Stella Kelley is one of our latest A+ Featured Students. We recently had a conversation with her about her success and experiences in our program. She had a lot of worthwhile things to say!
A+: What brought your family to A+?
Stella: Mom did research on different tutoring companies. We liked the personal service available with A+. We especially liked that they would come to my house! It was much more convenient than having to go to a center, and I felt I could concentrate more.
A+: What were some of the factors (habits, people, or inspirations) that most helped you achieve your goals?
Stella: First of all, my tutor. Julie was amazing! Not overbearing, but always encouraging and supportive. She never made me feel like I was disappointing her. She never put too much pressure on me, but always helped me to do my best. She always listened and responded to my concerns. When I had trouble motivating myself or felt overwhelmed, Julie let me know that skipping practice or assignments sometimes (usually when I had school or extracurricular assignments and deadlines) wasn’t the end of the world. I was very busy with schoolwork (two AP classes and an Honors course), lacrosse, the Giving Club, and my involvement with the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America). We worked so well together that she was the first tutor we thought of when my brother needed help in biology! She will probably do his test prep as well when it comes time (he’s a freshman).
I found that out of all my personal habits, self-motivation and staying on track were the two most important. It’s so easy to get discouraged or distracted. Don’t fall into that trap.
Finally, I can’t stress enough how extremely helpful practice tests were. I couldn’t do enough of them. In fact, Julie had to find me additional practice tests when I finished all those that came with the course!
A+: What is the best piece of advice you remember getting from your tutor?
Stella: She always reassured me that things would work out and would be okay. She didn’t let me stress. Oh, also always fill in every answer!
A+: What are your future goals?
Stella: I am very interested in a career in business. I haven’t made any final decisions on my college career yet. Right now I’m looking at schools in Virginia.
A+: What advice do you have for other students who are just beginning their testing process?
Stella: Try to find a balance. At the same time, take it seriously. Junior year goes by so fast! Don’t expect what you’re doing to always be fun, but it IS important.
Stella’s ACT tutor (in all subject areas) was Julie Mueller. Together, Julie and Stella brought her ACT composite score up from 24 to 30! When we spoke to Julie, she had this to say about their sessions:
Stella was a great student to work with. She had a genuine interest in trying to figure out not only what concepts she might need to review, but also what strategies to put in place. A lot of students listen, but they don’t always endeavor to take in and employ the strategies, which can make all the difference. I’m sure that Stella’s increased score was a direct result of how dedicated she was to improving her results.
One other thing she also discovered in the process was that the less pressure she put on herself, the more relaxed she was when she took the test and the better she did. Too many students approach the test in an all-or-nothing frame of mind, which unfortunately works against them because of increased test anxiety.
Stella was just a lot of fun to work with, and I’m glad she saw all of her effort pay off!
As Stella says, hard work and motivation are two of the keys to success. At A+ Test Prep and Tutoring, we are here to help with the testing process as much as possible. We match you with tutors who work with you and encourage you to attain your “personal best” score.
If you would like more information, our Client Service Directors Anne Stanley and Susan Ware are available to answer questions and provide solutions. You may reach either of them by calling A+ Test Prep and Tutoring at 215-886-9188.