Last time I wrote about the growing prevalence of local test-prep centers throughout Jackson Heights in response to the NYC Bangladeshi community’s rising demand for them. Now I would like to present a profile of one such center called Mr. Kamal’s Tutorial located in nearby Woodside, just to provide an example of how these centers generally function.
Mr. Kamal’s Tutorial, owned and operated by its principal Mr. Kamal since 1994, offers a variety of academic programs for both middle- and high-school students, its most prominent being the program for preparing 7th-8th graders for the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). The center helps students get familiarized with the exam’s format which includes 50 types of Math problems and questions pertaining to logical reasoning, scrambled paragraphs and reading comprehension.
Besides the SHSAT the center prepares students (in this case 5th-6th graders) for another competitive high school admissions test, the Hunter/Baccalaureate/Middle School Entrance Exam. This test is mandatory for admssion into Hunter College High School and includes one section each for English, Math, and Essay Writing.
For 9th-10th grade high school students the center provides help with the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), the precursor to the SAT taken during junior year. Besides this exam it is also willing to help HS students study for the statewide Regents exams, particularly in the subjects of Math, Geometry and Chemistry.
Besides test-prep classses the center also provides general tutoring services, particularly to students in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. Subjects for study include English language arts, vocabulary, and reading as well as problem-solving equations in Math.
For all its classes the teaching method employed by this particular tutoring center includes the buildup of skills in vocabulary, reading, writing, grammar, arithmetic, algebra and geometry. For test-taking in particular another method includes teaching students to pace themselves during exams, to perform process of elimination for multiple-choice questions, to identify key words and main ideas for reading comprehension, and to recognize general tricks and traps.
The center promises to keep classses small and have NYS licensed teachers available. It is open during the entire school year from September-June for either/both after-school and weekend tutoring. Mr. Kamal personally keeps in contact with parents about test schedules and information relating to particular schools.
Mr. Kamal’s Tutorial is located at:
62-01 39th Avenue Woodside, NY 11377
Phone: (718) 838-4455
According to Mr. Kamal’s Tutorial, 80% of the students who studied there got admitted into the specialized high schools Stuyvesant HS and Bronx Science, as well as into the Hunter/Baccalaureate Program. Sometimes, however, the only way families can really determine which local tutoring center provides excellent service is either through word-of-mouth or by trying out different centers through trial-and-error.
So now here’s a question for readers out there familiar with test-prep centers. Are there any particular tutoring centers anywhere in the city you would or would not recommend? Why and for what exams? Also how much did they charge and was it affordable? We can continue this discussion over here at the discussion board.