JAC’s Summer 2017 SAT Bootcamp was an epiphanic experience. I had expected all the normal things — a slog of a class (a “summer school” of sorts), repetition of concepts I already knew, and overall an uninteresting way to spend a summer. I am glad now to say that I was very, very wrong.
Indeed, I managed to learn quite a lot along the way. The SAT is at its heart a simple test. The Collage Board wants you to be familiar with the concepts, and be able to apply them consistently over a large number of questions. There’s not much to be done in terms of preparation other than to practice and practice to gain that familiarity that allows easy navigation of the test.
So, then, that is where Dr. Jeng’s program diverges from the expectation. One might expect practice on practice on practice, and to be entirely fair there is that, but Dr. Jeng takes this important moment in student life (the transition into the final years of high school and college) to brush students up on concepts they have learned, and introduce crucial concepts that haven’t.
That’s where I found my appreciation for what Dr. Jeng did. That he was more focused on students actually learning something (I found his instructions in English especially enlightening) than a mere test score made JAC less of a slog, and more of an exploration.
The SAT Bootcamp is not just a class, but rather, a form of guidance. And things have turned out all the better for it. The knowledge you will gain will benefit you for both the SAT, and the years to come.
Summer 2017 SAT Bootcamp
Dear incoming JAC students,
We always start off with the best of intentions. When we begin a class, we always start off strong. Yet when the glamour and novelty of a new experience wears off, our actions often diverge from our initial intentions. I know that this is often the case for me.
But perhaps you are different. Maybe you are focused, concentrated, and applied all throughout. In that case, you’ll have no problem. Maybe you don’t even have those “best intentions.” In that case, you’ll need to set your expectations accordingly.
I think that the most important thing to do at any time in our lives is to temper our expectations, to accept that effort inputted has a direct correlation with success of result. I have no doubt that Dr. Jeng’s program can bring out the best in anyone. Indeed, it often seems like superfluous overpreparation. Yet, to elevate your chances at attaining that high score, overpreparation is often what you need.
So, as one student to another, I have some advice.
Don’t ever wait for failure to get motivated. I took the SAT twice. I had to take it twice, spend four extra months on it, because I thought it was going to be easy, and slacked off. The SAT is seen by many to be a massive, life-changing test. To not perform satisfactorily is discouraging, to say the least.
Don’t brush off anything Dr. Jeng teaches. The thorough teaching of many concepts that have been left out of primary and secondary education may seem superfluous. Yet, they are truly invaluable tools that will change your perspective on the English language (among other things), a change that has all the more impact in your later or perhaps final, years of high school.
And finally, don’t get discouraged. Set a goal for yourself, and work until you get there. The SAT truly is not a measure of intelligence. Rather, it tests for familiarity with concepts and consistency in application. As with many things, a high score on the SAT is a mere byproduct of hard work, time spent, and proper guidance.
You are all about to enter the next stage of your lives. You might be scared. You might be apprehensive. You may be excited.
Regardless, I welcome you. You’re on the next step of the staircase of life now. This step, though, isn’t the end. Its winding and winding all the way up. So, just remember. One small slip, one misstep, isn’t the end. Pick yourself back up, put one foot in front of the other, and keep moving up. The SAT is important, yes, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the score you want on that first try.
This class is more than a means to a high score on the SAT. It is an expansion of thought, a teaching of concepts that may be alien and traditionally untaught. I urge you all to take it as a learning opportunity. It’s easy to see it as a means to just one end, but in reality, it is far more than that. So, with that, I wish you all the best of luck on your own journey. It’s a real eye-opener.