Making college admissions educational and engaging - Every step of the way
Essai is an education start-up company based in New Delhi. We help students navigate the entirety of the United States' college application process.Essai is committed to engaging students beyond rote memorization and helping students become independent, critical thinkers. Using creative and non-traditional methods, we offer instruction for the ACT; we also work with students to craft their personal statements and essays, creating a comprehensive college application that is bound for success. Our team - made up of creative thinkers and communicators from a variety of academic backgrounds - has had the pleasure of sending our students to some of the most prestigious universities in the United States.
We make test prep an important step in your education.
A full course consisting of tuition in all sections of the ACT can take between two and six months. Our curriculum has been developed by our own team of tutors - we focus on teaching the skills necessary to succeed at the ACT, not merely on repeated testing. We are both creative and thorough in our preparation.
To optimize individual progress, our ACT preparation classes are run in small batches. Each batch consists of no more than five students and usually meets two or three times a week. For those with special requirements or schedules, we also teach the same content in one-on-one classes.
We are registered with US-based Academy Technologies, which allows both teachers, parents, and students to keep track of individual progress. This online system makes it possible to focus on the specific needs that each student might have, whether it be in punctuation, trigonometry, vocabulary, or data interpretation. It gives us insight into how individual students think and, thus, brings us closer to each student.
SAT: Farewell, for now...
Due to the remodelling of the the SAT in March 2016 and the resulting scarcity of good teaching resources, we advise prospective students to take the ACT. The College Board has only released seven official practice tests for the new SAT, while the ACT has over forty official tests which one can use to prepare well.
Note: It is a common myth that one must take the SAT. The ACT and the SAT are both accepted and equally regarded by all American universities.
Learn more about the differences between the SAT and ACT here.
Putting you in the centre of your application
Our Counselling is a one-on-one comprehensive service that focuses on helping each student prepare the strongest application possible. This planning process can begin as early as Grade 9, allowing us to build and craft the ideal application focussed on both academic and extracurricular interests. This preparation process ultimately leads up to Grade 12, where we work with students to create memorable and creative common application essays, effective and academic supplemental essays, and comprehensive but concise administrative materials (like Activities Lists).
This experience is fun, challenging, and rewarding. We focus on helping each student discover and develop their passions, interests and achievements through profile building, as well as find their personal voice, when writing the essays! The goal for the profile building years is to have each student be ready to tackle the Essay Set and convey each their interest, leadership potential, and extracurricular excellence in a coordinated and coherent fashion.
Specific services include:
- Helping students build their profile: in Grade 9, 10, and 11. We work with students to develop a demonstrated, coordinated, and coherent record of increasing engagement over time in a chose field. This is done through creating a tailored and comprehensive plan, focussing on the students strengths and ambitions, school calendar, and testing schedule; a replicable and relevant social initiative or project calibrated to reflect specific student academic interests; and a selective for-credit program researched and applied to in a timely
fashion which aligns with intended college major.
- Helping students identify their intended academic focus: the area of specialty within any given college major choice (i.e., Labor Economics within the field of Economics).
- Helping students draft and finalize their Common Application Essay: through a series of discussions, we lead each student through the evolutions of the Common Application Essay in a series of drafts and discussions.
- Helping students develop and finalize their College List: based on school grades and testing data, we help each student develop a Provisional College List, which will evolve into the Final College List as new data points emerge.
- Helping students plan and draft their Supplemental Essay Sets: each college typically requires between 2-4 additional essays that ask questions about community, extracurricular activities, leadership, and academic interest. We help students plan and coordinate dates, deadlines, and overall messaging that articulates a clearly defined academic focus.
Putting teaching into technology
Essai has recently taken the first step into the app-world by creating Cucu, a reading game aiming at teaching the skills necessary for critical reading at grassroots level. It is the result of our realisation that many students who come for the ACT and SAT preparation classes lack basic critical reading skills. School prepares them very well for math, but not for the kind of higher synthetic reading abilities demanded by the tests.
This makes our job to get them a high English score much more difficult because we are constantly struggling against gaps in their knowledge and mindset that should never have been allowed to remain until so late in their intellectual development. Cucu is an attempt to foster early development of critical reading abilities in young people who are more than ever used to consume more than they can reflect.
In today's world we consume so much that we become less and less critical about what we consume. Cucu makes consumption more reflected by giving usually silent texts inquisitive voices that throw a number of challenges at the reader's feet as he or she navigates through the flow of data. Cucu is a game that that oils your synapses, polishes your grey cells, and gets your lobes firing on all neurons.
Learn more here.
Farhad graduated from Yale in 2010, where he read sociology, and spent some of his spare time as the president of Society Electronica. Farhad has worked with UNESCO in Senegal, in New York as a consultant with ReD Associates, and with the One Laptop per Child Project at MIT. He likes books and trees and is a co-curator of delhi_tree_spotters
Nick graduated from Harvard in 2006, during which time he rowed for the heavyweight crew and occasionally read philosophy. After graduation, he taught at the Shrewsbury School (UK). In 2010, he wrote Pearson's "Official Guide to the SAT". In his spare time, he enjoys writing plays.
Sonali graduated from Yale in 2017, where she majored in philosophy, did A Cappella, and ran around New Haven, CT as publisher of the Yale Rumpus: Yale’s premier (and only) humour publication. In her spare time, she enjoys watching plays, writing children’s stories, pretending that she works out, and listening to NPR.
Silvio graduated from the University of Lucerne in 2013, where he studied piano and pedagogy. From very young years his passion for music was accompanied by an equally great interest for languages and poetry. In self-study he acquired a working knowledge of several ancient languages and their poetry, such as Ancient Greek, Old English, Old Norse and Sanskrit. Now he is working on bringing these two passions - rhythm and words - together by writing poetry.
Zohra graduated from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University where she read Philosophy and was often mistaken for an English major. She is mostly pondering over general uncertainty of the world while trying to embrace the present through words. She enjoys making quirky lists and having sentimental conversations/ watching sentimental cinema.
Anuva graduated from Brandeis University in 2014, where she studied Psychology, Public Policy and Legal Studies. She then worked at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, before returning to India and joining the Litigation team at Luthra and Luthra. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga and playing tennis, baking and travelling.
Mili graduated from Occidental College in 2013, where she was a recruited swimmer and studied Public Policy and Spanish. She then worked as a fellow with Teach for India, after which she received an MA in Education Policy and Sociology from Columbia University. Prior to joining the Essai team, Mili was working as a college consultant in Singapore. In her spare time she enjoys spontaneous adventures and listening to music.
Kabir graduated from Purdue University, USA in 2010 where he studied Business Management and Marketing. After pursuing a career spanning various industries including Food Technology, Hospitality, F&B and Telecommunications, he eventually recieved his MBA from Les Roches, Switzerland with a specialization in Corporate Finance. His passions include golf, football, and food.
Gurbani graduated from École hôtelière de Lausanne in 2016, where she studied International Hospitality Management. She has since been working for an F&B company in India as well as volunteering her time at different education-based NGOs. She likes to try different foods, have long conversations about religion, politics, and feminism, and enjoys listening to electronic music.
Jessica graduated from Cambridge in 2016, where she studied Anthropology and enjoyed participating in numerous sports and societies. She has taught in UK schools, as well as privately tutoring students of all ages. Her interests include politics, travel and fitness.
Laksh graduated from Ashoka University in 2018, where he majored in English Literature and read film. He likes thinking about literature, philosophy and politics, and often hopes to translate his thoughts into moving images (and has done so on two occasions). Outside cinema, he is fond of walking, playing racquet sports, and making breakfasts.
David graduated from Oxford in 2016, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, while bumping his way through three years of college rowing. He spent two years in Amsterdam working as a night manager, and reading the Guardian’s ‘100 Greatest Novels of All Time’. In his spare time, David enjoys books, films and mountain hikes.
1. TEACHING FELLOW
We want teachers, communicator, and creators. Our Teaching Fellows design and deliver innovative test prep content for Indian high school students that leverages the strengths of the existing educational infrastructure against the global standard for secondary learning: the ACT/SAT. While facilitating this preparation, the Teaching Fellows field tests material in live classroom settings, always seeking improved efficiency and economy of instruction. Our methods are analytical and data-driven. Our philosophy is experimental. Our results are outstanding.
Communication skills are a must. We’re looking for creative and motivated individuals who want to help young people discover their passions while enjoying the support, freedom, and flexibility to pursue their own - and we want to help our team acquire a set of value-adding educational skills that they can practice anywhere in the world.
2. ESSAI FELLOWSHIP PARTNER PROGRAM
Essai is launching the Essai Fellowship Partner Program, a highly selective two-year fellowship opportunity in New Delhi for passionate young college grads who want to make a difference in the world. Candidates will be selected through a rigorous application and interview process on the basis of demonstrated academic interest, leadership potential, and relevant education experience. All nominated Fellows will receive a generous salary, housing, a round-trip airline ticket, and support in the Visa process.
At Essai, our mission is education. But to us, the best teachers are always the most motivated students. The Essai Fellowship Partner Program aims to support highly motivated young educators in their personal and professional growth by facilitating structured work experiences with dynamic and impactful organisations.
We are currently seeking applicants for the following fellowship programs:
· The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) - a leading think tank dedicated to conducting research for sustainable development of India and the Global South.
Essai-TERI fellows will split their time evenly between both organizations. At Essai, fellows will provide ACT tutoring services, which includes instruction for all aspects of the ACT exam: English, Math, Reading, Science, and the essay. Fellows may also be involved with curriculum development and design, contributing to Essai’s mission of keeping learning fun, engaging, and tailored to individual student needs. As a new and rapidly growing company, Essai also welcomes team involvement in various aspects of business development, from graphic design to social media management. At TERI, fellows will be given the opportunity to contribute to ongoing initiatives relating to sustainable development, renewable energy resources, and community outreach. As a research-focused organization, TERI is primarily interested in knowledge creation and project implementation, throughout both its Indian and global networks. Fellows will have the ability to help shape projects that relate to their specific interests surrounding environmental issues, with the possibility of creating and leading their own such projects.
Find out more about TERI
· Learning Matters Foundation - an innovative, non-profit organization that seeks to address the educational needs of all children, specifically those who experience a range of learning challenges
The Essai-Learning Matters Fellowship is intended to facilitate the practice of innovative teaching and learning in a variety of settings for students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. At Learning Matters, Fellows will work at a cutting-edge child centered, early childhood education program called Right Start; and will implement effective teaching strategies in the Student Success Program, an intervention program for primary grade students with learning differences. At Essai, the Fellow will have the chance to develop ACT material for small groups of high-schoolers, field test new learning methods, and pioneer new technologies that can help us glean insight into the fundamental processes of reading, comprehending, and interpreting.
Better understand the work of Learning Matters Foundation
· CUCU (Developer) - an interactive reading game created by essai.
We are in the early stages of developing an exciting game app, CUCU, which transforms users into better readers whilst connecting them to the freshest online content. Our goal is to revolutionise the way in which young people engage with written material, and to put the enjoyment back into reading. Essai is seeking a motivated and competent individual, with experience in app development, who will be able to oversee the development and growth of cucu. The ideal candidate will also be able to pass on their technical skills to our students, through teaching computer science (and also potentially science or math) classes to small groups. As a new and rapidly growing company, Essai also welcomes team involvement in various aspects of business development, from graphic design to social media management.
Learn more about CUCU
SOUND INTERESTING? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume/CV for more info!
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