27 octobre 2021

College Entrance Exam Prep : Get ready for college !

Given the different possibilities offered by the Dual Diploma Academica program, choosing an elective can be difficult. Even more so when your interest is varied! To help you choose, here is a presentation of the “College Entrance Exam Prep” Elective. 

The electives for the High School Diploma allow students to explore their own areas of interest. In addition to the specialty courses they have chosen for their première and terminale, in preparation for the Baccalaureate.

This elective is not the most challenging. It is primarily intended for students who wish to study in the United States after their French Baccalaureate. A good level in both English and Math is important to succeed in this elective.

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Overview of the elective

This course will incite you to practice thinking strategies, build verbal competence, and sharpen your mathematics reasoning.

You will also acquire essential test-taking strategies to be prepare before taking your SAT and/or ACT exam. These exam are required to apply to some US colleges in addition to the US High School Diploma.

You will receive relevant information regarding the college application process in the United States. And resources in order to prepare best for the SAT and/or ACT.

How is the College Entrance Exam Prep program structured?

This course is a preparation of both of the college entrance exam, the SAT and ACT. These two exams test the student’s level in English and mathematics, which you are prepared for through this elective.

During the first semester, you will learn about reading and writing a college paper by :

  • using sources
  • identifying the main idea of an essay
  • applying critical analysis of com
  • comparative elements, analysis through definition, interpreting bias, as well as discover implied meaning.

You should not be afraid to broaden your knowledge and learn new words. Test your vocabulary with our quiz!

Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way

Flabbergasted: greatly surprised or astonished

Ubiquitous: being everywhere at once

During the second semester, you will learn concepts of mathematics such as fractions and mixed numbers, ratios, rates, concepts of geometry and statistics, exponents and polynomials, as well as trigonometry.

“While taking this elective I really appreciated the way mathematics are taught. It is very different from what I have experienced in my French high school. There are way more exercises and way less theory. In France we try to demonstrate everything, but in the American system it revolves more about the result and real examples to make it feel more alive. There are also more mental calculation (ou computation OU arithmetics) as during the SAT there are a mathematics part of the exam without access to a calculator.” – Elise OLLE

In addition to the lessons offered on the course platform, the content-based live sessions (virtual thematic classes in English and live) are an opportunity to reflect on specific topics in a group.

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What are the themes covered during the virtual classes?

The content-based live sessions are a time to work with other students, deepen the knowledge of the course, ask questions from topics that may be problematic.

You will be able to practice what you have seen in the course and interact with your classmates and teacher.

The live sessions will vary from one semester to the other. During the first semester, the topics would be axed on English writings and understanding, while during the second semester, the topics will revolve around mathematics, both algebra and geometry.

This year, students were able to learn about the different uses of subjective and objective writing, basic concepts and building blocks of geometry, reviewing mathematical concepts through a “game show”, and even about exam anxiety.

Practical Information – College Entrance Exam


Duration : 3h30 with breaks of 10 minutes

Subjects of the test :

  • Reading Section – 65 min

    Writing and Language Section  – 35 min

  • Math (no calculator) – 25 min

  • Math (with calculator) – 55 min

  • Essay (optional) – 50 min


Get more information


Duration : 3h30 with breaks of 10 minutes

Subjects of the test :

  • English – 45 min

  • Math – 60 min

  • Reading – 35 min

  • Science – 35 min

  • Essay (optional) – 40 min


Get more information

College Entrance Exam Prep : What to take into consideration when choosing this elective

The College Exam Prep Elective is one of the hardest elective offered by the Dual Diploma Academica. It is aimed for students who wish to study in the United States after their French Baccalaureate and have a strong capacity of personal work. A good level in both English and Math is essential to succeed in this elective.

Be careful of the timing when taking this elective! Indeed, you should not take this elective in the class of terminale as it would be too late to pass the SAT and/or ACT exam in time for university application. Some of the content you will see in this course would only be approached in the class of première, which would be the best time to choose this elective. If you decide to take College Entrance Exam Prep before, you should be prepared to work on subjects that you may not have studied yet in your French High School.

Of course, this elective is totally feasible! This course will be the key to succeed for the SAT and/or ACT exam. You should stay organized and ahead with all of your assignment to perform well with this elective.

Un mot de Kristine Smythers, Global Teacher of the Dual Diploma Academica International Studies :

“If you are thinking about studying in the U.S then this is the course for you. “College Entrance Exam Prep” is a great way to practice Reading and Math skills that are presented in the SAT.

This course will prepare you for the SAT and will help you maximize your results. You will learn different strategies and review numerous concepts throughout the school year. The first semester will focus on Reading and Writing skills while the second semester focuses on Math.”

Témoignage de Pauline S. :

As far as this elective is concerned, it was what I expected at the beginning of the year, that is to say classes on the forms in which we had to write our essays, what we had to put in the content, vocabulary, or else on the mathematics side, new things that I hadn’t learned yet.

I really enjoyed this course because it taught me how to organize myself, especially in the form of writing, which I found very interesting, and also for the math side I learned some things from the American program, things that I would never see in France, so I find that it allows me to discover new notions.

What I like the least is that there is a lot of homework and lessons to learn, so you feel like you’re doing nothing else all day, but it teaches you to be organized, which is also a positive point. One piece of advice I would give would be to get organized! That’s really the key. You also have to avoid procrastination. There is so much to learn that you can’t do everything on the last day.

This elective doesn’t necessarily help me in my post-baccalaureate project, except in the rigor and form of the essays that I might submit in the future.

Témoignage de James M. :

The course content is very interesting and complete.

Nevertheless, offering this Elective in the first year of Academica is for me a mistake, at least a very bad timing. Indeed, in France, the math program stipulates that most of the concepts covered by the Elective College Entrance Exam Prep (such as second-degree polynomials, trigonometry, etc.) be covered in première. Moreover, students usually take the SAT at the end of the first year, or in the first year (which corresponds to Junior). However, this Elective is not offered in Première, only in seconde, when the student does not grasp all the notions and does not retain them, or in Terminale, when it is too late because the SAT has already been taken.

The Academica year, which corresponds to the junior year, does not offer a choice for an Elective, only two Mandatory Courses.

Therefore, the feedback I would like to give is that this is a choice that can be very useful for a student, but that this choice is not offered at the right time. So I think that in order to get the most out of this SAT preparation, French students should be able to take the Elective College Entrance Exam Prep during their junior year.

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