5 Things to do NOW to Prepare Your Test Prep Business for Summer

Test prep businesses should already be thinking about the sunny summer days just around the corner and the challenges that come with them. Are you ready? It's time to consider updating your test prep offering to generate referrals, impress parents, and improve results, Summer is coming. Be ready.

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

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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How to Interpret Your SAT Scores

The SAT is a complex test that generates a lot of useful data for admissions counselors, tutors, parents, and students. It is important to look beyond the total score for opportunities to both celebrate success and target further improvement.

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Matt McCorkleComment
How Long Should Your Tutoring Sessions Be?

Effective tutors tailor their instruction to the needs of their students. At the first session for a new client, a number of key decisions must be made based upon pre-assessment data and a student's growth goals.

Ultimately, part of that decision-making discussion must include how long tutoring sessions should last and how often they should occur. While some test prep companies opt to standardize the process and their curriculum as much as possible, the best ones find ways to tailor fit the experience to student needs. Deciding upon the ideal session length for a student is one aspect of tutoring personalization that tutors and test prep professionals cannot afford to overlook.

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Matt McCorkle
Why Test Prep Companies Should NOT Attempt to Compete on Price

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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Matt McCorkle
Erasing Careless Mistakes on the ACT and SAT

With standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, it does not matter why a test taker’s answer is wrong. A careless mistake costs the same amount of points as an incorrect guess. As such, it behooves test prep tutors to equip students with strategies to prevent these types of mistakes in order to maximize scores and showcase students’ true skills.

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5 Ways to Help Parents Support their Child's Test Prep Efforts

Just as buying a $10,000 guitar and hanging it on a wall won’t make you the next Eric Clapton, parents who pay top dollar for test prep don’t automatically wind up with students who ace the SAT.

Success and proficiency come from a combination of dedicated practice, effort, and invested time. As a tutor, the focus is typically on the student; but an often-overlooked part of the formula for a successful test day is parental involvement.

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Matt McCorkle
Is Your Test Prep a Commodity?

Commodities have long existed as the cornerstone of economies large and small throughout time and across the world. In simple terms, a commodity is a raw material or good with a high degree of fungibility, meaning its value exists irrespective of who or what produced it. My gold bar is worth the same as your stack of gold coins. Cotton, cocoa, and frozen orange juice are all examples of commodities. And unfortunately for a lot of tutors out there, test prep has increasingly become a commodity. And with the rollout of ACT Academy, the trend is set to continue. How will your business react?

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Matt McCorkle
How Tutors Can Compete with FREE Test Prep

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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Matt McCorkle
Avoid the Flu, Save the Planet, and Raise Test Scores by Harnessing the Power of the Butterfly Effect

This year especially, the flu is no joke. People aren't just missing school and work — they're dying. Most years, it's the very young, the elderly, and the immunocompromised who are most at risk. This year, it's become common to read of otherwise healthy twenty-somethings dying a few days after the onset of symptoms. If you work around children, you're on the front lines.  So do your part by learning this silly nursery rhyme. The life you save may be your own!  And as a bonus, this post will also help you raise test scores. No lie. 

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Matt McCorkle
Getting the Most out of Your New Test Prep Tools

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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Matt McCorkle
Help Students Create Achievable Test Prep Goals

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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Matt McCorkle
Get Your 2018 Social Media Calendar for Test Prep Tutors!

It's that time again!  Time to get serious about optimizing your interactions with students.  Too many tutors and test prep professionals bombard their followers on social media with worthless content. Today's post is designed to help you avoid that mistake by creating posts that are timely, relevant, and actionable. We've made a few improvements to our Social Media Cheat Sheet for Tutors! 

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Matt McCorkle
How Fresh Is Your Test Prep Offering?

A new year is a 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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Matt McCorkle
How Smaller Test Prep Companies Can Stand up to the Giants

Make Your Test Prep PersonalThere is a reason that even in today’s world of online shopping and global retailers, there are mom and pop businesses still finding ways to thrive. While it’s not easy to compete with lower prices and brand name recognition, there’s something to be said for a store that finds ways to connect with its clientele in genuine ways.

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Matt McCorkle