Featured Student: Christian Peterman

Last updated Jun 17, 2024 
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We recently caught up with Christian Peterman, a rising senior at La Salle College High School, who completed our Starter Program and scored an impressive 1450 on the March 2023 SAT, an improvement of 180 points! Christian’s remarkable success can be attributed to his hard work and commitment as well as his ability to adapt to new strategies and feedback he received from his tutor, John Silbaugh. To find out more about the secret to Christian’s success, we asked Christian and his tutor to look back at their experience working together.

A+: First of all, congratulations on increasing your SAT score! Can you recall what made you choose A+?

Christian: We chose A+ for test prep after we read positive reviews online.

Christian completed our Starter Program, which includes nine hours of math and verbal tutoring distributed over nine sessions. Unlike our regular Pro course, in addition to being assigned work from the coursebook and practice exams, the Starter Program gives students the opportunity to work independently through an online course called Methodize while tutors focus on reviewing practice tests and other exercises, explaining challenging concepts and skills, and then assigning homework to complement the online course. 

According to Christian’s mother, Bethany, “The program looked at strengths and weaknesses from testing, and found a tutor to best suit Christian’s needs. They were very flexible with scheduling to work with athletics and other activities.” Matching a student with the right program and the right tutor was key to Christian’s success. Since students are asked to do more work outside of tutoring, it is a good fit for diligent students, like Christian who John Silbaugh, Christian’s tutor, describes as “very self-motivated, so it was immediately apparent that he would be a good fit with the Methodize program.”

Silbaugh credits the Methodize program for helping him “focus his tutoring on example questions from specific areas, working in both the Verbal and Math realms.” He explains: “Christian began the process with a relatively high score to work from (1270 composite). This allowed him to focus on what he really needed help with (some main idea questions, specific punctuation rules, and older concepts that he hadn’t seen for a while.”

A+: What advice did you receive from your tutors that helped you overcome any challenges or weaknesses?

Christian: Managing time, especially on the second math section, was probably my most significant challenge. What really helped was taking multiple practice tests and getting feedback from my tutor.

A+:  Were there any other tips or strategies that you felt made a difference?

Christian: What made the biggest difference to me was this tip: If a question looks difficult, skip it and come back to it at the end.

Silbaugh believes Christian benefited most from “adapting new approaches. Specifically, he grew in his usage of Desmos (the online calculator app on the Digital SAT) for a wider variety of math problems.”

A+: Since you were so successful, what advice can you give students who are just getting started or considering test prep?

Christian: Take practice tests! The more practice tests you take, the easier it gets. Focusing on time management is important, too. 

According to Silbaugh, “Christian was very reliable in his homework completion. He took it seriously and asked good questions in our sessions. This put me much more in the position of coach than teacher, which is probably especially good for an athlete like Christian.”

A+:  With testing behind you and graduation coming up, what can you tell us about your future goals and plans?

Christian: In the future, I plan on studying finance while playing lacrosse.

The future looks bright for Christian and his tutor is thrilled to celebrate his success: “Christian’s goal was a score in the 1400 range. With a 1450, he nailed it. Most impressively, he got the results he wanted without having to take the test multiple times. I’m very happy for him!”

Congratulations, Christian!

At A+ Test Prep and Tutoring, our practices are based on the latest developments in educational theory and research. We have an excellent team of tutors who can help you with standardized testing, executive functioning, or achievement in any other school subject. If you want to find out more about our services, call 215-886-9188.

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