Last Minute Studying: Success Story

You don't have much time before the test. Read about how Tracy uses PrepScholar to study as efficiently as possible with the time remaining.

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Each case study is based on real students who studied with PrepScholar SAT Prep. Names have been changed to protect student privacy.

Tracy Goodman

High school junior Tracy Goodman has a problem. She just found out her SAT score, and it’s nowhere near what she needs. She only has one more chance to take the SAT before applying to college, but the next SAT test is only three weeks away. Up until this point, Tracy has been busy with school and activities, and she wishes she'd started studying for the SAT sooner, but that’s water under the bridge now. Now she needs the most effective prep possible in this short amount of time to get the SAT score she needs.

Tracy and her family are worried. With so little time remaining, what’s the most effective thing they can do? Most prep methods that Tracy and her family are considering just don’t work for their situation. Test prep classes are on a fixed schedule and are spread out over too much time for Tracy’s needs. No local tutor is able to make the time to squeeze Tracy in for intense prep.

Through online research, Tracy and her family find PrepScholar’s Complete Plus Tutoring package. They’re impressed by the package’s two main components. First, the online prep program does most of the teaching, with thousands of practice questions and dozens of SAT skills to focus on. Secondly, the personal one-on-one tutor keeps Tracy on track and creates a custom study program for the short time remaining before the test. Tracy and her family decide to trust PrepScholar with their prep and get started.

The first thing Tracy does is meet with her personal tutor, Laura. Laura earned a full score on the SAT and has years of teaching experience, so last-minute studying is no surprise to her. Laura works with Tracy to create a clear study plan over the next three weeks: the amount of time Tracy should study, the assignments she needs to work on, and how to schedule practice tests are all discussed in the very first meeting. After building this study structure, Tracy is relieved. She knows what she needs to work on, and now she can focus on making progress instead of worrying.

Comprehensive Tutoring

Our tutors go above and beyond just teaching SAT content. At PrepScholar, we believe it’s important to create a study plan that everyone’s on board with. We carefully consider the student’s previous SAT prep experience, his or her personal schedule, and create a custom study plan that’s designed to get the most score improvement possible. We also work with issues like motivation and anxiety that often go ignored in other prep methods. As a result, the student makes the fastest possible progress on the SAT, with all major barriers to progress removed.

Your PrepScholar tutor will work with you to create a comprehensive study program.

After the tutoring session, Tracy begins work with the online prep components of her program. Because Tracy doesn’t have a lot of time to study, she knows that every minute she spends on SAT prep needs to be the most efficient possible. She doesn’t have the luxury of spending time studying things that won’t help her improve her score. That’s why she's thrilled to see PrepScholar create a customized study plan catering to her specific strengths and weaknesses. She sees how PrepScholar adjusts to her progress so that she is always working on practice problems that push her limit of understanding. As a result, she doesn’t waste any time going over material that she already knows. She makes steady progress with every study session.

Tracy also loves how convenient PrepScholar is to use. Because she has unlimited access 24/7 and can study with any device at any location, she can fit in as much study time as she can possibly handle. Unlike a class with fixed schedules, Tracy is able to fit in multiple hours of study time each weekday and dedicate a dozen hours each weekend. And because there are over 1600 realistic practice questions, multiple full-length practice tests, and dozens of skills to master, Tracy never runs out of helpful materials to improve her score.

After Tracy spends a week working on the online prep program, she has another extended three-hour tutoring session with Laura. Laura has been tracking Tracy’s progress throughout the past week, and is fully up to date with what Tracy is struggling with. By working through sample questions with Tracy, Laura carefully analyzes Tracy’s thinking process and notices patterns to her mistakes. For example, on reading passage questions, Tracy has problems deciding between two answer choices that seem equally likely to her. Laura notices this and gives Tracy a powerful new strategy to eliminate all the wrong answer choices from the question. Tracy applies the strategy and finds herself getting more questions correct. Laura works with Tracy to find similar mistakes in math and writing, and at the end of three hours Tracy has learned many new strategies customized to her thinking process.

Customized, High-Power Tutoring

The average tutor outside of PrepScholar simply spends most of the tutoring session walking through questions with the student without really understanding how the student approaches questions and what mistakes they’re making.

In contrast, PrepScholar tutors are all trained and experts at understanding the students’ thought processes. In turn, our tutors are able to suggest custom strategies to overcome student mistakes. PrepScholar tutors are uniquely able to do this because of two factors: 1) they’re the top scoring SAT students in the country, 2) they’re hired only if they have years of teaching experience, and they undergo extensive training before they interact with any students.

Your tutor will do detailed prep before each of your sessions so each hour is as productive as possible.

Over the next two weeks, Tracy continues working with both the online prep program and her dedicated tutor. Because PrepScholar tutors are flexible, Tracy can schedule extended tutoring sessions with her tutor to get the most out of the time remaining.


In just three weeks of dedicated prep with PrepScholar, Tracy achieved the results of three months of work. She took the test and improved by 120 points. This was well above what she needs to be competitive for her target colleges.

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