The Test Prep Process

Standardized tests are hard, so preparation should be a team effort. When you work with Inspirica, you get more than a great tutor: you get a team of people committed to helping your child succeed. We understand that the test prep and college admissions can be intimidating, so we do everything we can from our first interaction to demystify the process. Our tutors and staff prioritize open lines of communication and clear explanations for any recommendations that they offer. We aim to bring positivity to what can often be a difficult process, and we strive to leave a personal and lasting impact on every family with whom we have the privilege to work.

Below you will find the six key elements of the Inspirica process. Please take some time to read through each, and when you are ready, schedule your free consultation.

Phone Consultation
Test Selection
Tutor Matching
Program Materials
Program Management
Ongoing Parent Support
Phone Consultation

The process begins when you schedule a phone call with our team of Program Coordinators. You’ll provide us a bit of background on the student and then choose the day and time that works the best for you directly from our staff calendar. At that selected time, they will call you at the phone number you provide to discuss your needs and to begin customizing a learning program perfectly suited to helping your family achieve its goals. Calls typically last 15 to 20 minutes and usually include a discussion of typical program length, pricing, test selection, and tutor match.

Test Selection

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 advisors 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.

Tutor Matching

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!

Program Materials

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.

Program Management

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.

Ongoing Parent Support

As a parent, you'll be given access to Teachworks, the program-management and billing platform through which you will see a complete schedule of sessions, receive feedback on the program from your tutor, review your bi-weekly invoices, and update your credit card information. We want this process to be as transparent and simple for you as possible, so should you ever have any questions or concerns, we will never be more than a phone call or email away. When you work with us, you get more than a great tutor: you get a team of people committed to helping your child succeed.

Our Values

Integrity

Integrity

We believe that how you get a result is as important as the result itself, so our work centers on building the confidence and habits each student needs to meet any challenge head-on.

Warmth

Warmth

We approach every program with the goal of bringing positivity to what can often be a difficult process, and we strive to leave a personal and lasting impact on every family with which we have the privilege to work.

Flexibility

Flexibility

We have worked with every type of student in every academic circumstance and on every type of test,
so from staff to tutors, our approach is grounded in the simple fact that each child and family is unique.



What We Believe

  • Every student is unique – This simple fact should inform every aspect of the test-preparation process, from test selection to tutor match to program timeline
  • You get out of tutoring what you put in – Great scores are earned, and a tutor’s job is to channel the student’s hard work in the most productive and efficient direction possible.
  • You practice how you play – Every aspect of the test-taking process can and should be practiced, which is why learning test strategy and taking practice tests are just as central to our programs as studying content.
  • It takes a village – Standardized tests are hard, and preparation should be a team effort. When you work with us, you get more than a great tutor: you get a team of people committed to helping your child succeed.
  • Transparency matters – Test prep is intimidating enough as is; it shouldn’t also be an opaque and mysterious process. Our tutors and staff prioritize open lines of communication, regular student progress updates, and clear explanations for any recommendations that we offer.
  • It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools, but it’s a negligent craftsman who ignores them – We continually strive to use the best possible materials for all our programs, combining official test content with our own in-house curriculum and supplementing that with the highest-quality third-party materials available.