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Get Smarter Prep Teacher Training

No one who has ever made test prep a big part of his/her life “went to college” for it.  There is no “test prep” major.  Test prep is the art and science of understanding a test inside and out and being able to successfully communicate those ins and outs to students of every level.

The first place we reach out to recruit the best tutors for our company is among our existing tutors.  We’ve found that our teachers (unsurprisingly) know other great people like themselves and refer them to us.  Of course a referral bonus doesn’t hurt!

We also reach out via social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and also via Craigslist, from which we found our first hire in Kansas City, Gina Claypool.

We then have an initial interview.  Part of it is perfectly conventional; part of it is more unique. First, we sit down with each candidate and discuss GSP and answer questions. Next, we have an audition in which the candidates are required to teach us something in which they consider themselves to be experts.  I still remember my first interview at a firm over a decade ago now.  One of my colleagues presented “how to talk like a valley girl” complete with etymology and phonetic guides.  Over the years we’ve been taught how to be a true Wisconsin Cheesehead, how to put up a fence, how to dress for success, and many other varied topics! We do this because we love to have fun but also because we want to see how the candidates teach something in an interesting and engaging way.

After this initial screening, applicants are tested in both the ACT and the SAT. Each of our tutors works on both tests with students at all score levels, so we have high score expectations! We make some allowance for skill lost through lack of practice (we doubt you have used the formula for volume of a right cylinder at work recently), but we do expect a minimum score to start training and a higher score to successfully complete training.

After these and other screening requirements, our teachers complete over 25 hours of training for the ACT, followed by over 15 hours of training for the SAT.  We strongly believe that our teachers must be excellent in every subject and extremely competent in both tests.  No matter what our tutors professions are in “real” life (and we have and have had lawyers, engineers, biophysicists, MBAs, professional teachers, and many more) we only want the best and most talented in teaching these exams in front of our students.  Previous success in other areas is no guarantee for success in test prep, and throughout the training process we use various methods to make sure that we are hiring the best test prep tutors.

During training the candidates are taught all of our methods and are asked to “teach back” in small segments what they have been taught by our tutors.  We normally see some attrition during this stage of training, either through self-selection or through culling based on trainers’ judgments.  We have all of our tutors help with training not just to spread out the work, but also to allow the trainees to see different styles, methods, and indeed, jokes.

After final Teachbacks, in which the candidates are asked to teach back long segments, they are tested again on the SAT and ACT.  Despite near perfect scores in the initial screening, scores often increase on the final test, further driving home the belief in these trainees that our methods work.

Finally, the management team, in consultation with the trainers, makes offers to candidates to start as a Classroom Instructor. These teachers start out teaching classroom courses. As soon as that instructor is requested by name for private tutoring, he/she gets promoted to Standard Tutor.  Standard Tutors continue to teach courses but also teach private tutoring. Promotions to Master Tutor and Premier Tutor come with consistently high score increases and consistent requests from parents.  Our Premier Tutors have made test prep an important part of their lives and quite rightfully are the very best in the city at what they do.

Now you know more about the GSP Teacher Training process and what makes our teachers the best at what they do! If you are interested in applying to work for us, please visit our Jobs page.

Stephen Heiner is a Tutor at Get Smarter Prep.

Is it better to get a B in an AP class…

In the course of tutoring we get asked all kinds of questions.  We do our best to answer them based on what we’ve read, what we’ve heard from colleges, what we see offered at high schools, and what we hear back from our students.  We’re asked to comment on the creativeness of a prom invite.  Or club fundraisers.  Or how to handle fights with a teammate.  Among academic questions, one frequently-asked question sounds roughly like this: “Is it better to get a B in an AP class or an A in a regular class?

They never like my answer, which is: “It’s better to get an A in an AP class.”  AP students are already in the most competitive bracket in the nation.  They are routinely among the best, top-ranked students not just at their high schools, but entering as college freshmen.  So, the very act of taking an AP class is both an act of bravery and (perhaps) an act of braggadocio.  You’re taking the class because you think you belong with the best.  And you very well might.

For some students – we all know them – APs aren’t an issue.  They sail through the classes seemingly almost without effort.  Studying might be optional for them, not just for these classes, but in general.  They have the highest grades in the class.  They may even be among the nicest people you know.  I’m not writing this article for them.

I’m writing it for the student who has to work hard for that A.  He/she studies all the time, takes excellent notes, arranges group study sessions, makes flashcards, asks for extra time with the teacher, etc.  At some point during the semester his/her stamina may begin to fade.  All the activities and sports and “regular time to be a teenager for once” (a phrase one of my students used with me last week to refer to her few weeks in between shows – she’s in theater) may start to take a toll and you may start dipping into “B” territory.

Don’t panic.  Do what you need to in order to raise your grades.  If it means trimming back on a class that’s less difficult for you: do it.  If it means seeking out a tutor – either student peer tutors offered at school or a private tutor – do it.  If it means cross-checking with your teacher on what you need to get in order to guarantee an A: do it.  The message is: get the A in the AP Class.

Why?  I promise it’s not just because of my upbringing and competitive nature that I stress this.  It’s because students who are in AP Classes are likelier to apply to elite schools.  Elite schools look well on AP exams: and have expectations tied to them.

AP Classes are in themselves a bit of a taste of college.  College Admissions counselors know that the amount of material covered, at the depth it is covered, among a competitive pool of students, is unlike most high school level classes.  Therefore, if a student can not just survive, but thrive in such an environment, then just maybe he/she will perform well at a university level.

In later articles I will speak about changing attitudes towards AP especially in light of the new much-heralded International Baccalaureate program.  But today I just wanted to stress: if you are in one of these classes and you’ve made efforts to improve and you’re in danger of a B – strongly consider – in consultation with your parents and your high school counselor – transferring to a non-AP version of the class.  I’m not going to speak to the issues of “quitting” or “finishing what you’ve started,” etc.  Examining the fine grains within each particular student and his/her motivations and personality is impossible to do when writing such an issue in a general manner.  I’m only offering my advice as someone who has been helping students get into their first-choice schools since 2004: do whatever it takes (within the bounds of morality, of course) to get an A in an AP class.

Stephen Heiner is a Tutor at Get Smarter Prep.

SAT Subject Tests: What You Need to Know

Whether the weather where you are is reflecting the arrival of Spring, it is on its way, and with it, SAT Subject Tests.  There is some good and bad information about these exams in internet-land and so we will, as always, try to give you the real scoop.

Who/What

SAT Subject tests are an additional metric used only by the most elite schools in order to further differentiate the best applicants from the very best.  Unlike its well-known big brother, the SAT Reasoning Test, the SAT Subject Test, in its various subject-specific iterations, actually tests you on your knowledge of specific subjects.  It does that by asking multiple-choice questions across a one-hour time span.

The first question you should ask yourself is whether you need to take any of these.  That’s simple.  Look at your college list and cross-check the application requirements to find out if those schools want SAT Subject Tests.  I’ll save you a bit of time and tell you that all of the Ivies, Duke, some of the Claremont schools, Boston College, and Amherst all do (you’ll need to do some of your own research here – comprehensive “lists” I’ve found in research online don’t always include updates which reflect schools’ changing requirements).

If it’s Spring of your junior year and you don’t have at least a preliminary list, we need to talk.  But if you do have a list (good!) and not a single one of your schools requires a Subject Test, skip them.  Taking these tests is just more of a drain on your time, wallet, and spirit.  However, if even one of the schools on your list requires them, then you have to take them.

When

You’ve now figured out that you have to take these tests.  So – when?  We recommend the May Test Date of your junior year.  Our reasoning is that AP tests are at the beginning of May and that students, whenever possible, should simply piggy-back on the sunk cost of studying for those AP exams.  Meaning, if you’re studying for the quite difficult 3-hour multiple choice AND multiple-essay AP exam in US History, why not knock out the significantly easier 1-hour SAT Subject Test in US History at the same time? (The date is within a week or so, depending on when your AP Exam is and when the May test date is, as that varies year to year.)  We strongly encourage test-taking at this time – or in June as an alternative – because you are at the end of a full year studying the subject (June might also be more favorable for those students who are in IB, not AP programs).

There is no better time to take these tests than at the end of the academic year.  The reason we generally discourage June Subject Test-taking is because we like to keep that date open for another SAT Reasoning Test, should the student not have been satisfied with a previous result.  We discourage waiting until Fall of your senior year to put your best test-foot forward.  It muddies the water of the summer before Senior Year, which should be spent with your best test score “in hand,” not “in hope.”  You simply cannot get a sense of where you can/should apply without knowing your actual scores.

Which

Which tests can you choose from?  You have Math, Science, History/Literature, and Language.

Math

There is a Level I, but that is generally only going to be accepted by some schools, and even then those schools might express a desire for Level II.  If a student is looking at any major that has strong math and science requirements, they should take Level II.

Science

You have your choice of Chemistry, Biology, and Physics.  Again, take the one you are currently studying.

History and Literature

You can choose from US History or World History (not always offered in May) and Literature.  Again, check your requirements.

Language

These are simply “gimmes” to native speakers.  Median scores in these exams hover around 780 (out of 800) – nearly perfect.  So, unless you have spent at least 6 weeks speaking the language in an immersive environment, steer clear.  If you are planning to major in the language, however, you may be required to take this test just to place in a language level. (Some schools use SAT Subject Tests as placement tests for Freshman subjects, but those same schools often also have internal exams, written by their respective departments, which are more “fair” as tests.  Something to keep in mind.)

Take Three to get Two

A lot of schools want 2 scores, so, if you’re well-prepared, it makes sense to take 3 exams and grab your best 2 scores to send on to your schools.  By the same token, some schools want 3 so you might as well “max out” and take 3 on your test date of choice.

We realize there are lots of twists and turns in this process.  That’s why we’re always here if you have questions.  Just give us a call!

Stephen Heiner is a Tutor at Get Smarter Prep.

Benefits of Test Prep

You’ve spent countless years in school studying for tests and exams, writing papers, and doing group projects. You may be with aplomb that your grades can secure you that spot in your dream university and that you have just enough extracurricular activities on your resume, however there still is that dreaded test standing in your way. Whether you will take the SAT or ACT, the classes you took in school most likely weren’t designed to prepare you for your entrance exam.

Just as you prepared for your work in high school, it’s important to prepare for these exams because we want you to be able to select your undergraduate education, rather than allowing a college or university to select you. SAT and ACT scores are important for securing that acceptance letter, but if you need more detailed reasoning, here are our top benefits of preparing for your entrance exam with test prep courses.

Benefit #1: Test Prep Courses Teach the Exam Format

Test preparation courses teach you about the test and the various sections that are included. Understanding the format of the exam ahead of time will allow you to move quickly through the exam as you better understand what is expected of you. If you don’t need to spend time reading the introduction to each section, you’ll be able to jump right in and have more time to answer those tricky questions!

Benefit #2: Test Prep Courses Provide You with Timed Practice Exams and Evaluate Performance

Practice exams can help you discover your strengths and weaknesses, so you know what areas you need to focus your preparation. You’ll develop time management skills for the test as each section is strictly timed and rushing through questions can hurt your score.

After your practice test is scored, you’ll be able to examine what questions you guessed incorrectly or weren’t able to answer. Reviewing your work will allow you and your course coach to find a trend in the types of questions that gave you trouble, so you can focus on those areas as you prepare. If you nailed the math section, focus your efforts on writing and critical reading!

Timing is extremely important for these exams. If you discover you rushed through everything and finished early, but answered some of the easy questions wrong, take your time and read questions more thoroughly next time. If you didn’t finish in time, the course coaches will be able to provide proven test-taking tips and study guides to help you answer efficiently and accurately.

Benefit #3: Test Prep Courses Provide you with the Tools to Improve Your Score!

The points above prepared you for this outcome! Test prep courses can help you improve your score as you learn proven techniques for succeeding on the test. You’ll learn the format of the test and ways to manage your time while answering the questions correctly. You’ll learn how to craft responses that include each of the required sections and review some of those difficult Latin roots. By discovering your weaknesses, tutors are able to tailor their lessons to help you improve your score by tens or hundreds of points!

If you rocked your standardized exam, congratulations! If you need some more help preparing for your entrance exam, we’re always here to help and can provide you with a solution that works for your schedule. We want you to prepare effectively to overcome this hurdle!

The New SAT

On Wednesday March 5, 2014, the College Board made announcements that will change the SAT test for those students in your family who will the test in 2016 and beyond which will, among other things, change the scoring back to what it was before March 2005.  It was not that long ago that we mentioned a few thoughts in reaction to a study pronouncing the SAT as “not correlated to college success.”  We had a lot to say by way of agreement, and today we will try to address those points again in the storm of discussion – and in some quarters, panic – about these changes.

Let’s repeat our fundamental beliefs here at Get Smarter, which are backed by numerous high school teachers and counselors as well as college admissions professionals and officials: GPA is the single best indicator of how you will perform in college.  It measures multiple things – not just your ability to do well on a given test, but also your ability to complete projects, do homework, and participate in class, among other things.  A single 3-hour test on a number of different subjects can only measure how well you do against metrics determined by a particular authority.  In this case – College Board (and the ACT) for that matter, have neither a government mandate nor any form of regulation.  They are allegedly nonprofits but they act as free market businesses that have lobbyists and VERY well paid board members.  They, not we, for decades have determined “what matters” on these tests.  Some major shortcomings?  Let’s talk about three areas of the current SAT (let’s leave the ACT aside for now, perhaps for a day when they too announce changes).

Reading

Prior to March 2005, the SAT was all about “difficult” vocabulary and easy to medium difficulty reading passages.  People may whine that these words were “irrelevant” but for any serious student, these words were from a “known” list and could be studied and learned.  As for the reading comprehension – students had been doing that for most of their lives, so not too difficult there.

“Today, when we say that someone has used an SAT word, it often means a word you have not heard before and are not likely to soon hear again. The redesigned SAT will instead focus on words students will use over and over again, that open up worlds to them.”

                        -David Coleman, President of the College Board

This is somewhat puzzling.  Part of the challenge of question design in this section of the test is having a sentence that clearly indicates context and then having a number of challenging words in position.  Part of learning any language is not just using words over and over again, but using new words as bridges to expression.  We’ll see more of what they mean in one month when they release some practice questions.

Math

Prior to March 2005, the SAT was not particularly challenging mathematically.  While there was an element of trickery in the questions, the questions themselves were not terribly difficult.  As for the new test, the College Board says it will be based around “problem solving and data analysis; the heart of algebra; and passport to advanced math.”  Yet, this still repeats the same problem we saw on the old test and the current test: many students who will excel in college are LONG past algebra in their junior year of high school.  In all likelihood they are in Calculus, a math level that is actually used in college, unlike Algebra.

Writing

It is unclear whether the grammar part of the writing section will remain, as the traditional scoring has left 800 points for Math, 800 points for Reading, and over the last 9 years, 800 points for Writing, of which the essay is a little over ⅓ of the weight.  As it stands the grammar portion is the “least bad” portion of the test, as it tests frequent mistakes in grammar that manifest themselves in the emails of Fortune 500 companies on a daily basis, to take just one comparison.  The essay seems to be a new, discursive type of essay, and it is now “optional.”

As we said, we’ll have more to say on this issue in the months and weeks ahead.  As always, as long as there is an unfair testing regime in place in academia, we are going to be here to help our students overcome that regime.

Whatever College Board or pundits tell you, there is no way to “level the playing field” for a standardized test, even if it is a good one (e.g. the AP Exam) or a poor one (the SAT or ACT).  You will always have students who bring more motivation, more study skills, more intelligence, or more prep.  The future will always belong to those who deal with a challenging situation, as our students here at Get Smarter Prep always have.

Stephen Heiner is a Tutor at Get Smarter Prep.

Emory University

Name: Brian Herman
College:  Emory University
Major: Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology

1. What first drew you to Emory?

I was looking for a school that would be challenging academically, but also would allow me to enjoy myself and have fun as a college student. I was also drawn to Emory because I thought that as a major research university, it could help prepare me as a pre-med student.

2. What other colleges were you considering?

Tulane University, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Kansas

3. How was the adjustment from high school to college?

I loved going from high school to college and all the new found freedoms that came with it. While there were also new responsibilities as well, I really enjoyed being out on my own.

4. What was your favorite class? Why?

My favorite class was an upper level in my Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology major called “Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke.” In this class, we had guest speakers almost every week who were either practicing MDs or PhD researchers involved with strokes and/or brain injuries. We even took a field trip to the major hospital in downtown Atlanta to tour their brand new Stroke Treatment Center. This class also ended up being the most useful after I graduated since I ended up working on a research study with Stroke patients for two years!

5. What clubs or groups were you involved in?

At Emory I was the Vice President of the Club Baseball team, a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, and also involved in several community service projects including the Emory Autism Center.

6. Anything else you want to tell us?

One of the best things about Emory is that it is located in a major city. If you ever wanted to venture outside of the “Emory Bubble,” Atlanta was always filled so many different and unique opportunities to enjoy.

7. In one sentence, what do you love about your school?

I love the people and friends I met while at Emory, as well as all of the opportunities it provided for me.

Brian Herman is a Tutor at Get Smarter Prep.

Washington University in St. Louis

Name: Joe Roh
College: Washington University in St. Louis
Major: Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology/Classics

1. What first drew you to Washington University in St. Louis?

I always knew I wanted to be in or near a city, and I also knew that I was looking at studying cognitive science. WashU fit both of those bills, but it also offered so much more. The campus is beautiful, and it always seemed to me like the prototypical college campus with its standard Gothic architecture and Missouri red granite. The most intangible thing of all, however, was the most important. The people and atmosphere at WashU seemed unparalleled to me, and my 4 years there only confirmed that was right for me.

2. What other colleges were you considering?

I was also looking at Boston College, Duke, Stanford, and Harvard.

3. How was the adjustment from high school to college?

I found it quite easy. Undoubtedly I had to make adjustments in managing my time in the best way for the new type of environment that college is. Still, I felt prepared enough to take on that and any other challenges, knowing that it was all a part of my college experience.

4. What was your favorite class?

There were so many favorite classes that fell under my different areas of study that it’s hard to pick just one. As an example, I was in a seminar as part of a capstone for my Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology major that really well merged all 3 of those areas of study. We read the newest philosophy out there, debated in class, and related that to all that we had studied throughout our majors. It culminated in us having to develop and argue for a novel philosophy thesis. That experience definitely sticks out to me as one that was quite unique and really beneficial for me in all areas of my studies.

5. What clubs or groups were you involved in?

I was involved in the Sigma Chi Fraternity, ThurtenE Honorary, Order of Omega Honorary, Each One Teach One, the Leadership Through Service pre-orientation program, club water polo, and that might exhaust it. I always figured I would never regret being busy but that I would regret having too much free time.

6. Anything else you want to tell us?

WashU was great for me because it fit me as a whole. The academics were what I was looking for, but so were the people, the atmosphere, and the clubs and activities. Whatever college you pick is going to be your home, so make sure you’re comfortable everywhere in it.

7. In one sentence, what do you love about your school?

I love the pride WashU takes in all it does and the unique community that is formed by so many different yet complementary pieces.

 

Which School is Right for You: Two Big Factors

Which School Is Right For You?

You’ve studied and you’ve prepared, but what comes next? Determining what colleges to apply to and attend is difficult as there are so many factors to consider. Which school is right for you?  At Get Smarter Prep, we aim to help you achieve your highest possible test scores that provide you with the ability to choose the school that is best for you.

There are a multitude of considerations that contribute to this decision, including your goals and personality. We’ve narrowed it down to two top decision making factor: Size and Location. The benefits and considerations listed below are generalizations, so do not hesitate to reach out to a specific school to learn more about their programs.

Size

The size of the school affects the size of classrooms, size of athletic programs, and numerous other activities that will impact your overall experience.

Attend a Big University

Benefits that come with big colleges include a seemingly unlimited list of majors and minors, well-funded sports teams, diverse academics and student activities, state-of-the-art research facilities, and a variety of housing opportunities. A con for big schools could be that while the research facilities are top-notch, classes may be taught by a teacher’s assistant, rather than a professor.

Students who succeed in large colleges are not afraid to take advantage of the opportunities available and aren’t afraid to speak up. General education courses typically contain hundreds of students, which is a shock to many students.

Attend a Small University

Conversely, benefits of small colleges include personal attention from professors and more hands-on learning opportunities. While there may be fewer majors to choose from, there may be options to design your own major if you realize what you planned on studying isn’t the perfect fit. Smaller schools are able to knit a tighter community because you can meet a higher percentage of students and teachers than at a larger school.

Location

Location is one of the biggest factors since you’ll spend the next four years in this place. When deciding whether you want to go to a college that is a few miles from home or one across the country, take time to reflect on the following considerations.

Attend a University Close to Home

The pros to attending a college close to home include the ability to drive home to visit family more often. Not every school provides A+ food, so a home-cooked meal after a series of stressful exams could be just the ticket. With schools that offer in-state tuition, you and your family can save a significant amount of money, while still affording a top-notch education. Even if you are close to home, you don’t have to go home every weekend, as there are so many opportunities to make the campus your new home away from home.

Attend a University Far From Home

If you’re looking for a completely new experience and a chance to become more independent, going to a college in a different state is a good idea. You are already familiar with the area you grew up in, so why not take the chance to experience a new area and climate!

Nervousness is normal because you are taking a risk and pushing yourself to become more independent. You may fall in love with this new city and decide to continue living there after college. Besides, receiving care packages from family is a lot of fun, and you may have the chance to tag along with a new friends’ family over the holidays if you can’t fly home. There are also rideshare programs at most schools if you need to find a ride home.

While new adventures are great, airfare prices may restrict you from attending big family events or just seeing your family on a regular basis. Out-of-state tuition costs are typically higher, and you’ll need to figure out a game plan for shipping or storing your belongings during the summer.

Decisions, Decisions

Regardless of how close you are to home or what size college you attend, your college experience will be what you make of it. While size and location factors are definitely something to take into consideration, it’s important to choose the school that’s right for you.

Preparation is the Key to Success

Whether you’re taking your ACT, SAT, AP tests or your History final, when it comes to education and testing, preparation is the key to success.  Here are some ways to be prepared for any class or test:

1)      Get organized.

Have a dedicated binder or folder for each class you are taking.  File each class’ notes followed by the assignments related to that material.  By keeping your school work organized, you will be able to refer back to your class notes and materials to review the concepts.  When you finish your assignment, put it in the appropriate binder to avoid forgetting to take it with you.

It’s also a good idea to keep a calendar at the front of your binder with all your assignment due dates written down.  For long term assignments, set a reminder to go off on your smart phone 2 weeks, 1 week and 3 days before the assignment is due to avoid procrastinating on the project.

2)      Put pencil to paper.

While you’re in class, take notes.  When you do your assignments, take notes and show your work.  There’s no point in taking notes if you can’t understand them later.

3)      Prepare your materials.

When you do your homework, find an uncluttered work surface, and organize your materials before you begin.  Have a pencil (or two) and an eraser handy.  Make sure your calculator batteries are working.  Get some scratch paper.

4)      Give yourself some time and some quiet.

I know you’re busy.  Volunteer hours and extracurricular activities don’t leave as much time for homework as you might like.  Write a homework appointment in your schedule, and don’t stand yourself up!  By setting aside time for homework each day, you won’t overbook yourself.  (Share your calendar with your parents, so they know not to schedule activities over your homework time)

When it’s time to do your assignments, turn off the TV.  Turn off the ipod.  Silence your phone.  Focusing on one thing at a time is a lost art in our multi-tasking, over-stimulated culture, but focusing on one task at a time and eliminating distractions makes you more efficient.  Because we aren’t used to focusing on one thing for an extended period of time, this might be hard for you at first.  Try this: set a timer for 15 minutes, and work diligently during that time.  When the timer goes off, set another timer for 5 minutes, and take a break.  Repeat.  When focusing for 15 minutes gets easier, gradually increase the work time by five minute increments.

Since everyone has a different learning style, your best method of preparation might look a little different than this.  You can learn what your learning style is and learn how to best apply that style to all your classes throughout high school (and on into college) with Get Smarter Prep’s Study Skills class.  Study skills like time management, organization, and homework planning will serve you throughout high school and college, and will even be great skills when you enter the work force.  Study skills also cover speed reading, reading comprehension, and writing skills.

Do you want mad study skills?  Check out our Study Skills class!

Gina Claypool is a Tutor at Get Smarter Prep.

GSP and UMKC’s New Partnership

As a recent alumnus of the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law and a current employee of Get Smarter Prep, I was thrilled to learn that the two were finally going to partner up for an LSAT class. To me, it seemed a match made in heaven and something that should have happened a long time ago. Get Smarter Prep is well-known in the Kansas City area for its ACT and SAT test prep and its individual attention to students’ needs. UMKC law school is also known for its smaller class sizes and focus on individual students’ needs. The first class through the new partnership is in full swing and the class is set to finish right in time for the June LSAT.

Get Smarter Prep developed the material for the six week course and UMKC is providing the location as well as law school professors who are willing to work one-on-one with the students to help them determine what score they will need to get accept at UMKC. The law school professors are even willing to talk to the students about the other important aspects of law school admissions, such as the personal statements and their grades during undergrad.

I was fortunate enough to teach the first class of this brand new class this past week and I was extremely proud of each and every student after class. The first class was Logic Games and for most students, Logics Games are a struggle. In fact, when I took a poll in class, seventeen out of the twenty students raised their hands when I asked if Logic Games was the area they dreaded the most on the LSAT.

We started off the class rather slow but as the two hours went on, students became more engaged and the “light bulb” went off for some students who were really struggling at the beginning. The class as a whole worked really diligently throughout the two hours, which is no small feat when you are working on logic games after logic games. During our short break and even at the end of class, students were coming up to me to ask questions and were really engaged. I felt that our first LSAT class as a GSP-UMKC team was successful and I am looking forward to seeing the students’ scores after the six weeks of class.

If you are interested in taking the LSAT test prep through GSP and/or attending UMKC School of Law, please do not hesitate to contact me as enrollment@getsmarterprep.com. I’m a strong believer in GSP and the results that can be produced from our test prep and I’m a UMKC roo through and through

Trisha McCulloch is a graduate of the UMKC School of Law and a Tutor at Get Smarter Prep in St. Louis.