Which tests do you offer?
We currently offer mock SAT, ACT, SHSAT, ISEE, and SSAT exams.
Do you use real exams?
We create our own exams. Each is made by tutors with at least 10 years of experience tutoring and creating material, and we stand by them.
Additionally, we respect the intellectual property of testing companies, such as the College Board and ACT, and we understand that using our own material is the best option to prepare students for their actual exams.
How many mock exams on your site should my child take?
At least two, unless the first test is amazing and no improvement is needed.
Barring that, the exact number depends on the student and how long until their exam. Generally, if a student has three to six months to prepare, they should take 3-4 mock exams. Be careful about giving too many, as students can burn out.
We strongly recommend that students take a mock exam a week or two before their actual test, as this builds stamina, which is a huge part of success on a standardized test.
What are the ideal metrics for a student?
There aren’t any. There isn’t one ideal pulse rate or ideal timing for any student. What matters is how a student performs.
For example, if a student’s pulse rate elevates during the math section, and stays elevated throughout, we can guess that there’s anxiety around math. However, if the student hits their target score on math, then that anxiety is not an issue, and letting the student know that can be a big relief.
The metrics are most valuable when cross-referenced with right and wrong answers. If you see that a student is spending a lot of time on early reading questions, AND they’re not finishing the reading section, then they need to work on timing. If a student’s pulse rate spikes during grammar, and they do poorly on grammar, then that anxiety is a problem that needs to be addressed. We talk about how to do this in Test Prep Sanity and Test Prep Sanity for Students, which are available here. We also have a lot of techniques anyone can use to deal with their anxiety and boost their score. These are available in our 1-hour consultation.
How should I go over the results with my child?
This depends on your relationship. Adolescence can be a tricky time. I’ve seen some students who won’t let their parents help them at all. They shut down if a parent gives them advice, even if that advice is sound. If this is your reality, let your child go through the results on their own. There are explanations on their dashboard that will show them what to look for. In addition, we offer a 1-hour consultation in which we go over the results and give a student techniques to improve and a road map to follow until their exam.
If your child lets you help them, go over the results together. Stay positive, though. If your child isn’t rereading passages before answering reading comprehension questions, you just need to point that out; you don’t need to lecture them about it: they understand. A good attitude to have is “now you know what to work on.”
Obviously, there are always exceptions. If this is the third time you’ve presented them with the same issue, and they’re not doing anything about it, you need to have a larger conversation. Again, I talk about how to do this in Test Prep Sanity and Test Prep Sanity for Students, which are available here.
The write up says my child needs to work on a topic they usually do well on. Are you sure the test is accurate?
We stand by our product. However, sometimes a test will only have one or two questions from a given topic. For example, there may only be two probability questions on a test. These may both be difficult questions, and if your child misses one out of two, their percentage for probability is 50%, which looks bad.
Go over the individual questions your child missed. See what happened.
My child has been working with a tutor, why aren’t they improving?
This isn’t a question we can answer with certainty. From our experience, a student who isn’t improving has one of the following issues:
- They aren’t focusing when they do their work – practice only helps when it’s focused and when there’s feedback. If a student isn’t focusing, if they’re not working on their weak areas and pushing themselves to break bad habits, then a tutor may not help.
- There’s an emotional issue. Some students have self-limiting beliefs about their ability to succeed. This can really get in the way of success, because it affects the way students handle difficulty on the exam. If you suspect there’s an emotional issue, you need to address it right away. I talk about how to do this in Test Prep Sanityand Test Prep Sanity for Students, which are available here.
- There are issues with test-taking. I know from my 20 years of working with students that all the prep in the world won’t help if a student does not know how to take a test. That’s why I created Biometric Edge, so you can uncover the problem and make the necessary corrections.
A 1-hour consultation with one of our experts can do a lot of help in this type of situation, as we have experience with both the material and the emotional side of test prep.