Not only do we help students decide whether they should take the ACT or SAT, we also help them decide the best tutoring option for them. Should a student be in a private tutorial or a class? After the question about which test to take, which is by far the most important question to answer, this is a crucial one.
The first consideration is price. We work within your framework. After that discussion, we use two major determinants to guide your decision: score desired and time available.
How much of an increase do you need? If it’s simply a matter of a point or two, private tutoring might be the best bet. It will allow your instructor to be surgical and purposeful and work only on the areas you need.
Our classes follow a set curriculum, covering each subject equally, but there is still time for some individualized discussion. First, we have a maximum teacher-to-student ratio of 1:6. Very often our classes only have 3-4 students in each section because we group our students based on their Pretest scores. A student with an 18 on the ACT, for example, would not be in the same class as a student with a 23 or a student with a 28. So, your student will not get “lost” in our classes.
Secondly, after each exam (we take a Midterm and a Final) we meet with each student privately to talk about the takeaways from that test and to adjust strategies and goals for the next test. Finally, Standard and Custom Courses have Office Hours. This benefit, not offered by many of our competitors, is an extra hour each week outside of class in which your student might come in for extra work. It’s an open format, so multiple students can be there working with the instructor, but only our most motivated students utilize this great included benefit and often they have the instructor to themselves.
We believe that generally, the more time you have to work on test prep and the more prep you do, within reason, the more your score will increase. But not all our students have that time (they’ve built extremely scheduled lives!) or come to us with a lot of time (sometimes we don’t see students until Fall of their Senior year with one test on the calendar that will make their application deadline). For those students, if their scores fall within certain ranges, the Express Course for either the SAT or ACT makes a lot of sense.
If you have more time and you have some predictable space in your weekly schedule, our classic Standard Courses offer 22 hours of focused classroom preparation and come with the Office Hours mentioned above.
Answer: None of the Above?
You might say at this point that you want to be in a class, but your schedule is simply too unpredictable or unusual or strange for our standard schedules. We have a hybrid model for you: our Custom Courses. Sometimes we are able to match students who have very similar score profiles and who want a custom course. Other times a group of 2 or more friends who play the same sport or who have a similar schedule come to us.
Now it’s important to note that with the Custom Course, as with all our tutorials and courses at GSP, we let the score do the talking. If it turns out that two students who came to us dead-set on working in a course together shouldn’t even be taking the same test (one student may show really well as an SAT tester and the other may show more potential for the ACT), we’re going to tell them. We’re always going to focus on a student’s goals and the best environment for each student.
Whatever path you decide to take, we are confident that you will join thousands of satisfied GSP alums and families in getting the score you need for the school you want. We hope to see you soon.
Stephen Heiner is a Tutor at Get Smarter Prep.