More than anything else, the key to being accepted to a specific university lies in a single number: the score one obtains on a standardized entrance exam. However, to achieve the highest possible score on these tests, knowledge and ambition simply aren't enough. Prospective students gain a competitive edge by learning relevant test-taking techniques and practicing the skills necessary for succeeding on a given test.
Enter YedaPlus, the boutique institute that specializes in maximizing the chances to be accepted to excellent university programs both in Israel and overseas. In addition to providing first-rate preparatory classes for entrance exams such as the SAT, GMAT, GRE and TOEFL, YedaPlus assists with the entire application process – matching students to universities and assisting in preparing the personal statements, while guiding them through what is often a confusing and complicated procedure.
YedaPlus has two convenient locations: in Ramat Gan's Diamond Center district off the Ayalon highway and in Haifa's Checkpost neighborhood. Its dedicated and professional staff teaches all the preparatory courses in English. Since all of the entrance exams are administered in English, including those required for Israeli academic programs, it's a significant advantage to prepare for these exams in the language in which one has to take them.
Another major benefit of studying at YedaPlus is that class sizes are limited to no more than 20 people. Each student receives individual attention, and classroom sessions are supplemented with private tutoring at no extra fee. Furthermore, students are able to get real time practice with simulations and in the marathon test sessions that take place prior to the real exam. YedaPlus educational approach helps students maximize their score by allowing them to repeat test preparation courses as often as they like, without having to pay extra, for a full year!
According to Director and Co-owner Andrea Lang-Raz, The success of Yeda Plus's students can largely be attributed to the top-notch teaching staff. We have a small staff that teach multiple courses and are highly committed and experienced. All are English speakers who scored in the 95th percentile or better on the exams they teach. They feel that it is their mission to help each and every student achieve the best possible results.
Preparatory courses are 2-3 months long. Students can choose between courses that meet two evenings a week for four hours at a time, or courses that meet once a week on Friday mornings for six hours.
The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is a standardized test required for admission to undergraduate degrees in the United States and certain other countries. A well-kept secret is the fact that most Israeli universities accept SAT scores in lieu of the Israeli psychometric test. We strongly recommend that, with the university's confirmation, Israelis who are comfortable with English take the SAT and not the psychometric exam, notes Lang-Raz.
Not only is the SAT easier than the psychometric, its preparation course takes only about two months, as opposed to 4-5 months for the psychometric exam. Also, the SAT is offered six times a year, whereas there are only two dates for the psychometric exam. Another consideration is that the SAT is much less expensive and, unlike the psychometric exam, calculators are permitted and there are breaks during the test.
If those reasons aren't sufficient, people who took both the SAT and the psychometric exam almost always achieved higher scores on the SAT. Since the SAT is accepted both in Israel and abroad, it's a wise choice for anyone who isn't sure where he or she will study, asserts Lang-Raz.
The SAT consists of ten sections, divided into three parts: Writing (which checks grammar and vocabulary), Critical Reading and Math. YedaPlus's unique preparation program has proven itself, with hundreds of students succeeding on the SAT every year.
GMAT and GRE
The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is used by most MBA programs as the principal tool for selecting MBA students. It is administered on a computer and measures quantitative, verbal and writing skills. Israeli business schools usually focus on the applicants' score on the quantitative section, while international programs care about the overall scores. Since the GMAT is always administered in English, taking an English-language preparation course provides an extra edge for non-native English speakers, as they will be more comfortable with the English terminology than those who took a preparatory course in Hebrew.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), a standardized test required for admission to graduate programs in the U.S., Canada and several other countries, is designed for students seeking Masters and PhD degrees in fields other than Business, Law or Medicine. It is also required for certain Israeli university programs, such as the four-year Medical School track (GRE Biochemistry) and some Psychology programs, as well as for those applying to the prestigious Foreign Ministry cadet course. Students applying to graduate degree programs in Israel who hold undergraduate degrees from universities abroad are often required to have GRE scores. The GRE consists of three parts: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.
TOEFL and IELTS
Another popular exam for which YedaPlus prepares students is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Widely used all over the world to assess mastery of the English language for academic purposes, TOEFL is obligatory for anyone applying to undergraduate or graduate programs abroad who has never before studied in an English-language institution.
The TOEFL test comprises four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. Doing well on the TOEFL requires both strategy and knowledge. At YedaPlus, students learn how to take the test, including tricks and techniques, from the experienced staff. Even people who are fluent English speakers are urged to take the one-day workshop that teaches them the correct test-taking strategies.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is very similar to TOEFL, with the main differences being that it uses British English rather than American English and that it includes a live face-to-face interview. In addition to the academic IELTS test required by certain universities, there is also a general test option for immigration and work purposes in countries such as Canada, Australia and the UK.
YedaPlus makes it possible for Israelis to have international experiences abroad within an academic framework, which serves to enrich their professional experiences when they return to Israel. Andrea Lang-Raz stresses that the application process abroad is 100% different from the Israeli system, which only looks at psychometric test scores. Abroad, it is a holistic process which takes into account the applicant's entire profile – who they are, their thoughts, their character, their experiences, etc YedaPlus coaches applicants to foreign universities throughout the admissions process, helping them build a strategy, working with them to ensure that their personal essays are as effective as possible, and preparing them for their interview. Lang-Raz, who heads a team of six international application coaches, is personally involved with each case and shares her vast knowledge and experience with the applicants. High scores aren't enough, she explains. Foreign universities are looking for candidates with experience, leadership skills and internationalism, among other traits.
Although Israelis mainly seek to go abroad for their Masters or PhD degrees, there is also a sizeable group interested in getting their B.A. of B.S. at American universities. Colleges in the U.S. are more expensive than in Israel, but many American schools offer scholarships to athletes and to gifted students from other countries. Furthermore, some of the top Ivy League schools have a need-blind admissions policy whereby they accept students regardless of their financial situation, and guarantee financial aid to those who can't afford the tuition costs, and in some cases even subsidizing the flight tickets.
YedaPlus has adapted the system traditionally used for applying to competitive MBA programs to include applications to all academic degrees. The process starts with brainstorming for content and identifying prominent characteristics and personality traits. The next step is to build a strategy for presenting the student to the admissions committee and matching the student to appropriate schools and, finally, refining the written application so that it is written in a highly effective manner that presents the candidate in the best possible light. YedaPlus oversees the professional preparation of the various segments of the application – from the Resum, Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose, and Writing Sample for PhD applications, to reviewing Letters of Recommendation and preparing for the Interview.
20 years of experience
Andrea Lang-Raz, the Director and co-owner of YedaPlus, made Aliyah from the United States in 2002. She has a Masters in Education from Columbia University and has dedicated her 20-year career to teaching professional English and helping students submit strong admissions applications to universities. She has developed a unique system for admissions strategy and application building that is fundamental to YedaPlus's achievements and reputation in this field.
For the past 14 years, Lang-Raz has taught Business English at the Technion, where she was honored with the title of Lecturer of Distinction. In addition to being a certified Teacher of English as a Foreign Language, she has also taught English through movement to children and has developed various English-teaching and presentation techniques for different audiences.
Moreover, Lang-Raz is highly experienced in preparing senior management from top Israeli companies to give presentations to English language audiences. In presentations as in admissions applications, the idea is to know what you want to say and then to find the best, most effective way of communicating it to the target audience. That was how I moved from Business English Coaching to admissions applications for MBA candidates and now for all degree applications, she explains.
- Lia Weiner, accepted to a B.A at Yale University: YedaPlus gave me an excellent learning environment with structured time and an opportunity to meet like-minded students. They did everything they could to facilitate my studies.
- Yamen Abbas, accepted to a B.A. at Harvard, Amherst, MIT and Columbia: I just received incredible news! I got early acceptance letters from Harvard, Columbia and Amherst with full financial aid! Needless to say, I'm incredibly happy! I can't express how much I appreciate the help and encouragement of the YedaPlus staff during the application process.
- Hana Amara, accepted to a B.A. at Brandeis, full scholarship: YedaPlus has helped me reach my goals and further my education. With their help I am going to the university of my dreams. I would like to thank them for their patience and dedication.
- Shachar Amit, accepted to a B.A. at NYU, USC and UCLA: Getting into the top film schools was a difficult task, made easy and enjoyable due to the kind and productive assistance of the YedaPlus staff, including Ran, who helped me compose beautiful essays, and of course Linda, whose endless wisdom and experience in taking standardized tests allowed me to reach my full potential. Thanks!
For a free orientation session and trial class, call 1-700-709907. For more information, go to www.yedaplus.co.il.