LET THEM SPEAK FOR US
JAC’s Summer 2017 SAT Bootcamp was an epiphanic experience. I had expected all the normal things — a slog of a class (a “summer school” of sorts), repetition of concepts I already knew, and overall an uninteresting way to spend a summer. I am glad now to say that I was very, very wrong.
Indeed, I managed to learn quite a lot along the way. The SAT is at its heart a simple test. The Collage Board wants you to be familiar with the concepts, and be able to apply them consistently over a large number of questions. There’s not much to be done in terms of preparation other than to practice and practice to gain that familiarity that allows easy navigation of the test.
So, then, that is where Dr. Jeng’s program diverges from the expectation. One might expect practice on practice on practice, and to be entirely fair there is that, but Dr. Jeng takes this important moment in student life (the transition into the final years of high school and college) to brush students up on concepts they have learned, and introduce crucial concepts that haven’t.
That’s where I found my appreciation for what Dr. Jeng did. That he was more focused on students actually learning something (I found his instructions in English especially enlightening) than a mere test score made JAC less of a slog, and more of an exploration.
The SAT Bootcamp is not just a class, but rather, a form of guidance. And things have turned out all the better for it. The knowledge you will gain will benefit you for both the SAT, and the years to come.
Summer 2017 SAT Bootcamp
Dear incoming JAC students,
We always start off with the best of intentions. When we begin a class, we always start off strong. Yet when the glamour and novelty of a new experience wears off, our actions often diverge from our initial intentions. I know that this is often the case for me.
But perhaps you are different. Maybe you are focused, concentrated, and applied all throughout. In that case, you’ll have no problem. Maybe you don’t even have those “best intentions.” In that case, you’ll need to set your expectations accordingly.
I think that the most important thing to do at any time in our lives is to temper our expectations, to accept that effort inputted has a direct correlation with success of result. I have no doubt that Dr. Jeng’s program can bring out the best in anyone. Indeed, it often seems like superfluous overpreparation. Yet, to elevate your chances at attaining that high score, overpreparation is often what you need.
So, as one student to another, I have some advice.
Don’t ever wait for failure to get motivated. I took the SAT twice. I had to take it twice, spend four extra months on it, because I thought it was going to be easy, and slacked off. The SAT is seen by many to be a massive, life-changing test. To not perform satisfactorily is discouraging, to say the least.
Don’t brush off anything Dr. Jeng teaches. The thorough teaching of many concepts that have been left out of primary and secondary education may seem superfluous. Yet, they are truly invaluable tools that will change your perspective on the English language (among other things), a change that has all the more impact in your later or perhaps final, years of high school.
And finally, don’t get discouraged. Set a goal for yourself, and work until you get there. The SAT truly is not a measure of intelligence. Rather, it tests for familiarity with concepts and consistency in application. As with many things, a high score on the SAT is a mere byproduct of hard work, time spent, and proper guidance.
You are all about to enter the next stage of your lives. You might be scared. You might be apprehensive. You may be excited.
Regardless, I welcome you. You’re on the next step of the staircase of life now. This step, though, isn’t the end. Its winding and winding all the way up. So, just remember. One small slip, one misstep, isn’t the end. Pick yourself back up, put one foot in front of the other, and keep moving up. The SAT is important, yes, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the score you want on that first try.
This class is more than a means to a high score on the SAT. It is an expansion of thought, a teaching of concepts that may be alien and traditionally untaught. I urge you all to take it as a learning opportunity. It’s easy to see it as a means to just one end, but in reality, it is far more than that. So, with that, I wish you all the best of luck on your own journey. It’s a real eye-opener.
2017 December SAT 1570, Oak Park High School, written on January 4, 2018
7 months after finishing Dr. Jeng’s summer SAT workshop, I finally understood the meaning of his messages. “This class is not just an SAT camp”, he would calmly remind us every day, “It is a mental journey.” We place so much of our success on results, but after I received my 1570 score, including a perfect score in reading, I finally understood the message. The SAT workshop not only prepared me for a score, but also enabled me to be much more successful in approaching my junior year. Not only do I view the English language differently now, but I am also more methodical and patient in school and in my extracurricular activities. I study differently and have been able to focus for longer periods of time. I definitely recommend JAC SAT workshop for anyone looking to improve their SAT score as well as their abilities in school!
2017 Spring, SAT Score 1570
My experience at Jeng Academic Center is truly something that I will never forget. Dr. Jeng’s teaching style and philosophy heightened my intellectual curiosity and challenged me to not only stop at the answer, but also fully understand the process of problem solving. I remember entering his SAT workshop over the summer with a weakness in Critical Reading and Writing and a strength in Math. By the end of the summer, my strengths and weaknesses were completely reversed! I ended up receiving a score that I had not expected, and I was extremely happy with what I was able to accomplish with the help of Jeng Academic Center.
Although Dr. Jeng’s job was to teach students how to take the daunting SAT, Dr. Jeng did much more than that. He taught me how to think critically and approach problems from several different angles. This allowed me to extend this application of open mindedness to my schoolwork and to my perspective on life. Dr. Jeng opened my eyes to the great classic works that inhabit this world and he kindled a newfound appreciation for literature within my mind.
Dr. Jeng does more than teach; he genuinely cares about each and every one of his students. He would always stop and make sure that each student fully understood a problem before moving on. From checking in daily on his students to setting meetings with everyone to track progress, Dr. Jeng transcended his obligations as an SAT instructor to act as a life guide and mentor. For this, I am eternally grateful to Dr. Jeng and Jeng Academic Center as a whole.
July, 2016, SAT Score 2370, Westlake High School, Kristen E.
Dr. Jeng does more than teach; he genuinely cares about each and every one of his students. He would always stop and make sure that each student fully understood a problem before moving on.
I have never considered myself to be a talented or smarter than average person. To me, the students who scored above even a 2200 on their SATs where idols that I could look up to as having envious amounts of success and intelligence, and as such when I entered the summer of my freshman year and looked forward to the upcoming sophomore year, I had no expectations of achieving a higher score than 2200. However, not wanting to fail, I looked some summer programs in the area.
I enrolled into Jeng's Academic Center hoping to raise my score to a passable level. JAC was an environment that at first seemed foreign and rigorous. I would come in at around lunchtime (I had summer courses that conflicted with the morning testing time), eat lunch, check my test, and leave. Unfortunately, this left me with an unfulfilled feeling. There was something missing from my time at JAC. Time passed and I finished my other responsibilities, allowing me to attend full sessions. Spending a full day at JAC improved my experience tremendously, as I received the opportunity to take the SAT tests in an environment similar to that of the actual testing center's with actual time constraints as well. I began to get to know the other kids there better as I now had time to talk with everyone. I realized that JAC was a place of learning and a place of improvement. It was a place where you could spend a morning working hard on a test and then spend part of you afternoon enjoying your lunch and reviewing that same test with friends.
Going to JAC also gave distinct advantages to the students there. Dr. Jeng's carefully prepared packets helped immensely as the detailed the strategies to success in math, grammar, and writing and provided a huge amount of information to support these strategies along the way. The chance to take two SAT tests a week and go over the missed questions individually not only helped students recognize and eradicate their problem spots, it familiarized students with the test and led to a heightened sense of confidence and comfort while testing. Most importantly, Dr. Jeng didn't teach us a course on how to pass the SAT, he taught us a course on the importance of learning. Having a love for learning is not only something that will help us pass the SAT, it is something that will benefit us for the rest of our lives.
After my sophomore year, I took the course yet another time during summer break. Although the organization of the classrooms was different and many of the people had changed, the attention paid to the students and the central message of learning to love learning was still there. Dr. Jeng had come up with even more ways to help his students, including the use of an online resource and study material system. It was one of my most productive summers, spent in a blur of studying, relaxing, and enjoying time with friends.
After the summer ended, I took the SAT for the first time, earning the high score of 2400. Although this was a significant achievement, I feel that the time spent at JAC was more important than this score. Through his always-interesting philosophical talks, extensive review packets, constant test administration, and occasional funny jokes, Dr. Jeng has imparted upon all of his students the importance of a love of learning and made them all better people. For this reason, JAC has changed my life for the better and given me a future I can look forward to and be confident in.
K.H. SAT Score: 2400, Westlake High School, January 31, 2015
Dr. Jeng had come up with even more ways to help his students, including the use of an online resource and study material system. It was one of my most productive summers, spent in a blur of studying, relaxing, and enjoying time with friends.
I have taken many classes, both inside and outside of school, but Dr. Jeng’s SAT workshop stands out, because, unlike the others, it has taught me more than just rules and knowledge; it has taught me to clear up the clutter in my mind and think. I took the test two times, scoring 2350 the first time, but I knew I could do better, so I took it again and scored 2400. Why did I know I could do even better? I knew I could do better, because I knew he had taught me so much more than the average SAT teacher. He didn’t make me mindlessly drill and do endless sets of questions to cover every single problem the SAT could possibly contain. He didn’t fill up my brain with countless rules about grammar and math or with various ways to “beat” the test. He taught me the value of the most important thing, understanding. It is knowing why one sentence is grammatically correct and another one wrong, knowing how the correct answer is supported by evidence in the passage, or knowing why a math problem can be solved in a particular way.
He didn’t try to teach shortcuts for the test; he taught me about everything and that learning not only helped me improve on the test but also helped me improve overall academically. When I first met him, he asked which my favorite section of the SAT was. I told him I was good at math, but I did not like English much and believed no one could change my mind. Three months later, I realized that he had gotten me to open my mind to and embrace English. Critical Reading and Writing even became my strongest sections on the test. The skills I acquired in his class did not stop being useful after I took the SAT, and they are still helping me now. It wasn’t just about doing well on the SAT. He taught me a higher level of thinking.
Oak Park High School, SAT 2400, January 2015
Let me tell you about my SAT I journey and tell you my reasons why you or your child should take this class.
Before coming to this class, I decided to study on my own for the SAT I. I took the test in November 2007 and thought perhaps a bit arrogantly that I scored at least a 2250. Unfortunately, I ended up with a 2180 (Critical Reading: 670, Math: 780, Writing: 730). A 2180, I thought, wasn’t exactly a horrible score but I was still extremely disappointed. When I decided to take the test again in June 2008, I thought that I had done all that I could have done to get at least 2250.
Apparently trying my hardest wasn’t enough. I actually ended up with a 2130, which was fifty points lower than my first score. Not only did my scores in critical reading and writing failed to improve, my math score went for a fifty-point dive from a 780 to a 730. At that moment, I decided that I definitely needed help.
Taking the SAT course at Jeng’s Academic Center was perhaps one of the best decisions I ever made. Dr. Jeng absolutely refused to hear my request to only settle for a 2250; he told me to shoot for a 2300. I thought that getting a 2300 or anything above would be impossible. But after hearing endless lectures on the correct use of the subjunctive and grammar lessons, receiving endless reading material (which were actually quite interesting), and taking countless numbers of tests, I began to think that achieving a 2300 was quite possible. Dr. Jeng really prepares you for the SAT well and he constantly ingrains new concepts. His practice tests were especially helpful because he carefully explains why every error is wrong and why the correct answer is right.
I took the test a third time in November 2008 and definitely knew that it was going to be a large number; how large was still a mystery. When I got my score back, I was extremely shocked. I received an 800 in Critical Reading, an 800 in Math, and a 780 in Writing which totaled to a 2380. I improved 130 points in Critical Reading (my weakest subject), 70 points in Math, and 50 points in Writing: an increase of 250 points.
I could have never gotten what I wanted and more without Dr. Jeng’s help. If you really want your score to go up to your desired range, then you can definitely do so with Dr. Jeng.
- J.Q., Newbury Park High School, MIT
Why I think you should take Dr. Jeng's SAT Workshop
SAT score: 2380, J.Q. Newbury PArk High School,
... I wanted to give him a high-five... This is because Dr. Jeng doesn’t try to cheat the system by “teaching to the test.” He doesn’t merely find every type of problem tested on the SAT, and teach his students how to solve it. Instead, he tries to increase the aptitude of his students. I cannot emphasize how valuable this is, not only for the SAT, but also for the rest of one’s life. By actually teaching valuable knowledge as opposed to mere test-taking strategies, Dr. Jeng forced each student to apply him or herself, and brought out the potential in all of us. He emphasized that we must all become “self-learners,” and that our learning must continue past high school, past college, throughout the rest of our lives. Rather than trying to sum it up in my own words, I want you to read Dr. Jeng’s reply when I informed him that I got a 2370 on the SAT:
“I am happy not so much for your high score as for the concentration and focus that you have shown during the training process. With this learning attitude you can conquer anything you set your mind on learning. I hope this quality of yours will always be with you and will manifest itself in whatever you do.”
S. S. SAT 2370, Newbury Park High School, November 2010 (Graduated from Stanford University)
This is because Dr. Jeng doesn’t try to cheat the system by “teaching to the test.” He doesn’t merely find every type of problem tested on the SAT, and teach his students how to solve it. Instead, he tries to increase the aptitude of his students.
Hi, Dr. Jeng, this is M. K.
I am ecstatic to inform you that yesterday, I received my letter of acceptance from Stanford University! I am in such disbelief that I could achieve such a milestone in my life. And of course, I would not have been here without the guidance of your wisdom and intellect. I want to thank you for all those SAT lessons, AP lessons, and words of wisdom. You challenged me to new levels that allowed me to achieve what I could today. I'm excited and proud to be one of your students, and I hope you can share in this happiness with me.
Once again, thank you so much for all of your guidance.
SAT Score 2350, Oak Park High School, admitted into Stanford University, December 14, 2013
I thought I would absolutely abhor waking up early during the summer to spend countless hours taking a test I so despised. (Before coming to Jeng, I scored a 2070 and 2130 thanks to my own unmotivated studying. I was severely disappointed in myself. My parents, more so.) But I didn't. Dr. Jeng's passion for teaching made the experience enlightening and as painless as possible. And in the end, I broke a 2300. I even managed to obtain perfect scores in Writing and Critical Reading, the latter of which never broke 700.
Dr. Jeng doesn't teach knowledge. He teaches wisdom. Sure, a 2340 is pretty cool. But in a year, no one is going to care. The insights and ability to think critically I've gained from this class, however, will stay with me for quite a while.
- J. L., 2340, Westlake High school, December 6, 2012
Dr. Jeng's passion for teaching made the experience enlightening and painless
Choosing to attend Jeng’s SAT class is one of the best decisions I have made during my high school years. Before I took his class, I loathed studying for the SAT, which made it hard for me to effectively absorb the necessary information to do well on the SAT. Dr. Jeng was able to help me overcome this issue by making the learning experience much more interesting to the point that I actually began to enjoy preparing for the SAT. Not only did his class prepare me for my SAT, but it also prepared me for my college years and on. This class taught me how to effectively learn from my studies and apply my new knowledge. More importantly however, Jeng’s SAT class contributed to how I view the world around me as well as my motivation for the years to come. I highly recommend this class any potential future students to take this life changing course.!
Dr. Jeng was able to help me overcome this issue by making the learning experience much more interesting to the point that I actually began to enjoy preparing for the SAT
Dear Dr. Dr. Jeng,
I'd like to thank you for all your dedication in your summer program. Besides my PSAT score, which increased by 250 points, I have seen magnificent change in both my work and person. At first, I was skeptical about how learning about different verbs would increase my score but in reality that was not your plan. Your plan and success is focused on perfecting our understanding on English, a favor which I cannot thank you for enough times. Over the last few months I have become known for my writing, even when that means cringing as my math teacher has a fly in her noodle soup when she says something grammatically incorrect. It was not about the scores but the life lessons which will impact our lives. Words cannot express how thankful I am for your teachings.
Increasing SAT score by 250 points
My time at Jeng Academic Center has been a journey I will not forget. The SAT was such a daunting test— I felt pressured to do well and, to some extent, believed that studying for the SAT was merely a chore I was obliged to do. However, Dr. Jeng’s teaching philosophy encouraged me to view the SAT differently. He urges all his students to not be constantly concerned with test scores, but be open to learning new things and gaining intellectual insight. I began to enjoy the learning process and found that, with a genuine thirst for knowledge, higher test scores came more naturally. Problems that had previously seemed so foreign and difficult to me became familiar, comfortable subjects as I learned to tackle these problems with clearer thinking. Behind every problem is a solution, and once I understood this I felt more confident in undertaking new challenges. Dr. Jeng taught me that answers don’t matter—your understanding of why something is the answer is what matters. This understanding is vital not only in preparation for the SAT, but also in regular school life. My new outlook on learning has helped me greatly both academically and personally and I definitely recommend any potential future students to undertake Dr. Jeng’s SAT workshop for a great educational experience!
Newbury Park High School, SAT 2360, 12/7/2012
I had first heard about Dr. Jeng from my two best friends who were taking SAT courses with him. I didn’t think it was worthwhile to take more tutoring since I was already enrolled in private SAT tutoring with another company. However, a month later, I got back my SAT score: a dismal 2040 (730 CR/650 M/660 W). I was very unhappy with the results so I rushed to see if there was still an opening in Dr. Jeng’s summer program... I dedicated my summer to just getting better SAT scores but I found that my knowledge acquired with Dr. Jeng actually helped me in school too... I’m happy to say that I got back my October SAT scores and received a 2290(770 CR/730 M/790 W)! ... I can say without a doubt that Dr. Jeng runs the best SAT classes and really knows what he’s doing! If you want to improve your scores and learn more, Dr. Jeng is the best investment you can make! (Also, he has the fantastically funny analogy of a "fly in a beef noodle soup" too! :D)
R. S. SAT 2290, October, 2010 (Graduated from UCLA)
...I dedicated my summer to just getting better SAT scores but I found that my knowledge acquired with Dr. Jeng actually helped me in school too...