PREPARE vs. the Competition
Why should you choose PREPARE for your test prep needs?
Because PREPARE is the best test prep service in the area. Ask my customers. Take a look at my Google business page or my testimonials page: there’s a decent chance you’ll find someone you know there.
Also, feel free to check in with your high school guidance office (at this point, most local counselors are familiar with my work) or even with paid college counselors. I do not have a quid-pro-quo agreement with any of them, but they often send students to me because they know that my class is effective.
Which test prep style is better? Classroom vs. Tutoring
I believe that a classroom setting, with a knowledgeable instructor, is the most efficient, cost-effective way for most students to improve their SAT and ACT scores. When one student asks a question, she helps everyone else because, chances are, a bunch of other students have the same question. I like kids to see that they are not alone: that everyone else has weak areas, too. It helps to know that no one is perfect, that everyone makes mistakes—including their teachers! 🙂
There are some good subject tutors out there, but few of them are experts in the ACT or SAT. Perhaps, they are expert in one area: math or reading. Also, tutors are usually teachers, grad students, even college students looking to make some extra money in the side. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that but, frankly, my course is far more comprehensive and effective (see my Testimonials page) than anything they can offer. Even better: since I have a lot of students, I can actually charge students less per hour than they can.
Still, if you’re set on private tutoring, I can provide that option, albeit at a higher cost per hour.
Exactly what’s wrong with my competitors?
Jeez, where do I start?
I have been doing this since 2004 and, to my knowledge, there are no other quality SAT classroom courses in Southern Pennsylvania.
What about Huntington, Kaplan, Princeton Review, Revolution Prep, Sylvan, etc?
My for-profit competitors have pretty much abandoned classroom courses for on-line offerings, which are more profitable. However, there are a few national companies with local offices: they make you come in and take their diagnostic test (and charge you over $100 to do so) and then hit you with their “personalized” recommendation for thousands of dollars of private tutoring from teachers who, again, are not experts in SAT or ACT prep! BEWARE THESE PEOPLE! Exactly who are their instructors? Are they full-time test prep folks with a verifiable track that you can examine? Or are you supposed to simply take the company’s word for just how awesome everything will be?
What about cheap SAT prep courses at the local high school and community college?
High school prep courses are typically cobbled together so administrators can tell parents: “Hey, we’ve got an SAT prep course!” Unfortunately, that course is almost always taught by a subject teacher, untrained in SAT or ACT prep, just trying to earn some extra dough. Shoot, these folks haven’t taken an official test themselves since high school. (I take both tests regularly.) So, after a year or two, the class ends, not with a bang but with a whimper. Both teacher and institution move on to other things… until, a few years later, a new administrator or board member asks, “Hey, why don’t we have an SAT prep class?” and the cycle begins all over again.
Don’t take my word for it: go to your local school guidance counselor and ask. If by some chance, your school happens to have a prep course now… ask how much experience the teacher has. Even better: ask anyone—student or parent—about how well this kind of course worked for them.
Courses at local community colleges are not much better, mostly for the same reasons. They want to offer a useful course, to give a job to an otherwise under-employed subject teacher. Seems well-intentioned, but wastes kids’ time and their families’ money.