MEK Review’s SAT and ACT Prep
If you’re considering or have just signed up for test prep at MEK Review, you may be wondering what to expect. How exactly does MEK Review help students earn better results than other test prep centers, online courses, or test prep books?
Well, we’re happy to share the secret ingredients that help our students score so high!
First, some facts:
- 160: On average, our SAT students improve 160+ points
- 200: On average, a third of our SAT students improve 200+ points
- 1450: On average, our SAT students score a 1450 or higher
- 6: On average, our ACT students improve 6 points.
- 34: On average, our ACT students score a 34 or higher.
- 99: On average, our ACT students score in the 99th percentile.
We firmly believe that these amazing results can easily become your amazing results under the guidance of our dedicated test prep teachers.
#1. It’s not your average prep — it’s a boot camp for the driven.
We don’t shy away from being truthful about the intensive nature of our courses. In fact, we believe it’s why our courses are so successful.
As Pranav Gupta, one of our Exam Prep coordinators, says: “We like to think of ourselves as coaches, getting you ready to win the big game!”
When you join us at MEK, you can expect the following:
Students are asked to make prep a top priority.
Typical prep time before an official SAT or ACT can be anywhere from 2 to 5 months.
Our amazing students have many demands on their time: schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and family responsibilities. However, during our test prep courses, we ask students and parents to carve out specific test prep study and homework time in their weekly schedule and try to never miss a class.
In our years of experience, we’ve found the students who do the best are those who give test prep 100% dedication and effort. Ideas click earlier, good habits grow stronger, and scores improve faster!
Students are expected to meet high expectations for quizzes and homework.
At the beginning of each course, we give students a “Rules and Guidelines” sheet to place in their MEK-provided binder. This sheet details the classroom expectations for all assignments.
When students don’t meet these expectations, parents will receive notifications from MEK Review, so they can always feel in the loop.
We notify parents when:
- Student is absent (so they can know or receive next week’s homework).
- Student didn’t turn in homework.
- Student’s homework score was very low.
- Student’s quiz score was very low.
For certain courses, students who don’t meet expectations may have to:
- Stay after class and re-take a quiz.
- Stay after class and re-solve homework or other class assignment.
- Re-solve quiz or homework assignment before the next class.
- Come to virtual office hours.
The reason for these high expectations is simple: students rise up to them! By asking students to be proactive and take responsibility for their own learning, they develop a stronger mindset and sense of initiative. With this hardworking attitude, their scores improve a lot, fast!
Students are kept highly engaged by the teacher’s energy and intensity in the classroom.
Let’s face it: The SAT and the ACT are intense tests. They are timed, complex, difficult exams with many tricks, oddities, and challenges.
For a student to truly excel, their test prep teacher must properly prepare them with a similarly intensive course.
Our teachers make sure their course is high-energy, appropriately paced to a student’s needs, and always helpful.
HIGH FOCUS ON TARGET TEST DATE
Students are most motivated by the pressure of an impending due date. When it comes to SAT test prep, that due date is the next official test.
MEK’s SAT Prep program is designed specifically around four (4) major official SAT exams: the March, June, August, and December exams. Each class is designed to end right before the target test date, giving students the targeted reinforcement and strategies they need, when they need them the most.
#2. Students get to know their test-taking weaknesses — and overcome each and every one.
If you’ve taken an online course or read a test prep book, you’re likely to start at lesson 1, and then work your way through it step by step.
While this may seem logical, in the end, it isn’t efficient and often not even effective. You may end up spending way too long on something you’re already great at, and not enough time on an SAT or ACT-related topic or skill that you struggle with.
That’s why we focus on specific areas of weaknesses, and then work towards eliminating those weaknesses!
Here’s just a few of the ways we do this:
Personalized Score Reports
Every time students take a practice SAT or ACT test at MEK Review, they receive our signature, detailed score report. This report helps the student and teacher see the exact areas of struggle for a student, whether it’s pronoun problems on the Writing section, word-in-context questions on the Reading section, or Geometry on the Math section.
We can also spot patterns in test-taking behavior. Is a student running out of time? Struggling on a specific passage? Or losing mental endurance right at the end?
These highly-specific reports help students focus on their individual areas of weaknesses, and teachers to tailor their lessons and assignments to exactly what a student most needs to work on.
Canvas Learning Mastery
We use an online learning software, called Canvas. This platform allows students and parents to have transparency about what is going on in the classroom. Canvas provides access to course mastery goals and grades in order for students to track and take ownership of their progress. Plus, students and parents can easily communicate with course instructors.
Students can also view all of their homework and test scores through our online student platform, so they and their parents can track their progress, areas of improvement, and areas of needed improvement.
We want students to always be actively thinking about how to strategically improve their score, and we want parents to know their child’s areas of improvement and struggles and what we recommend as next steps.
DAILY TARGETED EXERCISES
The SAT test is a reasoning exam. This means that it is not just about knowing concepts, but understanding how to apply the concepts to all types of questions.
In order to do this, we implement daily targeted exercises, available through the Canvas learning platform. These targeted exercises ensure that students are not just practicing what they are learning when they come to class, but are constantly practicing and thinking about their test prep.
These exercises are curated by the SAT Teaching Team to target each individual student’s weaknesses and reassess them frequently.
#3. Students can find an SAT or ACT prep solution, perfect for their performance range.
We love group courses! Students in group classes tend to be more motivated, engaged, and focused through a mixture of camaraderie and friendly competition with their peers.
However, we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach.
That’s why we’ve organized our courses into different group and one-on-one solutions, each designed to suit individual starting points and goals:
DIFFERENTIATED TEACHING APPROACHES FOR DIFFERENT LEVELS OF EXPERIENCE
Students who have taken the official SAT test at least once have different mindsets from students who have yet to take their first official exam. To address this gap, we offer differentiated course levels that cater to these different levels of experience.
Students preparing for their first official exam join SAT Foundation, SAT 1400, or SAT 1500, based on their evaluation test results. These courses focus on content understanding and foundational testing strategy, and last between 18 to 24 sessions.
Students who have already taken their first official exam and want to raise their score on the next test join SAT 1400 Advanced or SAT 1500 Advanced, based on their evaluation test results. These courses focus on higher level application skills and strategy that can boost their scores in just 9 to 16 sessions.
#4. Students benefit from top quality SAT and ACT-aligned materials.
Not all SAT or ACT prep materials are created equal. In fact, there are a lot of bad materials out there!
- Require you to learn about a topic the SAT or ACT doesn’t test.
- Rely heavily on a format, structure, or language that doesn’t match the format, structure, or language of the SAT or ACT.
The SAT and ACT only test on certain topics, so it’s important to efficiently prepare for those specific questions in the specific ways that the SAT or ACT asks them.
That’s why at MEK Review we provide literally thousands of SAT and ACT problems that test you exactly in the same manner as the SAT or ACT test.
Here are some of the materials we use:
Critical Reading Skill Sets: Designed to help students master a specific question or passage type.
Writing Packets and Skill Sets: Filled with strategies and exercises that cover all the topics found on the SAT Writing section or ACT English section.
Math Quizzes: Tailored to help students master specific aspects of the SAT or ACT Math section.
Vocabulary Lists and Quizzes: Helps students master vocabulary commonly found on the SAT Reading and Writing sections.
Benchmarks: Approximately half the length of the SAT and ACT test. These mini-tests let students apply their new knowledge and skills to a variety of SAT and ACT questions and passages.
Full-Length Tests: We offer many official College Board SAT tests and official ACT tests as well as our own SAT and ACT practice tests that are exactly aligned with the official tests. We also offer purposely modified SAT and ACT tests to stretch students in one specific area. For instance, a modified test may be given to our highest-performing students featuring more of the most difficult question types.
PROCESS-BASED PROBLEM SETS
As important as it is to know what mistakes students are making is knowing why they are making those mistakes to begin with.
The MEK test prep strategy starts and ends with process. That’s why we utilize process-based problem sets, taking students through each individual step in the problem-solving process to eventually make it second nature.
#5. Students learn test-taking skills and proven strategies.
Many students come to MEK, simply expecting to take a practice test and then review with a teacher regarding which answers are right and which are wrong (the method of your average test prep center or book).
However, this type of superficial review only leads to marginal improvements. The truth is, learning whether a single answer to a question is correct is not as important as understanding why the student got the wrong answer and how they can get it right the next time.
Instead, our teachers teach students specific strategies for each area of struggle, which can include any of the below:
- They didn’t know a grammar rule or mathematical concept that the question was testing.
- They didn’t understand the passage they read.
- They didn’t understand the question.
- They fell for a trap answer choice.
- They gave up on the question, because it was difficult.
- They tried to answer the question the wrong way.
- They ran out of time or couldn’t focus.
- They were stuck between two answers, and ended up picking the wrong one.
- They circled the right answer first, and then went back and changed to the wrong answer.
If students are struggling with SAT or ACT content, we fill in the gaps in their knowledge, so they can understand the logic behind each right answer and the flaw in each wrong answer choice.
However, we also teach them specific content-related and test-taking skills such as:
- How to manage one’s time
- How to pinpoint key words in a question
- How to quickly read and comprehend the big ideas of a passage
- How to spot common traps in answer choices
- How to create habits that will eliminate careless mistakes.
- How to build up the mental endurance needed to score high
- How to recognize and tackle the most difficult questions
#6. Students learn lifelong study habits and a strong mindset.
To recap, students who join can expect their SAT or ACT prep course to:
- Provide a driven, “boot camp” atmosphere
- Target individual goals and weaknesses
- Fit them perfectly at their current level
- Use top quality SAT and ACT-aligned materials
- Teach proven strategies and test-taking skills
By learning in an intensive environment with top-quality materials and instructors, students build strong studying and test-taking habits — powerful skills for a lifetime.
Such habits help students take the knowledge they’ve learned during each session and apply it immediately to homework for review throughout the week. This way, they end up mastering these skills as quickly as possible.
Additionally, developing strong test-taking habits helps students to take the SAT or the ACT test in the best and easiest way. They will no longer become frustrated, run out of time or energy or make silly mistakes due to mental fatigue, before the long 3-hour test is over.
Take the first step on your child’s journey to elite scores today by signing up for an SAT or ACT evaluation test!
We look forward to hearing from you!