We achieve unparalleled success by teaching students to change bad habits, to transform their inefficient, anxiety-provoked responses to a stressful test.
In order to dramatically improve scores, students need to change the way they approach that test. We certainly help students bridge content gaps in core areas such as Reading, Writing and Math. However, we also change their overall test-taking habits: their confidence, strategy and approach to the test.
In Year One of our all-school tutoring program at Mercersburg Academy in PA, for the Class of 2015, average SAT scores of the entire school rose by 159 SAT points (on a 2400 point scale). The program continues to help students at Mercersburg Academy continues, and SAT and ACT scores have stayed in the new, higher range for subsequent classes.
Detailed results from the program can be found on the table below.
For a full description of the all-school test preparation program offered at Mercersburg Academy, from the school’s website, please click here.
The Marks Education Small-Group Tutoring Program has three unique aspects
We achieve unparalleled success by teaching students to change bad habits: to transform their inefficient, anxiety-provoked responses to a stressful test. In order to dramatically improve scores, students need to change the way they approach that test. We certainly help students bridge content gaps in core areas such as Reading, Writing and Math. However, we also change their overall test-taking habits: their confidence, strategy and approach to the test. The Marks Education Small-Group Tutoring Program has three unique aspects:
- A focus on building core skills (reading, writing and math).
- An individual-student plan for building confidence primarily through incrementally increased, achievable goals.
- The identification and use of the best test (SAT vs. ACT) for each student and the use of strategies that de-mystify the test and help explain the correlation between specific targets and scores.
At the beginning of each class, each student receives a Marks Education SAT or ACT Prep Guide, which includes hundreds of problems split up into exercises organized by difficulty level. Each book includes all the core skills and strategies tested on the Reading, Grammar, Math and Science sections of the SAT and ACT.
The book also includes a spreadsheet with her initial test scores and blank spaces for each assessment to follow. In consultation with the teacher, each student develops incrementally higher goals for each assessment, achieving both by altering strategy and by improving core skills. Each student also strengthens core reading skills with our exclusive Weekly Reading Program based upon Opinion pieces and articles from the Washington Post, New York Times, and New Yorker magazine.
Our Vocabulary list includes a comprehensive 1500 word list, split up into five levels, as well as a shorter 350-word high-frequency word list made up of words that have appeared on multiple published SATs over the past 15-20 years. The entire list is available both in flashcards and in interactive web-based games and quizzes also available on our iPhone App.
Since 2008, our classroom students have improved their scores more than twice* as much as the average student who received tutoring.
Average Student Score Improvement
|Collegiate Directions, Inc. Class of||SAT||ACT|
|2009||160||5.0 (~300 SAT points)|
|2010||220||4.5 (~300 SAT points)|
|2011||230||5.5 (~240 SAT points)|
|2012||180||5.0 (~300 SAT points)|
|2013||230||5.0 (~300 SAT points)|
|2014||360||4.0 (~240 SAT points)|
|2015||280||5.0 (~300 SAT points)|
|Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Class of||SAT||ACT|
|2011||190||6.3 (~380 SAT points)|
|DC Prep Charter School, Class of||ACT|
|2011||5.2 (~310 SAT points)|
|2012||4.6 (~280 SAT points)|
- No national competitor publishes any information on average score improvement of their students.
- A 2009 study by the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) found that average improvement from test preparation courses was about 30 points on the old SAT and less than one point on the ACT.
- According to the College Board, the average improvement on the old SAT for students who received SAT coaching was 26 points (8 points on the Verbal and 18 points on the Math). The average improvement on the ACT was less than one point.
- The Wall Street Journal reports that many test prep companies manufacture initial tests that inflate improvement data. Our score improvement data are based entirely upon improvements from actual PSAT tests given at the students’ schools to actual final SATs.
*Since 2008, the average student in our Small Group Model improved his or her SAT scores 210 points, from actual College Board PSAT or SAT to final actual SAT. Assuming that this breaks down to 70 points per section, this would convert to 140 points on the old two-section SAT, more than twice the average improvement of 69 points reported by a College Board study based on the old SAT.
Dollar for point, we beat the competition.
Note: Competitor pricing, class sizes, details, and results are based upon phone calls to competitors in October 2010. The competitor details above may change at any time. Marks Education makes no claims about the continuing validity of this data.1For the past three years, the average score improvement per student in our Small Group Classes has been 210 SAT points and 5.4 ACT points (approximately 320 SAT points). We calculate improvement from actual College Board or ACT tests to actual tests only. For purposes of this calculation, we include all students who have attended a minimum of 85% of classes. For more details, please contact us.