At some level, every student who struggles with math or reading wants the same thing: to be good at that subject. However, the view that these types of long-standing cognitive deficits are permanent and absolutely unfixable is so pervasive that many students and parents lose hope. Eventually, they cease to hope for excellence in the subject, and instead resign themselves to mediocre performance at best, and horrendous performance at worst. Any attempt to have the student master the subject ceases.
This is completely understandable. Often, specific abilities were not properly developed at critical stages in early education, leaving students completely unable to analyze challenging material. For example, a student whose reading skills missed key stages of development in first grade has probably been overwhelmed by reading since then. Thus, he has avoided it as much as possible, causing him to lag further behind his peers. By the time he begins his junior year, he may be several years behind his peers in terms of reading ability. Similar situations are common in mathematics and writing.
These types of severe cognitive deficits, which are compounded by emotional aversion to the subject, cannot be easily addressed. There are no test taking strategies that can cause a student reading at a third grade level to get an excellent SAT critical reading score. There are no formulas that can make a student with nonexistent math foundations get an excellent SAT math score. Instead, the student’s cognitive abilities must actually be built; in a real sense, the student must undergo years of cognitive development.
AVE’s Intensive SAT tutoring uses progressive levels of challenge to accomplish just that. Just as damaged muscles undergoing physical therapy are gradually built by gradually increasing resistance, AVE builds cognitive skills by gradually increasing the strain on specific skills. For example, AVE’s language processing tutoring programs begin with simple grammatical structures, and gradually move up to highly complex structures. Similarly, AVE’s Intensive SAT Math tutoring gradually and systematically builds relevant math abilities, including math-language processing, algebraic reasoning, and spatial reasoning.
What further sets AVE apart from standard SAT programs is the fact that we target excellent scores with all students. As students master the fundamentals, they are systematically moved to intermediate and then to advanced material. Students who start out struggling with basic algebra eventually find themselves able to solve the problems presented in AVE’s legendary Advanced SAT Seminars. AVE refuses to limit any student; our philosophy (and experience) is that with time, dedication, and the right training, any student can excel in any subject.
As previously mentioned, students with severe difficulties in math or reading may be several years behind their peers. However, that time frame is based on the inefficient methods used in most schools. AVE’s systematic approach shortens the time considerably; however AVE recommends that students begin an intensive tutoring program at 18-36 months before the start date. If you do not have that much time before the test, you can still benefit from AVE’s programs and see a noticeable score improvement; however, it is unlikely that a two-month training program will produce the excellent and dramatic results that are the hallmark of AVE’s Intensive SAT Tutoring.
AVE highly recommends that students considering an Intensive SAT tutoring program arrange a free initial consultation.
Fees: $200/hour. Initial Consultation: Free.
For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation, please call 301-320-3634.
Are diagnostic tests given as part of the process?
What teaching materials are used?
How early should SAT tutoring begin?
Do students learn basic facts and formulas as part of the process?
Do students learn vocabulary?
Can SAT tutoring be done in a shorter time frame?
Will students learn test-taking strategies?
My child really struggles with standardized tests. Will tutoring help?
Because SAT tutoring works with so many different aspects of learning and cognitive development, a comprehensive description of methods is not practical. Instead, this section focuses on situations in which students test scores and school grades are differ dramatically. These situations are often of particular interest to educators.
Success in school tests generally comes from a combination of mastery of fundamental principles and a knowledge of detail. A sufficiently high level of the latter can compensate for weakness in the former. For example, a student can memorize twenty formulas for a math exam instead of learning the small number of fundamental principles.
When students learn in this way, they often forget large amounts of this memorized information. Exam performance is often weaker than quiz and homework performance. Sometimes, when a student is sufficiently disciplined, exam performance is at the same level as quiz and homework performance.
Success in school that comes through knowledge of detail is possible because there is a limited amount of information. Even a math final exam has a finite number of problem types to choose from. Thus, the student can memorize formulas, facts, and rules of thumb to succeed in school. Each year, he can memorize new information, and succeed to some extent in his classes.
The SAT, however, has an inordinately large number of potential problem types. Memorizing enough to do well is basically impossible, and success requires an understanding of fundamental principles.
In general, the longer a student has relied on memorization as a substitute for understanding, the more intensive SAT preparation will have to be. Long-term calculator use, when combined with reliance on memorization, can be especially damaging to mathematical reasoning.
SAT tutoring addresses these issues by building fundamental knowledge and cognitive skills. Drills are uses to build basic skills, and challenging problems are used to build much of the required reasoning. Development of problem-solving skills is often accomplished by making students make connections and intellectual leaps on their own. Problems are often broken down into smaller components to make this possible; additionally, the student's attention will be directed to the part of the problem that requires the intellectual leap. This method is often preferred to more traditional methods of direct instruction; however, both are used as appropriate. This applies to math, reading, sentence completion, and even certain grammar problems.
Please note that situations in which SAT scores are significantly lower than what school performance predicts make up just one of the many types of circumstances in which SAT tutoring is appropriate. SAT tutoring is available for all levels of students, ranging from those struggling with the rudiments to the most advanced students. Educators with specific questions can contact AVE directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.