Featured Student: Mia Adams

Last updated May 30, 2023 

“A+ tutoring helped to restore my confidence in my test-taking abilities and bring about scores I can be proud of!”

Try to sum up Germantown Friends School junior Mia Adams, and several words come to mind—talented, hard-working, multi-tasker—but most of all she is described as “delightful.” Mia prepared for the ACT with A+ Test Prep and Tutoring’s verbal tutor Pam Milligan and math tutor John Silbaugh. With their help and her determination, Mia improved her score by an impressive 5 points! Despite juggling ACT prep with regular school work and extracurricular activities, including a role in her school’s musical, Mia was able to remain focused and make progress. We recently spoke with Mia and her tutors to better understand what made Mia’s success story possible.

A+: Let’s start at the beginning. How did you find A+?

MIA: A+ was on my radar because they provide workshops for parents on college testing and my school (Germantown Friends School) uses A+ as a college counseling resource. Plus, a family friend referred my family to A+, and my brother James had worked with A+ previously. 

A+: Looking back, what was your biggest challenge preparing for the ACT? 

MIA: My biggest challenge was solving geometry problems. This was a subject I had not studied for two years. During my math/science sessions, I was able to relearn my past lessons and acquire new skills to solve various math problems.

For math tutor, John Silbaugh, some of Mia’s challenges were also opportunities. “There was one day when Mia completed a practice test early on the morning of our session, on too little sleep, and the practice test results showed the effects,” recalls Silbaugh. “This wound up being good ‘tuition,’ though, as we could talk about the importance of being well-rested for practice tests (as well as for the real test, of course), and she could make the direct connection between sleep and results.”

A+: So, what would you say was the key to your success?

MIA: My tutors were very flexible. They were always very understanding if I had to cancel or reschedule. They even offered to tutor me virtually if I was not able to come in person, and schedule extra sessions if I did not feel ready. 

Silbaugh admired Mia’s ability to adapt when they needed to do a session virtually, crediting her “focus and technological ability” for making it go smoothly. He also believes practice was essential. “Mia was really able to see her progress through the relatively frequent practice test regimen. I think it was important for her to see the progress (incremental, but steady), as that motivated her to keep working hard. This speaks, I think, to the benefit of the program, in that it provides students with abundant opportunities to get feedback to help see what is (or isn’t) working.” 

A+: Was there any other advice or strategies from your tutors that you found especially helpful?

MIA: My reading/writing tutor taught me to create my own answer after reading a question. This helps to greatly speed up the process of selecting an answer, as you must only choose the option closest to your answer.

This helpful strategy was something verbal tutor Pam Milligan shared with Mia during sessions. Reflecting on their time together, Milligan describes Mia as “a delight from beginning to end.” She was “always prepared, had her homework done, and did all of this while heavily involved in practice for her role in Pippin! I was impressed with her very mature ability to keep multiple obligations and still do all homework and improve each session,” says Milligan. She “is a talented, and even more importantly, a kind and committed young lady.”

Silbaugh similarly admired Mia’s work ethic. According to him, “Mia worked very hard. She is a busy person, with school and significant extracurricular activities. But she really understood the importance of making the time to practice what we were discussing in our sessions, and her homework record reflected that.”

A+: Now that you successfully finished test prep, you’re ready to give some advice of your own. So what would you say to students who are just starting or considering test prep?

MIA: I would recommend students start a few months before you plan to take the test. I also highly recommend taking as many practice tests as possible. You never know exactly what the contents of the test will be, but if you know the patterns of the exam and how you tend to perform on certain sections of the test, preparing for the real thing will be much easier.

A+: Okay, let’s look to the future. What colleges and careers are you interested in?

MIA: I am interested in pursuing a career in marketing and managing. My goal is to work in media advertising. My current top three colleges are Howard University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Maryland.

With such a delightful attitude and impressive work ethic, Mia Adams was able to achieve her ACT goals, making us at A+ proud of her accomplishments and confident that she will continue to shine in the years ahead.

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, our Client Service Director Joelle Faucette can be reached at 215-886-9188.


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