“Our son did 12 weeks of tutoring with Test Prep Gurus. Test Prep Gurus have the whole process down to a fine art with updates from the instructors after every session, monthly full-length practice tests under real exam conditions, and check-ins with the Director after each mock exam to discuss our son’s progress and the next steps. The teachers were highly trained and focused on the areas causing challenges. It was great to have a different teacher for the English/Reading and Math/Science sections. While it was a big investment, we feel that the investment has paid dividends with college paths now open that could previously have not been an option for our son, as his score improved by 6 points on the ACT (to a near perfect, 35 out of 36). Thank you Test Prep Gurus!”
— Los Alamitos High School Parent, F.K.

Beyond Tips and Tricks

Test Prep Gurus goes well beyond the standard "tips and tricks" that can be found in most test prep books or courses.  

Content Oriented: Comprehensive practice exam analysis enables us to zero in on the specific content areas where the student stands to make the largest gains.  Our expert instructors use proven techniques and exercises to address those areas.  Students save time by only focusing on the areas where they need the most help -- and their scores rapidly improve as a result.   

Total Mastery: Our experienced instructors are trained to go beyond "teaching to a test."  Their aim is to improve scores, while developing skills that will last a lifetime, such as teaching students to read faster with increased retention, imparting a deep understanding of mathematical concepts that will serve students well on standardized exams and in their classes, and improving students' logic, rhetoric, and argumentative skills.   

The Secret Sauce:  We focus on the student.  Who are you?  What are your goals for college?  How can we help you reach those goals?  When a student knows why they are prepping for a specific exam, and how the process is relevant to their goals for the future, motivation increases exponentially.  Increased motivation, and a sense of ownership over the process, leads to healthier, happier students who earn scores above and beyond what otherwise would have been possible.    

Our students' superior results on the SAT, ACT, ISEE, SSAT, and other standardized exams over 12+ years proves that it is possible to lower the pressure put on students in the college admissions process while simultaneously achieving higher scores than those produced by the standard (outdated) models of test prep.    


No gimmicks, no sales pitches

  • You won't find any hybrid SAT/ACT exams because they don't produce accurate results.
  • You won't see us offering boot camps because they don't work. 
  • You won't be quoted a low initial "starter price," only to be up-sold later.
  • We will take time at the outset of the program to plan out your student's path to success from beginning to end. 
  • Your Director will work with you for the duration of the program to ensure your student reaches his or her goals. 
  • We keep our promises  -- it's in the DNA of our firm.

The Method:

Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Evaluation:

The starting point for any program is to identify where the student is currently scoring. Free diagnostic tests for the ACT, SAT and other exams provide a baseline score, which we expand into a detailed analysis of the student's strengths and weaknesses. 

 

Consultation:

The consultation provides us an opportunity to discuss the student's baseline results in the context of the student's goals for college.  Depending on the student's initial scores (and other admission factors such as GPA, course rigor, their "hook", etc.) we offer recommendations on how best to reach the student's goals.  

Our test prep package recommendations are primarily based on where the student is currently scoring vs. where the student would likely need to score in order to be competitive at his or her best-fit colleges.

When possible, we collaborate with the student's school or independent counselor prior to the consultation to ensure that our recommendations support the counselor's larger plan for the student.

We also take time to answer all the basic questions, such as: 

  • How much improvement is possible?

  • When should I take the ACT, and how many times?

  • What is the difference between the SAT and ACT?

  • Will schools see all of my scores, or can I choose which ones to send?

  • Do I have to take Subject Tests?

  • What is a "superscore"?

 

Instructors:

Each student is paired with a verbal instructor and a math instructor (unless the student is completing a math-only or verbal-only program). We hold all of our instructors to the same rigorous guidelines:

  • scores within the 99th percentile of any subject they teach

  • past experience in standardized testing instruction

  • effective communication skills

  • ability to work with students of all ages and performance levels

 

Ongoing Support:

Fluid communication is the foundation of our personalized one-on-one programs.

Every college application process involves many moving parts:  application lists change, GPAs rise, improved ACT & SAT scores open new doors, etc. Our senior staff works in conjunction with all parties involved (parents, college counselors, teachers, independent educational consultants, learning specialists, and others) to ensure that all aspects in a prep program are operating smoothly, speak directly to the student's strengths, weaknesses, and current progressions, and ultimately contribute toward the student's end goals.  

No two programs are exactly alike, and once a program begins, our directors are continuously present to make any necessary adjustments for your student based on performance in lessons, homework completion, and practice tests. By monitoring a student's progress every step of the way, we are able to create unparalleled success for our students. 

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”

- Nido Qubein