For Prep Classes, Students Have Multiple Classes


Photo Courtesy of Ramsey Hatoum.

Junior Ramsey Hatoum worked on practice SAT questions for his three week-long preparation course at Capital Educators this past summer. The tutoring company is one of many available to CHS students.

By Rebekah Sklute, Circulation Manager

With so many companies offering courses in preparation for the SAT/ACT, it is overwhelming and stressful for students to make an informed decision about which standardized test to take. Thankfully, those preparing for the tests can benefit from several tutoring services in the CHS area.

Prep 1-on-1:
Prep 1-on-1 is an SAT/ACT tutoring company that offers a free diagnostic test, mock tests and individual tutoring. This company was voted the top tutoring company in Bethesda Magazine in 2014.
“Prep 1-on-1 was very helpful,” senior Josh Norwitz said. “They taught me how to work the test and different strategies that prepared me to do well for getting through the various sections.”

Prep Matters:
Prep Matters is another company which offers private tutoring for the ACT and SAT. They also have an app that gives students access to pre-made flashcards of SAT vocabulary words.
“I used a private tutor named Rod from Prep Matters in Bethesda,” senior Adam Kass said. “It was one-to-one, so it was really helpful. I think Rod was more helpful because he had taken the ACT himself. Also, he had every single test that had been given, so he was able to give me lots of test questions, and teach me the strategies to the test. We focused on the timing strategies for the test, since that was my weak point. Also I could take practice tests any weekend I wanted.”
All of the tutors are college graduates and are familiar with each section of the SAT (critical reading, math and writing sections) and the ACT (English, math, reading and science).

Dr. Li Training Camp:
Another company used by CHS students is the Dr. Li training camp which offers SAT help for math and English. It received positive feedback from CHS students.
Students can download and use old SAT prep materials on the Dr. Li website, It offers a SAT prep class for this spring that will prepare students for the new SAT.
“I went to Dr. Li’s summer SAT training camp every summer since ninth grade,” senior Glenna Zhang said. “It was quite helpful especially with vocabulary and math as they gave us tons of packets to do and a full exam at the end of each session. We were exposed to all kinds of questions, so I felt like I was well prepared for the exam.”

Applerouth offers SAT and ACT preparation courses for students. It offers classroom tutoring, small group tutoring and mock tests. Each tutor undergoes a training program in which he or she learns tutoring methods created by the founder, Jed Applerouth. All of the tutors are required to have prior teaching or tutoring experience.
According to the company’s 2012 survey results, on average, students’ scores increased 248 points on the SAT and four points on the ACT. Applerouth has worked with students with learning disabilities, ADHD and severe test anxiety.
“It offers private tutoring sessions so it is just one-on-one with a tutor that is fit to your type of personality,” senior Katie Wright said. “There is a little personality quiz you take before they assign you your personal tutor. It was really helpful because I got individualized attention and the tutors worked around my schedule and they came and worked with me at my house; I did not have to travel anywhere. I highly recommend their service.”

Capital Educators:
Capital Educators offers classes in preparation for the ACT and the SAT as well. They offer small group classes that allow students to learn and practice in a supervised setting that simulates a real test environment. If students enroll by Dec.15, they can get a $200 early discount for tutoring.
“I took an SAT course for three weeks during the summer with Capital Educators,” junior Ramsey Hatoum said. “I thought it was helpful, and I learned a lot. The helpful part was getting the opportunity to learn more about the format of the test, how to address specific questions and problems on the test, and certain recommended studying techniques to follow when preparing for the exam.”

C2 Education:
Located in Gaithersburg, Rockville and Bethesda, C2 Education is a tutoring company that offers preparation for the SAT/ACT. The classes are divided into smaller groups to help each student improve skills in reading, writing and math and helps students balance their SAT work with their school work. Tutors help students prepare academically and mentally for their test.
Each tutor goes through a rigorous hiring and training process. The tutors also have scored in the top fifth percentile of the subjects that they teach.
“I started prepping for the new SAT with C2 Education and it was very helpful,” junior Alvin Chung said. “My practice test score increased by 300 so far. Around three students were assigned to each tutor so there was more focus on fewer students.”

CHS tutoring:
Despite the variety of available tutoring services, some students have chosen to prepare by taking a free and convenient course at CHS called College Test Preparation which is embedded in their schedule.
“This course is helpful by getting me ready, having experience, and understanding what is asked of one during the test,” junior Angelique Nagovskaya said. “Practice makes perfect and every extra bit of work helps me prepare and have the best results I could get.”

Self Tutoring:
Additionally, some students have found success in self-studying instead of taking a class in preparation for the test.
Senior Hannah Hua used Kaplan practice tests and the official College Board practices to prepare for her test. She was also able to raise her score without taking a class. According to Hua, the SAT is more about time-management rather than actually being smart.
“Basically the classes just make you do the exact same thing as the book,” senior Natalie Hwang said. “If you have the discipline to just do the whole book yourself you can save all of that money on classes. But a lot of people don’t have the discipline, so the class forces you to do the whole book which a lot of people think is worth the price.”