Nathan: a Test Prep Success Story

How the Vested Academics Team taught a struggling student effective test prep strategies that turned everything around

How It All Started

As a junior in high school, Nathan knew a lot was riding on his next exam. Looking for a way to stick out, he had been relying on his math performance to beef up his overall score. Unfortunately, the 690 he received on the math section of the exam couldn’t make up for his low verbal score.

This always seemed to happen to him. Nathan would do well on the science or mathematics potions of standardized tests but then—wham! The reading comprehension sections would roll right over him, and whatever was left of his total score after that was promptly decimated by the grammar and style questions that followed.

It was infuriating, especially as Nathan had devoted several hours to watching test prep webinars and completing all the modules in his self-paced study course. Nothing seemed to work.

Frustrated but determined to do better, he stumbled upon Vested Academics while searching for test prep tutors. That’s when his parents contacted our team.

Parent Perspective

  • Convinced son’s good grades were a predictor of test score
  • Thought his self-paced course was working
  • Concerned about test scores and college admissions

Nathan’s Perspective

  • Felt his math score would carry him
  • Struggled with verbal sections of the exam
  • Frustrated that his test pep course wasn’t working

How the Vested Academics Team Helped Nathan and His Mother

Small-Group Class—We enrolled Nathan in a Vested Academics small-group test prep class. Here, we rebuilt his understanding of the verbal section of the exam. The small-group atmosphere gave him plenty of opportunities to ask questions and, on an emotional level, discover he wasn’t the only one struggling with this part of the test.

Private Tutoring—After reviewing Nathan’s performance on his assigned practice exercises, our test prep instructor recommended he work with a Vested Academics private tutor. The additional one-on-one support clarified several fundamental concepts that were giving him trouble.

Learning Assessment—By assessing how Nathan processed new information, our team developed a list of learning strategies that his test prep tutor could employ while working on the reading comprehension portions of the exam.

Personalized Study Strategy—Nathan’s tutor outlined a manageable test prep strategy, allowing him to keep his practice and learning consistent without cramming or burning out.

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The Result

While it took some getting used to, Nathan dropped his guard enough to give the Vested Academics test prep approach a try. He soon discovered that his small-group test prep class delivered all the broad strokes he was looking for, and his private tutoring sessions filled in the rest.

After a few weeks, Nathan started getting better grades on his English assignments and quizzes. After one month, he scored higher on his practice exam. And, when the big day finally arrived, he walked into his test with confidence, ready to tackle the task ahead of him.

As it turned out, Nathan’s hard work paid off. His new verbal score not only increased but also placed him in the ninetieth percentile. Later that winter, he and his parents were overjoyed when he was admitted to two of the top engineering programs on his college list.

In His Own Words

“I’m a math person. So I didn’t take it seriously, the other part of the test. But, you know, when I figured it out…that the schools I wanted to go to were looking for the whole package, I had to turn it around. They told me what I needed to do and how to break it down and get it done. It’s like she knew how to make new, unfamiliar things feel familiar to me.”

High School Junior

Next Steps

The Vested Academics Test Prep Team offers professional test prep instruction via classes and private, one-on-one tutoring. Contact Our Team to learn more.

Attend our classes and events on this topic. From webinars to in-person events, guest speakers to professional instruction, our events calendar is filled with outstanding resources for parents and students alike. Go to the Events Calendar.

With nearly twenty years of experience as an educator, Jennifer Chase has developed a natural ability to meet individual students at their level, helping them find confidence while working toward their goals.

More about Jen C.

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