Hi! 👋🏻 I’m Cait, Head of Instruction at Fiveable.
If you don’t know us, we’re the edtech startup democratizing learning by leveling the playing field for students in the US. We were founded by Amanda DoAmaral, an all around badass lady and former teacher. You might’ve seen when she went viral for this beautiful verbal smackdown of College Board VP Trevor Packer. We’ve been helping kids study for AP exams for two years now, and we have a 92% pass rate. You read that right: A 92% pass rate.
This fall, we’re offering courses for the first time, in all 38 AP subjects. We know you have a ton of decisions on your plate this year about school, so we wanted to share a bit more about what our courses are, how we built them, and why you should join us.
👩🏾 🧑🏽 👩🏻 🧑🏼 Community drives courses.
Students, universally, say they miss the community parts of school—bonding with friends in the hall, connecting with teachers who get it, receiving support from adults outside of the classroom. Schools, universally, can’t figure out how to create that special sauce without being on campus, in person. At Fiveable, we’ve already done it.
This summer we tested it out with over 800 kids who chatted about everything from #mentalhealth to having #curlykinkyhair to being a #fluteplayer. Students met other students and connected with them. They made new friends, entirely online. They felt supported by their peers and the adults in the space. You know, like at school!
👩🏽🎓🛠👨🏿🎓Students built courses.
We’re not kidding when we say we’re building something with students, for students. The whole idea for courses came from students brainstorming what Fiveable could offer during this weird time. We got a ton of feedback. A common thread? Become a school.
So we rolled up our sleeves and worked with students (pretty much constantly, to be honest) to build out what a course would need to be like to fill the gaps schools can’t fill right now. Student vision and feedback is at the heart of it, and that won’t change.
💻 We get remote learning.
This whole COVID thing isn’t a transition for us—we’ve always been teaching and building community online, since Amanda’s first stream in 2018. We know how to keep students engaged, how to teach them and make it stick, and how to make them feel welcome, capable, and supported. And we do it online, exclusively. We’ll never make you feel bad for having your camera off or wearing PJs or eating a pizza during class. We’ve done all of those things ourselves (don’t even get me started on business on top, PJs on bottom).
🔥 We love passion projects.
Each month, every course will have a passion project option designed to inspire students to explore the content in a creative, compelling way that has a real world impact. Students told us they want to see how all this school stuff fits together, why it matters, how it will help them make a difference.
We heard that, and we built it into the structure of courses. The options are vast: You might do a “textual analysis” on an episode of your favorite TV show (Umbrella Academy, anyone?) for AP Lit, or you might design your own video game that addresses a cause you care about for AP Comp Sci Principles.
👨🏽🏫 We know teachers.
Our team contains a lot of teachers (including me! hi former students!), so we didn’t just pull this out of thin air because we saw an opportunity. We lesson planned, just like your teachers at school do. Then we went out and searched for the best teachers—you know, the legendary ones everybody talks about, with the classes that fill up every year—and we made them accessible for you. We also trained them to keep class engaging online, make information feel manageable and easy to understand, and design awesome projects to connect the content to real life.
We also made sure our courses contained the features students need most right now. When you sign up for Fiveable course, you get:
Weekly live lectures from an official AP teacher
Study guides for every unit
Projects and practice assignments
Feedback on FRQs from real AP readers (the folks who grade the exams)
Office hours led by student TAs who’ve passed the exam with flying colors
An active community of support
24/7 live chat help from a community of students, teachers, and TAs
So what are you waiting for? Get in here. We can’t wait to meet you.