925.478.4504
Orinda Academy is a Co-Ed, College Preparatory, Independent School for Students in Grades 8-12, and has a Convenient East Bay Location.

Budget-Friendly SAT Preparation

College Preparatory High School  East Bay

SAT scores are still reviewed by college admissions offices as a determining factor as to which students will be admitted. If your child attends a college preparatory high school, the challenging academic curriculum should make the SATs a little easier for him or her, but you should still enroll him in an SAT prep course or buy SAT practice books. Here is some helpful information on budget-friendly SAT preparation for your high school student.

Buy an SAT Guide Book
SAT guidebooks are typically under $20, and discuss test taking and study strategies, and provide practice exams. “The Official SAT Guide, 2nd Edition" is considered the best study guide for the test, and includes 10 practice tests. You can also find study resources and practice tests online for free, but make sure that you are getting them from reputable websites.

Organize a Study Group
Talk to other parents at your child’s high school. Chances are, they’re stressing out about preparing their child for the SATs, as well. Arrange a regular study group for your child during which at least one adult moderates and encourages the students to prepare and practice. A study group is also useful because it allows everyone to pool their study materials and resources together.

Enroll in an SAT Prep Course
SAT preparatory courses are the best way for your student to comprehensively prepare for the test. Prep courses can be found both online and in person, but if your child isn’t self-motivated, online learning may not be an effective strategy. Online courses cost about $70, but make sure that the course is offered by a reputable organization, such as the College Board. An online course will provide practice tests that assess your child’s right and wrong answers. Orinda Academy also provides SAT Prep classes with outside companies and extensive college counseling.

At Orinda Academy, our college preparatory curriculum is designed to get students ready for the SATs, AP exams, and the college admissions process. Each student receives a comprehensive academic education tailored to his personal learning style. For more information on admission events and our admissions process, visit our website, or call us today at (925) 478-4504.

Steps for Narrowing Down Your College Choices

College Prep School East Bay

When you attend a college preparatory school, you will be met with a world of opportunities in your higher education. As your high school graduation date draws nearer, you will want to narrow down these choices and consider which school is really the best fit for your future. Selecting a college is a tough decision, and there are many factors that you will want to look at before choosing the school you’ll attend. In the process, it can be helpful to narrow your choices down to a shortlist so that you have a few solid choices to establish a successful future.

Consider your ideal environment
Before you dive into the academic programs and extracurricular activities that colleges have to offer, you should think about the type of environment you want in your school. If small class sizes are a leading priority, larger state schools may not be the right choice. You might also consider whether you want to attend a university or a smaller, specialized college since this will help you shorten your list of prospective schools to a more manageable selection.

Name your top priorities
After you think about the general environment you’d like to experience in college, you should start considering what you want in terms of athletics, student programs, and living arrangements. Creating a ranked list of priorities can help you decide between two or three schools that make it onto your final list.

Get to know individual departments
You should get to know schools as a whole, but remember to look beyond the bigger picture to the departments in which you will actually study. Different schools will excel in unique areas, so determining your major, or at least having an idea of what you would like to study, can be incredibly helpful.

Schedule campus visits
Naturally, the best way to pick a school is by seeing the campus, getting to know students and faculty, and exploring the facilities where you will spend the next four years. Of course, you do not want to pack your entire spring semester with campus visits, so this will likely be the last step in determining where you want to get your higher education.

With a foundation at Orinda Academy, students become well-prepared for college with rigorous academics paired with small class sizes and personal attention to let individual minds flourish. To get to know more about our East Bay academy, visit our website or call us at (925) 478-4504.

Spotlight on Student Clubs at Orinda Academy

student clubs - orinda academyStudent learning does not take place exclusively in the classroom. At the high school level, students should have access to clubs and activities outside of regular school hours that promote more advanced learning and social interaction. In addition to providing stimulation for young, active minds, student clubs enhance college applications and help students stand out in the ever-more-competitive environment of college admissions.

Orinda Academy proudly offers several student clubs to promote new interests and experiences, which might include litigation and event organizing in student council, journalism and writing in the student newspaper, or creative exploration in music or filmmaking clubs. Students might also discover new cultures with food and multicultural clubs that meet once a week. Athletic students may find a welcoming environment in the school’s sports and recreation club, while critical thinkers might flourish in chess club. For students whose interests are not met through existing clubs, there is always the opportunity to start a new club with the help of experienced faculty members.

To discover everything that Orinda Academy has to offer for college-bound students in the East Bay Area, visit us online or call (925) 478-4504.

How Foreign Language Classes Enrich Student Education

Core academic subjects such as science, mathematics, and reading are essential for student development, but extracurricular courses can have just as many benefits in learning. Foreign language, for example, is often excluded from standard curriculum, though it has many advantages for young learners. By participating in foreign language courses, students learn much more than a new vocabulary. They gain a more expansive worldview and appreciation of other cultures along with the valuable attributes discussed below. It is for these reasons that Orinda Academy offers two-tiered foreign language courses for students from grades 8-12.

Improvement in overall language skills

Studying a foreign language not only improves skills in that language, but it also helps to boost a student’s overall understanding of grammar and other characteristics of language. Students who study multiple languages tend to have more advanced reading and writing skills, and this is demonstrated with a strong correlation between language study and higher standardized test scores.

Expanded educational and professional opportunities

In today’s global economy, it is almost a necessity to have foreign language skills to attain the most desirable positions in the job market. Even in school, learning a foreign language can open up new opportunities with study abroad programs and campus employment at the college level.

Increased memory and problem solving skills

Learning a new language involves lots of memorization, which helps to strengthen the brain’s memory skills. Problem solving, cognitive tasks, and spatial reasoning also benefit from foreign language instruction. Beginning or continuing foreign language instruction at the middle school level is particularly advantageous, because this age is a time of significant cognitive development.

For a closer look at the language and education adventures program offered at Orinda Academy, contact us at (925) 478-4504. As a college preparatory school for students in grades 8-12, we set high academic standards with the luxury of individualized attention and exceptional student activities.

Student Success Story: Jessica Jarett

Jessica Jarett started at Orinda Academy in 8th grade. She excelled during her time with us and graduated in 2001 as valedictorian of her class.

After graduation, Jessica attended Long Island University where she earned a B.S. in Marine Science. She now has a PhD in Microbiology from the University of New Hampshire and is a Postdoctoratal Fellow in Computational Biology at the Genome Institute.

We are so proud of Jessica and all she's accomplished. To learn how your son or daughter can become a success story at Orinda Academy, a private college prep school in the Bay Area, visit our website.

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