Transitioning from 8th to 9th Grade (Part II)
At Tutor Associates, we don’t want our students or their parents to face any surprises. The jump from 8th grade to 9th grade is a big one!
For some students it may mean changing schools. Even if this is not the case for your child, the jump from 8th to 9th means that teachers raise the bar on the quality of work that they expect to receive. We’d like to share with you some tips and tricks to help make this transition a smooth and happy one.
(See Part 1 of this series here)
After summer reading, there's the 9th grade curriculum to think about. Many students will be shifting from Algebra to Geometry, a difficult transition for students unaccustomed to spatial and logical reasoning. Initially, students may find proofs disorienting and, if they don't learn the theorems cold as they go (or beforehand!), homework and tests can quickly become overwhelming. Successful students often spend part of August doing a preview of the first month of Geometry. Of course, our math tutors are available to get your child ready for this class. But whether you go that route or not, we strongly encourage our students to at least do some work on their own to prepare for Geometry. Khan Academy is an excellent resource for students interested in learning and practicing math outside of the classroom.
To Test or Not to Test? Planning for the SAT Subject Tests
Looking forward, many of you will hear that your 9th grader should take the Biology SAT Subject Test next June. Although students should plan to take 2-3 Subject Tests over the course of their high school career, Biology is often not the best choice for Freshmen. Because Juniors in the AP or Advanced Biology courses take the same Subject Test, the curve for 9th graders is pretty tough, leaving them at a disadvantage. The Chemistry, Physics, Literature, and Math (I or II), which they will take as sophomores and juniors, tend to be better choices. If you have questions about how well your school’s curriculum matches with the SAT Biology test (or any of the SAT Subject tests), please give us a call. For many years we've worked with 9th graders at your child's school and are always happy to chat about our experiences!
The summer is a nice, calm time to prepare for the 9th grade transition. We are always around to help plan, give advice, or work with your children. Some of us will be in New York, but we will also be back out in the Hamptons. And in the last couple of years we’ve added the capability to work with students online so that they can get the help they need anywhere in the world. We encourage all of the families we work with to ask us about the road ahead - we've traveled it.