An important first step to making a prep plan
Taking Bodsat Prep's hybrid diagnostic test is a great first step for families not just because it gives them baseline scores, but more importantly because it gives them a recommendation of which test is the better fit for their students. (Look here for a sample report.) More goes into the decision of which test than simply comparing total scores. We spend an hour analyzing each student's diagnostic by hand because no computerized analysis can really capture the nuances that would make a substantial difference for students aiming for very competitive scores.
Not your typical diagnostic
Just as our prep programs are unique and effective because they are designed for a specific kind of student, our diagnostic test is also designed exclusively for high scorers. Rather than point out content gaps (which is reasonable for middle scorers, and which is what most prep companies do), our diagnostic identifies such performance issues as pacing, stress, endurance, sleep, and carelessness. With this detailed diagnostic information, you are ready to make a plan.
Choosing the right test is crucial
It is particularly important that students with high score goals not prep for a test on which they are at a competitive disadvantage. The two tests have significant differences (speed reading vs deep reading, applied math vs curriculum math, analytical essay vs rhetorical essay, etc.) that matter a lot for students aiming for highly competitive scores.
Diagnosing performance issues
Other things that make Bodsat Prep's diagnostic unique and effective? For one, our test is a hybrid, with SAT and ACT sections taken on the same day. Doing an ACT and SAT on different days would have us compare apples and oranges when it comes to performance issues. Fatigue, stress, overconfidence, pacing etc. can all change from day to day. Another difference: we ask students to answer performance-based questions before, during and after the test, in order to collect yet more data for the report. And finally, we have students retry the questions they missed and tell us about why they missed them, so we can identify what percent of their missed questions were due to content gaps vs. carelessness vs. the problems' high difficulty level.
Signing up for the diagnostic
Here are the directions to register for the at-home hybrid diagnostic:
- Go to bodsat.com/signup
- In the box labeled Take the test at home, click Get details and sign up
- Complete the registration information
- In the box titled "Anything else we should know," write the date by which you will be returning the test to us.
The fee for the diagnostic is $200, but that charge is waived with purchase of a consultation.
A very high-leverage 90 minutes
Sitting down for 90 minutes with the whole family to design a prep plan (even if that plan won't start for months) is the surest way to reduce the stress throughout the whole process. And just as important, it maximizes the effectiveness of the prep itself, so much so that we believe there is simply no higher leverage time you can spend than those 90 minutes. Investing this time at the outset will pay back later when you reach your goals far more quickly, and with less intrusion on school, extracurriculars, or college visits. For a brochure, look here.
The best prep plans ensure students will be well-rested for the homework
Deciding on the right test date and prep time is crucial. In our experience, it is the students who are well-rested who make the highest gains in our programs. Practice makes permanent, so practicing tired (because a sport, heavy course load, extra curricular, etc., allows for too little time for sleep and prep) makes permanent the short cuts we all take when we are tired. And even if you are not tired on the official test, you will perform as you have practiced. Moreover, practicing tired yields poor data for you and your tutor to analyze and base future work on. Why? Because carelessness can be caused by fatigue or bad habits, but it is tough to find a bad habit as a culprit when you cannot rule out lack of sleep.
Talking about homework habits early makes for more effective prep later
The consultation is important for another reason: students will learn how they can use the hours and hours they spend on regular school homework to reinforce good habits that will minimize carelessness and maximize efficiency on the test. During the consult, we talk a lot about how students can improve their work habits by moving in the direction of doing their homework like it was an SAT/ACT.
The sooner we talk about sleep habits, the better
Finally, we would not be doing our job as coaches if we did not use the consult to talk about sleep habits. So many students are in a vicious cycle: inadequate sleep causing homework to take longer causing inadequate sleep etc. Any help turning that into a virtuous cycle will go a long way towards making the "test prep footprint" small, because the student will more likely reach his or her goal on the first try.
All students in Bodsat seminars have similar starting scores and goals
Since every student in the seminar is required to "test in" with a minimum 80% score, your student will be surrounded by peers with similar skill sets and similar goals. This is important because seminars work best when students are open to learning from their peers. Having other students ask questions they never thought to ask, but whose answers are helpful, multiplies the learning opportunities. It can also be a lot of fun to work with a group. The gains from our group seminars are the same as from our 1-1 programs: close to one half of the points remaining to a perfect score.
The format of the seminar is 5 4-hour sessions and one optional 4-hour review. In addition, there are two proctored practice tests. Before 4 of the sessions, there are 4 hours of homework. Total time for the program, including homework and practice tests, is about 50 hours. The teacher-to-student ratio is no more than 12-1 (if more students sign up for a seminar, we typically add a teacher, and break the class into two for the workshop parts). Look here for our current schedule of classes.
What the seminar program includes
Everyone in the seminar has access to our binder, our guidebook, all extant official practice tests, unlimited essay feedback, and our library of videos. They also have direct contact with the teacher via text, phone and email throughout the program and after.
Efficient and flexible
There are two advantages to our private programs: they cut out 12 hours of instruction time without sacrificing results (for a total of 12 hours instead of the 24 hours of the seminar), and they can be done at the family's convenience (after school, weekends, holidays, summer, etc.). This program can also be done by Skype. The results of our private programs are the same as our group offerings: gains of nearly one half of the points remaining to a perfect score. Private programs also include the option of taking place at the student's home.
Private program format
The format of the private program begins with two 3-hour sessions, followed by three 2-hour sessions. There are also two practice tests, sometimes self-proctored. For three of the sessions, there are 4 hours of homework. Total time for the program, including homework and practice tests, is about 38 hours.
What the private program also includes
Students also have access to our binder, our guidebook, all extant official practice tests, unlimited essay feedback, and our library of videos. They also have direct contact with the teacher via text, phone and email throughout the program and after.
Pre-program and post-program
Bodsat teachers can provide hourly tutoring for pre-program fundamentals work, though this is only recommended if a student does meet Bodsat Prep's 80% score minimum. We can also provide hourly post-program work, but this is completely optional, since the students have, by the end of the program, learned to be their own coaches. Some students, however, like the additional structure and cheerleading.
Single section tutoring
Bodsat teachers can also provide hourly tutoring if a student only wants to focus on one test section (for example, the ACT Science, or the SAT Reading).
If a seminar student has missed (or will miss) a class, s/he can make up the class with a private tutoring session.
Hourly tutoring for other tests
Bodsat teachers can help on an hourly basis with tests other than the SAT and ACT, including SAT Subject tests, ISEE, SSAT, APs, GRE, and GMAT. We are happy to refer you to other excellent professionals for services we do not offer, such as college counseling.
Build your own Bodsat Partnership
Some of Bodsat's current school partnerships include Crystal Springs Uplands School, The Nueva School, University High School, International High School, and Carondelet High School. Offerings can include any or all of the following:
- Administering our SAT vs ACT diagnostic on campus (sometimes for no charge)
- Giving presentations to students and parents on topics such as helping students "do their homework like it was an SAT/ACT," or helping parents understand the similarities and differences between the SAT and ACT
- Holding SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Test classes on campus (offering a sliding scale that matches school scholarships)
- Meeting with English and math faculty to orient them to what is tested on the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and the ACT