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15 September, 2014

GEMS Education introduces SAT prep programme TestRocker to the UAE

GEMS Education introduces SAT prep programme TestRocker to the UAE

Parents and students seeking US university places can find out more at 11 events hosted in GEMS schools across Dubai this month

Programme - open to students from any school in the UAE - shown to increase SAT scores by an average of 280 points

Dubai, UAE, 15 September 2014

Parents and students from across the UAE gathered at the GEMS Modern Academy (GMA) in Dubai yesterday, for the first of 11 presentations on SAT preparation being hosted by GEMS Education and TestRocker® in Dubai this month.  The SAT is an essential component of the university application process for students seeking admission to most undergraduate courses in the United States.  

At present, SAT assessments can be taken in the UAE. The good news for local students looking for extra help to improve their SAT scores is that GEMS will soon be offering an award-winning SAT preparation programme through TestRocker. The programme has been shown to lift student scores by an average of 280 points on the SAT and 4 points on the ACT tests. These average score improvements exceed those reported by the College Board* (creator of the SAT) and ACT, Inc** by 185 points and 3 points respectively.

Urvashi Mathur, Co-founder and Chief Operating officer, TestRocker inc. says: "For young people here in the UAE who want to go to an American university they should already be aware of, and be preparing for, their SAT assessments.  Achieving good grades at school on its own is not enough to get into a university of choice, American universities insist on a SAT score regardless of grades. TestRocker's online preparation programme includes a diagnostic test to assess each individual's capabilities. Immediately after taking the test, our students receive a customized study plan that highlights their strengths and weaknesses and provides a recommendation of how much time to spend on each topic - leading to faster test times, and better results."   

SAT assessments include the SAT Reasoning Test - a three hour and 45 minutes assessment in three sections: Critical Reading, Maths, and Writing.  With access to over 2,000 questions and detailed video explanations, TestRocker students can track their progress on these questions in real-time as they work, while parents are able to track their child's progress through biweekly reports.

Alan Marshall, Group Director of Standards from GEMS said, "It is important to note that this year the SAT was redesigned. TestRocker has anticipated the College Board's significant changes and, as such, students are supported by a modern, comprehensive and engaging online learning platform that meets SAT requirement now and in the future. We want to help students in the UAE looking to enter the highly competitive US tertiary education system with the best possible start and, given the changes to the SAT assessment, we felt that the time was right to bring the TestRocker programme to the UAE."

The presentations, which are open to parents and students continue throughout the month. The study programme will be open to all UAE students, with GEMS students eligible for a special offer.   

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For further information about the online SAT preparation programme with GEMS Education through TestRocker®, please email SAT@gemseducation.com.

Example SAT Maths question (Source: College Board): 
A special lottery is to be held to select the student who will live in the only deluxe room in a dormitory. There are 100 seniors, 150 juniors, and 200 sophomores who applied. Each senior's name is placed in the lottery three times; each junior's name, two times; and each sophomore's name, one time. What is the probability that a senior's name will be chosen?

Answers: (A) 1 over 8, (B) 2 over 9, (C) 2 over 7, (D) 3 over 8, (E) 1 over 2.

To determine the probability that a senior's name will be chosen, you must determine the total number of seniors' names that are in the lottery and divide this number by the total number of names in the lottery. Since each senior's name is placed in the lottery three times, there are three times 100 = 300 seniors' names. Likewise, there are two times 150 = 300 juniors' names and one times 200 = 200 sophomores' names in the lottery. The probability that a senior's name will be chosen is 300 over (300 + 300 + 200) = 300 over 800 = 3 over 8. The correct answer is therefore 'D'.

What is a Good SAT Score? Advice from TestRocker

So what exactly is a good SAT score? There is not a simple answer to this and it depends on the universities that are being considered. A score of 1,600, for instance, may be above average for one university, but will not come close to being good enough for an Ivy League university.  Ivy League refers to a group of eight private, East-Coast colleges and universities - Harvard, Yale, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, and Cornell. Ivy League institutions are highly selective, with acceptance rates often under 10%, so good SATS results are vital.

The general rule of thumb, therefore, is that the higher the score the more university doors swing open, and if a student is looking to go to Harvard or Yale a score above 2,250 is what they should be working towards.

-Ends-

For more information, please contact:
Rebecca Sageman / Feda Kassem  
ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller
Tel: (+971) 4 4507 600
Email: rebecca.sageman@bm.com  / feda.kassem@bm.com   

About GEMS Education:
GEMS Education is a pioneering education company. Through our schools, consulting practice and our charitable foundation we are advancing education for all. Every day in our schools around the world, we prepare thousands of children of all ages for real world success.

We are a catalyst and delivery partner.  We work with governments, donor agencies and private clients to improve education systems, and provide vital training for young people in an increasingly competitive world.

Through the Varkey GEMS Foundation we campaign for and support initiatives that change lives through education.

About TestRocker:
TestRocker is an award-winning online SAT/ACT preparation program that empowers students to take control of their test preparation. TestRocker was created by Suniti Mathur, an expert private tutor with over 14 years of experience in SAT/ACT preparation. TestRocker students have seen score improvements averaging at 280 points on the SAT and 4 points on the ACT. These average score improvements exceed those reported by the College Board* (creator of the SAT) and ACT, Inc** by 185 points and 3 points respectively.

After taking the TestRocker diagnostic test, students instantly receive a customized study plan that highlights strengths/weaknesses and provides a recommendation of how much time to spend on each topic. Students can track their progress in real-time as they work through the program. Every single one of the 1,200 SAT & 2000 ACT questions on TestRocker is accompanied by a detailed video explanation by Suniti. Parents are able to track their child's progress through biweekly reports.

Students in 25+ countries have successfully used TestRocker to achieve their dream SAT/ACT scores.

*‪professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/sat-reasoning/scores/retake

**http://www.actstudent.org/faq/more.html

© Press Release 2014