Teaching Beyond the Test ™
At Academic Approach, we are laser-focused on the goal of college readiness across our curriculum. All our materials are designed with that goal in mind. We know that our instruction is successful when our students experience their incredible growth on a test — but also when students can develop a quality argument when analyzing a text on an AP test or solve a challenging problem in a college math course using a creative strategy.
Our instructional materials and lessons include important context for students on how frequently a particular skill will be assessed on a test and also connect skills to the real-world to help students apply that skill outside of the classroom. In addition, lessons include “Beyond the Test” sections to connect the test content to higher-level high school and college coursework.
Tests are Standardized. Students are Not. ™
Each student we work with comes to us with unique needs, so we construct our instructional materials to meet students where they are. Lessons are carefully grouped and scaffolded to allow our one-on-one tutors to teach and assess the specific skills a student needs and to support classroom instructors in differentiating materials to meet the many needs of students in a classroom. We build in a variety of opportunities for students to transfer their skills to new settings along with plenty of practice to ensure student success.
With these tools, we construct a learning experience specifically designed for each student with the ultimate goal of independence—strong, flexible scholars able to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
Our Curriculum Development Process
Our curriculum team works hard to ensure that our materials are rigorous enough to successfully prepare our students for the challenging tests they will take. We take care to stay up to date on the most recent tests to ensure our content and instruction best reflects the latest changes to the SAT, ACT, and high school entrance exams. Our full-length SAT- and ACT- style practice tests are carefully constructed to represent the rigor and frequency of the skills assessed on an official exam. Beyond ensuring the content is perfectly representative of an official test, our research team field tests each assessment to ensure that our assessments provide scaled scores equivalent to those of an official exam.
Our instructional texts are organized around key groupings of skills, driven by best-practice teaching strategies and test-specific organization. Each unit is built to engage students in new concepts, activate prior knowledge, and practice skills in increasingly challenging situations. Throughout each text, checks for understanding provide our instructors with new information about student learning and ongoing needs.
Our question banks and pre-made assessments are specifically built to represent every possible variation of a skill that might appear on a test. We provide expert instructors with the tools they need to teach, re-teach, and reliably assess skills. At the close of an Academic Approach program, students leave with a clear understanding of how they’ve grown academically and are prepared to demonstrate what they’ve learned both on the test and in the classroom.