According to Melissa Vitek, her 17-year-old son Alex isn’t your typical high school student. The junior at Abington Senior High School is involved with his church’s youth group, plays soccer and tennis, and is a member of the school’s chess club—activities many students enjoy. Where he stands out, she says, is his motivation to go above and beyond what is expected.
Because of this quality, it wasn’t a huge surprise when Alex approached her about ACT private tutoring. Most parents have to push their children to study, but Alex wanted to do everything he could to improve his ACT score.
After talking with friends about tutoring options they recommended, Melissa agreed to take Alex to an initial consultation at A+ Test Prep and Tutoring to learn more about their program.
“I have to admit, I was a bit shocked at the sticker price at first. But Alex seemed so motivated,” she said. “We told him that as long as he took advantage of the whole program, we’d support him.”
According to his tutors, Alex certainly took advantage of the program. He worked with verbal tutor Kathy Astrue on the English, Reading, and Writing sections, and with John Ambrose on Math and Science.
“Alex just walked in and was very open to the process and eager to do well,” Astrue said. “He was motivated from day one. He also asked very good questions and took feedback exceptionally well.”
Ambrose agreed that Alex had the right attitude, especially when it came to tackling challenges. “The ACT covers material that a lot of juniors haven’t seen yet in school,” he said. “Instead of being overwhelmed or scared by the new material, he worked through the problems and asked for additional help. We met six times, and he got more committed to succeed each session.”
Melissa was thrilled with the quality of the tutors and the materials used by A+. “They did a nice job of identifying his strengths and weaknesses and showed him where to focus his energy,” she said. “They were also very responsive. When we had to reschedule a session, they followed up right away.”
Melissa always felt informed about Alex’s progress throughout the program. “A+ has a nice structure in place. Its online resources for parents are very user-friendly and the email updates were very helpful. Logistically, the program is run really well.”
Alex was happy that he took the initiative to work with A+ tutors. “I did a lot of work outside of the tutoring sessions, but they were always there to guide me,” he said.
One of the areas Alex was looking to improve was time management on the Reading section. Astrue was able to show him time-saving strategies and ways to cut corners so that he could answer as many questions as possible.
Overall, Alex found the greatest benefits from completing practice tests. “They really helped to prepare me for the timing of the test and took away the stress of it. Each time I did a practice test, I improved my scores and felt more comfortable,” he said.
The study habits Alex picked up from tutoring have carried over to his high school classes. “I would say I’ve always been pretty focused, but working through the practice tests with A+ helped me get used to sitting and focusing for long periods of time,” he said.
Alex will continue to work hard in school as he prepares to apply to colleges next year. So far, he is considering applying to Boston College, Fordham University, and Loyola University in Maryland.
Ambrose, a former engineer, said Alex expressed interest in possibly studying engineering. “I can’t think of anyone who would be better in that career because of his determination to solve problems,” he said.
Whatever Alex decides to take on in the future, we know he will be motivated to succeed. His hard work in the A+ test prep program certainly paid off—his composite ACT score increased by 5 points!
“A+ Test Prep and Tutoring initially sounds like a big investment,” Melissa said. “But being on the other side and seeing Alex’s improvement, it was definitely worth the money.”