Seventeen-year-old Omar Altimany has an active schedule. He currently works on the yearbook staff, participates in diversity clubs, and is involved in winter track and field at his high school, Germantown Academy, while also interning at a state senator’s office. Although this impressive extracurricular life would be plenty to keep most high school students on their toes, Omar has also dedicated significant time and effort to his academics in the past year.
While he’s never had trouble with regular school-subject testing, Omar realized when he was taking a practice PSAT that he couldn’t focus on the questions at hand. His mind was preoccupied, focusing on how critical the actual test would be in determining his future. Omar recognized that his overwhelming standardized test anxiety was holding him back from getting the scores he knew he could achieve.
“With standardized testing, you can’t study the specific information like you can on a test in school. I get really nervous during standardized testing. I start to zone out and freak out, so I realized that I needed someone to help me with that,” Omar explained.
Omar and his parents knew that some coaching and guidance would be beneficial for him. They had heard about A+ Test Prep and Tutoring through a friend, and so they decided to enroll Omar in the A+ Ultimate Test Prep Program.
“I met with Dan from A+, and I knew once I stepped foot in there that this was the right place for me. I had tutors who were helping me out whenever I needed them,” Omar shared.
Omar spent five months this year prepping for the ACT with his main tutor, Melissa Nash, and also with Jonathan Kustina for math and science and Beth Bantley on the verbal sections.
“Omar was a very hard-working student. We met for two-hour sessions—half verbal, half math/science—and we always ran out of time before we ran out of interest,” Nash said. “Time was a problem for Omar on the ACT, especially on reading and science. This had a negative effect on Omar’s performance. We practiced using the Testing Timers ACT watch to address the time issue. I also provided some exercises he could work on to control his anxiety. Recognizing these things seemed to be helpful for him.”
With the help of his tutors, Omar’s scores and confidence improved each time he took an ACT test. Taking the ACT test a total of five times between February and October 2016, Omar raised his overall score from a 22 to a 29.
Omar enjoyed the accountability the Ultimate Test Prep Program provided. “So often when someone goes to a tutor, they get thrown a book. I don’t really like that method—however, A+ tutors work one-on-one with you to understand what’s going to work best for your needs,” he said.
His mom, Nina, was thrilled with Omar’s results. “I spoke about A+ at our school’s board meeting. I said to them, my son went up seven points. Your kids can benefit from this program too.”
Omar’s hard work has paid off. Now that he is happy with his ACT score, he’s looking forward to the next step: college. He hopes to study political science or law, two areas that have always fascinated him.
Congratulations on your commendable score, Omar, and best of luck to you as you pursue your interests!