High School Honors: Math Skills for the Future

High School Honors: Math Skills for the Future

High School Honors: Math Skills for the Future

At MEK Review, our intensive High School Honors Math programs focus on foundation building, boosting student confidence, and mastering advanced topics.

Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down and speak with some of the directors and expert instructors of our Exam Prep and High School Honors programs to gain their perspectives on how test prep fills the gap left by traditional schooling. 

Read on to find out more about our High School Honors Math courses, and how our teachers are giving students the skills and strategies to prepare them for future advanced math courses and topics!

What is MEK’s High School Honors Program?

MEK’s High School Honors Program helps 8th through 10th grade students currently enrolled in or scheduled to take Pre-Calculus, Algebra II, or Geometry build foundational math skills before stepping foot in their tough honors math classes in the Fall. 

Our High School Honors program focuses on building foundational math skills with an emphasis on context rather than just concept memorization. This means our teaching is more comprehensive and well-rounded compared to regular honors level classes. One of the defining factors for MEK is that we go beyond teaching formulas. Our instructors teach students where these formulas come from and how they to apply them to problems. We use this strategy so students grasp a stronger understanding of the topics when they are covered in school. 

MEK is currently offering Pre-Calculus, Algebra II, and Geometry for the Spring 2023 semester. We consider our enrichment classes as entry level training ground courses that lead into more advanced topics, such as AP. We’ve designed our curriculum to complement other courses like SAT Prep. 

With our incoming Spring 2023 High School Honors course offerings, we want to supply students with the opportunity to master key concepts in their demanding classes. It’s our core value to have students shine in the classroom and in their future academic endeavors.

Click here for a more indepth look at our High School Honors program!

Why is it important to have a strong foundation in Algebra, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus before advancing to more difficult math courses?

Tony Kim, Director of Exam Prep Math

Students who struggle in more advanced math courses almost always suffer from a lack of foundational skills in Algebra, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus. Without a strong foundation, students cannot learn new topics because everything in math is connected.

Elise Kim, High School Honors Math Instructor

Algebra, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus are core concepts students need to know before moving on to Advanced Placement courses. This is because, in math, concepts build on one another from course to course. So, you can’t learn advanced concepts without the prerequisite understanding of Algebra, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus.

Algebra is in every math. And Geometry teaches students reasoning and logical skills so students can come up with logical arguments to prove math statements. Whereas Pre-Calculus has new concepts not seen in Algebra like Trigonometry and matrices, which they will need to know before AP Calculus. Without these three courses, students would be in for an extremely tough ride.

Pranav Gupta, Director of High School Admissions Test Prep & Subject Prep

A strong foundation in Algebra, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus is essential for doing well on standardized tests, like the SAT and ACT.

In fact, 70% of the SAT Math section is Algebra. While Geometry makes up 33% of the ACT.

How does MEK ensure student progress, confidence, and mastery of essential math concepts?

1. An Emphasis on Process and Growth Mindset

TK: Students are used to learning math via memorization without fully understanding why the method works. MEK teachers emphasize process over memorization and why methods work. We teach the easier methods, not short cuts but instead more effective ways of approaching the questions. When students understand the why behind something, their confidence goes up because they have a fuller understanding of the concept.

And having a mindset of “I can do this” is key. There’s never a brand new topic in math, just more layers on what they’ve learned before or a combo of previously learned concepts. So, instructors make sure to build on a growth mindset.

2. Practice and Consistency

EK: It’s important to let students know that everyone struggles, and that it’s okay if they don’t understand a concept on the first try. As an instructor, it’s my job to gauge what the student knows and build from there. 

When it comes to building confidence, practice and consistency are key. When assigning homework, we give ample practice but not an overwhelming amount, so students can slowly build mastery of the material which leads to a boost in confidence. 

3. Building Strong Foundational Skills

PG: Sometimes students hit plateaus in their progress, and when they do, it’s usually because of one of three things. One: foundational skills. Two: motivation. And three: a lack of maturation period. Students need time to digest the information being taught and to develop their own understanding of how to apply that knowledge to problems. 

Sometimes a plateau is due to a lack of foundational knowledge. Foundations start with calculation habits. Calculation skills are underdeveloped in school so MEK focuses on really strengthening that skill through ample practice both in and outside of the classroom.

Motivation relies on instructors to hold students accountable and push them to be the best. Many students have mathematical reasoning skills but lack motivation. With MEK they can improve that motivation.

In short, everything works together.

At MEK consistency and practice are only the tip of the iceberg. We invest deeply in our students, and our High School Honors program is the gateway to succeed beyond the classroom.

Our knowledge patchwork strategy allows us to gauge where students currently stand. This opens up the opportunity for our teachers to focus on building a strong math foundation. Having a solid mathematical base boosts student confidence, while we hone in on teaching guaranteed test taking strategies.

Through our intensive course curriculum we shape our students, by consistently testing them on learned material to the point of mastery.

Next Steps

If you’re looking to get ahead of your school’s math curriculum before you even step foot in the classroom, then MEK has the perfect program for you!

Our High School Honors Program will give you the skills and strategies to ace your challenging math courses and earn top scores on tough college admissions tests, like the SAT. Plus, you’ll build confidence in your math skills and lay the foundation for future success in college and beyond!

Contact us at mek@mekreview.com or call us at (855) 346-1410 to get started today!



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