The test selection process varies based on the program type.
For younger students seeking admission to private elementary and secondary schools, test selection is usually determined by the requirements of the schools to which the student intends to apply. This process can often be confusing, especially for parents going through the process for the first time, and we’re happy to talk you through what you need to know, up to and including connecting you with our network of outside advisers who can provide additional guidance throughout the process.
For high school students, test selection is an essential but far too often overlooked part of the admissions process. Since the early 2000s, colleges and universities across the United States have treated the ACT and the SAT as interchangeable options, leaving each student free to take the test that best fits his or her testing style. When the College Board redesigned the SAT in early 2016, the need to choose the right test became even more acute as the differences between the tests became even more significant. Unfortunately, some high schools do a poor job of explaining these differences to their students, and in some cases they don’t even make the attempt at all. To fill that gap, our team of test experts has developed the Agnostic Diagnostic, a proprietary tool that simulates all the sections of both the ACT and SAT in a single test session. Our team reviews each student’s results and then crafts an individualized testing recommendation and starting score ranges, which we will review with you at no charge during a follow-up consultation.
For older students seeking admission to graduate schools, test selection is also becoming increasingly important. Just as many law schools now accept either GRE or LSAT scores, so too do business schools now accept either the GMAT or GRE. And although most traditional graduate programs require the GRE, some require a GRE Subject Test as well. Whatever your individual needs, we’re happy to discuss them with you in order to build the perfect prep plan.
Once the test has been selected and the contours of the program have been outlined, we’ll get to work matching you with one of our world-class tutors. As the pricing section of this site details, we offer two different levels of tutors to choose from. All our tutors are among the very best at what they do, and each has been through an extensive process of training and mentoring from his or her first day on the job. We believe so deeply in the power of one-on-one tutoring, in fact, that we make one-on-one mentoring a part of all tutors’ regular responsibilities, no matter how long they’ve been with the company.
During the consultation process, we’ll discuss you or your child’s learning style and availability, and once you have selected your service level, we’ll work quickly to find just the right person who can meet on the days and times you need. This part of the process usually takes about 24 hours, and once the match has been made, we’ll introduce you to your tutor by email and the program will get underway!
Once you’ve been introduced to your tutor and scheduled your first session, we will send you a package of tutoring materials. This package includes both proprietary and third-party materials selected by our team of test experts, and every item that we include has been chosen by them as the best available tool for the job. For SSAT, ISEE, SAT, and ACT programs, we also give each student access to our digital curriculum and adaptive testing platform, which becomes an essential part of all students’ preparation as they work towards test day.
Because no two students and tutoring programs are the same, and because the needs of each student often change as the program evolves, we also provide all our tutors with access to a wealth of digital materials via the Inspirica Cloud. Throughout each program, our tutors use that system to supplement the materials provided to you at the start of the program, allowing them to carefully target their work to each student’s individual strengths and weaknesses.
Last but certainly not least, each student will also have access to a suite of previously released official tests. These tests will be assigned by the tutor at regular intervals throughout the program as both full-length practice tests and homework assignments. We will make certain that you practice how you play and play how you practice, putting you in the best possible position to succeed on test day.
Tutors generally meet with their students every week, and sessions are either online or in-person depending on the choices made during the consultation process. Most sessions are between 90 minutes and two hours, which provides enough time to complete a thorough review of the assigned homework and to introduce and review new strategies and content. Each session builds on the last and is tailored to the individual performance of each student every week, so no two programs are ever exactly alike.
As with any kind of training, the results that you see will depend in large part on the work that you put in between sessions. Homework is assigned by every tutor between every session, and during standardized test programs, each student typically takes one full practice test each month. These tests will in most cases be completed using our digital testing platform, which provides immediate access to the student’s results and provides the tutor with a wealth of analytics that will be used in the next session to assess performance and guide the program to its next test date.
Nearly every student takes the official test more than once, and many test up to three times before the program is complete. Programs therefore have an average length of about three months, but many go shorter or longer, and as you work, your tutor will work with you to assess and reassess your testing calendar. We want you to get your best possible score in as little time as possible, and we promise not to drag this process out to be any longer than it needs to be.