Test Preparation

Similar to our academic tutoring method, our test preparation method is based on a student’s learning style and not on strategies for the masses. At the Brooklyn Learning Center we get more done in less time because we tailor our approach to the individual.

Everyone agrees that even the best test-takers have some areas that are weaker than others. Our tutors are excellent precisely because they have experience teaching a variety of subjects to students with varied patterns of strengths and weaknesses. This means the tutor has multiple strategies for explaining one concept. And because the tutor has learned to explain one concept in at least 10 different ways, surely one will work for your student.

This method of using tutors who teach school subjects and standardized tests means our tutors are well-rounded. We train tutors to look for specific areas of weakness that often cluster together; then we remediate these areas and “fill in the gaps.” The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has recently underwritten research on how to train effective teachers. The approach they study mirrors our methods. Effective teaching requires an understanding of what students think…not just what is correct. For more on this topic we refer you to the work of Deborah Loewenberg Ball, a professor at the University of Michigan, or to a recent article in the NY Times Sunday Magazine.

We develop subject-specific knowledge in our tutors and students with our proprietary materials that categorize the material on the tests we tutor. For each section of the test we have developed a list of frequently encountered concepts. We teach students to be able to do the high frequency math problems, to make seemingly abstract reading

comprehension questions accessible, and to use a checklist of common grammar rules to find the errors in sentences. For essays we teach students to be prepared with a few favorite examples to apply to the particular question on their test.

We do our homework of analyzing response patterns and recording progress with students present. This helps students better understand their own learning style and performance. This awareness-building is a fundamental element of our method and philosophy and teaches lifelong skills. Essentially we teach content and we teach strategies. Then we teach students to apply these new strategies to all the content they have learned.