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Did you get your ACT or SAT scores back? 

How’d you do?!?

Wait. Let’s rewind that conversation. 


We’d like to ask a different series of questions.

  1. Did you put as much effort into test prep as you wanted to? (If yes, great work! If no, do you know why not?)
  2. Why is it important to you to do well on the ACT / SAT?
  3. What motivates you to study? Is there an outside voice telling you to do your homework or is there something inside that matters to you and influences how you use your time?
  4. Have you learned anything new about yourself through the test prep process?
For example
  • You understand semi-colon rules better than you thought!
  • Or, reading information out loud really helps you remember it better. You could try that for Spanish class or History.
  • Did you discover that you do best when someone you respect – like an approachable test prep tutor – holds you accountable and checks in regularly, but doesn’t yell at you if you don’t finish your homework?
  • Maybe you learned that taking two solid, deep breaths before a test relaxes you a little and helps you focus.

Research shows that success and happiness are not achieved by IQ or standardized test scores. Nope. The qualities that lead to life satisfaction and achievement are the soft skills: “perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control,” (How Children Succeed, Paul Tough), positive psychology, and emotional intelligence

Now, you may be thinking…”Hey Private Prep, aren’t you in the business of helping kids do better in school and on tests? Why are you telling me not to worry about this stuff?”

Look, we understand that grades and scores matter—they are the keys to unlock opportunities and options. But each student is on a long and awesome journey that extends well beyond how you do on the ACT or SAT or where you get into college.

In our day-to-day, while working on boosting scores and grades, we seek to help students improve their content understanding, their study skills and test-taking strategies, and their self-awareness, motivation and confidence.

Spoiler alert: These “lifehacks” last a lifetime and are far more important than a number on a test.


More than Scores

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