July 13, 2016
The Huffington Post
by A.J. Steigman
In 1986, I founded Advantage Testing in New York because I felt there had been a missing voice in standardized test preparation. At the time, most people believed that admissions tests were aptitude tests and that there was no point in preparing for them because score improvements would be meager. There were two kinds of tutoring available. One was a form of remediation, to help students who were struggling academically to scrape by on admissions exams. The other was presented as a bag of tricks and gimmicks that could help students “beat the tests,” as though you could fool the College Board and other official testing agencies into awarding higher scores than you merited.
My experience growing up was very different. As a high school student, I recognized the importance of these tests in college admissions and I worked hard to learn everything I needed to know in order to excel on them. In the process, while developing a body of knowledge that I would draw upon for the rest of my life, I was able to achieve scores that helped me realize my academic goals. So when I began tutoring professionally, I wanted my students to approach the SAT as I had, as an opportunity to learn and to achieve.