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Ossining Teens Get Head Start On SAT Classes

OSSINING, N.Y. – Exams are quickly approaching, though Ossining students went back to school only a week ago. 

Area teenagers are getting a crash course in preparing for the SAT and ACT exams this week at the Ossining Public Library. To help the students prepare, program coordinator Suzy Zavarella brought in Mike Goodman, a local SAT and ACT expert. Goodman regularly takes the exams each year to ensure that he can teach students tips and tricks to pass them. While it could be difficult for some students to get back into taking exams so quickly after starting the school year, Zavarella said most have spent months preparing.

“There are testing dates for the exams in September and October so now is the time for the seniors to take their last round of college entrance exams,” Zavarella said. “It depends on the kid, but some of the students will study for months or years taking outside courses because of how important these are for them.”

Students do not have much time to get back into preparing for exams, Goodman said.

“That shock of coming back to school is going to be gone by October even if it’s still there now,” Goodman said. “They’re going to be getting tests very soon in their classes so by the time that rolls around they’ll be in test mode. But it’s about preparing.”

For either the ACT or SAT, students typically have roughly 200 questions to answer in about three hours, Goodman said.

“That’s a lot of questions in a very short amount of time and it can be nerve-racking if you haven’t seen it before,” he said. “So the earlier and more often they see these questions, the more calm they’ll be and the easier the tests will be to take.”


Goodman said he is happy to offer students tips and tricks and to give one-on-one tutoring. Those looking to contact him are asked to email him. But Goodman said there are two very important tips that he stresses even if students are not able to get in one-on-one tutoring before the exams.

“One of them is to read because the more you do that, the better off you’re going to be. If you understand the question, you’ll obviously have a much better chance of answering correctly,” he said. “The second is practice. Think about anything you’ve ever been good doing: kids might be good performers because they rehearse over and over before a play, or be good at a musical instrument because they’ve spent hours before the performance. So practice is key.” 

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