45m Comprehensive Strategy Session
Dear parents of high schoolers with learning differences...
...here’s how your child can reach their goal ACT/SAT score without being frustrated or overwhelmed by studying.
Does your high schooler have an unopened stack of test prep books on their desk? Did their first ACT or SAT score come back lower than you both expected? Did the small group prep class you signed them up for actually lower their score?
Test prep can be a frustrating and overwhelming experience for students with learning differences. Our brains work differently than most test prep materials and tutors expect.
But high schoolers with learning differences can learn to study for these tests and hit their goal scores, same as anyone else. They can get into their dream schools, and they can learn to study for other standardized tests in just the same way.
Imagine your high school student awaiting their ACT or SAT test scores with excitement instead of anxiety. Imagine them running to show you the envelope instead of leaving it in their backpack for weeks. That’s all possible, with the right approach.
MYTH: Students with learning differences can’t do well on standardized tests.
It’s common to hear guidance counselors, college admissions consultants, and teachers say that the tests aren’t designed for neurodiverse people. The truth is, they’re right about that. The ACT and SAT disproportionately punish people with processing disorders, attention disorders, autism, traumatic brain injuries, and other learning differences via the structure and setup of the test.
But that doesn’t mean those same students can’t ace the test. Even with the odds stacked against them, they can excel on the test, hit their dream score, and gain admission and even scholarship money to their dream college.
But they usually don’t do it in the same way as their peers.
Having your high schooler sit down to take the test and just “see how it goes” probably didn’t encourage them, right? And the small group test prep offered by most schools doesn’t teach the test in a way that clicks with most neurodiverse learners.
Tutors at almost every test prep company you’ve heard of don’t know what to do with a neurodiverse learning style, and the speed-based strategies they prefer can make test prep stressful and demoralizing. Even a tutor with decades of experience and great results might be stumped if the tactics they’ve grown to rely on don’t work for someone.
About Me: 10+ Years Learning Differences Test Prep Tutor
My name is Jonah Fishel, and I’m a professional test prep tutor who specializes in learning differences.
I have over a decade of experience working with students with ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, autism, traumatic brain injuries, and other learning differences.
So many of my clients are so smart, but they’re smart in ways that it’s hard to show on a test like the ACT or the SAT. And once they get discouraged, they decide the test isn’t for them, and they stop trying.
I’ve taught these kids in every context you can think of, from juvenile detention centers to Manhattan penthouses, and I’ve found that the same approach works everywhere: it’s not about which test I’m tutoring or which tactics we’re learning, but about teaching the student that they’re capable of learning something and that it’s worth their time to do it.
The ACT and the SAT will only adapt to neurodiverse learners in a few limited ways. And the material and the scoring curve won’t change. But the way to learn the test and the way to practice the test can be adapted to everyone.
That’s what I’ve spent the past decade doing: learning to adapt my instruction to every learner’s style so they can learn what they need to ace the test in a way that works for them.
My Test Prep Results
According to the College Board’s own research, working with a private test prep company or personal tutor shows average score gains of 20-40 points, on average, with more gains coming in the math. This is hard to separate from normal testing noise, which is about 32 points (don’t think about that too hard–it’s more evidence of how poor these tests are at measuring anything useful). By contrast, a student working through the Khan Academy program for 20 hours is associated with an average score increase of 115.
My students see an average gain of 270 points on the SAT after the same number of hours working with me. That’s because I know how the test is written, how each question is designed, and how to exploit that design, and that’s what I teach my students.
How Do I Get These Fantastic Results?
The key to test prep success is a study plan that works with your high schooler’s learning style instead of against it.
The biggest indicator of a high schooler’s test score is if they have a study plan they stick to. Taking action early and practicing consistency is really the only way to improve.
That’s probably not surprising to hear. But just taking any action won’t cut it. Students need to study in a way that is suited to their learning style, addresses the exact problems they’re having on the test, and immediately put what they’ve learned into action. It’s doing this consistently, not just repeating practice problems they don’t understand over and over again, that helps them improve.
The personal study plan approach and why it works
That’s why I’ve spent the past decade learning to adapt my instruction and recommendations to each learner individually. I’ll take everything we know–their past test scores, their preferences, their academic history, their neurotype, any assessment or evaluation results, your insight as a parent, and their own ambitions and self-knowledge–to create a personal study plan that’s perfectly suited to help them reach their score goals.
Each student’s study plan is different, a combination of instruction and self-study and exercises that help them learn effectively. It’s tailored to them and their learning style, and I build it out all the way to their test date, so they know what to do each week they prep for the test.
The study plan, at its core, is about teaching someone how to prep for the test instead of preparing them for the test. It’s about teaching them to understand their own learning and what will be most effective for them, so they can study by themselves and get the results they want.
A dedicated student can study hundreds of hours and not see improvement. But a dedicated student with a clear plan that suits them and provides a framework for their prep can see results in a matter of hours.
45m Comprehensive Strategy Session
For students ready to start their ACT or SAT prep, I offer a quick-start test prep program that prepares them to study in the way that works best for them.
Part of the program is self-paced, but it always concludes with a private Strategy Session where I’ll work with the student to design their Study Block and fill out a complete Study Plan that covers every week from now until the test.
They’ll walk away with a clear idea of how to study, what to study, and the most effective things they can do to prep each week before the test. My students use that information to prep for the test and reach their goal scores in a way that works for them.
45m Comprehensive Strategy Session
We’ll meet for 45 minutes to discuss your high schooler’s scores, goals, any prior test results, and where I think you’ll get the best results for their study time.
I’ll guide them through creating a study plan using my comprehensive template and explain each part of what I’d like them to do, the most effective study techniques for them, and all my favorite resources.
Each student walks away with a digital and physical form of a comprehensive study plan that tells them:
- The highest-priority things you’ll need to do to get started
- A week-by-week guide of exactly what to study and when
- An outline of their own “study block”, a personalized study process that I’ve designed to get them the best results for their time
- Links to all the resources I recommend
- Written guides on the study methods and tactics I show them, so they won’t forget
- Their personal score goals and milestones
- A score goal tracker so they can track progress towards those goals
- Two weeks of email and phone support to answer questions and get them back on track with their studying
This study plan is their to keep with no obligation and no commitment to more sessions together. I’ll format it to print nicely, but they will be able to access the digital version I’ll make for them as long as Google Drive exists.
You'll also receive:
Bonus #1: Self-Study Kit, Unit 1 ($20 value)
The first unit in my self-study course. This 30+ page full-color guide is a workbook and textbook designed with accessibility and practicality in mind. Inside, students will learn how to discover their starting test scores so we can accurately plan their prep.
The guide is a digital download that includes:
- A guide to selecting the best diagnostic test to use and instructions on where to find it
- Comprehensive instructions for self-administering a diagnostic test to get accurate results
- Scoring instructions and an explanation of how scores work, raw vs. scaled scores, percentiles, and more
I recommend students work through this unit before we meet for the Strategy Session, so they have a clear idea of their starting scores. This will allow us to get the most out of our time together.
Bonus #2: Self-Study Kit, Unit 2 ($20 value)
The second unit in my self-study course. This is also a 30+ page, full-color guide that is a workbook and textbook in one, but it focuses on helping students understand what kind of score increases are possible and formulating a goal score for their test based on that.
This guide is a digital download that includes:
- Score tables to help understand and predict the score increases they might see at each level of time investment
- A step-by-step research guide for finding accurate score expectations for each college they’re applying to
- A data-driven formula for calculating the time you’ll need to get the score increase they want
- A workflow for calculating the time they’ll need to study and how to set a study budget based on their schedule
At the end of this unit, students will know exactly what scores they’ll need to meet their admissions goals, how long it will take to get there, and what their test prep timeline looks like.
I recommend students work through this unit before we meet for the Strategy Session, so they have a clear idea of how much prep they need and the timeline they’re looking at.
When you book your Comprehensive Strategy Session, you're getting...
45m Comprehensive Study Plan Strategy Session ($165 value)
Self-Study Kit Unit 1 ($20 value)
Self-Study Kit Unit 2 ($20 value)