1580/Mar 19'/AL/Northwest HS

At the start of this SAT journey over two years ago, I over confidently assumed that the preparation would be rather straightforward and painless. I had always done well in my math and English classes at school, so I thought the SAT should a safe extension of my confidence. However, my first practice test with a score in the 1100’s suggested otherwise. I began to realize my proud GPA may not imply my SAT success, and I was desperate in need of help. Through the recommendation of a few peers, I decided to sign up for Dr. Li's Summer SAT prep course.

Walking into class my first day, I had no idea what to expect. The last thing I wanted to do was to spend two weeks of my summer just preparing for one test. Fortunately, things worked out nicely with multiple rewards. Besides, the skills and knowledge I gained exceeded my expectations and later became an integral in my strengths and resulted the success on the SAT.

Dr. Thompson’s grammar and writing classes were unlike any other class I’ve been in before. For grammar, he taught us the strategies to use and the questions to ask ourselves, and even went beyond the SAT to teach us grammar concepts for our own general good. For writing, he taught us useful skills to read, plan, and write quickly and effectively, and overall, helped us enhance and refine our writing skills, eventually turning the 4s on my essays into 7s and 8s.

Dr. Li also taught us with unbelievable energy and enthusiasm how to complete seemingly convoluted math problems efficiently and easily. On more than one occasion, I found myself painstakingly working my way through a math problem for the better part of an hour, only to have Dr. Li later explain how to do it in a matter of minutes. But the section I struggled with the most by far was reading comprehension. I thought I understood the passages, but I completely blanked with the questions and I wouldn’t be sure of any of my answers. I was able to develop strategies, familiarize myself with the questions’ format, and understand what kind of answers the CollegeBoard was looking for.

In reflection of my summer efforts, I worked through each packet, challenging myself and eventually, steadily improving my confidence and scores. The repetition helped me reinforce myself and apply everything I learned over and over again until the skills became second nature.

Worth mentioning is another feature of the summer camp. I am amazed to discover myself to be surrounded by a host of exceptionally intelligent and motivated students. Interactions and exchanges with these competitive peers further enhance my level of appreciation.

My persistence with the summer camp in the past three years has big pay-off. The combination of challenging problems and the sheer volume of work I went through had naturally prepared me for the test. I treated the real SAT like any of the practice tests. Finally, after taking the March SAT, I was elated to find out that I got a 1580 and 21 on the essay. My journey through Dr. Li’s SAT prep was indispensable to my success, and I cannot recommend it enough to anyone considering it.