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SAT preparation begins with workshop

As the Scholastic Aptitude Test date approaches, students search for the best ways to prepare themselves for the test. The SAT, along with the American College Test, ACT, are standardized tests for college that measure the intellectual ability of each student and how they compare to the rest of the student population.

“The SAT is a very treacherous test,” Joe Haydock, an instructor for Ivy West Educational Services, said. “It is not fun; it’s unfair. We teach students ways to attack it and increase their scores.”

There are similar classes that can be taken from other companies off campus. A popular one is Kaplan yet a student must pay $799 for the course while Ivy West will charge $50.

Haydock is teaching a class on campus on Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in room 601. The last day to sign up is Oct. 9.

“I am taking Haydock’s class because I want to get a good score on the SAT this fall,” Krystal Kitahara, ’04, said. “I know that if I just go into the test cold, I likely won’t do well. This class will help me learn strategies I can use on the test to help improve my score.”

Another way to learn how to approach the test is to take the PSAT. The PSAT is similar to the SAT and shorter.

“I took the PSAT my sophomore year to prepare for the SAT,” Michael Ward, ’03, said. “My junior year I took it to attempt at qualifying for a National Merit Scholarship. Receiving $2500 is always nice.”

The National Merit Scholarship Program includes the more than one million students who take the PSAT in their junior year. To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must meet certain requirements such as being enrolled full time in high school and being a US citizen.

In the race to get scholarships, there are three levels of recognition before scholarships are handed out. This year, Nathan White ’03, and Michael Ward ’03, are one of 34,000 students who received a Letter of Commendation last month.

“I am very excited about being a semi-finalist,” Ward said. “I’ve known for awhile I might have a chance at it, but only now is it starting to sink in.”

In September, 16,000 students were notified that that have graduated to the level of semi-finalist.

The finalists are sifted form the semi-finalists by certain academic requirements and a select few of the finalists are awarded scholarships. Finalists will be notified in March or April of their progress.

According to Haydock, taking a class before the SAT is extremely beneficial to a student’s score because they will have a better idea of the layout of the test and how to look for problem questions.

“We are way better than Kaplan,” Haydock said. “Four years ago, the State of California gave three companies grants to teach SAT preparation classes in Los Angles Unified School District: Ivy West, Princeton Review, and Kaplan. The first year we taught to 17 of 47 schools. Three years later, we taught in 38 of those schools.”

To learn more about Ivy West, visit their website at For more information on the Ivy West workshop on campus, see Mr. Endicott. For students who want more information on the Kaplan preparatory course, call 225-4203, or visit their website at For more information on the SAT visit

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