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Our newest member of the team is highly experienced in the below. Please inquire for more info!
Fields for Tutoring
Fields for Elementary
Reading Comprehension: Fiction & Non-Fiction
Note-taking and classroom participation skill-building
Reading Confidence/Reluctant Readers
Family Coaching: Individualized resource creation and instruction to help parents help their own little readers
Foundational Numeracy: K/1/2/3: Number sense, counting, concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (Common-core aligned).
Fields for Middle/High School
Creative & Expository writing
Collaborative essay editing (I do NOT write your child’s paper…I use idea development and instruction & focus so they can articulate their own ideas in their own words!)
Economics: All levels, including AP
Literature or Composition: All levels, including AP
US History: All levels, including AP
Spanish: Vocab, reading, writing, and speaking: All levels, including AP
Test Prep/College Applications
We recently posted a blog about the ISEE, but if you are interested in your child being accepted to a Catholic/Christian school, the HPST is more appropriate. In order to prepare for this type of test, we have tutors who specialize in familiarizing your child/teen with the test parts, questions, and test taking tips.
The High School Placement Test, or HSPT, is a high school entrance exam taken by students in grades 8 and 9 who are seeking admission to parochial high schools. The HSPT is a five-section, multiple-choice standardized exam. Scholastic Testing Service, Inc. (STS) created the test and publishes it. The HSPT is designed to measure student academic achievement and does not focus on memorized information. The HSPT contains 298 questions divided into five sections. Students have the choice of taking one optional section in Catholic Religion, Mechanical Aptitude, or Science. These optional sections may be required, depending on the schools to which the student is applying.
Schools use HSPT scores to assess how well a student might do academically in a high school setting. They also use the HSPT as a common measurement of a student’s academic capabilities, separate from school records.
The HPST is composed of the following sections: verbal skills , quantitative skills, reading, math, language. Each section contatins about 60-65 questions per section. The total time for the test is 2 hours and 30 minutes. The HSPT is administered twice each year, once in the spring and once in the fall. HSPT test dates, locations, and registration information are handled through individual schools. You can find more information by visiting http://www.ststesting.com/hp_1.html.
The HSPT may be taken twice. However, the test-maker, STS, records if a student takes the test twice. The lower of the two scores is accepted.
Each HSPT multiple-choice question presents four or five answer choices. For each HSPT multiple-choice question that the student answers correctly, the student receives one point. There is no penalty for incorrect answers or for omitted answers. Student speed in completing each HSPT section is not considered in scoring. Correct, incorrect, and omitted answers are tallied for each test section to produce a raw score. The total number of questions answered correctly is the raw score.
Raw scores are then converted into scaled scores using a formula used to compensate for any differences in difficulty from test to test. The HSPT scaled scores range from 200 to 800. The scales come from specific tables produced by the test maker. Once scores are converted to scaled scores, they can be compared with the scores of students of the same grade level across the country. Scaled score performance is then rated as partially proficient, proficient, and advanced proficient, measured by percentiles ranging from 1 to 99.
HSPT Score Reports are released to the schools, educational consultants, and education organizations that the student selects on the registration form. Scores remain active for one academic year. The scores required for admissions vary by school. Contact the schools directly for admissions information.
Summer is a great time for ISEE tutoring but first it is important to familiarize yourself with the test. If you decide to proceed with ISEE tutoring, we will recommend the best test prep book and individualized program to meet your child’s needs based on the amount of time they have until the test and based on their pre-test score.
The ISEE Upper Level (entering high school) is composed of the following sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, mathematic achievement and an essay portion. Each section is timed and ranges from 36 to 47 questions. There is only 1 essay prompt. The total testing time is 2 hours and 40 min. The ISEE can only be taken 1 time in a six month period
On all levels of the ISEE, the student receives one point for each multiple-choice question answered correctly. Students are not penalized for incorrect answers or for omitted answers. Speed in completing each ISEE section is not considered in scoring. Correct, incorrect, and omitted answers are tallied for each test section to produce a raw score. The total number of correct answers is the raw score.
Raw scores are then converted into scaled scores, using a formula used to compensate for any differences in difficulty from test to test. The ISEE is graded on a scale of 760 to 940. The scales are derived from specific tables produced by the test maker. Once scores are converted to scaled scores, they are compared with the scores of students of the same grade level across the country. This is done using a 3-year rolling pool of test-taker scores.
Program percentiles compare students with peer test-takers within the same age and grade group.
- Scores between the 50th percentile and 74th percentile are considered to be “barely above average.”
- Scores at or above the 75th percentile are considered to be “very strong.”
A student who always scored above the 50th percentile on other tests may place below the 50th percentile on the ISEE, and students who normally score above the 90th percentile on other tests may score barely above average on the ISEE. For example, parents are frequently surprised when they see a 75th percentile score for a child who scored at the 95th percentile last year on a test based on state or national norms. This difference is due to the high-achieving population of students taking the ISEE, which makes the ranking very competitive.
ISEE Essays are not scored and are therefore not factored into the score report. Instead, the Essays are forwarded to the same schools that will receive the ISEE score report. Admissions committees from each school will individually assess the applicant’s writing capabilities.
ISEE Score Reports are released to the schools, educational consultants, and education organizations that a student selects on the registration form. Scores remain active for one academic year. The scores required for admissions vary by school.
More registration info can be found at
AP Exams are just around the corner and if you are taking the AP US History Exam we wanted to share some helpful test prep tips:
1. Understand the structure of the test and plan strategically: You can taylor your review if you know the strucutre of the test.
Ensure you thoroughly understand the course content for the multiple-choice questions. You will have roughly 40 seconds to answer each problem. Test-takers are no longer penalized for incorrect responses, so answer every question if at all possible.
To maximize your time, make sure to not spend too much time on one question. Come back to difficult items if time allows.
The essays are divided into two free response questions and one document-based question. Use the mandatory reading period for the document-based questions effectively and monitor your time. As with the multiple-choice problems, do not allow spend too much time lingering.
2. Know events and details:
While it is impossible to remember every date and fact in the textbook, you must still devote time to learning key events. It will be very hard to analyze the events and connect them among historical eras if you do not know the key events first.
3. Practice the essays: Practice both types of essays including the document-based question and the free responses – as frequently as possible. You only have three essays, so performing poorly on even one of them will have a serious effect on your score.
Make sure to synthesize material and do not simply summarize the information. For the free response questions, choose three or four important historical events or facts that relate to the topic you’ve chosen. Demonstrate how each is connected to your thesis as well as to each other.
For the document-based questions, do not feel the need to refer to every document. Again, select three or four that are most important and useful to your thesis and discuss them in more detail. Practice structuring your essays in this way, using previous test prompts provided by the College Board, until you are confident that you grasp how to write them. As with everything on the AP U.S. History exam, preparation is the key.
- Know the difference between a guess and an educated guess
You won’t lose any points on the multiple-choice portion of your exam if you skip questions, but there will be a deduction for every question you answer wrong. A little AP help: if you can eliminate a few of the choices, try taking an educated guess.
- Relax the night before the test
Don’t cram. You are being tested on knowledge that you have accumulated over the course of the year, in your AP course. Studying at the last minute will only stress you out. Go to a movie or hang out with a friend – anything to get your mind off of the test!
Here are some additional links with AP Test practice questions and tips from the college board:
Definitely not the average standardized tests….. Consortium schools in New York require students to complete academic tasks rather than tests to demonstrate college and career readiness. The teachers and sometimes the students create the tasks. They are graded based on a well developed rubric. Students have to be able to write about an issue making connections with text and other works of literature. The paper has to have a compelling argument or thesis and students have to support their argument in writing or orally. As a teacher of students with special needs, all students definitely have different strengths and weaknesses. I definitely feel like this type of assessment would level the playing fields.
Although your children and teens definitely deserve a break, Spring Break is the perfect time to do some extra test prep (SAT and ACT) as well as prepare for finals. We can help your children design study guides, study plans, and help with test prep organization or even college application essays. Most of our tutors have other jobs as well so they are in town and have extra time since some of our clients leave town. We hope to hear from you and if you mention this specific blog “Spring Break,” you will receive $10 off your first session.
Beach Cities Tutoring offers experienced ISEE tutors to help ensure your child gets into the private school of his/her choice. We will recommend which prep books to buy and create a structured study program along with test tips/drills. Please inquire for more information.