Dear Rising 8th Grade Parents and Students,
I am once again offering an SSAT prep course at Mater Dei for the boys on Tuesdays and Fridays immediately after school. Once again this year, I am offering sessions for students (co-ed) from the parish schools and elsewhere to be held at 4:30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays at Mater Dei. If I have a coaching conflict, however, class will have to begin later.
This is a course geared to 8th graders who would like to prepare the SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test). The SSAT is a test that is required by independent schools; however, it is not required at Diocesan schools such as Gonzaga and St. John’s. Check with your high school of choice to see what tests are required for admission. I will also be offering HSPT prep in October and November.
The SSAT is very challenging, but preparation can really help. While many students simply take the test once and do not have baseline scores with which to judge the impact of the course, most graduates have reported back to me that the course really helped them, and I can share scores "before" and "after" that show the significant impact of the course.
The course is offered in three sessions. Each session will consists of seven class meetings and a Saturday practice test, and each class will last for an hour and a half. Homework and vocabulary cards are assigned after each class, and quizzes are given at the beginning of each class. Typically, a student would only enroll in one session as that is enough to prepare for the test.
The tuition for the course, including all materials and instruction as well as access to the online practice tests, is $395. I will be flexible and will offer refunds if your plans change in advance of the start date of the session (i.e. not applying to a school that requires the SSAT), but please try to give me some advance notice.
My goal is to keep the class size small (about 12 students in a session). Do not think that enrolling in an earlier session is the only choice as allowing a student to get back into the flow of school can be a good idea as well and lead to strong scores.
Please check the SSAT website (www.ssat.org) for registration deadlines for the given tests and for more information. For example, mail registration for the October might close as early in mid-September.
The book that I use for the course is excellent; it reviews every aspect of the tests, includes effective practice problems, and cannot be bought at bookstores. There is also a strong vocabulary program that is incorporated into the course. I will supply all of the books, flashcards, and other course material. Students should plan on using a small binder devoted to class materials that will be given out.
In advance of the course, it would be advisable for your children to read challenging books this summer that push them to expand their vocabularies. Click for an example.
Books will be given to the students on the first day of their session. Most of homework I assign can be done directly in the book. The surest way to score higher on the SSAT is to complete the work in the book, in class and at home, and to study the flashcards and the other sheets that I will give them.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
I look forward to another "SSAT" season!