We know what works.
The student is the #1 priority.
PEN has a proven track record with students and an attitude that always places the student first. PEN's history of sibling and friend referrals speaks to the success of our company.
- Class sizes are small, yet PEN recognizes that even within a small group there may be differences in ability. In such cases, additional teachers are brought in to ensure that every student receives the instruction needed.
- Students are given the teacher's home phone number, e-mail address, and Instant Messenger screen name so that a teacher can be reached for help at any time.
- PEN teachers always try to arrange time to meet with students who have missed a class to catch them up on the work.
- Students who know they cannot attend a session can e-mail their homework to their teachers or contact them by any means and receive feedback before the next class session.
- The relationship doesn't end with the last class. In fact, most students stay in touch with their teachers long after the course is completed, often just stopping by to sit in and have a refresher before a test date!
We Spend Our Time Teaching
Did you know that most SAT prep courses spend almost half of their time administering practice tests rather than helping students master the critical skills that are necessary to do well?
At PEN we do more than focus on just taking the test. We help students do well on the test by presenting an organized approach to the review and mastery of the material on which the test is based. Why is this so important?
PEN's approach provides a foundation for continued success
The SAT is an academically based test that correlates with what students should have learned in high school. With that in mind, a test prep course should not only improve a student's test score, but should also improve overall performance in school. That is what we promise as a result of taking a PEN SAT course.
Many times, there are key concepts that the student may have forgotten since the first time they were presented in the earlier grades. These critical concepts may form the missing link that prevents students from doing well on these standardized tests. Because we are educators first, and business people second, we appreciate that only an organized approach to review and mastery of material, which is backed by academic integrity, can help improve scores.
At PEN, we focus on four elements vital to a test preparation course:
- Using real material designed by ETS and published by the College Board. Since the authentic material is available, it does not make sense to use anything else!
- Employing amazingly well-trained teachers who have completed a rigorous training and internship program.
- Implementing an academically sound test preparation curriculum.
- Maximizing class time for teaching, not for proctoring tests. Parents shouldn't pay for a class in which 12-16 hours will be spent taking tests. We believe you should pay for your child to be taught.
Why PEN's Approach Makes a Difference
At PEN we appreciate that appearances aren't often a real reflection of reality. PEN uses only real PSAT tests. Pen offers students the opportunity to take a PSAT that was written by ETS.
Why does that matter?
Most large commercial SAT Prep companies use their own "version" of the PSAT. "Look-alike" tests, which have not been developed by ETS, can give students an inaccurate measure of their true ability - either giving a false sense of confidence prior to taking the actual test, or conversely, sending the student into panic mode, which may be totally unwarranted.
The latter scenario often causes parents to register their children for expensive prep courses that spend up to half of the advertised class hours administering additional "look- alike" tests rather than teaching.
Tip # 1 - Don't be fooled by "look-alike tests"
The Danger of non-ETS Tests
The big name prep companies do not use actual tests. They use "look-alike" tests that are not the REAL thing! Oftentimes, the diagnostic tests they administer are harder than the REAL test. The question and answer choices are sometimes quite vague.
The end result may be a score that is not a true reflection of what performance would be on the REAL test.
Most often, scores are in a low enough range to strike fear and panic into the students and their parents. When the scores arrive along with a "promise" or "guarantee" of a score increase there is a rush to register for a prep course or to sign up for private tutoring.
Tip # 2 - Taking the right practice PSAT makes a difference
Taking a REAL PSAT (designed by ETS) as a practice test is the only way to get an accurate picture of a student's potential performance on the PSAT.
At PEN, scores are reported ONLY to students and their families. A detailed PEN score report equips students with the best tool to identify and focus on areas of weakness.
Knowing your weakness is the first step towards improving your score.
Tip # 3 - Your PSAT score is important
Doing well on the PSAT goes beyond the issue of the National Merit Scholarship. Many other scholarships are available to students based on PSAT scores.
A PSAT score combined with an early high school transcript is often the first step for college coaches who are considering potential recruits.
Tip # 4 - Make sure the test you take is written by ETS
If a program offers a "free" diagnostic test- ask the critical question: is the test one that was written by ETS?
We believe you should know exactly where you stand in relation to the ACTUAL test and that can happen ONLY if authentic material is used. "When the REAL material exists," states company Director, Perry Kalmus, "why would anyone choose to use anything else?"
Tip # 5 - Being informed helps stack the odds in your favor
Learning more is always a good thing. Being informed helps stack the odds in your favor.This helps determine how to guide a student to reach his or her college goals and helps you make a smart investment in your student's future. After PEN's administration of the PSAT we have a free Coffee and Conversation evening for both parents and students. We take the time to really explain what the scores mean and to give you additional insights into the college admissions process. This insight can give your student a real competitive advantage.