Class sets students up for success

SAT prep classes create noticeable differences in students college exam scores

Student taking single-semester courses, such as SAT College Prep and Scholars, have seen a huge increase in their scores on college entrance exams.

These courses go over the PSAT, SAT, SAT essay and ACT, covering the math, writing, and reading portions. Students and the course teachers agree the class prepared them for the test and contributed to a higher score.

“Scholars is a little bit different than SAT Prep, but the actual material is the same,” said English III and SAT Prep course teacher Leah Basconi.  “The way the class is run is different, and it’s over a longer period of time so they have a big head start in Scholars.”

Since Scholars starts over the summer, Basconi said students have more time to study, but, the curriculum is the same as the SAT College Prep course.

“A lot of times students come in and they don’t have any experience,” she said. “They’re not sure what’s on the test, or if they do know what’s on the test, all they know is that they need to bring up their score, but they don’t know how, so the curriculum that we use, breaks everything down for [them].”

Basconi said that the course she teaches covers a vocabulary section which includes all the words that the students will definitely see on the tests.

“For the writing we cover a set of writing rules that they need to know in order to answer the questions correctly,” Basconi said.  “It’s all the writing rules that are tested on the test, and we do a lot of reading practice.”

Senior Caro Achar said going over the words and completing assignments on the vocabulary really helped her.

“[It] really forced us to take a greater look to words no one would ever use in regular conversation,” Achar said.

Junior Jacob English said he learned a lot from the writing portion.

“I learned a lot about grammar and actually know proper english and you know not necessarily what sounds right, but what is right,” he said.

Basconi said the students receive a blue book that has ten full length practice SAT’s, which they covered in class.

“I give them the tools and guidance,” Basconi said. “[But] if they don’t study then they won’t [improve].”

Senior Emily Minner said she hadn’t expected the score she got at all, she expected much lower.

“They went over all the math problems, any type of reading, any type of grammar, literally everything, and it helps a lot,” Minner said.

Scholars and English teacher Amanda Otten said the students benefit most from the constant practice since they study on their own and other priorities come up.

“It’s not uncommon to see a student improve thirty points or more before [their] test,” Otten said.

English said he was surprised by the amount of help it gave him.

“I saw a huge increase in my score on the PSAT,” he said. “It definitely contributed to my success.”

Basconi said that she could tell the students exactly what they need to do in order to improve their score, they just have to do it.

“[If] the student comes to class, but they don’t really participate in the practice sections, they won’t see improvement,” Basconi said. “What you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it.”