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CATES Test Prep Program Overview

The test prep process can be intimidating, even overwhelming, but as we see it, it offers students a terrific opportunity to develop a much healthier attitude towards the entire admissions experience. With the help of our expert tutors, the materials can be broken down and mastered, and a sense of ownership over the process can be gained. Instead of dreading it, CATES helps students come to see the journey as an important (and even, dare we say, exciting) rite of passage—more like a Bat/Bar Mitzvah or Confirmation, or getting your driver’s license), and less like bearing down on Niagara in a leaking barrel. If students approach the challenge with the right attitude, what they gain goes far beyond academics; they improve their learning habits, build self-esteem, develop character traits that will serve them for years to come, and, with a little luck, have a blast getting there.

Test Prep: A Journey

Every journey must begin somewhere, and at CATES, every customized tutoring program begins with a diagnostic test and expert analysis. Unlike many other test prep companies, CATES does not use its own diagnostic tools—we use the real thing. Regardless of where a student is in the process when he or she begins with CATES, and regardless of whether that student is in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn or in Cedarhurst, Long Island, the diagnostic tool is always a real test, made by the official test makers. For clients looking for PSAT prep, AP prep or SAT prep, that means a test made by the College Board, whether it’s a PSAT test administered at school, a practice test given by CATES at one of our testing centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Westchester (our files contain every official PSAT and SAT test administered since March of 2005), or a previously taken SAT test. In our experience, using the real thing makes a world of difference in getting a realistic baseline upon which progress can be measured, and in preparing students to take these tests.

Once that baseline has been established, a variety of options open up: CATES offers its students private tutoring, group tutoring, and test prep courses (both in person and through video conference calls) for students preparing for standardized tests. In determining which choice is the right one for you, budget, learning style, starting point, and goals all come into play. We want to help each of our students be successful, and we understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to achieve that success.

One Size Does Not Fit All

In assessing students’ needs, we develop customized study plans that incorporate only the best tools out there, and are tailored to fit each individual student’s needs. Yes, many companies customize the process, but at CATES we tailor it right down to which books you will use, when, why, and how. CATES knows that no one resource is suitable for all students, and with an expert knowledge of modern test prep methods, CATES serves as an aggregator for the best materials on the market, including the latest materials published by the test makers, the best of the various test prep resources found in your local bookstore, and the CATES materials we’ve created from our years of experience preparing students near you, in NYC ,and beyond for these tests.

One Tutor for All Your Needs

The right game plan is nothing without the right coach, and at CATES we believe that establishing a successful, lasting relationship with a qualified tutor is essential. We take great pride not only in the quality of our tutors (both as teachers and as people), but in our ability to match students with a tutor who will be there to guide them through the process from start to finish. Students who sign up for group tutoring or test prep courses in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island or Westchester will benefit from the continuity of working with one tutor who leads each session, teaches all of the material, and reviews all of the student’s mock tests. With our one-on-one tutoring program, a private tutor will manage the student throughout the entire test prep process and serve as a consistent mentor, teacher, and friend. Our tutors are rigorously trained in all facets of standardized testing, and the “One Tutor” approach guarantees each student will advance uninterrupted while focusing on established goals.

Nearing the Finish Line

As the test date gets closer, free practice tests, or “mock” tests, which we hold at our testing centers, become more and more essential. CATES offers both clients and non-clients the following free practice tests at our Testing Center in Chelsea on select weekends preceding the actual exams: SAT I & II, ACT, PSAT, AP tests, ISEE/SSAT, SHSAT, Regents, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, TOEFL, and LSAT. Students take their tests under actual testing conditions: at a neutral space, timed by a proctor, and alongside other students. In our experience, the students who take the most mock tests are the ones who score most closely to their target score on standardized exams, and In the 6 weeks leading up to the test date, our students are expected to take 4 mock tests, which they will analyze afterwards with the help of their tutor.

Post Game

After the test, the tutor will be there to talk over the experience, analyze the results, and help decide where to go from there. Some tests, like the SAT test, are often taken twice, some only once, but whether the testing process is finished or not, students come away from the experience with a sense of their own achievement and the confidence to move forward and eagerly tackle the next step.

Test Prep Program Spotlight

PSAT Summer Intensive begins August 1st

It’s never to soon to start thinking about your future. Learn more »

Private Test Tutoring

Our “One Tutor” approach guarantees each student will advance uninterrupted while focusing on established goals. Learn more »

Test Prep Courses

Our test prep courses provide students with a focused, personalized, and concise course of study in preparation for the SAT and ACT tests. Learn more »

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