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Test Prep and You

Nov 4, 2020 | Parents, Services, Students

From the Desk of Alan Sheptin:

I get lots of calls about test prep. One of the most common questions posed to me is, “Do you guarantee a score increase?”

I answer very simply. I tell parents that any company answers in the affirmative is acting unethically. I cannot control what happens on test day. The stars, moon, and sky may align to ask those questions that feed right into your child’s areas of expertise. Or your child may have had a rough morning (and ate those Frosted Flakes or jelly donut I asked him or her not to!) and lost his or her momentum.

Effective tutoring should be able to provide a parent with a range of scores, based on observations. So, how do I observe?

I ask my students to take parts of the old exams. We dissect their incorrect responses and help them understand how to avoid making the same mistakes, going forward. I rephrase the question in a different way, to show them how the same question can request different information and strategies.

We even analyze some questions that students got correct, doing the same kind of exercise. Because I have many years of test prep experience, I can look at a question from multiple lenses.

So, by the time a student is ready to take the “real” test, I can offer a range of scores that I deem reasonable for him or her. Most of the time results come within range. So, at the end of the day, being able to provide insight is infinitely times more valuable than providing a score increase.

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