Faqs

Explore answers to questions about MEK Review and our programs. If you need additional information, we would be happy to give you insights. Please contact us by phone at 855-346-1410 or email us at mek@mekreview.com.

What are your programs for elementary students?

For younger students, we offer MEK Labs, a unique one-on-one program that strengthens a child’s core academic skills, helps them ace standardized exams, and creates top performers. We also offer Mr. Ahn's Perfect Circle (MAPC) – MEK's elite competition math team!

What are your programs for middle school students?

For middle schoolers, we offer MEK Labs to develop and strengthen their academic skills. We also offer H.S. Test Prep for eighth graders who are planning to apply to prestigious magnet or private schools. You can also check out MAPC – MEK's elite competition math team and John Hopkin’s Center for Talented Youth Prep.

What are your programs for high school students?

We offer College Test Prep for SAT, ACT, AP, and SAT Subject tests. We also offer College Admissions counseling to help students through the entire college application process.

Do you offer traditional school tutoring for student’s struggling in the classroom?

Absolutely! Check out our School Support Tutoring program. Also, our MEK Labs program is aligned with Common Core State Standards to help students succeed in the classroom.

How do I register my child for MEK Labs?

Simply call 855-346-1410 or email us at mek@mekreview.com. We’ll send you a lab survey form to complete and get you started right away with the registration process!

How do I register my child for group classes or private tutoring?

Simply call 855-346-1410 or email us at mek@mekreview.com. We’ll get you started with the registration process!

How do I know if my student should take the SAT or ACT? How do I know if they should take SAT Subject tests?

A student should decide whether to take the SAT or ACT based upon a few factors. A student should take the SAT Subject tests if their prospective college requires or recommends it or if they want to showcase their talent in a particular field. For more specific recommendations, please contact our counselors. We would be happy to review with you.

How do I know what a "good" SAT or ACT Score is?

A good score is a score that opens doors for your child when it comes to college applications. It is based on their prospective colleges, national averages, and specific goals. In general, MEK strives to help all of our students reach a 1500+.

Do SAT/ACT scores really matter for college admissions?

Yes! While your GPA is the most important factor for admission officers, your child's SAT or ACT score does play an important role.

Can an Honors students get a low score on the SAT or ACT?

Yes! this is actually more common that you think. Honors students are sometimes overconfident in their testing abilities and do not prepare adequately as a result. The SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject are very specific test that require specific skills, time management, and test knowledge. Every student has to spend time preparing.

How long should a student prep?

For every class, we give our recommended number of sessions, usually ranging about 20 weeks. Each student will be a little different depending upon their starting level, but by and large, our recommendations give students enough time to adequately prepare to ace their tests.

When should my child take the SAT/ACT/or SAT Subject? What grade? Age? Is there a specific time of year where the test is easier or the curve is more generous?

Don't base your test prep timeline on speculated curves! It doesn't matter the time of year or the test. It only matters that a student is properly prepared. You and your child should pick your official test date based around preparation. Grade and age depend upon the child, but we recommend between his or her 10th and 11th grade year.

Should my student register for the SAT or ACT Optional essay?

It depends upon whether the school they are applying to requires or recommends it.

When will my child start to show improvement with test preparation?

It is rare for students to have to focus for 3-4 hours straight in the classroom. Strengthening attention span takes time and practice. It usually take about 3 weeks of training to see a positive change in mental endurance.

By weeks 4 and 5, students typically gain a better understanding of how to handle problem solving and the test format. Students see the most significant improvement after 10-15 weeks of training. This time period allows students to break inefficient study habits, facilitate time management, learn time-saving problem solving skills, and know exactly what to expect on the SAT and ACT.

The last few weeks serve to stabilize student's scores, so they are consistently hitting their target score or beyond before the official test date.

What high school admission test do you offer preparation for?

The SSAT, ISEE, HSPT, Bergen County Academies admission test, Bergen County Technical School admission test, and Academies @ Englewood admission test.

What does the BCA admission test consist of?

The BCA admission test consists of a timed math section and a timed essay response to a fiction or non-fiction article. For more information, click here.

What does the SSAT test consist of?

The SSAT has a verbal, reading, math, and essay section. Click here to learn more.

What does the HSPT test consist of?

The HSPT has a two math sections, a verbal, language, and reading section. Click here to learn more.

If my student is gets straight A’s in school, does he need to prepare for high school admission tests?

Yes! These tests are difficult, challenging exams that require a level of mental endurance, problem-solving efficiency, and mindset that students at this age have not handled before. Plus, many aspects of the exam may require skills that a student hasn't encountered in the classroom, such as the literary analysis essay required by BCA, the in-depth grammar knowledge for HSPT, and the analogy skills needed for the SSAT.

When should my child start preparing for BCA, ISEE, SSAT, or HSPT admission test?

Incoming eighth graders should start building a solid foundation over the summer by attending MEK's Exam Prep 8 course. Then in the fall, students should begin more intensive training. Click here to read more about our H.S. Test Prep courses.

Is your BCA Prep only for students applying to Bergen County Academies?

No, the course also prepares students simultaneously for the admission exams for Bergen County Technical High School and Academies @ Englewood.

Do you only prepare students for the admission test? What about the application? The interview?

For BCA Prep, we do guide students and parents through the application process. We teach students how to write an effective application essay and review their final draft. We also offer interview coaching for students who are invited for an interview.

If my child earned a B in 7th or 8th grade, do they have a chance at admission into BCA or other prestigious schools?

Yes. We have seen students with one or two B grades during 7th and 8th grade marking period, gain admission to BCA. However, it is more difficult, since your child is competing against so many straight A students, so it is very important to focus on maintaining a top GPA.

If my child is interested in attending BCA, BT, or A@E, but is in 7th grade, what should we do to start preparing early?

Students in 7th grade should focus on earning straight As in school and should start preparing by registering for Math Lab, Vocabulary Lab, Advanced Writing Lab, or Literacy Lab.

What if my child is planning to apply to BCA as well as other schools that require the HSPT, SSAT, or ISEE? How can I prepare them for both tests?

Through MEK's H.S. Dual Test Prep program. We will prepare your child for multiple admission tests in a way that won't overwhelm your child.

What are the benefits of Academic Counseling Services?

Students receive one-on-one attention that is often not offered at school. Over the course of many consulting sessions, students will form a personal bond with counselors and essay experts. This highly focused approach allows students to craft impressive, compelling essays and resumes.

How does MEK increase a student’s chances of acceptance into one or more colleges?

We guide students into creating competitive college applications by encouraging academic excellence, creating effective personal essays and leadership-oriented resumes that highlight maturity, character, and service. While we do not guarantee acceptance to any colleges, we show student’s how to give themselves the best possible chance of admission.

Are all meetings with instructors held one-on-one, face-to face?

Yes. All meetings are one-on-one, and face-to face via our Palisades Park or Closter Campus, or via Skype.

Do all colleges accept the Common Application?

The Common Application is accepted by over 650 colleges. However, there are several state universities and private institutions that adhere to their own applications with essay prompts that often differ from the Common App. Also, Common App colleges may still require supplemental personal information or additional essays.

Will MEK’s essay instructors write personal statements and supplemental essay for students?

No! MEK instructors will never write essays on behalf of students. Personal experiences are best recounted in the student’s own voice.

Does MEK provide assistance to file for financial aid?

MEK does not provide assistance to file for financial aid. However, we can recommend professionals that specialize in this service.

Is GPA weighted more than standardized test scores or vice versa?

Both GPA and test scores are important to admission officers when reviewing applications. The GPA is a reflection of a student’s academic performance throughout high school while tests measure aptitude or future academic performance in college. Early test preparation and balancing a set of challenging academic courses at each grade level is greatly encouraged.

How many AP courses should a student take to improve his or her chances for acceptance?

The key to a successful high school academic experience is to take the hardest courses possible and do well in them. How many AP courses a student takes is less important the quality of the final score attained.

Are college visits necessary? What should students be looking for?

College visits are useful in helping students decide whether the school is a right fit for them. Besides learning about the academic programs offered, students can get a feel for the location, quality, and diversity of the student body, as well as living arrangements, campus activities, work/internship opportunities, and many other factors.

How important are recommendation letters for my college application?

Very important. Most colleges require a guidance counselor’s recommendation and two teacher recommendations. Some schools allow 3-5 teacher recommendation and one or more non-school related recommendations. If possible, maximize the number of recommendation letters each school allows, but choose your recommenders carefully. It is not always the friendliest teacher who will write the best recommendation!

How important is it to participate in extracurricular activities? How should I choose my activities?

Freshman and sophomore years are times when students can explore a myriad of activities that may be of interest to them. In junior year, the number of activities a student chooses to pursue should be limited to those that are meaningful and highlight a student’s passion and knowledge. By senior year, leadership skills and in-depth engagement in select activities should distinctively stand out. There are no barriers to the type of activities student can engage in. Instead, what matters most is the passion, level of involvement, and the impact students can make through their engagement.

What does MEK Labs help students with?

We help students become happy, successful students. MEK Labs is one-on-one sessions that highly focus on a core academic skill. All of our labs use material and instruction that is aligned with Common Core State Standards, so our students learn to earn top grades in the classroom and feel confident and happy while doing it. They also learn important techniques to excel on state standardized exams.

Which academic areas does MEK Labs focus on?

We offer six Lab programs: Reading Lab, Vocabulary Lab, Writing Lab, Literacy Lab, Advanced Writing Lab, and Math Lab. These programs focus on strengthening a child’s proficiency in reading, writing, and math.

How is MEK Labs different from traditional tutoring?

MEK Labs is all about hands-on engagement and teaching students' independent skills that will make them feel empowered and confident. Rather than passive lecture and small amounts of practice, we offer students learning, immediate application, and then skill reinforcement, so they leave each session with a skill learned, practice, and refined. This not only helps them master a skill, but also become great test-takers because they know how to work independently and under time constraints.

What is the age level for MEK Labs?

MEK Labs is primarily focused on elementary and middle school students. Although we do offer Labs for high school students, especially in their freshman and sophomore year.

Does MEK Labs help students whose second language is English?

Yes! Many of our student are ESL.

How do you know which Lab is right for my child?

With our help! We offer consultation and student evaluations that will pinpoint your child’s areas of weakness and strength, so we can recommend the best Lab options for your child.

When can I expect to start seeing improvement in my child’s school performance?

We recommend you always sign up for a minimum of 10 sessions to see maximum results. However, some students start to show improvement as early as 5 sessions!

What are your programs for elementary students?

For younger students, we offer MEK Labs, a unique one-on-one program that strengthens a child’s core academic skills, helps them ace standardized exams, and creates top performers. We also offer Mr. Ahn's Perfect Circle (MAPC) – MEK's elite competition math team!

What are your programs for middle school students?

For middle schoolers, we offer MEK Labs to develop and strengthen their academic skills. We also offer H.S. Test Prep for eighth graders who are planning to apply to prestigious magnet or private schools. You can also check out MAPC – MEK's elite competition math team and John Hopkin’s Center for Talented Youth Prep.

What are your programs for high school students?

We offer College Test Prep for SAT, ACT, AP, and SAT Subject tests. We also offer College Admissions counseling to help students through the entire college application process.

Do you offer traditional school tutoring for student’s struggling in the classroom?

Absolutely! Check out our School Support Tutoring program. Also, our MEK Labs program is aligned with Common Core State Standards to help students succeed in the classroom.

How do I register my child for MEK Labs?

Simply call 855-346-1410 or email us at mek@mekreview.com. We’ll send you a lab survey form to complete and get you started right away with the registration process!

How do I register my child for group classes or private tutoring?

Simply call 855-346-1410 or email us at mek@mekreview.com. We’ll get you started with the registration process!

How do I know if my student should take the SAT or ACT? How do I know if they should take SAT Subject tests?

A student should decide whether to take the SAT or ACT based upon a few factors. A student should take the SAT Subject tests if their prospective college requires or recommends it or if they want to showcase their talent in a particular field. For more specific recommendations, please contact our counselors. We would be happy to review with you.

How do I know what a "good" SAT or ACT Score is?

A good score is a score that opens doors for your child when it comes to college applications. It is based on their prospective colleges, national averages, and specific goals. In general, MEK strives to help all of our students reach a 1500+.

Do SAT/ACT scores really matter for college admissions?

Yes! While your GPA is the most important factor for admission officers, your child's SAT or ACT score does play an important role.

Can an Honors students get a low score on the SAT or ACT?

Yes! this is actually more common that you think. Honors students are sometimes overconfident in their testing abilities and do not prepare adequately as a result. The SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject are very specific test that require specific skills, time management, and test knowledge. Every student has to spend time preparing.

How long should a student prep?

For every class, we give our recommended number of sessions, usually ranging about 20 weeks. Each student will be a little different depending upon their starting level, but by and large, our recommendations give students enough time to adequately prepare to ace their tests.

When should my child take the SAT/ACT/or SAT Subject? What grade? Age? Is there a specific time of year where the test is easier or the curve is more generous?

Don't base your test prep timeline on speculated curves! It doesn't matter the time of year or the test. It only matters that a student is properly prepared. You and your child should pick your official test date based around preparation. Grade and age depend upon the child, but we recommend between his or her 10th and 11th grade year.

Should my student register for the SAT or ACT Optional essay?

It depends upon whether the school they are applying to requires or recommends it.

When will my child start to show improvement with test preparation?

It is rare for students to have to focus for 3-4 hours straight in the classroom. Strengthening attention span takes time and practice. It usually take about 3 weeks of training to see a positive change in mental endurance.

By weeks 4 and 5, students typically gain a better understanding of how to handle problem solving and the test format. Students see the most significant improvement after 10-15 weeks of training. This time period allows students to break inefficient study habits, facilitate time management, learn time-saving problem solving skills, and know exactly what to expect on the SAT and ACT.

The last few weeks serve to stabilize student's scores, so they are consistently hitting their target score or beyond before the official test date.

What high school admission test do you offer preparation for?

The SSAT, ISEE, HSPT, Bergen County Academies admission test, Bergen County Technical School admission test, and Academies @ Englewood admission test.

What does the BCA admission test consist of?

The BCA admission test consists of a timed math section and a timed essay response to a fiction or non-fiction article. For more information, click here.

What does the SSAT test consist of?

The SSAT has a verbal, reading, math, and essay section. Click here to learn more.

What does the HSPT test consist of?

The HSPT has a two math sections, a verbal, language, and reading section. Click here to learn more.

If my student is gets straight A’s in school, does he need to prepare for high school admission tests?

Yes! These tests are difficult, challenging exams that require a level of mental endurance, problem-solving efficiency, and mindset that students at this age have not handled before. Plus, many aspects of the exam may require skills that a student hasn't encountered in the classroom, such as the literary analysis essay required by BCA, the in-depth grammar knowledge for HSPT, and the analogy skills needed for the SSAT.

When should my child start preparing for BCA, ISEE, SSAT, or HSPT admission test?

Incoming eighth graders should start building a solid foundation over the summer by attending MEK's Exam Prep 8 course. Then in the fall, students should begin more intensive training. Click here to read more about our H.S. Test Prep courses.

Is your BCA Prep only for students applying to Bergen County Academies?

No, the course also prepares students simultaneously for the admission exams for Bergen County Technical High School and Academies @ Englewood.

Do you only prepare students for the admission test? What about the application? The interview?

For BCA Prep, we do guide students and parents through the application process. We teach students how to write an effective application essay and review their final draft. We also offer interview coaching for students who are invited for an interview.

If my child earned a B in 7th or 8th grade, do they have a chance at admission into BCA or other prestigious schools?

Yes. We have seen students with one or two B grades during 7th and 8th grade marking period, gain admission to BCA. However, it is more difficult, since your child is competing against so many straight A students, so it is very important to focus on maintaining a top GPA.

If my child is interested in attending BCA, BT, or A@E, but is in 7th grade, what should we do to start preparing early?

Students in 7th grade should focus on earning straight As in school and should start preparing by registering for Math Lab, Vocabulary Lab, Advanced Writing Lab, or Literacy Lab.

What if my child is planning to apply to BCA as well as other schools that require the HSPT, SSAT, or ISEE? How can I prepare them for both tests?

Through MEK's H.S. Dual Test Prep program. We will prepare your child for multiple admission tests in a way that won't overwhelm your child.

What are the benefits of Academic Counseling Services?

Students receive one-on-one attention that is often not offered at school. Over the course of many consulting sessions, students will form a personal bond with counselors and essay experts. This highly focused approach allows students to craft impressive, compelling essays and resumes.

How does MEK increase a student’s chances of acceptance into one or more colleges?

We guide students into creating competitive college applications by encouraging academic excellence, creating effective personal essays and leadership-oriented resumes that highlight maturity, character, and service. While we do not guarantee acceptance to any colleges, we show student’s how to give themselves the best possible chance of admission.

Are all meetings with instructors held one-on-one, face-to face?

Yes. All meetings are one-on-one, and face-to face via our Palisades Park or Closter Campus, or via Skype.

Do all colleges accept the Common Application?

The Common Application is accepted by over 650 colleges. However, there are several state universities and private institutions that adhere to their own applications with essay prompts that often differ from the Common App. Also, Common App colleges may still require supplemental personal information or additional essays.

Will MEK’s essay instructors write personal statements and supplemental essay for students?

No! MEK instructors will never write essays on behalf of students. Personal experiences are best recounted in the student’s own voice.

Does MEK provide assistance to file for financial aid?

MEK does not provide assistance to file for financial aid. However, we can recommend professionals that specialize in this service.

Is GPA weighted more than standardized test scores or vice versa?

Both GPA and test scores are important to admission officers when reviewing applications. The GPA is a reflection of a student’s academic performance throughout high school while tests measure aptitude or future academic performance in college. Early test preparation and balancing a set of challenging academic courses at each grade level is greatly encouraged.

How many AP courses should a student take to improve his or her chances for acceptance?

The key to a successful high school academic experience is to take the hardest courses possible and do well in them. How many AP courses a student takes is less important the quality of the final score attained.

Are college visits necessary? What should students be looking for?

College visits are useful in helping students decide whether the school is a right fit for them. Besides learning about the academic programs offered, students can get a feel for the location, quality, and diversity of the student body, as well as living arrangements, campus activities, work/internship opportunities, and many other factors.

How important are recommendation letters for my college application?

Very important. Most colleges require a guidance counselor’s recommendation and two teacher recommendations. Some schools allow 3-5 teacher recommendation and one or more non-school related recommendations. If possible, maximize the number of recommendation letters each school allows, but choose your recommenders carefully. It is not always the friendliest teacher who will write the best recommendation!

How important is it to participate in extracurricular activities? How should I choose my activities?

Freshman and sophomore years are times when students can explore a myriad of activities that may be of interest to them. In junior year, the number of activities a student chooses to pursue should be limited to those that are meaningful and highlight a student’s passion and knowledge. By senior year, leadership skills and in-depth engagement in select activities should distinctively stand out. There are no barriers to the type of activities student can engage in. Instead, what matters most is the passion, level of involvement, and the impact students can make through their engagement.

What does MEK Labs help students with?

We help students become happy, successful students. MEK Labs is one-on-one sessions that highly focus on a core academic skill. All of our labs use material and instruction that is aligned with Common Core State Standards, so our students learn to earn top grades in the classroom and feel confident and happy while doing it. They also learn important techniques to excel on state standardized exams.

Which academic areas does MEK Labs focus on?

We offer six Lab programs: Reading Lab, Vocabulary Lab, Writing Lab, Literacy Lab, Advanced Writing Lab, and Math Lab. These programs focus on strengthening a child’s proficiency in reading, writing, and math.

How is MEK Labs different from traditional tutoring?

MEK Labs is all about hands-on engagement and teaching students' independent skills that will make them feel empowered and confident. Rather than passive lecture and small amounts of practice, we offer students learning, immediate application, and then skill reinforcement, so they leave each session with a skill learned, practice, and refined. This not only helps them master a skill, but also become great test-takers because they know how to work independently and under time constraints.

What is the age level for MEK Labs?

MEK Labs is primarily focused on elementary and middle school students. Although we do offer Labs for high school students, especially in their freshman and sophomore year.

Does MEK Labs help students whose second language is English?

Yes! Many of our student are ESL.

How do you know which Lab is right for my child?

With our help! We offer consultation and student evaluations that will pinpoint your child’s areas of weakness and strength, so we can recommend the best Lab options for your child.

When can I expect to start seeing improvement in my child’s school performance?

We recommend you always sign up for a minimum of 10 sessions to see maximum results. However, some students start to show improvement as early as 5 sessions!