Alex, S. Walt Whitman, SAT II 800

Last Name: S.
First Name: Alex
Current School: Walt Whitman High School
Current Grade : Gr11
Achievements: SAT2
SATII Math: 800
Test Date: 2014-06-07
Latest Date of Attendance (< 150 days from now): 2014-05-31

The Math II Subject Test is a challenging Exam that tests students on their high level mathematics proficiency.  Therefore, only the brightest and most prepared students take this exam. It is 50 questions long and you only have an hour. It is a difficult but conquerable test of one puts in the work needed. It is safe to say that Dr. Li came as a savior to me and the many other kids who take his prep course.

I had taken Honors Pre-Calculus at Walt Whitman High School the year prior to taking the Math II Subject Test. I was doing well on the SAT Reasoning Test Math portion and thought I could get away without too much prep and ace the Math II; however, after taking a practice test in mid Junior year, I had to rethink things through.  I was skipping every other question and frustration started to settle in. I was lost. All my Precalc knowledge seemed to have abandoned me. At this point I had seriously regretted not taking the test immediately after taking Precalc my Sophomore year. I was so lost that I was considering taking the Math I instead, and looking back on it, I am grateful that I had never made such a mistake.

I had heard of Dr. Li from my friends who hailed him as one of the best teachers around. He is notorious for drawing the best of the best students from the tri-state area. In my desperate situation, he was the best option to turn to for the SAT II. I came in the first day ready to see what the entire hullabaloo was about, and I was not let down.

Dr. Li teaches with very clear, engaging style. He greatly encourages questions and his face lights up with every thoughtful question/remark. You can tell that he loves what he does. After taking a practice test, Dr. Li would take any questions we had about the test. If we had not finished all of them by the end, he would gladly go overtime to make sure every student had gotten the most out of the session. We went over how to do every kind of question that could possibly come up on the test, as well as how to conserve time by optimizing time spent using a calculator. We received review packets so we could practice what we had learned on different questions at home. I had to re-learn all the precalculus topics on the test and it was a tough thing to do. Dr. Li made it possible. It was a rigorous class of course but worth every minute of it. One of the best things about his course is the people who take it. When you have so many bright students in the class, you feel much more motivated to keep up with the rest and do well. I found myself motivated to ask more questions so I could fully understand the topics. The practice tests I found just as intense as the real one because the atmosphere mimicked  the actual testing atmosphere. This was extremely helpful because it is hard to replicate the actual testing environment, and this was as close as it gets. The practice tests that we took were a lot harder than the actual test. I had never gotten close to an 800 on the practice tests. I was always stuck around 740 or so. Although they were scaled up in difficulty, I found that I was a lot more prepared for the harder questions on the actual test. Getting the harder questions correct is what separates the 750s from the 800s, and everyone wants the 800. I breezed through the actual test. Every sort of question I had seen before and had practiced before with Dr. Li. The end result? I had pulled an 800 from virtually nowhere in about 2 months. I know of many people who were in my situation: one year removed from having taken Precalc and are struggling to remember the topics that are so germane to the Math II. I can almost reminisce about this entire experience because of the result that it produced. It has inspired me to come back in the summer for preparation for the SAT Reasoning test.