(310) 529-7285
South Bay/Westside Los Angeles
pj@pjtestprep.com

 

General Questions:
Paul Jury
Director
(310) 529-7285
paul@pjtestprep.com
Tutoring Questions:
Linda Townley
Tutor Coordinator
(612) 315-6015
linda@pjtestprep.com

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What's new?
The SUMMER/FALL 2017 Schedule is here! Download it.

You have questions. We have answers.

We bet if you read below, you'll find the information you're looking for...
Trust us. We've been doing this a long time.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - GENERAL
Websites confuse and frighten me. Can I talk to an actual person?
Sure! Just give us a call or send an email via the contact info at the top of the page, or on the left sidebar.

Let's jump right to the hardest question: Why should we use PJ Test Prep as opposed to the competition?
Four reasons: Quality, Affordability, Flexibility, and Intimacy.
As a small, boutique tutoring company, we're able to offer the highest-quality test prep at a much lower price. Our founder was an award-winning teacher at one of the giant test prep companies. Without the size and bureaucracy of the larger companies, we're able to really get to know our tutors and families, which helps us find the best fit for each student.

How is PJ Test Prep able to offer high-level prep at such a lower price than the big companies?
One word: Overhead. We don't have big management centers or national advertising. We just have really good teachers and tutors who are committed to the idea that test prep and academic help doesn't have to be only for the super-rich. If you are super-rich, that's fine too; we'll still give you the best prep money can buy, and maybe you can use that extra money to sponsor another kid into class!


TUTORING
Where does tutoring happen? Do you have a center?
To keep our prices low, PJ Test Prep does not have a centralized office, so tutoring is usually in-home... unless your house is being fumigated or serving as a daycare, in which case a library or coffee shop is fine.

Do you do paired or small group tutoring?
Yup! It's a great way to reduce costs while still getting the benefit of the individual attention tutoring offers. If a student has a friend or several friends who want to tutor together, the cost per student decreases with each additional student. Contact Linda for more information. One note: it's usually best if the students are somewhat similar in ability levels.

Who are your tutors (and teachers?)
All our tutors (and teachers) are graduates from top colleges like UCLA, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, etc. Some are currently graduate students or in gap years while applying to graduate programs or medical school; others are teachers, writers, or other professionals who tutor on the side. Most importantly, all are professionals who possess the two things necessary to be a great instructor: expertise in their subject matter, and great skill at conveying this expertise to students.


TEST PREP
Should my student take the SAT or the ACT? And how many times?
This is such a big question, we give entire presentations on it. But the short answer? Take both, since nearly every college accepts whichever test you score higher on. Some students find that one test suits them better (for instance, the SAT is trickier and has more math, whereas the ACT has a faster pace) but if you were in the Olympic Long Jump competition, and the judges gave you a choice between getting one attempt to get your longest distance, or two attempts, why would you not jump twice?
As far as how many attempts you should make: while you theoretically could take the SAT/ACT many times, some schools don't like you to take a given test more than twice. And if you've done a good job prepping, you shouldn't have to.

For the SAT/ACT, I'm trying to decide between a class, or tutoring. What's the difference, and which do you recommend?
Both tutoring and classes use the same material to teach students the content and tricks/strategies they'll need on the SAT/ACT. The difference is mainly one of cost, flexibility, and intensity.
Private tutoring, taking place in-home, is very flexible, and there's no more focused way to really blast off a student's score. But classes are cheaper and usually produce wonderful results as well, so we often recommend you start there; you can always augment with tutoring later, to work on any weak points.
The three situations in which we might recommend tutoring right off the bat are:
LOGISTICS: The student's schedule or location makes it hard to attend most sessions of one of our classes.
PERFORMANCE: If your student is scoring particularly high (1250+ SAT/28+ ACT) or low (800- SAT/15- ACT), tutoring might be a better fit, as a class might move a bit slow or fast for them.
DRAMATIC RESULTS: Though our classes yield great results, the very largest improvements most often occur with private tutoring programs, in which students sometimes leap up 300+ SAT points. Though this happens in class sometimes, too.


CLASSES
I want to take one of your classes, but I there's a date or two I can't attend. Can I make up classes or Practice Tests somehow?
Yes, there are a couple of options to make up both classes and practice tests:
A) You can make up a missed event by coming to that class with a different course. For instance, if you are in Hermosa Beach May Full SAT class and miss Class 4, you could make it up with Class 4 of the Culver City May class, or with Class 4 of the Hermosa Beach June SAT class or March (if you plan ahead!) SAT Class. There is no charge for this option.
B) You can make up a missed class with a private tutoring session ($100), which can be scheduled by emailing Linda.
C) You can also make up a missed class with an online video make-up ($30), which can be scheduled by emailing Paul.
D) Practice Tests can also be made up on the student's own, by getting the test materials from the instructor of the class or the proctor of the practice test.

How many students are in a class?
Classes usually have 10-15 students, but we allow enrollment to reach 20 during busier test seasons. Much past that, though, we usually open a new class, so we can keep numbers low and personal attention high.

Where can I find your class schedule? And when do you post new ones for later classes?
You can download our current class schedule on the SAT-ACT Classes Page, at the top of the main page, or here. We post new class schedules twice a year: typically in early October for the January-June spring season, and in May for the July-December fall season.

Where are classes held?
We offer both classroom courses in great Los Angeles, as well as online courses. Do see the locations of our currently-offered classes, see the schedule.

Do classes fill up? How do I know if a class is full?
Yes, due to the popularity of our programs, classes often do fill up. But if you can find and sign up for a class on our website, it means it's still open; we close and remove any class that is full.

Can you offer payment plans?
Yes, we can, though we usually ask for a partial deposit to reserve the student's place in class. Contact Paul about this.

Do you have a guaranteed score increase?
Our policy is "once a student, always a student": if a student takes our course, he or she is welcome to re-attend any future sessions of that same class, FREE OF CHARGE. In this way, whether a student was not satisfied with his or her score increase, or simply wants to improve even more, he or she always has a home in PJ Test Prep classes. As such, we do not need to have an official score guarantee, though we've never had a kid come to all the classes, put in the appropriate effort, and not have their score improve.

What's the average score improvement for your classes?
Most students who take our full (7 week) class show an improvement from their first practice test to their third practice test of 100-200 SAT points, or 2-4 ACT points, though there are always a few kids in each class who go up much more than this. Students who undergo a full tutoring program generally see slightly higher increases.