In June Bobby came to the Ridgewood, NJ Huntington seeking help for the Cooperative Admissions exam (COOP), in hopes that he would gain admission to Don Bosco Preparatory High School, a private, Catholic boy's high school. Test-taking was not one of Bobby's strengths. After much preparation and hard work, he scored well on the COOP and got into Don Bosco Prep.
In September 2009, his sophomore year, Bobby decided to get an early jump start on preparing for the SATs. He felt that Huntington Learning Center could help him achieve his goals and overcome his test-taking fear, and completed an initial evaluation. He got a 1350.
Bobby's confidence slowly grew after just a few months of attendance. He enjoyed coming to Huntington very much, which was obvious from the big smile he wore every time he walked through the door. However, when baseball season started, Bobby's schedule became busier and scheduling became a challenge. It was hard for Bobby to juggle his honors classes, baseball and SAT prep. Math was also starting to become difficult for Bobby. Since he was just a sophomore, we decided to put SAT prep on hold and switch to subject tutoring for math.
With the help of his math tutor, Bobby increased his math grades and his confidence seemed to grow. During the summer of 2010, Bobby returned to SAT prep, attending eight hours a week. His hard work was clearly paying off—his next practice test showed a big improvement with a composite score of 1540. After a few more practice tests, Bobby was ready for the real SAT in March 2011. He went into the test very confident and excited.
Bobby scored a 1500 out of 2400. He knew that he could do better, and decided to continue with SAT prep courses and retake the SAT in October. His next score was a 1650 (Critical Reading: 520, Math: 590, Writing: 540) on the October test, his highest score yet. Since then, Bobby has been coming back whenever he needs help with math (he's maintaining an A average). He was also very excited to tell us when he got his first college acceptance letter to Seton Hall University—and also received an $18,000/year academic scholarship. Bobby is still waiting on his first choice school, Fordham University, and we know we'll be one of his first phone calls when he hears from them. We are so proud of Bobby, a student that became a fixture here at the center these past four years.
Cassie came to Huntington her sophomore year to do early SAT preparation work. She spent over a year taking SAT classes at the Huntington in Westport, CT and was a dedicated student. Over the course of her program, Cassie raised her SAT score from 1480 to 1790, which helped her gain acceptance to the University of Southern California, where she received a full scholarship and will play Lacrosse. Now a senior, Cassie still attends the center for subject tutoring in English and Physics. The positive relationship she has built with her instructors has lead to her continued success both at school and at Huntington.
What do you do when you have no idea what you want to do? A decent student, but with little direction, Harrison knew he had to do well on his SATs, he just didn't know why. He didn't know what he wanted to go to college for, let alone where he wanted to go, so he did not know what score goals and college goals to set for himself.
Harrison scored a 1480 on his academic evaluation, and was okay with that. Mom and Dad, however, wanted to give Harrison every opportunity possible and a great college experience, so they enrolled Harrison for SAT Prep at Huntington in Baldwin, NY. Today, the three are thankful that they did. What made Harrison so comfortable and successful in the program wasn't just the great instruction and supportive teachers. Nick, the center director, helped Harrison narrow his vision to do well on the SAT while widening his vision as to what he could accomplish in college and where he could go.
When he took the June test, Harrison raised his scores to the mid 1700s. His parents were thrilled, but Harrison wanted to do even better. If he could just raise his score 50 more points, he could get into two schools he was now seriously considering. He asked his parents to sign him up for additional classes in August and September.
Harrison scored 1890 on his October test, a total increase from his academic evaluation of 410 points. He has applied and been accepted early action to his first-choice school.
At 19 years old, James came to Huntington in East Brunswick, NJ in search of help and hope. James hoped to go back to college one day and fulfill his dream of earning a college degree. During his first session, I asked James how he felt about being at Huntington and he said, "I'm so happy to finally get this going; I just want to get better." It is not only a pleasure to work with James, because he is so polite and pleasant, but watching his progress and confidence flourish with every piece of curriculum is truly amazing. While we don't have an SAT score to report or other measurable success yet, the pride in James is a success story itself.
When Josh walked through the doors of the Westwood, NJ Huntington to take an SAT academic evaluation in mid-August, he was heading into his senior year. Josh had gotten low SAT scores and was banking on his pitching arm to get him into a good college. The first third of Josh's 40-hour SAT program was a struggle. Josh had an apathetic attitude about the entire prep process, which was clearly an attempt to mask the doubts he had in himself. Josh produced a 1300 on his first one, the same score he had on his academic evaluation. It wasn't until the reality set in that this score wouldn't get him into his college prospects that Josh decided to apply himself.
We worked with Josh for several sessions on both verbal and math skills. Josh shared his excitement about being scouted to pitch in college and his fear that his SAT scores would never be good enough to actually get him into school. Josh had grown so accustomed to teachers reprimanding him anytime he insulted himself, eventually he learned to stop himself mid-sentence. Although Josh grew to believe that we all believed in him, he still did not believe in himself.
We called Josh to wish him luck the night before the test and called again the Monday after to see how it went. Josh's mother told us that he came out of the test saying, "I felt smart today," and those words alone made us feel that we had done our job. To hear that declaration of self-confidence was wonderful. Even better, the day Josh received his scores; he called us to share his great news. Josh had scored a 1630. Josh grew to understand that he had more to offer colleges than just a pitching arm. We are so proud of his efforts and growth.
Katherine came to Huntington in Lagrange, IL a year and a half ago for ACT prep. Recently, her father called to inform us that Katherine's ACT score went up eight points as a result of working with us and that she was accepted to all of the colleges to which she applied. He was overjoyed to tell us that Katherine received $189,000 in total scholarship money to attend St. Olaf University in Minnesota.
He said the difference was the people she worked with at Huntington. Without exception, everyone treated Katherine well and made her believe in herself. Her father said, over and over again, that the teachers at this center are the greatest.
So, for those of you who went into education to make a difference, congratulations. Yes, the scholarship money is great, but more importantly, Katherine is a kid who now really believes in herself. Job well done!
Kim is a 12th-grade SAT student at the Huntington in Patchogue, NY. She is a very well-rounded student with a great GPA. Outside of academics, Kim volunteers at charity walks and food pantries, and plays varsity lacrosse. Yet Kim has struggled to earn a good SAT score. She tried several times to increase her score on her own but had not been able to score higher than 1250. She came to Huntington for SAT prep.
On her academic evaluation, Kim scored 1230. She was very frustrated and down on the SAT overall. Kim was preparing for the January exam. Just before the meeting Kim's mother called the center to tell us that the family was going through some difficult times, and that Kim's parents had decided to divorce. Kim was not handling it well. Her mother was concerned that a decrease in Kim's score would be difficult for Kim to handle and that she might not be able to compose herself during our session.
We were pleased to inform Kim's mother that Kim's score on her first had risen to 1400. Kim cried during the meeting, but her tears were joyous. Despite all that Kim is going through, she has never missed a homework assignment, is always prepared for sessions and greatly appreciates the test-taking strategies she's learned. In December, Kim was our student of the month at the center. We are all very proud of her and we can't wait to see the scores of her next retest.
Kyle was a student in 2008-2009 at Huntington in Bay Shore, NY. In summer 2011, Kyle was now ready for SAT prep. Kyle's mom was so excited to receive our letter and call about re-enrolling that she set up testing for Kyle as well as her other son, Jon, who would be going into 8th grade. Kyle does have an individualized education program at his school, and has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, and he was concerned how that would affect him when taking the SAT. We were able to reassure him that our individualized program would help him develop necessary skills and strategies to improve his score. Kyle was very motivated throughout the program. He always completed his homework, always asked questions, and when he started to see his score go up and up and up, confidence just glowed from him. Kyle finished his program in December 2011 and took the SAT that month. From his diagnostic test to his last practice test he went up 220 points. We cannot wait to hear how he did at the real thing!
The SATs were probably the thing I dreaded most in the entire world.
I am, and have always been, a very studious student. I am highly motivated, and always try my best in everything I do. I know exactly what I want in life, and I won't let anything hold me back. However, I am one of the worst test-takers in the world. I get so nervous, and am so apprehensive before a test that I end up not doing as well as I should. My test-taking in school has greatly improved, where I am no longer nervous before tests in school. However, I thought I would always be afraid of standardized tests.
When a friend's mother told me about Huntington's SAT prep program, I thought it sounded like a good idea to mend my test-taking anxiety. The first time I took the practice test at Huntington, I scored a 1510. I felt so dumb, because these scores were much lower than scores of students being admitted to the colleges I wanted to go to. My top choices are Villanova University and Lehigh University, and they certainly will not accept someone with that score. This score also did not match my above-average GPA and grades in high school. I didn't understand how Huntington could possibly help me.
Soon enough, The Huntington learning Center in Livingston, NJ helped me more than I could ever imagine. My tutors were absolutely fantastic. My English tutor, Eileen, helped me increase my writing score from a 480 to a 640 in about two months. I no longer fear that section. My math tutor, Jefferson, made me feel so motivated and so smart, and like I could accomplish anything. I always left feeling so inspired.
I am taking the SATs in January, and on the last practice test I took I got almost 300 points higher than the previous time. Thanks to Huntington, I no longer have such strong test-taking anxiety. Huntington helped me so much with the SATs—more than I could ever imagine. So, thank you to everyone at Huntington!
Lyndsay - student
Sam was a high school athlete preparing for the ACTs. His goal was not only to get a score that would secure his place at one of his top-choice colleges, but to also earn a sizeable scholarship. Sam was an A student who took many honors classes, and he was a leader on his school's lacrosse team—he was essentially the "total package" from a college admission standpoint. Understandably, he was disheartened to earn a 14 on his first practice ACT with us. This grade was not at all what he expected and far from what he believed he needed. Sam's confidence was shattered.
At the outset of his program at Huntington in Smithtown, NY, Sam had a lofty goal: to raise his score up by nearly 50 percent. He worked hard, stayed focused and followed all directions given to him by his instructors. Practice test after practice test, Sam increased his score, gaining momentum and confidence each step of the way. He would even remark to his tutors that he was applying many of the ACT test-taking skills he was learning to tests in school. Sam also saw improved grades in all of his subjects.
With a high score of 20 on practice tests, Sam felt ready to take the actual ACT. He had gone up six points since his first practice exam, and he knew he could do even better on test day. In the end, Sam scored a 21 on his final ACT. He is now at college on partial scholarship.
I feel honored to share this success story, which describes how Sara transformed from a self-conscious eleventh-grade wallflower to a confident leader who excels in college coursework, as she says, "all because of my time at Huntington.
Sara was initially evaluated at the Huntington in Edina, Minnesota, to discuss how to maximize her ACT score and to determine how to best prepare for college. Based on this comprehensive academic testing—on the ACT and in reading, writing, mathematics and study skills—we were able to determine that Sara was performing almost four grade-levels below her peers. She was nowhere close to being ready for the ACT.
We created an individualized program for Sara that included reading, math, writing, organization, test-taking, note-taking, ACT prep and college prep content, all specifically suited to her needs. In only six months, Sara saw significant increases in her ACT score, her reading level and fluency, her math skills, and her writing and study skills. Through this instruction, Sara learned and honed many important academic skills and study strategies, including but not limited to: vocabulary acquisition, business reading, outlining, essay writing, mathematical computation and logical reasoning, scientific reasoning, test-taking, time management, and extraction and integration of specific elements within text (i.e., main idea, fact, inference, etc.).
Throughout her intensive program at Huntington, I was continually impressed by Sara's enthusiasm and determination. Sara is now able to apply her new skills effectively to college-level material as she was accepted to a post secondary enrollment options program at the University of Minnesota. Sara now has the necessary academic skills and has displayed the ability to succeed. I have no doubt that she will continue to be extremely successful as she enters college next year.