Building Bridges and Opening Doors
Families here in Boise are beginning to catch up with the East and West Coast trends of ACT and SAT preparation. The leading provider of these services in the Treasure Valley is Huntington Learning Center.
“Families in Meridian and Boise assume that high school is naturally preparing our kids for these tests,” shares Julia Wright, owner of the Hunting Learning Center on Chinden. “However, current standard practice for classwork, homework, and evaluation, while successful in many ways, isn’t preparing students for the type of critical thinking expected on the ACT and SAT. Our kids are just as smart as kids in prep schools and meet the expectations set by teachers. Exam prep allows students to take their skills to the next level in a different way than high school demands. Our programs are not just about tricks. They build a bridge between high school and college.”
Test scores matter. Jennifer Hovey, owner of the Huntington Learning Center Franchise at Bown Crossing, knows this from personal experience.
“My daughter had the 4.0 GPA and received scholarship offers for athletics from top schools,” recalls Hovey. “I never dreamed her ACT score would get in her way. After learning about Huntington’s programs as a new owner, I feel like I missed a huge opportunity. All her friends had prepped and had fantastic improvements. If my daughter had 4 or 5 more points on her ACT, I would have saved $200,000. As a parent, I should have informed myself about the options.”
The two Huntington Learning Center franchises here in Boise are two of the most successful in the country. Results are the driving force of that success. Huntington’s ACT and SAT programs are individualized, based on your child’s actual test results.
“We have found that students are more successful with 1:1 tutoring versus classes,” advises Wright. “The concepts are very simple but require practice and feedback for students to own the strategies and apply them under pressure.”
“Your test score should corroborate your GPA,” explains Hovey. “A 3.0 GPA is going to limit college options in today’s climate but should be backed up with a 23 to make the most of your options. A 3.5 GPA should be verified with a 24 to 28. A 4.0 GPA student should be getting 27 to 30. If you are taking AP classes and want colleges to take your grades seriously, you should get a 30 or higher. A higher test score is like an invitation to a more exclusive party; it opens doors.”
When should a student start preparing for ACT and SAT? Typically the tests should be taken during the student’s junior year. However, there is a lot you can do as a parent to assure that your child is ready and will have the options he/she expects to have upon graduation. Parents need to be confident in their child’s academic foundation before he hits middle school or junior high in reading, math and writing. Students need to develop the study skills they will be using for the next stages in education before high school.
“They’re going to make mistakes,” explains Wright. “Middle school needs to be about teachable moments in time management, studying, note taking and resiliency.” Students report feeling stressed more now than any other time in history. Our local Huntington Learning Centers have been helping families navigate this new landscape for 12 years. They work with K-12 students in many areas. Julia and Jennifer recommend calling and setting up an academic evaluation. They will meet with your personally to answer any questions.
Huntington Learning Center 13371 E Chinden Blvd, Boise 208.938.6256 3165 S Bown Way, Boise 208.331.9021