Many parents have experienced the frustration of high schoolers who seem academically unmotivated. We think we're a great answer to that problem—read on to find out why.
Teaching and learning are very complex processes that very few people understand. We at PrepScholar are at the cutting edge of modern educational tools, and that is partly due to our intimate knowledge of teaching and learning. In this post we break down some of the most important factors in motivating your student.
Studies show that students are inherently motivated by the attention of parents and teachers to their progress. Online SAT and ACT prep might at first seem like a far cry from the intimacy of a 1-on-1 teacher-student relationship, but PrepScholar actually offers more personalized content and feedback than our classroom competitors. Most importantly, all of the information is sent to both students and parents, so you are notified immediately if your student isn't putting the hours in.
We also keep track of your student's schedule and the time being spent on test prep. With PrepScholar, every week your student enters his or her planned study schedule, aiming ideally to complete ten weekly lessons (or about 5 hours). The study schedule the student enters is sent to the student, parents and PrepScholar so everyone is on the same page.
We at PrepScholar believe that one thing affects SAT and ACT score increases the most: the number of hours a student spends preparing. To this end, we send weekly progress reports to students and parents that summarize the number of hours spent studying and the lessons that have been completed that week.
Tutoring gives even more detailed feedback. With PrepScholar tutoring, an experienced tutor helps your student navigate through the hardest parts of his or her lessons, paying special attention to skills that appear more often on the test or to the sections that are more important to the schools the student hopes to attend. The tutor also sends session followup emails to parents and students after every tutoring session, discussing the topics covered and any special circumstances parents might like to know about.
Too many test prep companies focus on the test as an end in itself; we never forget that SAT and ACT prep is a means to an end: the best possible college education for your student. Our prep has a definite and specific goal that motivates students by connecting to real life rewards. We are college admissions experts, and so we never lose sight of the ultimate goal. Going a step further, our strategy lessons help students target the right schools for them and the right scores to get in. We also offer college counseling as part of our tutoring package.
Our extensive teaching experience, not to mention contemporary educational theory, shows that students are very easily demotivated by discouragement. We want to avoid the "I just can't do it" attitude, so the lessons each student receives are based on his or her scores on our diagnostic test—if your student's skills in Geometry are weak, he or she will receive the most basic Geometry information first. If your student doesn't master the skill in a given lesson, depending on his or her score on the lesson's Practice Quiz, the skill will reappear periodically for the student to try again—unlike classroom prep, we don't move on until your student does.
With PrepScholar, students get positive reinforcement for progress and hours studying. The weekly emails and interactive feedback are 100% encouraging, designed to cheer students on to the next level of achievement. When students don't complete their weekly 5 hours, we remind them of the relationship between hours studying and score improvement, encouraging them to try again next week.
Encouragement is also one of the main reasons we offer tutoring at PrepScholar—for some students, there's no substitute for an educator's friendly face and positive feedback after successes. Our weekly Skype tutoring sessions provide an intimate space for students to ask about their problems and get recognition for their achievements.
Our current program gives students visual information about their progress, tracking all the lessons they did and when so they can view the history of their test prep accomplishments. The site is easy to use, and we will soon be adding more fun features that make the prep experience more like a game to be won than a chore to be completed. Because, really, getting into college is a sort of game, and SAT and ACT prep is one of the most important strategies to win.
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Laura has over a decade of teaching experience at leading universities and scored a perfect score on the SAT.