In 2019, Jesuit began an exciting new partnership with Ray Dass to ensure thorough PSAT, SAT, and ACT prep for all students. Ray Dass has spent the last decade developing and perfecting a program, named SARA™, which has helped over 100,000 students throughout the country and has won the national award for best test prep app for the second year. He has spoken to some of the most prestigious education associations in the country to share his techniques and philosophies. SARA™ has achieved a level of success in the field of test prep that has solidified Ray Dass’ position as a leading test preparation expert.
Every student in ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades participates in SARA™, which is a progressive, three-level program that is based on the “early engagement” approach advocated by the College Board. SARA™ is designed to ensure student accountability and mastery of vital concepts and skills for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT. Students are enrolled in a College Readiness course taught by our college counselors, and as one of their course activities, they will work through the SARA™ program of studies.
SARA™ is aligned to PSAT, SAT, and ACT benchmarks, as well as to the curriculum that most students see in grades nine through eleven. It is designed to reinforce the curriculum students see in school, and prepares students to see how the content they learn in school will appear on the PSAT, SAT, and ACT.
Utilizing the most advanced progress tracking available in an education platform, at the speed of just a few taps, SARA™ shows student mastery down to individual concepts and question types.
The Ray Dass SARA™ App has won both the EDDIE award for Best Educational Software and the BESSIE award for Best Test Prep Software for four consecutive years.
SARA™ puts the most powerful learning tools at every student’s fingertips, including highly trained SARA™ experts available whenever students need a little extra help.
Should students employ an outside test prep company alongside Jesuit's test prep program?
- Our goal is to provide families and students with all they need to prepare for college admissions testing. SARA™ programming provides instruction and content equal to or greater than most of the commonly available test prep courses, and we believe most of our students will see little benefit from other outside education. Of course, as with any learning, some students may be aided by additional help, as long as that help is compatible with the methodology and requirements of his Strake Jesuit SARA™ work.
Why are students graded on their SARA™ work?
- Grades can help students understand what is important and set goals for themselves. Test preparation is a different kind of work than any of a student's academic courses, and requires less time. This is why we've elected to express grades as pass/fail instead of our more typical letter grades. Students will receive all the support they need to pass the course and succeed fully. For more grading information, visit the Student SARA information page.
When will students be introduced to the SARA™ program?
- In one of their first College Readiness class meetings, students will use their iPads to walk through the registration process and be introduced to SARA™. College Counselors will provide all the needed information about timelines, goal-setting, expectation, and the like. Once students are registered, Ray Dass staff also provide online technical and educational support.
Can seniors take advantage of the Ray Dass program?
We recommend that seniors use other resources for test prep. The SARA course of studies includes 100s of hours of programming, and is intended for use over three full years. As such, SARA is not the best option for quick test prep at the beginning of senior year. Many other test prep providers do offer programming specific to seniors, designed to be completed in a few weeks or weekends (e.g., 10–40 hours). Therefore, we recommend that seniors in the Class of 2019 look elsewhere for test prep. Consider contacting your college counselor or older friends for recommendations. If senior parents still want to engage in the SARA program, Ray Dass has created a unique retail offering for Jesuit seniors only to receive full access to SARA. Because this unique opportunity is not contained within the Strake Jesuit Ray Dass partnership, there is a small cost of $99.00. Families can contact Mr. John Fahy for more information.