The Student Who Classrooms Failed

Case Study

The Student Who Classrooms Failed

Sherman T. is a freshman at King’s College in London, one of the most competitive universities in the world. His high ACT scores were one of the essential aspects of his admission – yet before he found Green Test Prep, he thought his scores would be the one thing preventing him from getting in. A disastrous experience with an SAT classroom course had left him doubting his own ability to improve, and it took Green Test Prep to swing things back in the right direction.

Sherman explains in his own words:

“I first heard of Anthony when I went on YouTube and watched his video “5 Things Colleges DO NOT Want you to know about college admissions” and I was hooked. It changed the whole way that I viewed colleges…That they are just a big industry. He taught me a lot.”

“The summer of 2013 I went to an SAT class outside of San Francisco that was terrible. I was in there with so many kids and no one wanted to be there. They all said that they were there because their mother wanted them to get good scores. I didn’t get why they couldn’t tell me why THEY wanted to be there. I knew I wanted to go to a good caliber school. That’s why I was there. “

“But I was stuck after two tests came back in the 1900s. They had us play games like Taboo so we weren’t totally bored. But it was a total waste of my time. The other kids there were happy with 20 points of improvement. I wasn’t. Everything about that class was wrong. The material wasn’t good. It was material they made up. We just did problems. It was awful. Plus, you had to drive there and everything…for a WHOLE summer.”

Unfortunately, Sherman isn’t alone in his experience with SAT and ACT classroom courses. According to a recent study carried out by Harvard and the College Board, the average classroom course improves a student’s SAT scores by only 10-20 points – not enough to make any meaningful impact in their applications, and certainly not worth the inflexible schedule, high costs, and inconvenient travel arrangements necessary to attend.

After months of lackluster results and wasted time, Sherman was lucky enough to find Green Test Prep:

“I started looking and knew I wanted to try and go to Johns Hopkins or Cornell and 1900s were not going to get me in those hard schools. In February of 2014 I found Anthony’s YouTube video and then went to Green Test Prep and looked Anthony’s website over. I was attracted to Anthony’s system because there was a definite PHILOSOPHY behind the program. The other websites of the {large competitors} were just about the test …Green Test Prep was about more than that. Those other big names just give you a book…but they don’t tell you what to DO with those books. Just doing problems gets you nowhere. It makes you feel like you’re doing something…but you don’t make any progress.”

Green Test Prep doesn’t achieve its success by providing students with countless problems and answer explanations – instead, it shows students how to use the information out there already to solve their own test prep weaknesses, creating steady, inspiring, and noticeable gains on a daily basis. Sherman was interested in our approach and wanted to try it out:

“I asked my Dad to get GTP for me because it was different and I wanted to try it out. I also liked the money back guarantee. It made me feel like I had nothing to lose.I started with the online course and studied every day for 2-3 months. In April, I got a 32 on my ACT. I followed Anthony’s advice about comparing the two tests before you start studying, and the ACT ended up being better for me because of the way they ask questions. It was more straightforward which suited me better.”

“I kept in contact with Green Test Prep’s support network while I studied. I asked them a few basic questions – and if the questions needed Anthony’s help, he was responsive and gave me really good advice that was detailed and helpful. I knew I was maximizing my chances of getting a good score when I studied. When I started looking into schools, I saw that my 32 was in the zone for Johns Hopkins….it proved to me that Anthony’s program was super helpful for my admission chances. The UK universities that I applied to had lower standards…they only wanted my scores….I didn’t have to supply them with my academic record. So just my ACT scores got me in. The 32 I got with Green Test Prep got me accepted unconditionally, which took a ton of pressure off.”

After achieving a 98th percentile ACT score, Sherman felt confident enough in his testing performance to point his energies toward the other elements of his application process. He describes his experience after finishing Green Test Prep and the ACT prep process:

“In September, my friends had a horribly stressful time. I was already done with the ACT, so the rest was all easy. King’s College’s threshold was 29 or 30…I was above that so I was already in great shape and could focus on my essays and applications and grades. I also applied to 2 other schools in Scotland, and I was accepted to both of them as well just because of my scores. Those ACT results got me immediately into 3 top schools in the UK. I never even sent a transcript – all I had to do was send an additional Subject test and write a few essays, but the 32 got me in! Ultimately, I was 3 for 3 with UK schools!”

Sherman’s experience was particularly exciting because many European universities rely extremely heavily on test scores when evaluating applicants. At most American universities, high test scores are simply a guarantee that your application will get seriously considered, not necessarily approved – but some American schools and most international schools weigh the tests in a different way. Regardless, high scores are essential if you want to gain admission to any top university, and Sherman’s experience highlights just how profound of an impact high scores can have on an application.

Sherman describes the benefits of starting and finishing his prep early, something that we encourage all students to strive for, and his advice to other students thinking of tackling their SAT and ACT prep:

“I made a vastly better decision by getting my testing done than my peers because I already met the admission thresholds. Anthony has AMAZING guides on the website and the advice is helpful and useful. I tell all of my friends about the experience and tell my junior friends what to do. Green Test Prep is easy to finish and you can stay at home..my parents and I both liked that! On the other hand, the SAT bootcamp was TORTURE. The classroom doesn’t work. It can’t be individualized. The tutors also usually have no credentials.”

We asked Sherman what the difference was between our online program and the classroom course he attended:

“The bootcamp made the SAT harder than it had to be. They made up problems that were worse than the real thing. It demotivated me a lot. The classroom was just outdated and didn’t work. When I took my first practice test with Anthony’s program, I was shocked….I knew it was working immediately. It let me focus on what I needed to learn. In the ACT program, I skipped a lot of the math because I had a 35 in there already, and the program let me prioritize what I needed to work on.”

“The classroom gave you a full plate of work but there was no focus. They can’t tailor anything. They are of the one-size- fits- all mentality. It is just a fallacy out there that classrooms and tutors work. Everyone goes that direction, but they shouldn’t. I was lucky that I didn’t follow that path. I was looking for something better…something with real results for my effort.”

Sherman went on to describe the particular aspects of Green Test Prep that he found helpful:

“The text based lessons were great for my learning style. The other “gamey” programs might look nice..they make them look pretty….but you need an INTENSE program if you want real score improvements. Green Test Prep was INTENSE…but a GOOD intense…When you practice for the ACT…..or practice anything…to get stronger at anything…you must do it realistically and be intense about it, and that’s what Anthony and his program do – they make you work for your scores, but it’s good because you get the scores you want and see progress all the way. And the ACT is all about timing. This program taught me how to step up my speed so I can finish things on time. Every single day I knew that the ACT prep was bringing me one step closer to reaching my goal.”

“From the beginning with Anthony, I wanted a program I could trust and an instructor I trusted…and Anthony was that for me. The free guides on the site were great too. The Internal and External Motivation tips were great…stuff like that mattered to me. The whole experience continues to pay dividends in so many ways.”

Like many of our students, Sherman found that the lessons within Green Test Prep have had a cascading effect upon his schoolwork in high school and college. He explained what Green Test Prep has done for him outside the realm of SAT and ACT prep:

“An example is that when I have to sit and write a two-hour in class essay in college, I spend 20-30 mins planning it out like Anthony taught me. The outlining ahead of time gets me prioritizing what I want to say and he taught me how to build a clear thesis instead of sitting down and just starting to write. He taught me how to get examples figured out and develop examples and build upon my thesis. His advice to take the time to write and plan it all out in the beginning is just fantastic.”

“Anthony taught me to understand the WHY in everything I do. Once you get your internal motivation first, everything else falls into place. Following a strict schedule and keeping to it has taught me how to keep pace with life and not slack off and I always think about WHY I am doing what I am doing. I use every one of his strategies not just in school, but in every other area of my life.”

Sherman has continued to utilize Green Test Prep’s lessons at King’s College to maintain competitive grades while still enjoying his social life and his extracurricular activities. We asked him if he had any words of advice for students considering Green Test Prep:

“It was a lot of effort. But if you want something, you have to go and get it. If someone wants a good ACT score, then go get it. Work for it and get it. That’s the main thing Green Test Prep taught me how to do. Every time you have a goal or need to do something you don’t want to do, you need to first understand WHY you are doing it. You need a sense of why you are engaging in something. Yes, you want a result….but how does that result help you with your future goals?? Anthony gets this part the most. He says to you, “Can you start something and finish it? Can you put the energy into something and stay calm and keep other things in your life going as well? Can you learn to prioritize? Every day is a blank page in a book…How is that chapter going to start for you today?”

“The program is laid out and organized easily for you. Can you learn to not deviate from it? Every day is consistent progress. Anthony’s program is the how…but also the why.

It changed everything for me.”

Thousands of our students come to Green Test Prep as a “last resort” after being failed by one-on-one tutors and classroom courses. Sherman was lucky enough to find Green Test Prep in time, and it’s our mission to reach every student facing these tests before they enroll in the classroom courses and tutoring contracts that don’t provide the results their students need.

We hope you’ll join Sherman in allowing our program to improve your college applications, your academics, and your life, and we can’t wait to hear your success story once you enroll!

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Testimonials

“I just wanted to thank you for your SAT prep course… because of your system, he brought his SAT score up almost 500 points!”

Tom’s mom, Rebecca

“I just want to say that your program is incredible! I started your program with 5 weeks until the test and went from a 28-33 on my ACT!”

Will R., Student

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Eric Eisner, Wall Street Journal’s 2012 Education Innovator, YESscholars.org

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