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Students Left Hanging at Library SAT/ACT Program

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Aura Gomez-Tagle wanted to get her SAT/ACT sample test scores at the Mamaroneck Library, where Kaplan Test Prep was supposed to hold a workshop Tuesday night.

Kaplan held a free sample SAT and ACT test Sept. 10 at the library, and scheduled a follow up workshop Tuesday to give the results and tips on how to improve scores, but never showed, leaving Gomez-Tagle and library staff unhappy and frustrated.

"There was a severe problem with the calendars online," said Margaret Chadwick of Kaplan Test Prep Admissions Wednesday morning. "It was a big mess."

Kaplan has rescheduled the workshop for Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the library's conference room.

While Gomez-Tagle, a sophomore at Harrison High School, patiently waited outside the conference room Tuesday, she compared notes on the four-hour sample test they had taken.

"The most helpful part for me was to see the reading selection," said Gomez-Tagle, who had to find any grammatical errors and correct them. "Most of our homework doesn't have questions like that."

The frequent patron of the Mamaroneck Library was one of only a few who stayed to take both the SAT and ACT sample tests. In addition to one essay on the SAT only, both have four sections, which allow students to take about half of each test.

"This gives them a chance in a four-hour setting to see both tests," Chadwick said. "The SAT and ACT are completely different tests that a 16 or 17 year old have ever seen before. So, anything they can do to get rid of the element of surprise will help them do better on the test."

Gomez-Tagle's mother Belia thinks all kids should take a prep test one year in advance to relieve the stress.

"I'm happy that I've been exposed to the questions," Gomez-Tagle said. "Now I know what to look for on the test and I feel better prepared."

Kaplan Test Prep also offers the free program at several other locations, including the New Rochelle Boys and Girls Club, Rye High School, Rye Reading Room, White Plains High School and the Scarsdale Teen Center, where a SAT/ACT combo practice test will be held Oct. 5 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Will you, or your child, take the SAT or ACT test? Comment below, on Facebook and Twitter.

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