In 2008, I sat in Rituals with an old friend from St. Joseph’s Convent Port-of-Spain. We reminisced fondly about A-Levels, CAPE, the old SATs, the new SATs, applications, financial aid and scholarships. Did I say fondly? Ten years from now, I will still vividly recall the mad balancing act that comprised my last two years. The screams of frustration when applications were due a mere five hours later that day are probably still echoing in some corners of the house. As we sipped our coffee and reassured each other that we were well past that stress, there was bittersweet (mostly bitter) speculation on how much easier the process could have been. She was at Yale and I was at Princeton and if we had learnt one thing, it was how much better our American friends had been prepared for admissions.
We had both excelled in the SATs, but that seemed to be the exception, not the rule. Fortunately, our parents had driven us harder and further than most; very often, parents do not grasp the breadth of work involved and the students’ difficulty juggling all extra-curricular activities, in Grades 11 and 12. Thus Ivy League Prep was born – preparation of local students by Ivy League undergraduates. We invented an SAT lessons and guidance counseling program, specifically designed to aid ‘Trinis’, both academically and financially.
My friend has moved on since then, but education has remained one of my big passions. Personally, I have tutored 200+ students over the past ten years, and taught myself the ins and outs of the admissions process. Armed with the tried and tested syllabus that we created and a firm understanding (and extreme sympathy) of what you face, I hope to make your last few years a lot easier.