College Entrance Exam Preparation (CEEP) is a course that helps students improve their SAT math, critical reading, and writing scores. Students also learn about admission requirements and scholarship opportunities for the UC system, CSU, and private colleges.
The class will be offered in the Spring Semester during 0° period to 70 junior students. The students are divided into two groups, with each group alternating weekly between reading/writing and math instruction. The course is structured to prepare students for the SAT I given the first week of May. Classes are organized so that students will take practice exams weekly. Teachers will offer specific materials and techniques to build test-taking strategies. The prerequisites for the course are completion of algebra and geometry, the main content of the SAT math exam.
The lead teacher, Gregg Whitnah, has extensive experience in college entrance exam math preparation. He has taught SAT courses for a variety of institutions and tutored individual students for 30 years. Liane Strub and Valerie Caveney will be teaching the critical reading and writing class. The curriculum is based on personally developed test preparation materials, as well as test booklets (Real SAT tests) published by the College Board. The SAT I book is consumable. Students will be encouraged to purchase the book for $21. Money is turned in with the class contract. Free books will be offered to students who cannot afford the purchase.
One of the primary benefits of this class is improved SAT test scores (for most students), thereby strengthening students’ college eligibility. In addition, students will acquire general test-taking techniques and refine math, writing, and critical-reading skills. Most students will also be in a better position to make informed decisions about their respective college choices.
A note to parents: As a parent, you are probably thinking this class will be great. It certainly will be beneficial for some students, especially those who plan to apply to the UC system or to competitive private colleges. For others, it could be “the straw that breaks the camel’s back.” Once the fall semester is underway, your child may have discovered that the junior year is extremely difficult and that adding a seventh class to an already challenging day will create more stress than he/she can sanely handle. Given these conditions we recommend that students think carefully before signing-up for CEEP. During the past eleven years, CEEP teachers have observed that seven classes are not for every student. The class meets on Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 7:50 – 8:40 and Thursday from 7:50 – 9:25 beginning the first week of January.
Jane King’s (323-4066) afternoon classes are another option for students interested in SAT prep. One difference is her program offers 15 hours of instruction while CEEP offers 90 hours of instruction.
Enrollment will take place around the second week of November prior to 7:45 A.M. in Room D20. Some years we have more students interested than we can handle. Since we can only take 70 students we have devised a method of enrollment based on a lottery of the students who arrive prior to 7:45 a.m. Students who arrive after 7:45 A.M. or who do not meet the math prerequisites will not be eligible to participate in the lottery. Winners of the lottery will be posted outside of Room D20 by 3:15 that same day. Eligible students will then have to return a signed contract by Friday, of the following week at lunch. Students who fail to meet this deadline will lose their spot to students on the waiting list. At the sign-up meeting, instructors will present an overview of the class. Students should anticipate being there for a minimum of 45 minutes. The enrollment will run smoothly if students begin arriving by 7:30 a.m. (Specific date will be announced at the beginning of November.)
We are very grateful to the Foundation for the Future for underwriting this course. This year, the parents of CEEP students will again be encouraged to supplement the Foundation funding by making donations in February, based on a self-determined ability to pay. While donations are not required, they are critical in ensuring that this class will be offered each and every spring at M-A. Last year’s donors were generous, and we hope this year’s donors will be as well.