Long Island Regents Prep Blog - Regents, AP, ACT, and SAT Review

Long Island Regents Prep sponsors NY Lizards home opener.

Long Island Regents Prep sponsors NY Lizards home opener.

Long Island Regents Prep, a local tutoring and test preparation company, is proud to be the sponsor of the New York Lizards for their 2016 home opener. The Lizards return to Long Island after winning the 2015 Steinfeld Cup, the trophy for the champion of the Major League Lacrosse League. The fans will receive trading cards of their favorite Lizards players, including 2015 League MVP, Greg Gurenlian.

“Long Island Regents Prep is one of the only test prep companies to serve Long Island exclusively,” said co-owner Dennis Urban. “As full-time teachers, we are committed to helping all students succeed on their Regents, AP, SAT exams.”

Long Island Regents Prep was founded in 2009 by NYS-certified public school teachers Michael Graziosi, Brad Seidman, and Dennis Urban who, through their professional experiences, realized the need for a teacher-driven test prep program. The company has expanded from its original 8 Regents review courses to 23 different review courses for the SAT, AP, and Regents exams, and it has served more than 3,000 students. In Fall 2016, Long Island Regents Prep will offer a new test prep class for the ACT program. Their one-day review courses are conveniently located on the Farmingdale State College campus. For more information and to register for review courses, liregentsprep.com.

The New York Lizards of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) were founded in 2001 as one of the league’s six original teams. Formerly the Long Island Lizards, the team won the Steinfeld Cup in its inaugural season, 2001, 2003 and 2015. In 2016, the Lizards will play seven home games at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium. For more information or to purchase tickets go to NYLizards.com. The New York Lizards are owned by majority owner Medallion Financial Corp, Vice Chairman, Richard Mack, and other investors.


Spring is almost here, so it’s time to start thinking about your Regents, APs, and SATs. Long Island Regents Prep is entering its 7th year of offering review classes at Farmingdale State College! We’ve taught over 3,000 students from New York since 2009, and we continue to expand each year. In the fall we will begin offering ACT Review Classes. For now, check out our schedule below for our Regents Review Classes, AP Review Classes, and SAT Review Classes!

Long Island Regents Prep

Long Island Regents Prep


reading for test prep

Reading for Pleaure…and for Test Prep

When we ask ourselves what students can do to prepare for standardized testing, there is one simple answer: “Read, read, read.” Here follow four pivotal questions students should think about, attempt to answer, and make changes in their reading life to be better prepared academically.

  1. Why do I need to read to do better on standardized tests?

The single most important thing you can do to prepare yourself for all standardized tests is to spend a reasonable amount of time, every day reading!  Why?  Reading definitely increases your vocabulary; it builds and improves all your language skills; it adds a great deal to your ability to analyze any problem in any content area.  It has the ability to provide you with important background knowledge for any subject. Reading also builds your own confidence by empowering you to talk about people, places, and events.  In addition, it’s great to read language as it is used by authors.  Furthermore, reading the writings of others is an excellent way to help you improve your own writing!  Developing a reading routine—meaning spending a reasonable amount of time reading everyday is truly the daily vitamin that will make you a stronger test-taker in every subject.

  1. What should I read?

Novels can definitely be great reads.  They can stimulate your imagination.  They can give you insight into the human condition.  They can help you understand conflicts and resolutions.  And there are so many types of fiction that you can read—historical fiction, science-fiction, detective and mystery fiction, horror fiction, romance, etc.  And those genres are not restricted to novels.  There’s an entire universe of short stories out there on every possible theme!

But when considering becoming a better student and preparing for standardized testing the best answer to the question, “Should I just read novels?” is, “Absolutely not!”  Biographies, autobiographies, and non-fiction are under-appreciated for their excellent value to us.  For one thing, they are among the richest source of factual information. Biographies expand our content knowledge when we read the lives of figures in any field of life’s endeavors—figures in history, explorers, scientists in every scientific field, mathematicians, musicians, artists, athletes and so on.  There is no better way to understand these fields than through those whose lives have been dedicated to them.  And in biographies and non-fictions, we may come to understand how others have overcome obstacles, dealt with tragedy, faced handicaps, fought for human rights, etc.  These works are loaded with extremely valuable life lessons.  Through these works, you can also increase your own self-discovery; you will likely see the world in new ways; you will come to new understanding of current affairs, history, politics, and physical and mental health.  Biographies, autobiographies, and non-fiction have the capacity to make you a better, more knowledgeable, and more aware individual.   They are a treasure trove of knowledge which can only help you be a better student and be better prepared for standardized testing.

  1. How can I make myself more likely to read regularly?

Whether you’re reading books electronically or in print, there is something to be said for owning your own personal library at home.  It doesn’t have to be large.  It just has to be yours.  That’s what makes it rich!  It will help you remember the great books you’ve read—and their authors.  It will motivate you to pick up a book and read.  It will serve as a resource for your writing and other assignments.  Although there are no rules for a personal library, here are some suggestions of what it could consist of:

  • Books you’ve read, loved, and want to hold onto, or hand off to a brother or sister.  (Think of it as your own personal collection!)
  • Books you want to get around to reading one of these days.

(If the books readily accessible, it greatly increases the likelihood of your reading them.)

  • Books on a favorite topic of yours.

(They don’t have to be masterpieces.  They may be books on music, sports, animals—whatever you’re interested in.)

  • Books you can refer to.

(A few textbooks and reference works can be very helpful in doing assignments and projects.)   

Once you have your own personal library, you’ll be amazed how easy it’ll be to grow it.

  1. How do I know if I’m reading enough?  Should I read a certain amount every month?

There probably isn’t one answer to this question; if you can list your five favorite books as well as name your favorite author or authors, you very likely have an excellent reading background.  If not, it’s a sign that you need to read more books and discover authors who speak to you!  This can become an academic and intellectual goal.  It won’t take long, and it will make you a more intelligent individual who is better prepared academically. 

There may even be a more practical reason for knowing your favorite books and authors.  For a college interview, will you be able to answer such questions as, “Who is your favorite author?” “What are you reading these days?” “What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?”  The interviewer will learn a great deal about you from that answer!


AP Review Classes

Advanced Placement courses are a great way to help students get a head start on college!

These courses give students a preview of the rigor of coursework they will face in college, but with the careful guidance and attention provided in high school. AP courses also help solidify a college application by demonstrating a student’s ability to handle difficult material and willingness to take on academic challenges.

Finally, AP courses often qualify for college credit! Of course, earning college credit largely depends on the student’s score on the AP exam.

Click here to see what scores are required to earn course credit at various colleges.

Long Island Regents Prep’s AP Review classes can help students earn that credit. Our teachers have been preparing students for the AP exams for years, and they know exactly what to expect from this year’s tests!

Click here to learn more and register!

AP Review at Farmingdale State College

Registration is now open for our AP Review classes being held this spring!

Long Island Regents Prep is holding AP review classes in all of the major subjects, with experienced, NY State certified teachers and effective review materials. Our courses are held at Farmingdale State College, in comfortable, state-of-the-art classrooms. All students have the opportunity to ask questions, review major course concepts, and learn high-scoring test strategies.

Now is the time to register for our spring Advanced Placement review courses, before seats fill up!

AP Biology Review

AP Calculus AB Review

AP Chemistry Review

AP Environmental Science Review

AP European History Revieq

AP Physics 1 Review

AP Psychology Review

AP Statistics Review

AP U.S. Government Review

AP U.S. History Review

AP World History Review

Click here to learn more and register!


January 2016 High School Examination Schedule

 

Students must verify with their schools the exact times that they are to report for their State examinations.

Uniform Admission Deadlines

Morning Examinations – 10:00 a.m.

Afternoon Examinations – 2:00 p.m.


Tuesday, January 26 – 9:15 a.m.

RE in Global History and Geography

Physical Setting/Physics*

RCT in Reading*


Tuesday, January 26 – 1:15 p.m.

RE in English Language Arts (Common Core)

Geometry (2005 Standard)


Wednesday, January 27 – 9:15 a.m.

Living Environment

Physical Setting/Chemistry

RCT in United States History and Government*


Wednesday, January 27 – 1:15 p.m.

Comprehensive English

RCT in Mathematics*


Thursday, January 28 – 9:15 a.m.

RE in U.S. History and Government

Physical Setting/Earth Science

Geometry (Common Core)


Thursday, January 28 – 1:15 p.m.

Algebra I (Common Core)

RCT in Writing


Friday, January 29 – 9:15 a.m.

Algebra 2/Trigonometry

RCT in Global Studies*

RCT in Science*


Registration is open for our January 17 Regents and SAT review classes at Farmingdale State College. Visits www.liregentsprep.com to register for Algebra I Common Core Regents review or our SAT Crash Course, which includes a custom SAT review book.

 


From Farmingdale Patch

Three Minutes Across the Counter With Long Island Regents Prep

“Three Minutes Across the Counter” is a feature on Patch in which we chat with local business owners. If you would like to be featured, email [email protected] with the name of your business.

Meet Michael Graziosi, Brad Seidman, and Dennis Urban. They’re full-time social studies teachers at Bellmore-Merrick Central High who a created one-day intensive Regents and AP review courses at Farmingdale State College.

These educators help students prepare and learn material for tests that weigh heavily on their futures.

The owners of Long Island Regents Prep recently spoke to Patch so our readers can learn more about them. Check out what they had to say:

What is your name? Tell us about your business

Long Island Regents Prep was founded in 2009 by Michael Graziosi, Brad Seidman, and Dennis Urban, full-time social studies teachers in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. After preparing thousands of our own students for NY State Regents Exams and AP Exams, we realized that students sometimes needed Regents review and AP review beyond what was offered in the classroom. That’s when we created our one-day intensive Regents and AP review courses at Farmingdale State College. In each of our review courses, students learn the major course topics, practice test questions, and acquire test-taking strategies and tips from experienced, NY state-certified teachers. Our instructors prepare AP and Regents review material and provide practice problems for students to complete during the six-hour session.

In 2014 we launched our new SAT review program, a one-day SAT Crash Course that includes an original review book created by Joshua Fialkow, a longtime, accomplished SAT tutor and teacher. All instructors in our SAT prep program are both experienced SAT tutors and NYS-certified teachers.

Since 2009, we have served more than 3,100 students from Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City, and we continue to grow. Our success is largely due to word-of-mouth recommendations and the positive feedback we receive each year. As NYS-certified teachers, we aim not only to help students pass their tests, but to ensure they excel on their Regents, AP, and SAT exams. We pride ourselves in offering an affordable alternative to private tutoring without compromising the quality of instruction.

How did you get your first start in this business?

We had been tutoring students privately for years, and we recognized the need for affordable tutoring services run by certified teachers. In addition, we had worked for other test prep companies, and they were owned by business people or lawyers, not by actual teachers. So we decided to form our own company and offer classes at Farmingdale State College, a location that’s convenient for students in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Since none of us has formal business training or a business degree, we learned a lot along the way, including marketing, bookkeeping, human resources, customer service, and website development. We’ve worked very hard over the past 6 or 7 years to integrate our educational expertise in teaching and curriculum development with the business skills we’ve picked up along the way, and we’ve been pretty successful as a result.

 

Is this your first business venture? What other projects have you worked on?

Yes, this is our first business venture. We started out pretty small, serving a few hundred students our first year. We now have over 600 students taking our Regents, AP, and SAT review classes each spring, and we’ve started offering SAT review classes in the fall because of the high demand.

We have partnered with a few other companies to expand our services. For over a year, we have been working with renowned test-prep guru Gary Gruber and the folks over atGruber Prep to develop AP review materials for their online test prep services. In all, we developed 5 AP review courses for Gruber Prep, which are available online and in book form on Amazon as Gruber’s Essential AP.

We have also partnered with another Long Island company called LearnerPal to offer online supplements to our in-class Regents review sessions at Farmingdale.

What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

During our first year in business, we met with a consultant who encouraged us to have a larger online presence by creating original content and sharing that content through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. So, we developed a blog and began making connections online. As a result, we’ve connected with more students and parents, and we’ve fostered business partnerships on LinkedIn and Twitter. Of course, nothing is a substitute for the personal relationships we’ve forged with students, parents, teachers, and schools over the past 6 years, but our online presence has helped a lot.

How long have you lived or done business here?

We are all native Long Islanders, and we’ve been in business in Farmingdale since 2009.

What’s your favorite part about being a business in the area? What makes the area special?

Introducing students to the SUNY Farmingdale campus, which is in the process of developing a state-of-the-art campus, is a big plus. Also, Farmingdale is centrally located and easily accessible to all Long Islanders.

Did anyone influence you as a business owner? How?

Each of our fathers owned his own business, so I think that instilled in us a sense of entrepreneurship and hard work. There’s an enormous sense of pride in seeing hundreds of students show up to take your review classes on a Saturday or Sunday morning. You know they’re giving up a weekend to be there, and you know that they’ll be much better prepared for their exams because of it.

Did you ever make a business mistake and later on were glad you made it?

We can’t think of one specific mistake, but because none of us had business experience going into this project, we learned a lot along the way. Oh, and always get good promotional pens, because otherwise you’re stuck with thousands of bad pens for years. 🙂

Tell us something about yourself that people may not know.

We have each won the coveted “Teacher of the Year” award at John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, NY, where we teach full time.

What advice would you give to a business owner just starting out?

If you’re good at something, if you enjoy doing it, and if there’s market for it, get started now! Make a business plan and run with it.


Throughout the country, there has been a lot of handwringing over the new Common Core Mathematics Standards. In particular, there’s concern over whether introducing new ways to solve problems makes math unnecessarily difficult. A recent article in The Atlantic explained the new requirements and why they might be encumbering students. The authors write, “The Common Core math standards…take understanding to a whole new level. ‘Students who lack understanding of a topic may rely on procedures too heavily,’ states the Common Core website. ‘But what does mathematical understanding look like?’ And how can teachers assess it? One way is to ask the student to justify, in a way that is appropriate to the student’s mathematical maturity, why a particular mathematical statement is true, or where a mathematical rule comes from. The underlying assumption here is that if a student understands something, he or she can explain it—and that deficient explanation signals deficient understanding. But this raises yet another question: What constitutes a satisfactory explanation?”

In New York State, more than 200,000 students opted out of the Common Core exams. At the high school level, Common Core standards have been introduced into the English and Math Regents exams. In 2014, the New York State Education Department began offering a Common Core Algebra I Regents exam. This year it introduced the Common Core geometry, Algebra II and English Language Arts exams. On the math Regents tests, schools have seen a drop in students’ test scores because of the new standards. And high school students can not opt out of the Regents exams because they’re required for graduation.

Some students will be taking or retaking the Algebra I Regents exam on January 28, 2016 (you can find the complete 2016 January Regents Exam Schedule here). While the NYS website offers some Algebra I practice exams, students may need a bit more Regents prep to get through the exam.

In response to the increasing demand for January Regents prep courses, Long Island Regents Prep has decided to offer an Algebra I Regents Review class on Sunday, January 17, at Farmingdale State College. Come join us! You can register now online by visiting www.liregentsprep.com.


Right now, many high school juniors are deciding whether to take the current SAT exam, which has only two remaining administrations, in December and January, or to wait for the New SAT to debut in March 2016. The current SAT, with its focus on critical reading, writing, and mathematics is familiar to most students. There are countless review resources, including practice questions, review books, SAT prep classes, and online materials.

The New SAT, however, is largely a question mark. Despite the publication of review materials designed for the New SAT, students won’t have a full autopsy report until after the first group of students conquers the exam next March. According to the College Board, which publishes the SATs, changes in the New SAT include the following:

  • All-new essay — and it’s optional
  • No penalty for guessing
  • No vocab that you’ll never use again
  • 4 parts: Reading, Writing and Language, Math, and the optional SAT Essay
  • 400–1600 score scale
  • 3 hours and 50 minutes with the SAT Essay — or 3 hours without it
  • 4 answer choices for each question

A recent article in Forbes cautioned students against taking the New SAT because there are so few practice questions, the score reports won’t be available until May 2016, and the exam is similar to the ACT. Students, however, should decide for themselves which SAT to take.

Test-prep guru Gary Gruber  has developed a diagnostic tool to help students figure out which SAT test is best for them. According to Business Insider, “Gruber contends that he knows which exam students should take to ensure they get the highest possible score…. Gruber went on to explain that students who were more inquisitive and could pick up on nuances in questions will do better on the old version of the SAT. The new SAT and the ACT — the other major standardized test students take — are very similar in terms of content and questions, according to Gruber.” Students can access this free SAT Diagnostic Exams here, or scroll down to the bottom of this post to take the Gruber Math and Verbal tests.

Long Island Regents Prep is busily preparing its New SAT review materials in anticipation of the March 2016 changes. In the meantime, though, students can register for our January 17 SAT Crash Course in preparation for the final administration of the current SAT exam. Students should sign up early for our Long Island SAT review classes at Farmingdale State College.

Long Island SAT Review Classes at Farmingdale State College

Long Island SAT Review Classes at Farmingdale State College


Check out the article about Long Island Regents Prep in this week’s issue of the Farmingdale Observer!

Long Island Regents Prep featured in current issue of Farmingdale Observer.

Long Island Regents Prep featured in current issue of Farmingdale Observer.