Note: In Episode 1: Introduction to Kaplan, 17 year old Aida shared her perspective on a rigorous online course she’s taking to prepare her for the SAT she is to take in March. In Episode #2: Diagnostic Tests, she shared her perceptions of the Diagnostic Tests, her results, and the value of online course feedback about those results. In Episode #3, she discusses what an online class is like. Find out more about Kaplan via Twitter at @kaptestnews
Some of Aida’s take-aways from the course class content:

  1. For each class session (one for math, reading, and writing each), students are given workbooks to introduce concepts. Teachers encourage students to fill in the tables in the workbooks that help them remember important Kaplan methods.
  2. Students go over the questions in the workbook using the Kaplan methods with the class.
  3. There is an interactive whiteboard (online) and the teacher can make the questions appear on the board and then fills in the responses that students provide via the chat box.
  4. Students use online polling to provide responses to class questions. Students use Adobe Connect to chat as a class and interact with each other. Adobe Connect is also used for SAT Practice tests, as shown in the screenshot below:

Students also receive motivational emails the week before the SAT tests….

Hello all,

So tonight I asked my brilliant husband, “If you had to take the SAT tomorrow, what would be an encouragement to you?”  He answered, “Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”

Okaaaay, that’s not very motivational at all, you might be thinking.  But keep in mind that my husband hasn’t prepared for the SAT with Kaplan.  You guys have. He, therefore, is allowed to be a cynic.  You, on the other hand, should be optimistic and confident in your abilities.

Even so, you might feel like the snowmen in this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon below. If that’s the case, take a few moments to laugh – it’s a great stress reliever – and remember that you are better prepped than most of the students who will be taking the test with you.

So don’t let the snow monsters get to you.  If you’re taking the test tomorrow, we wish you all the best.  Remember to use your Kaplan Methods. Let us know how the SAT goes for you.

If you’re taking the SAT in a few weeks, keep practicing your Kaplan strategies and contact us with whatever doubts you have.  We’re still here for you.

Best wishes,

[Teaching Assistant] 

As well as “reKaps,” of which a sample is shown below:

Class,
Excellent job today!!! TA1, TA2, and I had a great time in class.  The dynamic duos were fantastic at tackling SAT math questions and should be very proud!  Remember, if you would like to participate during group work, just “raise your hand” to let us know to call on you : )  If you like to sit back and observe all the synergy, that’s perfectly fine, too (we appreciate all types of students and want you to do what is best for your learning style).  We just hope that if you have ANY questions you will let TA1 and TA2 know – they absolutely LOVE to help. 

Speaking of which, your terrific TAs put together the following ReKaps for your benefit: 

ReKaps
*Always use your . . .
Kaplan Method for SAT Math:
Kaplan Method for SAT Math: 1. What is the question asking?
2. What information are you given?
a. What information is in the question stem?
b. What information is in the answer choices?3. Strategies to solve:
a. Picking Numbers
b. Backsolving
c. Straightforward Math
4. Am I finished?
*Learn the exponent rules on p. 200.

*For inequalities, don’t forget to flip the sign when multiplying or dividing by a negative number!
*A vertical line has an undefined slope.
*A horizontal line has a slope of zero.
*The complete steps for question #1 on page 232:
1. Find a point on the line.
2. Plug that point into the y = mx + b formula
3. Plug in the slope for the m.
4. Solve for b (y-intercept).

*When faced with a graph, plug in points!
*Perpendicular lines have opposite, reciprocal slopes.
*Supplementary lines add up to 180.

*Complementary angles add up to 90.
*An equilateral triangle has measurements of 60-60-60.
*The Pythagorean Triplets are HUGE time-savers!  Learn them!!!
–3:4:5 and all multiples (i.e. 9:12:15)
–5:12:13 and all multiples (i.e. 10:24:26)
ScheduleEST:Sunday – 2/20 – 5 – 8pm – Session 4Saturday – 2/26 – 12 – 4:15pm – PT 3Sunday – 2/27 – 5 – 8pm – Session 5Saturday – 3/05 -12 – 4:15pm – PT 4 Sunday – 3/06 – 5 – 8pm – Session 6
This class is flying by!  If you are a little behind on our Smart Track assignments, now is the time to catch up : )
Have a great night!

Listen to the rest of the series:

  1. Episode 1 – Overview and First Impressions from a Teenage SAT Prep Student
  2. Episode 2 – Getting Started with Diagnostic Tests
  3. Episode 3 – Finding Out What the Classes are Like
  4. Episode 4 – Practice Work to Ensure Success
  5. Episode 5 – Proctored Work

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure
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