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Sheldon S.

Sheldon Soper is a ten year veteran of the teaching profession and currently serves as a junior high school teacher in southern New Jersey and as a freelance writer. His primary focus is building reading, writing, and research skills in his students. He holds two degrees from Rutgers University: a B.A. in History as well as a M.Ed. in Elementary Education. He holds teaching certifications in English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Elementary Education. Thomas has also worked as a tutor for grades ranging from second through high school in a wide variety of subjects including reading, writing, calculus, chemistry, algebra, and test prep. His core educational beliefs stem from the notion that all students can be successful; it is the role of educators to help facilitate growth by differentiating and scaffolding student learning on a personal level.
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Recent Posts

Should Your Students Take the SAT Essay now that Harvard Won't Require It?

Posted by Sheldon S. on Apr 18, 2018 7:44:00 AM

Next year, Harvard's pool of applicants will not be required to send SAT Essay scores. In a recently announced policy shift, Harvard has joined fellow Ivies Columbia, Cornell, and Penn in no longer requiring applicants to submit either of the optional SAT or ACT writing tests.

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Topics: College Admissions, College Applications, Test Prep Advice, SAT Essay, SAT Writing, Harvard, University of California, Stanford, SAT Essay Guide

How to Interpret your SAT Scores

Posted by Sheldon S. on Apr 3, 2018 5:51:00 AM

With SAT score reports set to release in just a matter of weeks, there’s no better time to figure out exactly what information is coming your way.

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Why Test Prep Companies Should NOT Attempt to Compete on Price

Posted by Sheldon S. on Mar 13, 2018 6:33:00 AM


The Price Is Wrong.

One of the most important decisions you can make for any business is what to charge for your products and services. Typically, this judgement boils down to a strategic choice about the business itself: are you peddling a common commodity or offering a high-end product or service?

In the case of the latter, you have the ability to charge a premium to employ the best staff, and implement the most effective curriculum. With the former, you will spend your days trying to make ends meet in an unwinnable race to the bottom of local test prep pricing.

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Topics: ACT Prep, marketing tools for tutors, ACT curriculum, Marketing Mistakes, ACT Academy, Free ACT Test Prep, price strategy

Erasing Careless Mistakes on the ACT and SAT

Posted by Sheldon S. on Mar 9, 2018 6:55:00 AM


Years ago when I took the SAT as a high school student, I got a single problem wrong on the math section. One. I remember exactly what the problem was as well as the mistake I made. Especially frustrating was that fact that the only thing standing between a perfect SAT math score and me was a single, careless error.

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Topics: sat homework, College Admissions, act homework, Test Prep Strategy, SAT Tests 2018, ACT Tests 2018, Free ACT Test Prep, Free SAT Test Prep

How Tutors Can Compete with FREE Test Prep

Posted by Sheldon S. on Feb 12, 2018 5:14:00 AM

The recent announcement of the new, free ACT Academy coming online this spring has a lot of test prep tutors and companies on their heels.

While the SAT has offered fairly robust, free test prep materials for several years, the ACT (read: currently the most popular college entrance exam) has kept much of its materials safely locked behind a paywall. With both tests now committed to supplying test-takers with databases-worth of free practice material, how then can the test prep industry compete?

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Topics: ACT Prep, SAT Prep, free download, marketing tools for tutoring companies, the College Board, free tools for tutors, Khan Academy, Free Ebook, free practice test, ACT Academy, Free ACT Test Prep

Getting the Most out of Your New Test Prep Tools

Posted by Sheldon S. on Jan 30, 2018 6:09:00 AM

So you’ve taken the leap and stepped up your test prep game with a new curriculum, now what?

It doesn’t matter if you have the most engaging and approachable test prep curriculum in your local market, if you aren’t wielding it in the most effective ways possible, your students won’t reach their greatest heights.

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Topics: SAT Tutoring, free tools for tutors, ACT tutoring, worksheets for tutors, tutor certification course, SAT Tests 2018, ACT Tests 2018, small test prep company, Practice Tests

Help Students Create Achievable Test Prep Goals

Posted by Sheldon S. on Jan 26, 2018 5:44:00 AM

At the start of a new year, setting goals is all the rage. There are resolutions, social media fads (I’m looking at you, #oneword2018), and big dreams for how people will dramatically transform their lives for the better. While there is a poetic nobility to the effort, statistically speaking, these goals often fall flat.

The same can be said for students’ test prep ambitions. Students can say they hope to excel, but how many test takers actually have a feasible and actionable path for getting there? One of the most crucial jobs of a test prep professional (and in turn, an SAT or ACT test prep curriculum) is to ensure that students can both set and achieve realistic growth goals.

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How Fresh Is Your Test Prep Offering?

Posted by Sheldon S. on Jan 16, 2018 8:04:55 AM

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A new year is the perfect opportunity to take a step back and assess your test prep business. Just as gym-goers are packing their local fitness centers chasing resolutions for healthier bodies, test prep companies should be looking for ways to trim the fat in their SAT and ACT test prep courses.

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Topics: tutoring company, Best Practices, Productivity, entrepreneurism, Planning, Test Prep Advice, professional tutors, small test prep company

How Smaller Test Prep Companies Can Stand up to the Giants

Posted by Sheldon S. on Jan 5, 2018 6:13:00 AM

Getting into the test prep game can be intimidating for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is the rise of large, retail tutoring outfits that have the capital, marketing, retail space, staff, and supplies to gobble up the local market.

Does this mean there’s no hope for the little guy? Quite the contrary! With a few purposeful business decisions, smaller test prep and tutoring operations can go toe to toe with (and even surpass) the biggest competitors in town.

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Topics: ACT Prep, Marketing, Test Prep, SAT Prep, grow your tutoring company, Tips for Tutors, small test prep company, independent tutor, Practice Tests, Marketing Mistakes

Helping Students Choose the Right Testing Center

Posted by Sheldon S. on Dec 14, 2017 5:18:00 AM

A lot of preparation goes into a successful test day. Students sharpen skills and master testing strategies. They sign up for test dates and decide where to send their scores. Unfortunately, students often overlook one important decision: where to take the SAT or ACT test. And that small decision can have a significant impact on test day performance. Today, we help tutors answer the question, "Where should I take the SAT test?"

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Topics: ACT Prep, Test Prep, SAT Prep, Best Practices, the College Board