and want to build in a little breathing room.
Knowing that students lack the perspective that adults have, we do our best to help students see the bigger picture and explain why we recommend the strategies we do.
The idea of the zone of proximal development is one that heavily influences our instruction. We set incremental, achievable goals along the way so as to build momentum and help students maintain more positive attitudes.
We provide students with situational awareness parallels that they can draw upon to better understand how to perform when it is time to take the test. We discuss what to expect on test day, presenting what can and has gone wrong for others to minimize the likelihood of any test day surprise.
We're always willing to take the time to talk about something pressing the student can't stop thinking about. We always leave a little bit of time at the end of a session for a parental debrief, but won't charge you for a follow up phone conversation.
If you’d like more information about our offerings, click below to get in touch today.