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I promised to do more digging in the US competitive exams scenario and come up some ideas as to what the exams demand – more Math than English as suggested by plethora of Math teaching websites and very few English training sites or something else.

I did the research from 2 perspectives

  1. Competitive exams for getting into High Schools
  2. Competitive exams for getting into College

Competitive exams for getting into high schools

Most of the private schools either administer their own competitive exams or rely on central exams to test the student for admission to high schools. There are several exams conducted either by the state, group of schools or an independent body.

Some of the most commonly known tests and their formats are listed in the table below.

There are numerous others conducted across private schools in the US.

The format more or less remains the same.

What we observe from these tests is that most exams are more focussed on English than Math. A comparative analysis below shows that

Hence our competitive exams demand that we focus a bit more on Verbal and Reading rather than Math.

What we see is exactly the opposite. There are tons of resources to train us and practice on Math but almost negligible help or resources available for English. The sad part is there are no intentions of coming up with a decent English training/practice program as well.

As far as high school preparation is concerned it is very clear that we need to focus on Math and English equally if not more on English if we want to succeed and get in the best private schools.

This cannot be done in one year or one semester. This has to start early – learning Math and English together and not just focussing on Math need to start as early as Grade 1.

So does trend on exams being heavily focussed on English continue as the student progresses to prepare for undergraduate college? I will explore more of that in the next post.

About Hardik Parikh

Hardik Parikh is the Co-founder of PracTutor. PracTutor is a personalized fun way to master Common Core Math and English. All kids – whether they need intervention, accelerated learning or career and college readiness – can achieve their goals within PracTutor.