The SP Method enables students to be prepared and confident before entering the testing room.
Time is your most limited resource on any standardized test. It is important to be comfortable with solving problems accurately and efficiently.
Students are ready to excel at the test because of the Strategies and Problem-solving techniques they learn in our courses.
“S” is for Strategies
After undergoing a comprehensive Math foundation review, our students learn critical Strategies that are essential to their success on standardized tests. The first part of the SP Method stresses general test-taking tips to increase students’ confidence and focus. In addition to Math concepts and time-saving shortcuts, MathSP courses emphasize problem-solving strategies. The difference between a student with a good test score and a student with a great test score is the ability to appropriately apply Strategies to Math problems and to answer them accurately and efficiently.
The first part of the SP Method, the “S,” takes students through a five-step process to approaching Math problems.
Understand the Problem Statement
Students should be able to answer the following questions BEFORE attempting to solve the problem:
- Are you clear on what you are asked to find?
- What information do you have?
- What concepts do you need to understand in order to find the solution?
Identify Key Words and Phrases
Most problems are comprised of unnecessary details. Students should be able to identify key words and phrases and translate those words and phrases into mathematical equations.
Draw a Table or Diagram
Get ORGANIZED. Students should organize the question’s content into a table, diagram, or other figure in order to better understand the problem. The question should make sense visually so that it is easier to find the correct solution.
Translate, Substitute, Pick A Number, and Back-Solve
Where applicable, students should utilize important strategies such as translation and substitution as well as time-saving strategies such as back-solving and picking numbers in order to solve problems accurately and efficiently.
Utilize Process of Elimination
Students should effectively use the process of elimination technique to save valuable time and increase the probability of choosing the correct answer.
“P” is for Problem-solving
The second component of the SP Method consists of extensive and repetitive Problem-solving. This allows students to apply the newly-learned Strategies to real test questions. Students solve problems and are encouraged to explain their solutions through a Facilitative Approach to learning. By repeatedly working through problems categorized into groups to reinforce concepts, students build their confidence and skill set. They soon see that there are a finite number of concepts tested. So the more problems they work through, the better they become at indentifying concepts and parallels in problem types, and the higher their score will be.
The second part of the SP Method, the “P,” includes:
Questions from Previous Tests
These allow students to practice solving real problems and to become familiar with concepts that they are likely to see on their test.
Course Material Arranged by Math Concepts
Our specialized arrangement of course materials allows for repetition and familiarity of similar problems. This reinforces the Strategies and concepts learned.
The Facilitative Approach to Learning
The Facilitative Approach ensures comprehension. Students work problems individually to gauge their understanding of specific concepts. Instructors time each problem so that students are aware of the time constraints they will experience on test day. Then instructors guide students to solve the problems most efficiently, to understand the steps involved, and to explain the problem-solving process.
Weekly Problem-solving Assignments
Regular assignments encourage mastery of strategies, concepts, and timing.