For high school juniors and seniors, performing well on the SATs is crucial for college admissions. With that in mind, Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) provided funding last year to six local high schools for SAT prep courses run by Kaplan. Ulrich, along with Goddard High School Principal Joseph Birgeles, John Adams High School Principal Grace Zwillenberg, local students and representatives from Kaplan, touted last year’s results, and announced Ulrich has continued for the program for a second straight year.
Ulrich, standing outside of Robert Goddard High School in Ozone Park last Thursday, said that providing the extra test help gives students the best chance to succeed.
“Kaplan has a proven track record of success in preparing students for the SAT and ACT exams,” Ulrich said. “By giving parents and students the chance to receive the best SAT prep available in the most convenient location, we are helping our young people gain admission to the college of their dreams.”
The prep courses showed an immediate impact, boosting average scores of students from 1232 to 1316 across the six participating schools. Specifically, the students saw a 42 point increase in math, 16 points in critical reading and 25 points in writing.
Zwillenberg said that these classes were in great demand and thanked Ulrich for providing the service.
“Parents had long been asking for this type of course, but there simply wasn’t money in the budget for it,” Zwillenberg said. “By stepping up with this funding, the Council Member has provided great opportunities for students who otherwise might have thought they couldn’t get into a competitive college.”
Funding for the courses totaled $9,000 at each school.
Channel View High School in Rockaway Park benefitted the most from the practice tests, increasing its average test score from 1317 in the initial practice test to 1511 in the final test. Goddard students also boosted their scores from 1242 to 1393.
“The bottom line is this really helped our students maximized their performance on the SATs,” Birgeles said.
Goddard student Sharon Groenow noticed how well she did on the SAT after taking the practice courses offered at her school.
“Before taking part in the course, I was definitely unprepared and nervous about taking the test,” Groenow said. “I felt much more confident as a result of the practice work, and there was no way I was going to reach my goal without the program.