Looking at the schedule of SAT summer classes, it may seem like just 4 weeks of endless lectures on English and Math. While it’s true that most of the week is spent in the classroom, it would be unfair to say such an experience will ruin your summer vacation. Based on my experience teaching reading for last year’s SAT classes, I feel confident to say that the students who participate can have a fun, memorable experience, and build friendships which will last beyond the summer.
The first week of class last year was the quietest. Students from China, Taiwan, the United States and even parts of South America were thrown together and expected to learn some very difficult language skills. Everyone was a little shy and unsure of whom to talk with. However, that atmosphere did not last long. Spending so much time with the same classmates day in and day out allowed students to get to know each other quickly and find friends to bond with.
Four weeks later at the end of the course, the room was transformed. Break times were filled with laughter and chatting. Students all went out to lunch together and sometimes even with their teachers. Some groups planned excursions together on the weekends. Class time was still for learning, but everyone had friends to discuss problems with, and there was always an emphasis on helping each other. It made the long hours spent in class more enjoyable, and when the course finally ended, people were genuinely sad to say goodbye to their friends and teachers.
The SAT is not a particularly fun test. However, that does not mean the classes are all boring, painful lectures that everyone simply suffers through. With good friends and passionate teachers who encourage discussion in a fun way, the summer SAT camp turns into something that students will remember fondly for a long time to come.