Christmastime is the season for giving, so why not give your student the gift of being thoroughly prepared for college admissions tests and applications? KD College Prep is the gift that keeps on giving—until your student reaches their score goals or until they graduate from high school.
Here’s a holiday-themed sneak peek into our programs following the theme of the “12 Days of Christmas.” You’ll notice that some of the numbers don’t directly relate to the items described. Humor us—we think you’ll get the picture! And if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
12 Days of College Prep
On the first day of college prep, KD gave to me… a Brand-New Book of Test Prep
Students who join our Complete™ Program will get a unique set of test prep curriculum each year in 9th grade, 10th grade, and 11th grade. Although we prepare most of our students to complete testing by the end of 11th grade, students who join us in 12th grade would get a unique set of curriculum as well.
Our proprietary curriculum for the PSAT, SAT®, and ACT® tests is written by our in-house test prep experts. Our experts live and breathe college admissions test prep and even take the tests each year right alongside high school students. Our curriculum teaches students what to expect on the tests and the specific strategies we recommend to deal with each question type effectively and efficiently.
Students are guided through this curriculum by our top-notch teachers over the course of 14 lessons. For students attending in-person classes, we give them a spiral-bound book containing all the material they will need during the subsequent 14 meeting times on the first day of each year’s classes. For students attending live-online classes, we ask Dallas area students to drop by a KD campus prior to their first class to pick up curriculum, and we ship the curriculum to out-of-area students.
On the second day of college prep, KD gave to me… Two Types of Lessons
The lessons in our curriculum are broken up into two types: math and verbal. Math lessons teach students about the “Math with Calculator” and “Math with No Calculator” sections on the PSAT and SAT tests and carry over to the basic principles of the Math and Science sections on the ACT test. The Verbal lessons teach students about the Reading section and the Writing and Language section on the PSAT and SAT tests and carry over to the basic principles of the Reading and English sections on the ACT test. (See the Six Bonus Lessons section for more on the ACT test).
These lessons are foundational—they introduce the content and question types found on the tests. They also give students all our tried-and-true strategies for dealing with the unique kinds of questions students will be asked on the tests.
A common question we get from new KD parents is what will their students do after they finish the 14 core lessons—will they just be done with KD at that point? We always assure these parents that their students have only just begun with KD once they finish the core lessons!
Think about it this way: Our core lessons are like the first time the director hands out a new piece of music for choir, band, or orchestra. The director is going to introduce the group to the different sections, guide them through the difficult parts, have them sight-read a first attempt making corrections as they go. By the end, the group should have a basic understanding of the piece, but they aren’t ready to perform a concert just yet.
Each lesson is two hours long and is taught by one of our experienced teachers. Each teacher is specifically vetted for the type of lessons they teach to ensure that students receive the highest quality instruction and answers to their questions. Students attend six math lessons and six verbal lessons each year, followed by a full-length practice test and an instructor-led test review. (For more on practice tests, see the Five Practice Tests section).
On the third day of college prep, KD gave to me… Three Make-Up Options
We have new classes beginning year-round, and the class schedules are flexible. Because we specifically design our curriculum to be modular, the lessons can be taken in any order. When a student signs up for a class schedule, they are simply choosing the meeting date and time that works best for them. Students can sign up for in-person classes at one of our four campuses (Coppell, Flower Mound, Frisco, or Plano), or they can sign up for live online classes. New classes start often, so a student can begin our program at any time of year.
If a student misses a class, it’s no big deal! We will send make-up lesson options via email, and the student can choose the best date and time for them. At this time all classes (live online and in person) will have live online makeup options.
Don’t worry! Students can have more than three make-up lessons—technically, students could miss their scheduled lessons times for all 14 meeting times and attend the lessons entirely through make-up lessons. Realistically though, if a student is missing every lesson, the student would probably be better served picking a different class date/time so they don’t have to keep rescheduling.
On the fourth day of college prep, KD gave to me… Four Workshop Hours
Workshops are the bread and butter of our program. They are applied practice, and they are how students master content and commit the strategies we teach them to memory. Students need to practice until the strategies are second nature so they can move quickly through the tests, and they learn how to do this through workshops.
To return to my music analogy, workshops are like rehearsal—going through the song again and again, identifying rough patches, smoothing out the mistakes, and crystallizing the notes in their memories.
A workshop is two hours long and is split into math and verbal practice (one hour for each). Workshops will briefly review a question type or a strategy that students were introduced to in the lessons. Then workshops will have either instructor-led practice or individual timed practice with instructor-led review.
We recommend that students attend four hours of workshops a month (which is equal to two workshops). However, KD offers eight hours of unique workshop material on normal months and even more hours during months that have holidays or national SAT or ACT test dates. For example, in December KD offered 24 hours of unique workshop hours.
Don’t freak out—we know 24 hours is a lot of time! Remember, we recommend four hours per month. Workshops are buffet-style: students can take as many hours as they have the time and energy for and can put their fork down for the month once they are full!
On the fifth day of college prep, KD gave to me… Five Practice Tests
Practice tests are where students “put it all together.” Practice tests are the dress rehearsal where the group performs the piece exactly as they would for the real concert. And, in much the same fashion as a director would follow the dress rehearsal up with notes about where the musicians can improve, each KD practice test is followed by an instructor-led test review so students can learn from their mistakes.
KD students can come to one of our campuses to sit for full-length practice tests in a simulated testing environment, or they can take a practice test home and time themselves (preferably in a quiet and distraction-free space).
Then, students attend a test review. The instructors will break down the test, going over the right answers and (more importantly) the wrong answers and the “why” behind it all. The test reviews are the most important part of taking practice tests because the test reviews are where students learn from their mistakes so they don’t make the same ones next time. (Please note that, at this time, all test reviews are conducted live online).
And don’t worry, you definitely get more than five practice tests. How many practice tests you should take depends on what grade you are in. Each student is different, but here’s a simple breakdown:
- If you are in 9th grade, you should take one to two practice tests per season.
- If you are in 10th grade, you should take one to two practice tests per six weeks.
- If you are in 11th or 12th grade, you should take one to two practice tests per month until you are finished testing.
On the sixth day of college prep, KD gave to me… Six Bonus Lessons
Remember how I said that the principles in our core lessons carry over to the basics of the ACT test? Well, we want to prepare our students for more than just the basics. That’s why we offer a series of six bonus lessons for the ACT test. These six lessons cover the material that is unique to the ACT test in depth and are a part of KD’s Complete Program.
The bonus lessons are available once per year to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. Each lesson is two hours, and the lessons are available on a continually rotating basis (please note that at this time the bonus lessons are conducted live online).
On the seventh day of college prep, KD gave to me… Seven Planning Seminars
Our College Planning & Guidance Seminars are one of the most valuable services we offer to our families, and they are already included in the Complete™ Program. Parents and students attend a live-online seminar once each year in the winter or spring (depending on your grade level).
Note that the “seven” here is arbitrary. You won’t attend seven planning seminars during your time at KD. With the Complete Program, you will have the opportunity to attend four planning seminars before your students graduates. That is one for each year of high school. It’s very important to us that our families stay informed throughout the journey, which is why we offer these sessions.
Content is specific to each grade level, but these seminars help parents and students learn how to use each year to improve their chances for college admissions success.
On the eighth day of college prep, KD gave to me… Eight Teachers Teaching
Our teachers are the best! I may be biased since I used to be one of our verbal teachers, but don’t let my enthusiasm fool you—our students agree with me.
Our teachers all have bachelor’s degrees, at minimum, though many have post-graduate degrees as well. Our teachers are often tutors and teachers at the high school or college level.
As I mentioned earlier, all KD teachers are specifically qualified to teach math or verbal topics. A few truly special individuals, who can flex both their left-brain and right-brain muscles, are qualified to teach both math and verbal.
The long-and-short of it is that our teachers know their stuff.
On the ninth day of college prep, KD gave to me… Nine Private Sessions
While KD’s Complete™ Program is made up of classroom activities (where students learn with groups of other students), we recognize that sometimes students need extra help and individual attention. We do offer a lot of ways for students to identify areas they are weak and practice those skills independently (see the 12 Student Reports section for more information).
When self-guided learning simply isn’t enough, and students need the guidance of an instructor, we offer one-on-one tutoring at an additional cost. Discounted rates are available.
Our one-on-one coordinators specifically choose material that focuses on a student’s areas of weakness. Then, the student works through the material under the guidance of one of our expert instructors.
Students are free to ask questions, and they set the pacing of the session as well. If they need to really focus in on one set of questions, looking at them from different angles until the questions make sense, then that’s what will happen in the one-on-one!
On the tenth day of college prep, KD gave to me… Ten College Options
If you attend the College Planning & Guidance Seminar, you will learn that we typically recommend that students apply to 9-10 colleges to maximize their chances of getting accepted into a college they will love. Find more advice about how to build a college list.
We also offer three different college counseling programs to help students adequately prepare for the college admissions process. Whether you’re looking for answers regarding a specific aspect of your journey or need one-on-one guidance throughout the entire process, we can help! Learn more about our college counseling programs.
On the eleventh day of college prep, KD gave to me… Eleven Questions Answered
We know that raising your hand and asking questions out loud can be hard for some students. Our teachers do their best to anticipate those unasked questions, but they aren’t psychic. They are usually available for questions right before or right after an activity though.
Students love our live online classes because they can ask questions freely. The most common feedback we get about our live online activities is that they feel like one-on-one tutoring because students only see and hear the teacher as all student mics and cameras are turned off.
Students can ask questions through the “raise hand” feature or by typing a question into the chat box. If only having their names associated with their questions isn’t enough anonymity though, students can even type in questions anonymously.
When I’ve led live-online workshops, I’ve even noticed that the same question will pop into the chat from multiple students at the same time. This only serves to reinforce the idea in students’ minds that, if one student has a question, other students probably have the same question.
For the times that students can’t find ways to ask their questions in the moment, or for times that students only think of their questions upon later reflection, students can reach out to our full-time staff with specific questions. We will either know the answer and respond back, or we will find someone else on our team who knows the answer and respond back! And trust me, our teachers and advisors answer a lot more than 11 questions.
On the twelfth day of college prep, KD gave to me… Twelve Student Reports
Remember how I said that we offer a lot of ways for students to identify areas they are weak and practice those skills independently? Well, we do! Maybe not 12 different reports, but there are several and they are packed with valuable information.
We send monthly progress reports called the “RX for Success” that let parents and students know how many activities they have attended along with our recommendations for how many they should attend. These progress reports help keep us on the same page with our parents and students and allow students to pivot their test preparation on a monthly basis.
We also send out a test analysis sheet after each practice test has been scored. These test analyses tell students much more than their scores. The questions are broken down into easy, medium, and hard question types as well as the specific skills being tested on every question. The analyses then tally how many questions were offered for each skill type and advise student on how many questions they missed in each skill type.
The test analyses let students know what kind of questions they need to focus on studying until the next practice test. And if a student needs more data, we can do a combined analysis of every test that student has taken. The combined analyses let students know where they may need to go back to the basics and review specific content in their past lessons and workshops.
For students who want to do more than review the content they missed, we have targeted practice on demand in the KD Student Portal. On-demand content is video-recorded explanations that allow students to work targeted practice whenever they feel like it—if students want to do test prep in the middle of the night when KD is closed, they can!
And last, but by no means least, we offer parent-student conferences as a part of the Complete Program. We will sit down with parents and students to interpret these reports, review student work, and answer any questions. We want our students and parents to feel as confident in the college testing and application process as we do!
Need help preparing for college?
At KD College Prep, our team is available to answer your questions about the college prep process and help your family build a plan. Since 1992, we’ve helped more than 72,000 students reach their test score and college admissions goals. Schedule your free consultation to talk to one of our advisors