Acing the US Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) – The NCS provides unparalleled support to students applying to study at American Ivy League Universities (VIDEO)


Our open evening for students takes place in November. Find out more and join the waiting list for tickets.

Acing the US Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) – The NCS provides unparalleled support to students applying to study at American Ivy League Universities (VIDEO)

Following the success of NCS Alumni Tafsia Shikdar who became the first Newham student to earn a place to study at MIT (consistently ranked the best University in the world), we have recently launched a new programme to encourage more of our most able students to apply to Ivy League universities and support them every step of the way.

This new programme is the perfect complement to our already existing and successful weekly Oxbridge supervisions, and will see students have expert tuition and an American experience to help envelop them in the USA education system and culture.

The first part of this took place in early July 2018 when ten students applying to study in America had a week long crash course in the SAT (aka, Scholastic Aptitude Test), a standardised test used by college admissions teams in the USA.

Five Day Crash Course

Over five days our students were stretched, challenged, pushed and supported through an intense crash course devised by our visiting tutor Alan Sheptin. Alan, who is based in New York has spent years preparing American students for the SAT and is now working with The NCS to introduce them to the specifics of the exam alongside the differences in language that often flummox UK applicants. Numerous practice tests followed by forensic examining of the answers allowed NCS students to build their knowledge and confidence, seeing a huge improvements in scores by the end of Friday.

You can watch a short film about the process and see what the students’ thought of the first stage of our Ivy League prep in the video below:

What comes next? Alan has continued to work with us and our students throughout the summer with homework and sessions set remotely and via video conference. The aim is to build upon the framework that this first week has created on the SAT.  Alan also has extensive knowledge and expertise in what the Ivy League universities look for in applicants especially when writing the personal statement.

The students’ view

“This week has been amazing. Last week I was not confident at all, I would’ve achieved the worst grade possible. But now I feel like I can get a very decent grade and by the end of the year I feel as though I should be able to achieve a really high grade.”
“What The NCS has provided me with is a valuable, once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“The hardest part of this week has been adapting to the different type of grammar that American’s use. There’s certain nuances to do with things like their use of punctuation. Learning about these little differences helps us when looking at the multiple choice questions which are all very similar.”
“Speaking to people from lots of different schools, I’ve never seen anything close to this level of support for applying to American universities. Here the attitude is that you can go to the best universities regardless of what country it’s in. The NCS provides the same level of support for applying to America as they’re giving us for applying to Oxford and Cambridge.”

Visiting America and Ivy League Universities

The second stage of our Ivy League preparation is a week long trip to the USA for a unique experience that should equip students with a far greater understanding of the American education system and the culture of the American people.

Taking place in the Autumn Term a select group from our Ivy League hopefuls will stay in Boston to visit MIT where they’ll get a chance to meet our alumni Tafsia, Harvard, and other local higher education institutions. There will also be an opportunity to enjoy American arts and lifestyles both in Boston and New York City.  There will also be further trips to Yale and Princeton giving students an opportunity to consider a range of top US universities. The trip should provide our hopefuls with further knowledge to aid their applications and interviews to the Ivy League universities that they’ve applied to. 

We’re really excited to be able to offer this unique opportunity for our students alongside the SAT course and look forward to bringing you full coverage later in the year.

Photos from the Ivy League preparation classes