Gen Academy | Test Prep Courses
We provide the best academic tutoring service and test prep courses in Toronto
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Test Prep Courses

GEN Academy provides test-preparation courses for students who  are preparing to write standardized tests. Group classes are available on weekdays, weeknights, and weekends. For the summer, intensive courses are provided. To meet the individual needs of each student, 1:1 private sessions can be arranged upon request. For the schedule, click SCHEDULE.

1. SAT Instructor Information.

a. SAT Instructor: Dianne Park, Director

  • Ed.D. in progress, Education, University of Toronto
  • M.A. Education, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.Ed. Education, Columbia University
  • M.B.A. Seoul National University
  • B.A. English Literature, Ewha Womans University


2. Course Offerings

a. SAT HeadStart Program: This year-round Saturday-afternoon course is designed for students who have time to prepare more gradually to write the SAT test. The course includes a full review of English grammar related to the SAT and to school writing. Students learn vocabulary with more in-class activities to supplement their individual study. Students also develop reading comprehension skills with a wider variety of texts so that they can become independent readers on the SAT and at school. Last, students have more opportunities to write essays and receive feedback so that they can develop their writing skills for the SAT and for school. This course offers homework, a variety of test methods to measure progress, and a monthly report on progress.


b. SAT Intense Fundamentals Course: This 4-week course is designed for students who are writing the SAT very soon and who need a quick and intense overview of the most important aspects of the test. In this course, lessons are intense and focus on teaching the key knowledge and strategies for the test. Students then have home-study assignments and quizzes outside of class time to solidify their knowledge. Students write a diagnostic test at the beginning and a final progress test at the end. Students may combine this course with the SAT Advanced Practice Course in order to increase their experience with the real test.


c. SAT Total Study Course: This 8-week course is the most complete knowledge- preparation course for those students who will write the test in the near future. This course covers all the necessary concepts for SAT students in an intense fashion. Students in this course will have more opportunities for in-class practice, they will cover more material, and they will have more chances to write complete home-study assignments for feedback. This course includes a variety of quizzes and test methods outside of class time so that the class can focus on acquiring the skills and knowledge needed for the SAT. Students write a diagnostic test at the beginning and a final progress test at the end.


d. SAT Real Conditions Test Practice and Full Analysis Take-Up: This course is for those students who already understand the concepts behind the SAT, or who simply want to practice full-length tests and get immediate feedback. Students write a real SAT under realistic, timed conditions. While students take a much- needed meal break, the tests are graded according to the SAT’s real criteria and handed back to the students. Then, our head SAT instructor, who has also done the test, will project a digital version of the test on the screen and analyze the questions, reveal the strategies needed to understand them, and explain the answers in detail. Students preparing to write the SAT are strongly advised to take this course before their real test, since this is the most realistic way to practice. Students may enrol in both a knowledge course and this course at the same time. Students can enrol in the Saturday section, a weekday section, or both.


e. Winter holiday, Spring holiday, and Summer holiday intensive programs: During holiday periods, GEN Academy offers intensive daily programs to take advantage of the break and prepare for the SAT. These options include instructional courses, guided test-practice classes, and Real Conditions Test Practice classes with Full Analysis.



3. GEN Academy and the SAT experience

a. An established school, part of its community. GEN Academy has been supporting students’ academic goals since 2003. It is a stable school well- established in its community. Its director and its senior teachers have been working at GEN for years, unlike many other schools where teachers come and go frequently. GEN is a lifestyle for its staff because we love what we do here.


b. Do our programs work? The evidence speaks for itself. Countless of our students have gone on to top American schools. Come by and see our walls of graduates. In fact, quite a number of our SAT graduates have scored 800/800 on the reading section and grammar sections of the real SAT. We are proud of so many of our students whose performance has been truly astounding on the real SAT.


c. Authentic materials: Our SAT Program uses the real SAT tests released by the College board. There is no substitute for the real thing, which we then supplement with other accurate materials and our own additional education materials to help unlock the test.


d. Resources, study spaces: Whether you arrive early for class or want to stay behind and study, we have a lunch room and quiet study space for your use. We also have a library of other materials that you can sign out and study at the school.


e. Counselor support: You are not alone on this journey. Before you start your program, our director or head SAT instructor would like to sit down with you and talk about your goals, your needs, and your timeline. We will direct you to the approach that we believe gives you the best chance of success. Throughout the program, we will follow up with you to talk about your experience and ensure that, if you’re having trouble with any aspects of the SAT, we can advise you how to adjust your study plan to overcome any obstacle.

4. What and How we teach

“We teach you how before we ask you to do.”


a. Our content: Some programs prepare students for the SAT by just reviewing SAT tests. Some programs briefly repeat basic lessons found in any reasonably good SAT book. Some programs charge you money to sit and write tests. And some programs even charge you money to study on your own at the school. GEN Academy’s SAT program is none of these. Ours is an original program devised from direct study of real SAT tests over the past several years. We show you more complex systems and concepts than most people recognize. Then we break these concepts down, one-by-one, and show you real examples of these SAT questions, and show you how to solve the questions. Our SAT program isn’t just test practice; it’s a thorough course that teaches the skills. Our program is planned out fully, with lesson plans, multiple assessment tools, and homework that you will get back. We really want you to succeed.


b. Major course components of knowledge and skills:

  • We will show you the types of reading questions, the critical-reading strategies to understand how the passage is presenting information, and how certain structures allow students to anticipate certain types of questions. We will show you how to answer before you even see the answers.
  • We will show you how the SAT generates incorrect answers and how to tell the difference from correct answers.
  • We help students build vocabulary in multiple ways with modern methods based on current scholarship, not outdated methods abandoned decades years ago. Memorizing word lists alone does not work well.
  • We will conduct a thorough and intensive review of English grammar and the SAT’s types of grammar questions in the Writing section. We know all the types, and we will show you exactly how they work.
  • We will show you how to write the SAT essay according to the SAT’s standards, not someone else’s. And we will show you several ways to do it, so you can pick the styles that suit you best. We will mark your essays quickly and give you the feedback you need to meet the SAT’s standards.


c. Class features and components:

  • Every class has a structured, concise lecture with visual aids, and direct references to how concepts work on real SAT questions.
  • In-class applications exercises individually, and at times in groups.
  • Daily homework that will be graded and returned in a timely manner.
  • Daily vocabulary review instruments graded and returned in a timely manner.


d. Assessment and reporting:

  • Diagnostic tests at the beginning and the end of the course.
  • Daily vocabulary quizzes are recorded and evaluated for end-of-course evaluation.
  • Homework is graded, tracked and included in final evaluation.
  • Practice essays are graded according to real SAT criteria and supplemented with recommended ways to improve a student’s writing.
  • Final report showing student’s progress and areas needing further work.


5. Course Materials

GEN Academy’s program uses authentic materials with real SAT tests. This includes the SAT Official Guide from the College Board, makers of the real SAT test. We also use the Barron’s Guide to the SAT, since it contains excellent reference material for class activities and for student home-study assignments. To this, we add the GEN Academy SAT Resource Guide, which provides uniquely helpful tips and resources for students to prepare for the SAT.

6. Policies and Questions

a. Students who miss lessons:

b. Cancelling enrolment:

c. Class cancellations and make-up classes: In the unlikely event that GEN Academy must cancel a class, GEN will contact students as soon as possible. Students will be able to choose between a make-up session to cover the missed class or a refund for the missed class. This would only happen if an instructor suddenly fell ill, some emergency occurred, or weather conditions generally make travel dangerous.


The ACT (American College Test) was first deployed in 1959 as an alternative to the SAT test, and it is now accepted widely by U.S. colleges as an alternative entrance exam. The ACT is now roughly as popular as the SAT, and tests a set of skills very similar to those tested on the SAT. The ACT’s format is different from the SAT’s, and so it is a worthwhile investment for prospective ACT takers to gain familiarity with the ACT’s approach and its particular concepts before taking the test. GEN Academy offers ACT classes for those students who are considering this test. Just as we do with our SAT program, we teach the knowledge and concepts tested on the ACT. Then, we use authentic ACT exams to measure each student’s progress and recommend future courses of study.


The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is one of the most widely accepted tests of English for non-native speakers in the world. Most U.S. and Canadian universities require this test for applicants who are non-native English speakers. Like any standardized test, the TOEFL targets certain skills and knowledge that students may not have fully developed at school. At GEN Academy, we do not merely practise the test; we teach students how the test works, how to understand the types of questions, and which strategies produce successful responses to those questions. We use a variety of materials for learning and practice, including authentic TOEFL exams to measure student progress and recommend future study. We even have a small computer lab where students may quietly practice the computer-based test.



AP (Advanced Placement) exams are subject tests that evaluate whether students have gained enough knowledge in a subject to be able to pass a first-year college or university course. Students who attain a high enough score can get credit for these courses in their desired college or university, and many universities consider AP Exam scores when they evaluate students for admission. Students often find that they do not receive enough preparation for these exams in their secondary school courses, and require more rigorous support for their preparation. GEN Academy offers AP preparation in a variety of courses, including English literature, English language, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and others. We teach students the concepts and knowledge behind these tests and then use authentic AP Exam materials to measure student progress.


The TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) is an English-language fluency test that covers a broad range of English competencies in speaking, listening, writing, grammar, coherence, and structural organization. Students may find that their secondary-school and university programs do not focus specifically on the skills and knowledge necessary in order to succeed on this test. GEN Academy begins by introducing students to the structure of the TOEIC and familiarizing students with the types of tasks and questions on the test. Then, our program teaches the underlying knowledge and skills necessary to process the test effectively and quickly. We explain specific strategies that allow students to produce successful responses, and then use TOEIC tests for practice and for student assessment.

SAT Subject Tests

In addition to the SAT’s general skills test, the College Board also produces subject-specific tests (these used to be called “SAT II” tests) that many U.S. colleges require for entrance to certain programs. Students often find that their secondary-school preparation does not always address aspects of the knowledge evaluated on these tests. At GEN, we will tailor a program to the students’ needs by evaluating which concepts and knowledge that students require, then teach that material. Finally, we use SAT subject tests for student practice and evaluation of student progress.


The SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) is a widely used instrument to evaluate students applying to private secondary schools in North America, and thus functions as an entrance exam for these schools. The SSAT presents certain types of tasks that young student may not always understand, or may not have encountered in their previous education. GEN Academy begins by showing students how the test works and how it is organized. We demonstrate the types of tasks and questions on the test, and then teach students the underlying cognitive and academic skills necessary to excel at these tasks. Finally, we use SSAT practice exams to evaluate student progress and report on future study needs.


The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test is an English-language test similar to the TOEFL. It functions as a test of English for entrance to universities in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Britain. The test contains a variety of English-language proficiency tasks that students may find intimidating at first. Our IELTS preparation program familiarizes students with the test, then teaches English-language skills necessary to respond successfully on the test. We proceed by teaching the best strategies for students to respond successfully, and then use IELTS practice tests to evaluate student progress and recommend future study objectives.