Though Inspirica’s roots are as a one-on-one tutoring company, we have realized over the years that effective test prep means more than just training the best tutors and helping individual students reach their highest possible scores. The preparation process doesn’t start when students sit down with a tutor for the first time, and it doesn’t stop in-between tutoring sessions each week: it’s an ongoing process that only ends when students open acceptance letters from their dream schools, and we want to be there each and every step of the way.
That’s why we were so thrilled to create our School Programs initiative, which is designed to form and cultivate long-lasting relationships with all types of schools, from public to private to parochial. We work with teachers, counselors, and administrators to help them ensure that their students are prepping for the right test using the right approach and are getting the right guidance along the way. It’s our privilege to provide our partner schools with the assistance they need as they guide their students through the college admissions process..
ACT/SAT Test Selection and Preparation
The SAT and ACT are radically different tests, and almost every student is better off focusing on one over the other. Teachers and counselors are constantly bombarded with questions from students and parents about which test to choose; fortunately, our Agnostic Diagnostic, or ‘AgDi’, makes answering those questions as easy as it could possibly be.
You can find a brief overview of the test to the right, and a much more thorough explanation of its inner workings is available as a white paper PDF should you want more detail. We’re so confident in its ability to offer an accurate and personalized test recommendation for each student and so certain of the importance of that recommendation that we offer group administrations of the test to our partner schools completely free of charge. Here’s how it works:
Provide all the information and systems necessary to register students for their test date and deliver a complete list of registrants to you prior to the test.
Print, package, and ship all the necessary materials to your school prior to the test, including proctoring manuals and pre-paid return postage with which to return the students’ answer sheets.
Process, score, and analyze the results, producing a detailed score report and test recommendation for every student.
Schedule small-group online meetings with parents to review the results and discuss testing recommendations free of charge.
Provide your school’s counselors with a comprehensive spreadsheet summarizing each student’s results.
Administer the tests to students, either in-school or at-home, whichever is most convenient for you.
Mail the answer sheets back to us in the provided postage-paid envelopes
We are pleased to offer free access to Rapid Prep, our week-long online small-group ACT/SAT course, to each student who completes the Agnostic Diagnostic through our in-school testing programs. For families interested in more comprehensive test prep options, we also offer discounted rates for our other options, and we can guarantee that we have an option that will fit the needs of every one of your students. Our offerings range from fully customized 1-on-1 programs to small-group programs that include live webinars and a digital video archive. No matter the format, all our programs are run by the best tutors in the business; that’s as true today as it was 35 years ago.
The Test Selection Process
The Agnostic Diagnostic is divided into seven short sections, each modeled on one of the sections of either the SAT or ACT. It takes about three hours to complete, does not include an essay, and nearly all questions are multiple-choice.
The first section is a Reading Test. Students read several passages in formats that models the SAT. The questions here test reading comprehension with a focus on understanding the development of themes throughout the passage.
The next section is an English Test. This is a fast-paced section that tests familiarity with the conventions of written English, including punctuation and sentence structure, within the context of analytical, persuasive, and first-person passages. This section models both the SAT and ACT, as the two tests are nearly identical in format for this set of tasks.
The next three sections are each Math Tests. The first of these is modeled on the ACT and focuses on concepts learned in pre-algebra to pre-calculus, with an emphasis on word problems and abstract algebra. The second test models the SAT in challenging students to complete a variety of tasks within each individual question,. The third test also models the SAT; it challenges students in many of the same ways as the previous section, but with the added difficulty of completing the questions without the use of a calculator.
The sixth test is a second Reading Test designed to model the ACT. Students must complete questions spread across three passages, but in this section they are given ten fewer minutes with which to work, forcing the frantic pace required by the ACT.
The final test is a Science Test modeled on the ACT, so is not so much a measurement of scientific knowledge as it is a test of a student’s ability to read and interpret data presented in tables, charts, graphs, and figures.
In a single test session, students face all the major structural and conceptual challenges posed by each test, allowing them to complete two tests’ worth of material in the time it takes to complete one official test. The test takes about three hours to complete, and with setup instructions and breaks the entire testing experience should take fewer than four. The test does not include an essay, and nearly all the questions are multiple-choice. The timing of each section is as follows:
Reading 1: 28 questions, 35 minutes
English: 30 questions, 20 minutes
Math 1: 30 questions, 30 minutes
Break: 10 minutes
Math 2: 15 questions, 20 minutes
Math 3: 15 questions, 20 minutes
Break: 5 minutes
Reading 2: 28 questions, 25 minutes
Science: 40 questions, 35 minutes
Each student will receive a comprehensive score report and test analysis, with accurate starting score ranges and sub-ranges for each test section and composite scores for both the SAT and ACT.
Score ranges are calculated based on data collected from all available official practice tests for both the SAT and ACT. Inspirica’s team of test experts aggregated the raw score numbers required to hit certain benchmark scaled scores in each section for all released official tests, determined the average raw score for each benchmark, and then scaled those raw scores to match the lengths of the corresponding AgDi sections. You can be confident that your student’s scores are based directly on the most accurate data available.
Each student’s results are analyzed by Inspirica’s test experts, who use official score data from both the ACT and the SAT and a variety of performance metrics to produce a starting score range for each test and a customized test recommendation for each student. A student’s test recommendation is based partly on their score ranges, but several other factors are taken into account as well. Our test experts weigh considerations such as:
- in which sections the student performed the strongest and weakest;
- whether, and in which sections, the student had timing problems;
- the student’s relative performance on the Math sections, which represent one of the most significant differences between the SAT and ACT.
Inspirica’s approach to test selection is grounded in the fact that just as the SAT and ACT are not the same, no two students are the same; you can trust the fact that every recommendation we give is based on the strengths and weaknesses of the specific student and how those line up with the characteristics of each test. With our data-driven test recommendation in hand, students can confidently prepare for the test knowing that they’ve selected the one best suited to their individual style.
One-on-One Academic Support
Our expertise doesn’t stop at standardized tests: we have tutors who are specialists in almost every academic subject, including writing & grammar, history, science, and math.
We’ve got your students covered from first grade to senior year, all at the same discounted price that your test-prep students will receive.
Free Consultation with Inspirica's Head of School Programs
If we can offer guidance to your staff or to your students and parents at any step of this process, we’re happy to do so. Nina Abrams, our Head of School Programs, is a former public-school teacher with more than a decade of classroom experience, so she knows better than most the unique challenge of managing test preparation alongside academic endeavors.
Standardized tests are hard for everyone involved, so we want to make this process as painless for you and your students as possible. If you’re interested in learning more about what Inspirica can do for your school, email Nina and let us show you why we’ve been industry leaders for more than 37 years. We can’t wait to get started!