Since its establishment in Manhattan in 2005, CATES has grown rapidly, and diversified. What began as a small, private tutoring and test prep company has quickly become a major player in the NYC market. In 2008, we began running our successful College Essay Workshop, and expanding our one-on-one essay help and application support. More recently, we’ve branched out in the fields of law and LSAT prep, and specialized tutoring services for students with learning differences. LSAT prep is always in high demand, and our tutors continue to provide LSAT prep and tutoring, but we now serve clients preparing for the bar exam, through Michele Klatch Law Prep. Like many other tutoring services, we have had great success working with students with learning differences, and we continue to do so, but we can now also provide clients with certified specialists, through our Envision branch. With tutoring centers in New York City, Scarsdale, Brooklyn and London, we are conveniently located to communities throughout New York including Long Island, Westchester County and beyond.
In the spring of 2010, Poly Prep asked CATES to develop a SAT test prep program that could be offered on-site, after school and that would allow athletes and non-athletes equal opportunity to prepare for the exam. In response to the school's desires and guidelines, CATES created and offers PSAT/SAT summer courses, SAT foundation and master classes, as well as SAT test prep intensives and mock test reviews. CATES runs separate programming tracks for students with after-school commitments, administers 15-20 free mock tests a year, and provides added support for scholarship students and other Poly students in need. In 2013, Poly Prep students achieved the highest average SAT score in the school's long history. In the Spring of 2014, CATES launched an ACT Foundation course at Poly Prep.
In 2012, CATES partnered with Harlem RBI to create a new and improved SAT prep program for the students in the TeamWorks program. TeamWorks fosters academic, leadership, and employment skills, and CATES customized the SAT program to reinforce these skills and help TeamWorks students compete more successfully in the college application process. In 2014, TeamWorks students earned admission to more four-year colleges—and accessed more financial aid—than any previous cohort.
CATES began work with TEP Charter in the Fall of 2012 on an integrated ISEE/SSAT/SHSAT prep program after school. Working with TEP & Manhattan GMAT Founder Zeke Vanderhoek, CATES implemented Vanderhoek's specialized curriculum to help TEP students develop academic skills, knowledge base, strong character, and work ethic. In the last year, TEP students have successfully increased their scores on the ISEE, SSAT, and SHSAT exams and earned entry to top public and private high schools in New York City.
Under the leadership of Principal Annette Keane, CATES developed a summer program and year-round Master Class curriculum for the Common Core Learning Standards, Grades 3-5. TECCS students have experienced improvements of as much as 69% on their diagnostic results and continue to improve as they prepare for the April and May exams.
Rutgers Future Scholars invited CATES to run the RFS Summer SAT Program in 2012, where the median SAT composite improved by 250 points, enabling a number of students to earn full-scholarships to Rutgers University. Since the inaugural summer, CATES has collaborated with the RFS leadership to help innovate and refine the entire five-year RFS program as it relates to tutoring, test prep, and application support. In the Spring of 2014, CATES launched a series of spring workshops focused on preparing 8th – 11th graders for the PSAT, SAT, and NJASK exams to help RFS students succeed on testing through-out middle school and high school.
Under the direction of Philadelphia Head Tutor RJ Portella, CATES runs free SAT workshops, mock ACT exams, and private consultation sessions on SAT vs. ACT at The Agnes Irwin School for juniors. In coordination with the AIS College Counseling Office, RJ and his team of tutors does their best to help orient AIS students on which testing pathway to pursue on the road to college admissions.
CATES runs a pro-bono SAT Workshop series for scholarship students at The Haverford School. Sessions focus on test strategy and content, helping students identify the key elements for SAT success. The CATES Program Director also avails himself to the students for private sessions and on-going support until the test.
In 2012, The Sutton Trust decided to expand its popular summer school program to the United States and contracted CATES to act as its US partner. In collaboration with the US-UK Fulbright Commission, CATES developed the ACT & SAT Subject Testing Program for the Sutton Trust US Program, as well as the US university touring logistics and application support, for 64 high-merit students in need of financial aid for college. The median ACT for the 2012 cohort rose from 25 to 30.5, with 20% of the students scoring in the 99th percentile. The 2013 cohort grew to almost 200 students and saw similar test results. In the last two years, members of the Sutton Trust US Summer School program have earned entrance to schools such as Amherst, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Georgia Tech, Harvard, MIT, Middlebury, Princeton, Stanford, Tufts, University of North Carolina, University of Pennsylvania, Williams, and Yale, among many others. In total, these students have been offered over $12.5M in financial aid.
CATES launched its first on-site program, an on-site SAT Foundation course integrated into the school day, at ISB in the fall of 2012. Since then, CATES's services at ISB have grown to include live weekend master classes for the SAT & SAT Subject Tests, a Sophomore Jump Start program, as well as small group online prep courses for AP exams. We run over a dozen free mock tests at ISB each year, all of which are open to the entire Belgian student community. CATES also runs PSAT & US Testing workshops at ISB for students and parents.
CATES and St. John's International School partnered in the Spring of 2014 to create a specialized SAT Master Class for St. John's students. This class targets higher-level strategies for students coming from an international background and who are pursuing an International Baccalaureate Diploma.
CATES opened operations in Zurich in the fall of 2012 when we were asked to administer a SAT program that supported sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Since then, we've developed a variety of programs for the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and ACT for ZIS students. The focus of these programs has been for multi-lingual students and the scheduling is coordinated with ZIS's college office to ensure students are on the track towards success. Students in our ZIS programs have improved by over 180 points on the SAT, and as high as 500 points of improvement in some cases.
In January 2014, CATES partnered with Mark Andrews at the British School of Brussels to develop a full-evening presentation on the US testing process. Subsequently, CATES developed a series of SAT/ACT survey courses to introduce BSB students to the "American style" of testing as they decided whether or not to pursue university in the US.
The Overseas Association of College Admission Counseling (OACAC) is an organization of more than 2,000 counseling and college admission professionals from 106 countries. In the summer of 2015, CATES was accepted as a member of OACAC for our services in college counseling and admission prep for our students in the UK, Brussels, Zurich, China, Dubai, and more. CATES' CEO and Founder Chris Ajemian participated in the organization's annual conference in Shanghai in August 2015.
The National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) is an organization of more than 15,000 counseling and college admission professionals in the U.S. In the summer of 2015, CATES was accepted as a member of NACAC for our services in college counseling and application prep in our U.S. markets.
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