Standardized Test Prep in a Not-So-Standard Environment

posted by on Mar 2, 2019

For college-bound students, SAT and ACT prep is a ubiquitous part of the high school experience. After homework is done, teens spend evenings, weekends, and school breaks nose-deep in phone-book-sized study guides, sitting through live or online classes, holed up with tutors, taking practice tests, and honing their ability to sit at a desk for three-hour stretches.

As someone who’s worked with thousands of teens—and even raised a few—I appreciate the importance of test preparation, though I’m not thrilled about the additional academic burden it puts on them and how that overshadows other important areas of growth—emotional, social, and spiritual.

That’s why we developed what I think is the best of both worlds—we’re bringing test prep to camp!  IMG_0098

In the College Test Prep @ TY intensive, over two weeks teens get 36 hours of practice tests, tutoring, and skill building from our partners,  Prestige Prep, to help them improve their SAT/ACT scores, along with everything they love about Tel Yehudah—sports, arts, Israel education, Shabbat, and their Jewish friends, all in our beautiful, natural setting.

Not only do we eliminate that tough decision between spending summer in a one-of-a-kind Jewish environment, where kids can make the most of still being kids, and spending it working on increasing their test scores, I think College Test Prep @ TY intensive actually gives them an advantage.

Scientists are studying how time spent in nature improves everyone’s well-being, and specifically how it helps students. The bright light, physical activity, and lack of technology that come with being in nature help lower stress levels and elevate moods, but that’s not all.

In an article on, researchers found that tweens and teens are better focused and motivated when they learn in natural settings, plus high schoolers show better long-term retention of academic content if they learn outdoors. The American Institutes for Research agrees, adding that when students learn in nature it improves their overall achievement, including standardized test scores.

College Test Prep @ TY intensive is a serious, studious activity. Participants will learn test-taking strategies and techniques, plus take full practice tests sitting in a desk, just as they will with the real thing. However, by using our new, bright, airy, and comfortable education center that overlooks the river, and by holding it at TY, in a natural setting, where teens aren’t distracted by technology, busy schedules, and other academics, we set them up to get more out of the experience.

Oh, and YOU get two weeks off from having to remind your teen to study. Win-win-win.

Learn more about the College Test Prep @ TY intensive, Prestige Prep, and how to make this summer fun and rewarding for your 10th or 11th grader.