At Top Performance Tutoring, we believe that one test score should not be the only obstacle between a student and his or her dreams. On the other hand, we recognize that the academic system currently rewards those who perform well on standardized tests with both a greater chance of college admission and a greater amount of scholarship money. Our mission is to teach students how to reach their full potential on standardized tests, to show students that their scores can be a benefit to their college admissions rather than an obstacle, and to ultimately aid students in their overall academic life and their transition into young adulthood.
There are two components to succeeding on a standardized test: Content and Strategy.
While many students are looking for a few quick-fix tips to improve their scores, they cannot succeed without first mastering the required academic subject content for the test. Our tutoring places the emphasis on this material first for two reasons. First, without the content down, most test strategies offer very limited improvement. With the content mastered and no strategy, a student at least has enough knowledge to answer questions correctly. Second, most of the content on the SAT and ACT is the exact same content that students use regularly in school. Our goal at Top Performance Tutoring is to raise not just standardized test scores, but classroom grades as well.
With the content mastered, though, test-taking strategy can give a huge boost to a student's scores. Because standardized tests, by definition, have standard formats, styles, and quirks, someone with an in depth knowledge of these can use them to gain a huge advantage over their fellow test-takers. "Having the curtain pulled back" on the workings of the SAT or ACT can also do wonders for students who are anxious and unconfident with these tests. Just like most other skills, these test-taking strategies are best learned through copious practice. The basic strategies are taught early, and then reinforced throughout a student's lessons and homework. More specific strategies are taught as their need arises.