Nothing compares to the difficulty, scope, and amount of schoolwork that a student living in the New York City area faces every day. Combined with after-school activities, standardized tests and community service, coursework can easily become unmanageable. Since Competitive Edge tutors themselves have experienced these unique academic pressures, they can immediately identify with their students, creating good rapport and effective working relationships.
Our tutors first focus for the short term on quickly boosting grades and improving studying efficiency and for the long term, on complete student self-sufficiency. Since every student has different strengths and weaknesses, our subject tutoring is 100% customized to individual needs.
We are committed to keeping the transcripts of [over-worked] students in the New York City area blemish free with our expert support system in the following categories:
- Time Management
- Study Skills
- Arithmetic & Fundamentals
- Algebra II
- Active Reading Skills
- Essay Writing
- Environmental Science
- US History
- Global Studies
Our Three-Phase Standardized Test Preparation System
Competitive Edge has developed a unique, three-phase approach to standardized test preparation. In phase 1, using Competitive Edge’s proprietary preparation materials, the Packets of Knowledge, we shore up students’ familiarity with exam content. Primarily, in-session work and homework comes from the Packets which contain hundreds of short verbal and quantitative questions designed to drill the foundational concepts underpinning solutions to every problem on the exams. Both the quantitative and verbal components of the tests are deconstructed into concrete terms and reduced to a straightforward formula.
In phase 2, we work on techniques and strategies that are derived from research of the latest findings in educational psychology. Rather than focusing on specific mistakes, we teach our students the principles of reasoning through difficult or unfamiliar topics that can be applied to any standardized test question.
Once our students have digested the strategies and material from phase 1 and phase 2, emphasis shifts to building confidence in execution in phase 3. We increase the number of assigned practice tests and introduce the pressure of mock testing, which is a critical tool for optimizing standardized test scores. Since it is virtually impossible for students working by themselves to replicate testing conditions, we offer practice tests in midtown Manhattan and White Plains, New York on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Competitive Edge students assemble to take proctored, full-length tests in an unfamiliar testing facility, recreating an actual standardized test environment. A computer program is used to score each test. The results are broken down into detailed sub-categories to identify weak points or gaps in information.
We recommend a minimum of three mock tests until our students feel completely confident about relying on their newly acquired strategies. Internalizing the techniques of phases 1 and 2 ensures that our students use these principles consistently and to optimum advantage on test day.
Like any other discipline, mastery of standardized exams requires hard work, commitment, and practice. Therefore, our students should expect assignments each week. Competitive Edge tutors, however, are sensitive to the complications of student’s academic and extra-curricular schedules and are flexible in the planning of assignments.
ISEE and SSAT Study Packets
Competitive Edge's proprietary, "ISEE and SSAT Packets of Knowledge" are the product of a meticulous review of every shred of material circulated by the SSAT and ERB testing companies. The Packets contain hundreds of short mathematical and verbal questions which drill foundational concepts that are necessary to solve every problem on the exams. They also contain hundreds of replicated exam questions that have been stripped of multiple choice, forcing students to rely on a deep understanding of the question itself to produce the correct answer. Only when the packet is complete do students begin working on multiple-choice strategy and "real" ISEE and SSAT questions. In short, our system ensures that students will be armed with ALL of the skills necessary to answer any problem and uniquely strives to encourage active thinking about the material rather than trying to solve backward from answer choices.
SAT and ACT Study Packets
Competitive Edge’s proprietary preparation materials, the SAT and ACT Packets of Knowledge, are based on a thorough and continuous review of information made available by the College Board and the ACT Corporation and are designed for every level of student. They each contain hundreds of short verbal and mathematical questions that drill all potential test content on either exam. They also include precise narrative guides to verbal sections and hundreds of examples that mimic exam questions but that have been stripped of multiple-choice options, requiring students to fully understand the question to find the correct answer.
- Practice under closely replicated testing conditions using exams written by the test makers.
- Receive detailed feedback broken down into verbal and mathematical sub-categories.
Since students working by themselves are unable to replicate SAT, ACT, ISEE, SSAT testing conditions, we offer proctored, full-length practice tests. They are taken with other students in an unfamiliar testing facility to recreate an actual standardized test environment. To increase the efficacy of taking a mock test, Competitive Edge scores them using advanced computer programs that break down results into detailed sub-categories. This precise feedback allows us to identify a student's weak points or learning gaps, critical information for optimizing their standardized test scores. The tests are offered in midtown Manhattan at 315 w 39th st, suite 711 and also on select weekends the in the Upper East Side at the 92nd st. Y located at 1395 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10128.
Ensuring that your child is staying on-task and working diligently through his or her nightly assignments can be an exhausting battle, particularly when it’s waged after a long day’s work. Younger students who are struggling academically often adopt defense mechanisms to hide confusion and deficiencies from their parents, a psychological strategy that only complicates matters.
If your elementary or middle school student would benefit from additional attention after school, Competitive Edge tutors are prepared to commit several evenings a week as Homework Helpers. As young and supportive role models, they can help your child with time management issues and organizational skills. As master academics, they are able to assist with homework assignments, explaining material that may be challenging for your child.
Our energetic educational professionals are ready to “dig” through your child’s backpack and work with his/her teachers to nip bad study habits and academic problems in the bud.
Admission Services includes helping you to:
- Find a school that best suits your student's needs with a focus on cost, financial aid opportunities, curriculum and location.
- Tailor applications to suit an individual institution's particular admission needs and quotas.
- Develop essay subjects and strategies, guiding your child throughout the entire writing process.
- Identify and select the appropriate standardized admissions examinations.
- Master college/lower and upper school interview techniques.
- Make your child's application stand out.
Steven Cruz, our Educational Consultant, assists with day school, boarding school and college admissions processes. Counseling support can be instrumental in determining the best school match for your child and developing a successful application strategy. Emphasis is placed on reviewing school options, tailoring an application to an individual school's preferences, helping to select a topic and write a stand-out application essay, selecting the appropriate standardized admission exam, and interview techniques. Steven is available for ongoing consultation at your convenience.
Online Whiteboard Tutoring In Detail
Competitive Edge has developed a web application in which tutor and student view a shared screen, or "whiteboard," and communicate via a video conferencing window. The whiteboard has a sophisticated but simple and intuitive toolbar, much like familiar software programs such as Microsoft Word. Students and tutors may easily type complex mathematical equations, graph functions, and draw geometric shapes. Any file can be uploaded to the whiteboard—from homework assignments and important diagrams to full SAT exams—permitting tutors and students to overlay collaborative notes and solutions. Unlike traditional person-to-person tutoring, the whiteboard allows students and tutors to save notes neatly as PDF files on their personal computers for post-tutoring-session review or to be discussed again during future sessions. Use of the whiteboard requires hardware and software that almost all families already possess—a web camera and high-speed internet connection. All of our services are available through the online whiteboard. Please contact us for additional information.