Frequently Asked Questions
A: At ETP, we are approaching ISEE and SSAT test prep in a different way. Most test prep programs and manuals offer practice questions and focus instruction on how to answer each question correctly. In other words, most test prep consists of content review. ETP’s approach enables students to become familiar with testing language. We offer practice and model the ways in which students can effectively evaluate each question and accumulate as many points as possible in the allotted time.
A: As far as online vs. one-on-one, we personally like to work independently. We like to choose when we work, choose the topic we feel we need to practice on a particular day, and choose how long to work. Some of our best results have been from a classroom program we piloted, in which the students only work 5 minutes each day as a warmup before class starts. What this means for kids who do well working independently is that when they have a spare 5 to 30 minutes available, they can practice and keep sharp, the way a baseball player or a dancer would do when they have limited time to sharpen up.
With an instructor, a definite chunk of time has to be set aside, and you have to do things their way.
But we have known people who prefer the guidance of a person in the room with them, and who perform better that way. So it ultimately comes down to choosing the method that fits the temperament of the student.
A: ETP’s test prep has been tested in independent schools with excellent results. For example, one of our school clients has reported higher test scores (up to 2 stanines) when students used the ETP test prep method.
A: Sure. On multiple choice tests, students naturally just try to find the right answer. On easy problems or under low-stress conditions, that works fine. But under test conditions, it’s more useful to consider the surest way to pick up a point. For example, trick answers can look awfully enticing to someone in a hurry. But good test takers tend to look at the answers more like a surgeon, using a system to carefully eliminate any choices that might trip them up – one by one, without trying to multitask.
A: We think so. The problem is that the usual thinking in education is that if a student understands the material, she/he should be able to do well on the test. But that’s not the way it works in the real world. A few people are naturally great at taking tests. Most people have to learn how. Tests often test how well you take a test, not necessarily how well you understand a subject. Teaching methods for test taking should be a subject in schools, but it rarely is.