Each class is taught by two members of our teaching staff (one for English and one for Math/Science – as the English portion greatly differs from math & science portions). Classes cover all sections of the test and combine teacher presentations with exercises, drills, and interactive games designed to reinforce the material. We believe that a great classroom environment is crucial for success. Our classes are not only effective but fun, providing a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for students to learn.
This class is rigorous preparation for the AOL/TJHST tests and is a commitment that is approximately equal to or more than a typical high school class when you combine both the class time and homework time. Students should mentally consider the class as the 7th or 8th class in their school schedule. When you consider that the scoring well in these tests will get you into one of the top high schools in the country, treating AOL/TJ preparation the same as just one of the school classes is actually absurd! Treat it like your life depends on it. Even if you do not get it, you’ll come out on the other side an extremely smart student ready for 1600 on SAT
Our curriculum is comprehensive, covering the math, science and reading sections of the tests. Our course curriculum consists of lecture, group work, and homework. In general, we work with students on content AND strategy, in that order. As we review each topic, we teach students to “categorize” test questions, recognizing them by type. Because Grammar questions are designed to be tricky, utilizing common speech errors, we emphasize a fundamental shift from a “sounds right” approach to a more systematic one, based solely on Grammar rules. To develop their Reading skills, students practice both timed and un-timed comprehension exercises in class. These drills have had a major impact with our students, well beyond the test.
Math, which can be a real sticking point for some students, is perhaps the area we spend the most time on, with our focus on helping students to break down problems and build their reasoning skills. For the math section, there are also important shortcuts that can help students save valuable time.
Some students need specific help in one area over the other. We highlight these needs early on in the course with our first diagnostic/practice test before the first class.
Students will be expected to do weekly homework outside of class that will reinforce the concepts discussed at our sessions. Approximate homework time is equal to the class time per week, if not more, though our highest-improving students often assign themselves extra homework. We’re happy to give students extra material if they run out of tests; no one has ever run out of practice tests.
Hybrid Practice Test and Analytics System
Students take proctored practice tests on paper and record answers on a digital bubble sheet. Once the test is complete, students receive immediate feedback on pacing analysis (where they spent the most time), identify weak areas, analysis across tests taken so far, question-level analytics and a whole lot more.
Students take around 5-7 AOL and 5-7 TJ proctored practice tests (almost one every week starting mid-July) followed by concept/time analysis and review. These tests are crucial to our individual assessment of each student, allowing us to estimate scores and create full breakdowns of students’ strong and weak areas. O top of the proctored tests, students can always come by during center hours and take as many non proctored tests as they want, once they finish up that week’s homework. They still will get the same report and analytics as to the proctored test.