On Tuesday, Jan. 28, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hosted a “Demystifying the College Entrance Exams” presentation in the John Rusnak Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. MSD’s Parent Teacher Student Association was put in charge of the informative seminar, which partnered with Revolution Prep, an interactive online tutoring program.
Before the program began, attendees were offered a handout about Revolution Prep. The pamphlet included reasons why the tutoring program is recommended by schools, the plans available for purchase and their promise to their students. Ryan Baroff, a representative from Revolution Prep served as the guest speaker for the presentation.
“We [Revolution Prep] partner with different schools throughout the country to basically offer a tutoring and test prep resource,” Baroff, an Assistant Regional Director for Revolution Prep, said. “We started working with the [MSD PTSO], but [we] definitely wanted to reach out and make sure all the parents had access to tutoring resources.”
On Thursday, Jan. 16, after a Professional Study Day, MSD’s PTSO and Revolution Prep teamed up to offer the mock SAT and ACT for students. Not only did the practice tests serve as a fundraiser for the PTSO, with each exam costing $10 apiece, it provided a great opportunity for students to practice for the real test taken around junior year.
“Many of the students who did the [mock SAT/ACT] want to get information about what they can do to make sure they’re best prepared for college and life,” Assistant Principal Daniel Most said. “Anytime [the school has] the chance to go ahead and bring parents and families into the school to learn more about what is in their students’ best interest as they graduate high school and move into college and careers is a great opportunity.”
Throughout his speech, Baroff focused on how each individual can choose classes that would maximize their transcripts, support long-term goals and lead to results they want. He mentioned subject tests and their effect on colleges, along with various techniques students should incorporate into their daily habits, such as putting real effort into their work versus doing it for a completion grade.
“The biggest thing for students is just planning ahead. Every student’s going to have a slightly different timeline, and some slightly different goals as to what schools they want to go to [and] what scores they need. Every student is unique and they all are going to have kind of their own timelines and requirements,” Baroff said.
In attendance were numerous parents curious about how the SAT, ACT and college preparation system functions. While some came to gather a better understanding of the preparation needed for the SAT and/or ACT, others attended to learn about the pros and cons between the two when choosing which test to take.
Parents and students alike came together to listen to the advice and tips provided through the slideshow used. At the end of the presentation, any questions the audience members had were answered by Baroff.
Danielle Pretner, a mother of a MSD student, was one of the attendees that stayed back to talk to an advisor about her daughter’s track to college. The PowerPoint slideshow introduced her to information she didn’t know about, like how early someone should begin prepping for college admissions.
“I have a junior that is preparing for college and wanting to get more information regarding the testing,” Pretner said. “You really needed to start preparing back in your freshman and sophomore year.”
In the program, Baroff spoke about the importance of early preparation, developing good study habits and investing in private tutoring in anticipation for the infamous SAT and ACT. While the majority of the audience consisted of parents, a handful of students were also present.
“I wanted to learn more about the SAT so I [can] go to a good college,” sophomore Sophie Etchevers said. “I learned that [for the] SAT and ACT, you need to study. That one-on-one [tutoring] sessions [can] give you higher results, [since] you’re interacting with the person and you know how it’s going to be and how it’s going to affect you personally as you get deeper knowledge.”
For the remainder of this school year, another informative college preparation presentation is not planned, however many others will be announced for the incoming 2020-2021 school year. The seminar covered many topics regarding testing and college readiness for high school students and helped parents understand the responsibilities their child will eventually face. The MSD PTSO strives to partner with various organizations in the community for the benefit of the students and staff in the present and the future.