Shivam Dave recently became one of the newest Test Masters success stories when he rocked the SAT and obtained a flawless 2400. In doing so, Shivam became part of a small club: each year, only .02% of students who take the
SAT obtain perfect scores. Yet unlike most elite clubs, this one is not exclusive; with the right preparation, hard work, and dedication, more and more “regular high school students” have gone through Test Masters to score a 2400.
Originally from Edison, New Jersey, Shivam moved to Texas seven years ago and now proudly attends Pearland High School. After graduation, he would like to study biochemistry and/or molecular biology (and would looooove to do so at Stanford), with an eye to a future career in medicine.
Test Masters recently sat down to chat with Shivam, and found him to be an ambitious teenager who knows what he wants and has a plan for getting there. Part of that plan involved a high SAT score, and though Shivam did the hard work himself, he credits Test Masters with making the difference between “just” a high score and a perfect score.
Continue reading to learn more about Shivam and his experience with Test Masters!
Q: What are your hobbies or extracurricular activities?
A: “My life basically consists of Academic Decathlon, sleep, and everything else. In fact I somewhat attribute my SAT score to the work ethic that I had to develop last year in Academic Decathlon when my team and I won the Texas Large School State Championship. Everything else includes Debate club, Future Problem Solving, Math Club, and other organizations that I hold a position in or am a member of. My hobbies include playing tennis, table tennis, and basketball. ”
Q: What community organizations are you involved in?
A: “I am pretty involved in my temple, Shri Meenakshi Temple in Pearland. I try to help out at a lot of the events organized at and/or by the temple. For example, one of the highlights of my summers is being a counselor at the Shri Meenakshi Temple Youth Camp. In addition, I have recently become involved with the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry through a family friend which means I try to help out at bone marrow drives across Houston whenever possible. In addition, I volunteered at the Pearland Public Library in the past and have helped out in the community through the National Honor Society.”
Q: Why did you choose to take a test prep course? Did you take any other course?
A: “I knew that the SAT was an important part of my college application and I wanted to make sure that I made every effort to bolster that application. Test Masters was the right choice based on what I’d heard about them from friends and family. I felt so well-prepared after taking Test Masters that I knew I didn’t need another course.”
Q: What did you like best about Test Masters?
A: “One of the things I liked best about Test Masters was the quality of the teachers. They all knew what they were talking about, how to convey their points to the class, and how to make the test manageable. In addition, Exam Club was an invaluable asset since my belief is that practice tests are the best way to prepare for a test.”
Q: Do you feel that you could have achieved a perfect score had you not taken a Test Masters class? How helpful was Test Masters in helping you attaining a perfect score?
A: “I’d like to believe that I would have scored high without the course. At the same time, I don’t think a perfect score would have been possible without the class since I learned all the little tips and tricks to keep bringing my score up even when I knew most of the information and concepts covered on the test. Test Masters was extremely helpful in getting me to that perfect score and I am extremely appreciative of that.”
Q: What study materials available at Test Masters did you find particularly helpful?
A: “The study materials, especially the Big Word list, the practice tests, and the course manual that Test Masters provided were extremely apt and helpful.”
Q: What advice would you have for the students preparing for the SAT?
A: “First of all, calm down. A lot of emphasis is placed on the test (for good reason) and this leads to a lot of pressure for students preparing for it. But if you’ve taken a class like Test Masters, spent some time studying on your own, or paid attention in school, you’ll be fine. Don’t worry.
More specifically, take as many practice tests as possible. Identify problem areas that show up on a lot of the tests you’re taking and fix them (using the answer explanations or the internet…those are wonderful resources). Get into a habit of rechecking your answers because there is nothing you will regret more than getting a lower score because you made an avoidable mistake. Read books. It’ll help you on Critical Reading, Writing multiple choice questions, and the essay.
Aim for a perfect score and go into the test confident. If you’ve set your goal to be perfect, and you’ve worked hard enough to deserve that score, worst case scenario you fall a few points shy and still end up with a score in the 99th percentile.”
To view Shivam’s actual interview, check out the video below: