How Varsity Tutors Is Levelling The Playing Field With ‘Test Prep 4 All’

Varsity Tutors test prep 4 all initiative sat tutoring jobs apply wayup

Standardized tests were designed to level the
playing field, hence the “standardized.” They should be equal opportunities for students from around the country
to demonstrate their abilities and potential. However, given how
much better
students who prepare for the test do than their
less-prepared counterparts, it should come as no surprise that the ability to
pay for test prep has become a major advantage.

And Varsity Tutors—a leading online platform
connecting students with top instructors—is helping to balance the scales once
more. With their “Test Prep 4 All” initiative, anyone can get access to
high-quality ACT and SAT prep courses, free of charge.

To learn more about the transformative effort,
we spoke to the Chief Academic Officer of Varsity Tutors, Brian Galvin, who
also happens to be leading the charge—and the ACT lessons—of Test Prep 4 All.

Everyone Deserves A Shot At Getting Their Best Score

“One of the big things is that standardized
testing is such a hurdle for so many people,” Brian explains. “But if you do
well, it’s a springboard. Your score can take you places. When you do well, it
can open opportunities.”

And given how critical test preparation is to performance, “doing well” has become increasingly cost prohibitive, which is why Varsity Tutors introduced the Test Prep 4 All initiative.

So how does the program work? For six weeks
(leading up to the test date), students take classes led by Varsity Tutors’
resident SAT and ACT experts. They’ll go over essential basics like grammar and
math rules, discuss important test-taking strategies, and do practice problems
as a group.

The best part? The whole class is done online.
While it started as a local partnership with a few schools in lower-income
neighborhoods, they soon expanded to a totally free, totally public online

“We’re in a world where only people who can
afford it are actually able to get test prep,” Brian says. “Now it’s available
for everyone.”

The real challenge for Brian and the Varsity
Tutors team though wasn’t teaching an effective online test prep course—it was
doing it for classes that were quickly going from tens to thousands.

How Varsity Tutors Used Education Tech To Make A Solution For A Real-World Social Issue

“We can have a thousand students or more in the ‘room’ at a time,” Brian explains. “And we needed to build for that. It was a real engineering challenge.”

The solution wasn’t as simple as streaming a
video of a class to that many people. Interactivity and digitization of the
real classroom learning experience are essential parts of the Varsity Tutors
mission. Their online platform allows teachers to send out polls to their
students and to answer questions live. Students can also take notes and do practice
problems on digital scratch paper that is saved for reference in later lessons
and study sessions.

This type of problem wasn’t actually much of a
problem for a company like Varsity Tutors, Brian tells us.

“Some would say we’re an education company, but
most people here would say we’re a technology company,” Brian explains. And all
of that technology serves a single purpose for the company: making online
tutoring not just the same, but better than the alternative.

“Everything we do is predicated on ‘How can we
make online not just a substitute, but a superior learning experience?’” Brian
tells us.

Whether that means scheduling tools and text
message reminders to take busy-work off of their tutors, or online learning
tools like a virtual white board where students can draw with phones and
tablets, the technology component of Varsity Tutors is what truly sets them
apart for both students and instructors.

And using that same tech-enabled approach to
tackle inequality in standardized testing is some of the most satisfying work
they’ve done yet.

“I’m so proud to work for a place that uses
technology to really do some good in the world,” Brian says. “It’s had an
impact on hundreds of students’ lives so far, too. And that’s something we’re
hoping to expand.”

Know someone looking for SAT/ACT test prep?
Tell them to check out Test Prep 4 All.

Want to
become a tech-enabled tutor? Check out open opportunities at
Varsity Tutors

The post How Varsity Tutors Is Levelling The Playing Field With ‘Test Prep 4 All’ appeared first on Job and Internship Advice, Companies to Work for and More | WayUp Blog.

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