The warm weather has finally arrived in South Jersey after a brutal start to spring, and most teenagers are looking forward to outdoor activities with their friends, trips to the Shore and a much-needed opportunity to relax.
SAT prep is probably not high on anyone’s list of priorities—but it should be.
While college may seem like a long way off, that time will arrive before most students realize. Planning ahead in terms of college entrance exams is critical and can make a world of difference as far as getting into that dream school or earning a scholarship.
Fortunately, local families have a trusted name in tutoring and SAT/ACT prep to rely on in Huntington Learning Center. A national organization with locations in Cherry Hill and Turnersville, Huntington has a proven track record of helping students succeed on entrance exams with its customized approach to learning.
“On average, we improve kids’ scores by 20 to 30 percentile points,” says Rich Bernstein, director of Huntington’s two facilities in the area. “When you’re talking about taking a kid from the 50th percentile to the 70th percentile, that’s absolutely huge.”
There are several chances for students to take entrance exams this summer, with SAT dates in June and August and ACT dates in June, July and September. Sitting down with Huntington’s certified roster of instructors can help them stay sharp in the summer and take advantage of their free time.
Students going into their junior year of high school can especially benefit from the experience.
“One of the things that is often missed is that 11th grade is probably the busiest time in a student’s school career,” Bernstein says. “Kids are probably becoming part of the varsity team if they play sports, if they’re in theater they’re getting starring roles or if they’re in music they’re getting solos. On top of that, they’ve got SAT tests in the spring and proms.
“We think it’s a great idea if we can get them moving before they start their junior year when they’re not that busy. Part of our role is to reduce stress. You don’t reduce stress by jamming test preparation in when they’re really busy. When they’re less busy over the summer, that’s the time to take advantage.”
Students who come to Huntington can expect to take a practice exam to determine what areas they should be focusing on. A thorough report on that practice test doesn’t just explain that the student is better at math than English; it breaks down in detail his or her strengths and weaknesses.
“It delves pretty deep into figuring out what we need to accomplish,” Bernstein says.
From there, Huntington will impart certain test-taking strategies to its students, but the process consists of much more than a few simple tricks. Time management and significant content review play a larger role. For example, geometry factors heavily into the ACT, but students may be a year or two removed from that class, so they must relearn a lot of the subject matter.
There are two other facets that separate Huntington from traditional tutors. One is that it is much easier to schedule a session thanks to Huntington’s extensive list of instructors. If a student must reschedule an appointment due to a soccer game and his or her regular tutor is not available, someone else can step in and know exactly where the student is in his or her development.
“We have a very sophisticated software package that allows us to track exactly what their strengths and weaknesses are, what kind of feedback we’re getting and where they are in their progress,” Bernstein says. “So in the circumstance where they have to change their schedule and a different teacher is working with them, we don’t miss a beat. We work very hard at that because it’s important that a kid is not left hanging.”
Secondly, all instruction at Huntington is supervised in their private or semi-private rooms that are conducive to learning. In contrast to unsupervised tutoring at a coffee shop or tutoring at home with all of the usual distractions, parents can rest assured their children are working diligently.
“My full-time staff is observing instruction and making sure kids are being taught the Huntington way,” Bernstein says. “That’s an important part of the process. We want to put kids in an environment where they’re getting the best instruction they can.”
The results speak for themselves. A recent study by Huntington showed that students who were instructed during the survey period received, on average, $52,000 in scholarship money, a considerable amount with the rising costs of a college education.
“If you invest a little money, not only can you get into the school of your choice, but you get $52,000 on average in scholarship money,” Bernstein says. “It’s well worth the time and money you put in. If you really want to go to a certain school and the only way you can go there is by getting a certain amount in scholarship money, the decision to come to Huntington becomes a no-brainer.”
Huntington Learning Center
Cherry Hill | (856) 795-1933
Turnersville | (856) 227-0033