We are excited to introduce Cesar, one of our 2020 A Better Chance Scholars. Cesar’s hard work and dedication allowed him to increase his SSAT score by 68 percent!
Cesar’s favorite sports are soccer and basketball. He has been playing soccer for several years, and he was recently invited to play for the Olympic Development program. Cesar also stays active by playing basketball. This past year Cesar was invited to play at former NBA player Dana Barros’ Basketball Club. When Cesar isn’t busy playing sports, he enjoys participating in makerspace engineering programs at the library.
Although Cesar likes all subjects, he gravitates toward math and science. Because math is something that has always come easily to Cesar, he has grown to enjoy it. Cesar appreciates learning about new things, which is why he likes science. One notable research project Cesar conducted was about fecal transplants and gut bacteria.
Cesar prepared for and took the SSAT as part of the application process for independent schools. To prepare for the SSAT, Cesar participated in the Test Innovators A Better Chance summer preparation course and practiced independently on the Test Innovators online platform. When Cesar initially took the benchmark test, his score was not as high as he’d hoped. After completing the Test Innovators A Better Chance course, he improved his scores, but he continued to practice independently. Cesar found the practice tests and Quizlet vocabulary sets to be the most helpful.
The most beneficial thing that Cesar gained during the preparation process was time management skills. It was very helpful for Cesar to understand just how much time he had to per question. He learned that if you don’t know the answer, the best thing to do is make an educated guess and move on. Cesar said, “Even if you know the questions, if you don’t have time management skills, then you’re not going to be able to show your ability.”
Advice for Students
Cesar’s advice for others preparing for admissions tests is to take responsibility and ownership of the preparation process. He stressed the importance of sticking to a schedule and holding yourself accountable. Cesar advised, “You have to be proactive, not reactive.”
Advice for Parents
Cesar’s parents, Evelyn and Cesar, advise other parents to make preparation a priority. Test prep can be an intensive time commitment, but it’s important to be dedicated to the process. The elder Cesar emphasized the importance of understanding and gaining familiarity with the test. He explained that because the tests his son had experience with were very different from the SSAT, there was a bit of a learning curve when first starting preparation. He said, “[Test Innovators] helped him refocus and rethink the process. He was conditioned to prepare for the test as if it was the state test, so he needed to recalibrate and Test Innovators was great for that.”
Cesar will be starting at Noble and Greenough next year. Nobles was Cesar’s top-choice school because of it’s welcoming environment, beautiful 187-acre campus, and rigorous academic and athletic programs. He is excited to participate in both soccer and basketball. Cesar is also looking forward to Nobles’ challenging academic environment.
Test Innovators is Here to Help
Test Innovators helps students learn test-taking strategies and skills and build confidence so that they can put their best foot forward on test day. Our online platform dynamically adapts using insights from over 20,000,000 questions answered on the platform to help each student focus on the most impactful practice. Test Innovators has helped over 135,000 students improve their test scores and gain acceptance into schools with selective admissions processes.