Test Prep Clarified

Test preparation for college entrance exams can be confusing. Which test should you take? What book should you buy? Should you take a class or get tutoring? In an effort to give you all some clarity on this situation, we sat down with our president and test prep expert, Deepak Thadhani, and asked him some questions on the matter.

First, what is the benefit of receiving a high test score? How much do colleges take these scores into account when making their admissions decision? 

Standardized test scores are part of the equation for college admissions.  Many colleges around the country look at test scores as a very critical component of the admissions process.  With that being said, it is a holistic review.  Test scores are one of many variables that colleges consider.  In addition to test scores, course rigor, GPA, essays, resume, the application, and letters of recommendation are also considered.


What is the benefit of receiving tutoring or taking a class for the ACT or SAT? Can’t students simply study the materials on their own?

Tutoring provides exposure, strategy, and discipline.  By working with an expert, the student is provided insight on how to better approach questions. 


How does one justify paying more for 1 on 1 tutoring when classes typically cost less? Are there guaranteed benefits for 1 on 1 tutoring?

1-on-1 is more convenient, more efficient, and in your home.  Travel time and travel costs are obviously important factors.  Other than these two variables, time in a program and time in a one-on-one session should also be considered.  Cram Crew can also work around a client’s busy schedule and can also assist in determining which test may be more aligned with the student.  The pace at which a one-on-one program can move is also quite different than a classroom style program.  In a one-one program, we can focus purely on the strengths and weaknesses of the student—spend more time on areas of need and not waste time on places of great strength.  And finally, we have flexibility.  If for some reason a student does not respond well to a consultant, we can make a change.  In a classroom style program, the change cannot be made. 


What are the benefits of taking an SAT/ACT class vs. tutoring?

At Cram Crew, we focus specifically on a client’s needs.  We provide detailed strategies to students based on their academic backgrounds and results.  Private tutoring is catered around the student’s busy, committed schedule.  Our sessions happen at the house, one-on-one, and align with a student’s goals and background.  Classroom style prep may be good in preparing students with general problem solving skills and basic foundations in standardized testing.


Often times doing well on standardized testing depends on the student’s willingness to work independently on their testing. What sort of accountability does 1 on 1 tutoring give students vs. the accountability they would receive in a classroom setting?

At Cram Crew, our consultants are very engaged with the student’s progress.  They are invested in the growth of their score.  Hence, there is more accountability and engagement with the student as it relates to homework, progress, and identifying the correct test for the student.


How much can students expect their test scores to rise when they receive 1 on 1 tutoring? 

This is very hard to answer as it is relative to the student’s efforts, the student’s investment of energy, and the timeline by which we have to prepare.  Over the nearly twenty years, we tend to see ACT scores improve 15-18% and SAT scores improve 12-15%.


What sets Cram Crew apart from other 1 on 1 tutoring services?

First and foremost, we are not a franchise.  Cram Crew has been in business for nearly twenty years.  It re-branded itself as “Cram Crew” in 2005.   We are in the business of delivering results.  Cram Crew provides very detailed training and background to all of our employees.  Cram Crew goes through a very meticulous process in on-boarding consultants.  We do not simply hire based on high school test scores.  All of our clients are provided with proprietary, well-developed strategies in the form of our Cram Manual.  Our philosophy at Cram Crew is that all parties are accountable: the company, the consultant, and the client.  Consultants are directly compensated based on the student’s ultimate test scores.  Another great option at Cram Crew: our prep programs can be geared to either SAT, ACT, or both.  A program is not limited to just one.  We do offer complimentary mock exams, which simulate the environment a student will experience on testing day; this improves their scores, helps the consultant see where the student can improve, and prepares the student for the environment they will be in on test day.

If you are interested in hearing more about Cram Crew’s Test Prep services, take a look at our packages here, or call one of client service representatives at 713.464.2726.