Summer Boot Camp in Shanghai

This summer, Elite China offers the same top American academic preparation and counseling services for all students in grades 3 to 12 at our two Shanghai locations:

Pudong: No.1789 Yunshan Road; 021-61945586
Xuhui: No.406-1 West Jianguo Road; 021-60293805

Contact your closest campus for more information or visit

Posted on May 16, 2016 .

Winter & Spring SoCal Weekend Kickstart Programs

The Elite SAT & ACT Weekend Kickstart Programs are supercharged two-day workshops, where students not only learn effective test-taking strategies but also learn how to tackle the some of most commonly tested concepts that appear on each section of the SAT or ACT!

We have a number of Kickstart Practice Test and Weekend Kickstart Programs coming up in Southern California over the next few months. The price is just $10 for the practice test or $159 for the two-day Kickstart program (a reduced rate of $79 is available for students who participate in the Free & Reduced Price Lunch Program).

Winter & Spring 2016 SoCal Kickstart Dates:

Woodbridge HS- Irvine, CA
SAT Practice Test: Feb 13
SAT Kickstart: Feb 20 & 21

Canyon HS
(at Elite of Anaheim Hills)
SAT Practice Test: Feb 13
SAT Kickstart - Feb 20 & 21

Edison HS - Huntington Beach, CA
SAT Practice Test: Feb 13
SAT Kickstart - Feb 27 & 28

JSerra Catholic HS
(at Elite of Laguna Hills)
SAT Practice Test: Feb 20
SAT Kickstart - Feb 27 & 28

North Hollywood HS - NoHo, CA
SAT Practice Test: Feb 20
SAT Kickstart - Feb 27 & 28

Woodbridge HS - Irvine, CA
ACT Practice Test: Mar 5
ACT Kickstart - Mar 12 & 13

Edison HS - Huntington Beach, CA
ACT Practice Test: Mar 12
ACT Kickstart - Mar 19 & 20

Canyon HS
(at Elite of Anaheim Hills)
ACT Kickstart - Mar 26 & 27

North Hollywood HS - NoHo, CA
Practice SAT - Mar 12
SAT After School Kickstart - Mar 29 to Apr 21
Practice SAT - Apr 30

Great Oak HS - Temecula, CA
Practice SAT - Apr 2
SAT Kickstart - Apr 16 & 17

Canyon HS
(at Elite of Anaheim Hills)
Practice SAT - Apr 16
SAT Kickstart - Apr 23 & 24

Posted on February 23, 2016 .

All About the Redesigned SAT: Systems of Equations

The New SAT - The Redesigned SAT - Math - Systems of Equations

When a test like the SAT undergoes a major redesign, changes come in a variety of forms. Big changes like those to the essay structure are easier to spot, but subtle changes can be just as interesting.

Consider the pair of similar-looking questions above. On the left we have a question that could appear on the current SAT Reasoning Test. On the right we have a question that could appear on the redesigned SAT.

So what is different? The question on the left has five answer choices; the question on the right has four answer choices. The question on the left has three variables and two equations; the question on the right has two variables and two equations. But is that it? Are we looking at two superficially different yet largely equivalent questions?

The key different between these two questions is not how they look but how they are solved. On the left, we have a system with more variables than equations.

Can we solve for y? No. Can we solve for z? No. Do we need to? No.

We don’t need to solve for y or z, we just need to find the sum of y and z. And if we subtract the second equation from the first equation, we get y​+​z​=​4. How did we know to subtract the second the equation from the first equation? Because the SAT Reasoning Test is looking for clever manipulations of these equations (in this case, simple subtraction) to get the desired result without solving the whole system.

But what about the question on the right? Here we are asked for the actual solution. So we have two simple approaches: we can solve this system like any beginning algebra student by eliminating one of the variables, or we can find the solution by plugging in the pairs given in the answer choices.

Neither of these solutions works on the question on the left: we can’t solve the system, and we can’t directly plug in numbers for y​+​z.

Why does this matter? Well, this change showcases one of the main differences between the math sections on the SAT Reasoning Test and the redesigned SAT. The math on the current test focuses more on problem-solving skills, while the math on the new test focuses more on skills with the kinds of questions given in school.

Read more about the Redesigned SAT on

Posted on November 24, 2015 and filed under SAT.

Faculty Profile: Robert Utter – Elite of Rowland Heights

Hi Robert! Thanks for taking a break from classes to talk with us! Tell us a little about your background. Where are you from, where did you go to school, and all that good stuff?

I'm originally from La Puente, California. I received a B.A. from Whittier College with a major in Physics and a minor in Math. I also received a M.S. from California State University, Fullerton with a major in Physics. 

Lots of your students are heading to college soon and will be choosing majors and classes and all that fun stuff. What was your favorite college course?

My favorite college course was called Chaos in Science and Literature. The first half of the semester dealt with chaos theory and how complex systems are not very deterministic due to all the unknown variables. The second half of the semester discussed literature that referenced the chaos theory, the butterfly effect, fractals, and strange attracters. It was a very fun and interesting course. I liked it because it was different from all of the other typical math and physics courses I was taking. 

What are some tips or advice or you’d give to your high school self?

I would tell my high school self to get involved in the drama club freshman year. I joined the drama club my junior year in high school and wished I had started sooner. Drama really helped me handle public speaking and to be comfortable in front of a large crowd.  

What do you know about college now that you didn’t know before you attended?

I now know that college is really only the beginning. Back then I felt college was all I was going to need. In reality, graduate school has been much more important for me. A bachelor's degree now is not worth the same as it was 30 years ago. A master's degree is really the key to having a successful academic-related career.  

If you were a character from Star Wars, which one would you be? 

Definitely Obi-Wan Kenobi. As a physics professor, I'm always teaching students “The Ways of the Force.”


Posted on November 22, 2015 .

Faculty Profile: Chieh Cheng – Elite of Laguna Hills

Hi Chieh! Thanks for the interview! Let's start at the beginning. Where are you from originally?
Born in Hong Kong, but I grew up in Orange County, CA. 

Where did you go to college?
I went to UCLA for undergrad, and UC Irvine for grad school where I got my MFA in Fiction.

Why did you become a teacher?
I started as a Teaching Assistant while working on my MFA and writing my thesis, which later turned into a novel. During this time, it made sense to have a job that made me constantly think about the challenges facing a novice writer, particularly when many of the students at UCI are science/technology/math/engineering (STEM) types who usually aren't predisposed to writing, and who needed not only instruction, but a sympathetic ear and and an understanding perspective.

As the years went on, I realized that working with students was something I enjoyed and something that kept me in touch with the world.

As far as teaching at Elite, the kids have always been great to work with–intelligent, highly motivated, curious. I just had a student at the Laguna Hills Elite who'd developed a reading app for blind people. I tested it out and the phone took a picture of a page from a textbook and read it (!). It's nice being around people like that. They tend to teach me as much as I teach them. 

Everybody’s got a superpower. What’s yours?
When I was a kid, I always thought Cyclops' power of firing optic blasts was nice, though James Kakalios' The Physics of Superpowers reminded me that Newton's third law would mean that a single blast would snap his neck.

I'm no X-Man, so I'd have to say I'm excellent at being pretty good at a lot of things. 

What are some of your favorite study tips?
I don't think this is particularly revelatory–don't procrastinate and start early. Stick to a schedule and make sure you're physically and mentally rested before an exam.  

Who are some of your most notable role models?
There are a lot of people whose work I admire, but I've also learned that amazing work doesn't always translate to admirable people. At the risk of sounding saccharine, I'd have to say that the way my wife carries herself on a day-to-day basis is inspiring to me. And she does amazing work, too.

Posted on November 11, 2015 .