Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Beauty of The Victory Step Curriculum


In the next two weeks I begin teaching two new 6 week Victory Step SAT Classroom program classes. This will be around my 20th time to work through the six-week class with a group of up to ten students, and will mark somewhere around my 75th time of going through the curriculum because of past private tutoring students.

Going through the curriculum this many times, certain things start to stand out. Yes, the built in cheesy jokes are just as cheesy, or cheesier than ever, and I pretty much know how to solve every question in my sleep. I also know which questions students are going to have problems on, and I have developed a really good sense of the correct pace to take in moving through the different sections.

Most strikingly, I have developed a deep appreciation for the logic of the course itself. The course is broken down into five sections of curriculum, each covering in different proportion the three sections of the SAT - Critical Reading, Math, and Writing. The course moves from easier concepts to more difficult ones, and keeps a good balance between Math and English to keep the students from getting bogged down.

Even better, the curriculum truly covers about 98% of EVERYTHING you will need on the SAT. In a simple 6 week course you are reviewing nearly everything that you will ever encounter on the SAT. That's pretty cool to me.

An important thing to note about the SAT is that it is a repetitive exam. That is, there is a finite number of concepts that the exam tests. Thus achieving mastery, and the underlying strategy of the Victory Step curriculum stems from exposing the student to the different problem types and gaining an understanding of them.

At this point in my knowledge of the SAT, I don't approach individual questions as individuals, but rather iterations of a subset of specific problems. I'm like a Law Enforcement officer who’s learned to spot patterns in speech and action that give clues to underlying behavior. I can simplify a specific situation into the question that it is asking or testing me on.

Being an expert on the SAT isn't about becoming a better person, a smarter person, or a super person - It's really only about gaining a deeper understanding of the SAT, its quirks and its traps. The more you practice and immerse yourself in the SAT, the greater your ability to understand the way the test functions. The Victory Step curriculum exposes students to the underlying logic and "traps" of the SAT questions. The student learns of the concepts tested, how they're set up as traps, what concepts to use to understand the traps, and then avoid them.
- Devan E

2 comments:

  1. Hey there! In my opinion, I guess taking a SAT Prep Test is a necessity for our students nowadays. Throough this, they would know their capacities and in what subjects do they need to improve. It's a good thing that there are tutors like you who are always willing and open to help. Thank you for the tips, too. Keep it up! By the way, you have such a nice page. I'll try to visit some other time. Thank you so much for sharing this blog post. I'll be looking forward for your other posts as well. With SAT Prep, your student will know which questions and the overall number they will need to answer correctly to achieve their target score. Your student will master the art of prioritizing their time. Your student will take practice tests with in-depth post-practice review.
    SAT Prep Wenham MA

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  2. I just took my SATs a few months ago and I did terribly! I've never been the best test taker and I feel like I was totally unprepared for the timed portions. My parents are getting me a SAT tutor in the Bay Area, but I don't think that it's going to help with my test anxiety. Do you know of any tips to prepare yourself mentally for taking tests like these?

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