Essential Prep Program Helps Students Prepare for SAT

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Dylan Wright, Staff Writer

A student-led SAT-prep class recently finished its winter 2021 program for the March SAT. 

Essential Prep was created to help students study for the SAT and work towards educational equity at Monroe-Woodbury High School.

“High school students who grow up in low income households and environments are put at severe disadvantages during the college admissions process,” said Emily Wang, founder of the program. “Essential Prep is here to help students recognize that potential to grow by eliminating those educational barriers with our completely free prep class.”

Students from the school acted as tutors for the program, each having a specific job in the course.

“All the tutors hold a position in the program, from Website Moderator to Communications Coordinator,” said Wang. “Without them, this program would not have been able to become what it is today.”

I really enjoyed the moments where I saw my score improving on practice tests assigned as homework. It gave me confidence that my tutors really were helping me.”

— Rachel Wassef

The program is conducted entirely virtually through Google Meet, and consists of 1 to 2 classes a week which covers all sections of the SAT. Practice quizzes were also assigned as homework as a way to measure the progress of those students in the course.

Junior Rachel Wassef favored the style of the course.

“I really enjoyed the moments where I saw my score improving on practice tests assigned as homework,” said Wassef. “It gave me confidence that my tutors really were helping me.”

“The tutors were able to provide a consistent workflow along with useful insight into the realities of the SAT test day,” said junior Om Naik. “The class helped me prepare quite well.”

Due to classes being held online, there were challenges that the tutors had to consider in an entirely virtual environment. 

“The hardest part for me was not being able to see the students that kept their cameras off during the meets,” said Megan Catherwood, attendance coordinator and tutor of the program. “ I couldn’t see their faces to know if they were understanding the material or if they were confused. “

Despite these obstacles, the course being online has provided students with some advantages.

“The convenience of simply logging onto a google meet rather than having to find transportation to and from the school might be really accessible to some students,” said Wang.

Overall, many of those who participated in the course supported it, with a survey of 50 students finding that 76% rated the course a 4 out of 5 or higher on its enjoyability.