Borland Educational Test Strategy Workshops

Test Prep

Preparing for Excellence on the ACT, SAT, PSAT, SSAT, ISEE, HSPT

Standardized testing is an important fact of academic life. Unfortunately, many students receive artificially low scores that give an unfairly negative impression of their academic abilities – not because they aren't capable students – but simply because they don't know how to correctly approach the task of taking a standardized test. Most of these students, without realizing it, make simple strategic errors that can have a disastrous effect on their standardized test scores and, as a result, on the educational opportunities made available to them.

Fortunately, it is possible, in a relatively short period of time, to learn the ropes of standardized test taking, for students to adopt simple, powerfully effective test taking strategies and train basic skills that allow them to optimize their performance on standardized tests. This "strategic approach" enables students to make the most of the knowledge they already have – and can mean the difference between disappointing scores and real success.

Borland Educational Test Strategy Workshops are complete courses, packed with dynamite test taking info, materials, tips, strategies, exercises, and assignments designed to help students blast through test taking barriers and achieve outstanding scores.

For example, did you know that:

zChoosing to work on fewer hard questions and then slowing down makes each section of the typical standardized test shorter, easier, less stressful, and far more productive for nearly every student?

zGuessing is typically a good idea – but should be done in a completely different way on math questions than on verbal questions?

zThe hardest math questions can be among the easiest to guess correctly?

zOne can earn points on analogy and synonym questions without knowing what the given words mean, and on reading questions without “reading” the passage?

zLearning to fill in bubbles the smart way can significantly improve one’s score?

It’s true! These are just a few of the many amazing tricks of the trade that students learn to apply in the Borland Educational Test Strategy Workshops.

Other highlights include:

zHow and why standardized tests like the ACT, SAT, SSAT, HSPT, and ISEE differ radically from ordinary tests and demand a radically different test taking approach and focus in short-term preparation.

zKey general test taking tips and strategies, including: "Choose Your Battles," "Two Pass Approach," "Marking System," "Process of Elimination," and how critical it is to understand how your test is scored (and why this usually makes intelligent guessing a smart thing to do).

zWhen and how to guess: the role of intuition, "Gut Guessing," using a "Guessing Machine," and knowing when not to guess.

zSpecific strategies for handling typical standardized test math questions.

zA simple "Plan B" that enables average students to answer many of the worst math questions with ease.

zMath that Matters: easy to learn speed math techniques for estimation, percents, fast fractions, and mental calculation.

zParticular strategies for attacking sentence completion, reading, writing, synonym, and analogy questions.

zA simple exercise that can improve reading comprehension scores in less than 10 minutes a day, and helpful suggestions for slower readers.

zThe many benefits of long-term preparation for standardized tests, and how to best profit from one’s extra investment of time and energy.

zThe best off-the-shelf test prep workbooks and guides to use ... and more.

These examples illustrate the substantial advantage students gain by participating in a Borland Educational Test Strategy Workshop.

But what else distinguishes these courses?

With so many other test taking programs, private teachers, and test prep books competing for your business, why should you go with Chris Borland and Borland Educational?

Here’s why:

Powerful, Effective Approach:

Success on “provide the answer” tests, the kind students take routinely in school, depends roughly 90% upon subject knowledge and only 10% upon test taking strategy. However, high scores on “pick the answer” tests (like the ACT, SAT, SSAT, and HSPT) depend in roughly equal amounts on subject knowledge and test taking acumen. While little or nothing can be done to meaningfully strengthen one’s command of mathematics or the English language in a few hours, a lot can be done in the same short time to learn powerful test taking techniques, tips, and strategies that dramatically raise standardized test scores.

Mastery of basic content knowledge naturally plays a huge role in student achievement on standardized tests, and long-term work with such a focus is highly recommended. Unfortunately, many standardized test courses, private teachers, and workbooks take a mostly content-based approach to short-term test prep, attempting to rapidly boost scores by quickly improving students' underlying math and verbal skills. While such short-term "drill and kill" cramming may make students feel better prepared for the test, it simply cannot and does not take the place of diligent, disciplined academic preparation year after year in school; instead of actually becoming better able to score well, students can develop false confidence and are often disappointed with the results they achieve.

By contrast, the strategic approach to standardized test taking is designed to enable students to make the utmost of the math, verbal, and writing skills they’ve already acquired in school and offers most a far better chance of greatly improved performance in the short term. Training students to adopt the strategic approach is the best way to quickly and dramatically increase standardized test scores – and this is the entire purpose of the Borland Educational Test Strategy Workshops.

Unique, Specialized Materials:

Students who enroll in Borland Educational Test Strategy Workshops receive a course folder filled with course notes and strategy outlines, study sheets and practice exercises, worksheets and tracking forms, lists and appendices – materials created especially for these courses and available nowhere else – together with the Borland Educational Resources volumes and test prep libraries on usb flash drive.

Individualized Programs:

Each student is different, with his or her own test taking strengths and weaknesses, and each Borland Educational Test Strategy Workshop is customized to help meet the particular needs of the individual students enrolled.

LOTS of Test Taking Practice, Practice, Practice:

Realistic test taking practice is a key feature of the Borland Educational Test Strategy Workshops. Each student takes full-length practice tests, and numerous mini-tests. Students are taught to record and interpret their practice test results, critique each performance, and keep a “reminders list” of important things they can do to improve their score, to review before each new attempt.

Experienced, Professional Instructor:

Chris Borland is a well-known and respected professional academic coach and test prep specialist, in private practice since 1978. As a career private educator for more than 40 years, Chris has conducted more than 25,000 instructional sessions for more than 1,500 clients, and has taught hundreds of courses in standardized test preparation for schools, student groups, and individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere.

Flexible, Customized Scheduling:

Borland Educational Test Strategy Workshops typically comprise six to twelve hours of instruction divided into several 90-minute segments, and are offered to individuals and student groups ranging in size from two to twenty-five or more. Specific days and hours can be flexibly arranged around school hours, family schedules, and vacations. Sessions are held at schools, in students’ homes, or at other local facilities.


Comments like these have come from parents and students about the benefits they've received from participating in Borland Educational Test Strategy Workshops:

“Our son ... was having a tough time with the SSAT, continuing to score in the 50th percentile range despite months of workbooks, online course study etc. After only seven sessions [with Chris], he scored in the 94th percentile! In reading comp alone he went from 45th to 97th!"

“I met with Chris for five sessions and my mindset, problem-solving skills, and comfort level with the SAT increased tenfold. I was accepted into my top schools, including several Ivy League universities.”

"Our daughter scored beyond her goal on the ACT, in her first attempt.”

“Jade's SSAT score increased 50 percentile points.”

"Chris Borland guided my daughter toward a new confidence about her capacity to achieve … realized in her SAT scores which jumped hundreds of points.”

“Our son’s SSAT score improved 44 percentile points. He was accepted into his dream school, Thacher.”

“I finally got an SAT score that I could send to colleges. I wish I never even had wasted my time with Ivy West and Kaplan.”

“You did great with Kelsey … as reflected in her Stanford 9 testing. Her score for Total Math went from the 23rd percentile to the 66th percentile. Problem Solving went from 20th to the 48th percentile. Math procedures went from the 32nd percentile to the 80th.”

“Now, years later, the same standardized test-taking skills that Chris taught me for the PSAT and SAT are helping me immensely in my LSAT prep.”

“I really liked the strategies and all the practice tests we took. They helped me a lot.”

"My daughter met with Chris only a few times before taking the SAT Math Subject Test, Level 2 ... and achieved her goal, a perfect 800."

“Chris tutored my son for the SSAT test … worth every penny. My son responded very well to him and developed learning strategies he's using to this day."

"Chris and Marshall only met four times for a total of 4.25 hours; Marshall more than doubled his earlier SSAT verbal score to 71st percentile."

“With Chris’s help, I was able to achieve a higher SAT score than I originally thought was possible."

"Chris is a bright, positive man who relates easily to teenagers at the same time that he sets definite standards and goals.”

"My son had been struggling … and in a matter of one month, Chris Borland, who came to our home only once a week, was successful in helping him increase his overall composite score in the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills from 52nd percentile to 80th percentile."

"Worth the investment!"

Better Value:

Although similar workshops provide far less, they can cost much more.

Borland Educational Test Strategy Workshops offer schools, groups, and families an excellent value.

And – It's FUN!

We all learn best when we’re having fun. Courses are conducted in a light and entertaining way, and the enjoyment of all involved is a top priority. It’s exciting for students to discover how much they can do to raise their test scores, and it's our goal to make the courses fun and interesting, as well as informative and transformative, for each one.

If you would like to arrange a Borland Educational Test Strategy Workshop for your school, student group, or individual student, or if you have any questions or would like further information, please
contact Chris Borland.

Thanks for your interest in the Borland Educational Test Strategy Workshops.

Copyright 2006-Present: Christopher R. Borland. All Rights Reserved.