We believe that there are four important elements of a good test prep program:
- An effective study plan
- Official Practice Tests
- Accountability and Encouragement
We help students think about their goals and college/career aspirations. We also tell our students about the psychological and personal benefits of setting goals and working consistently toward a goal that is challenging yet achievable.
Effective Study Plan:
We differentiate ourselves from "cram session" ACT and SAT workshops that teach the same basic information that we do, but in a more condensed manner. They teach to pass the tests only; we teach to pass the tests with the tools that are needed for college and beyond into adulthood.
College admissions use ACT and SAT as ways to gauge students’ grasp of fundamentals learned and practiced in High School. Colleges also look for character traits such as perseverance and commitment or grit. Admissions officers look for things like involvement in activities for 2 or more years. They look for consistent progression such as being involved in student government, then becoming an officer the next year. Grit - the ability to stick to something even when the going gets tough (or boring) is a trait that sets 4-year graduates apart from first-year dropouts.
Our 10+ week program is designed to build grit and perseverance while we're working on content and scores. Cram sessions, or other rapid avenues towards a desirable SAT or ACT scores, may result in a better score, but they won't build the same sort of grit or self-awareness as our long-term study plans.
Official Practice Tests:
We only use official practice tests. Almost every SAT or ACT class uses practice tests or sections of practice tests, but they are not always written by the test-makers.
Have you ever been in a class where you had to "figure out the instructor" by taking a few tests and getting lower grades until you figured out what the instructor was looking for? Once you figure it out, it becomes easier to earn that A on the next test. Similarly, the more you see official SAT and ACT tests, the better you get at recognizing the questions.
We offer full-length practice tests that come straight from the ACT or SAT test authors. This way the students get used to what it feels like to take the whole test, and they become familiar with the way the test questions are written, not just the content.
Accountability and Encouragement:
We use adaptive study software to give students real-time feedback every time they study at home. We also use peer accountability by encouraging group effort. Students will associate with a group of 4 or 5 early in the program and will encourage each other to stick to study plans each week.
Instructors will check in on students' progress on the adaptive study software and will monitor student progress with practice tests throughout the program. Our instructors are also coaches and mentors. Cornerstone Learning does not exchange tutors. We have the same friendly faces every lesson. Behind those faces hides a wealth of ACT and SAT knowledge, years of tutoring experience and the expertise needed to help your child succeed.