The Next Step Test Preparation Story
By John Rood, President and Founder
I wanted to use this space to introduce myself and discuss how and why Next Step differs from other test prep options.
Why we offer one-on-one tutoring
For a brief time, I worked at one of the nation’s largest test preparation companies (one of the ones you’ve heard of from flyers on campus or ads on Google). I learned two things from that experience.
Students learn better from individual attention. When I taught LSAT prep courses, the curriculum was designed around the “average” student as it had to be for a class of 20 students. However, that disguised a lot of variance. Students who started under that average often got lost, as the pace of the class zoomed by them. On the other hand, we had high-performing students looking to break into the 90th percentile who were bored to tears. And often students would fall into both camps — lost on one topic while completely bored in an area they had mastered. That contrasted with my work in one-on-one tutoring environments. When students work with a personal instructor, they move at the students’ pace. If the student needs extra assistance in one area, we focus there.
The price of a prep course is outrageous! Given how important these tests are in graduate school admissions, I think making an investment in professional prep makes sense. However, $1,300-$2,000 is too much to pay simply to sit in a lecture with 25 other students. We’ve priced our packages of individual tutoring to be competitive with the group lecture courses at the largest prep companies.
To me, the lecture-style approach is no different from going to the doctor with 20 other patients.
Something everyone in the prep industry knows is that students make bigger score gains and get into better schools when they have the help of veteran instructors. We hire very carefully. In fact, we find most of our instructors proactively — we hear about great instructors working independently and make them part of our cause. Our instructors have:
- Top scores (generally 98 or 99th percentile)
- Years of teaching experience
- A proven track record of helping people make quantitative score gains.
Students and parents who contact Next Step always speak to our team before committing. That means that you get the real scoop on our services, and are likely to learn something about the admissions process that you couldn’t learn speaking to someone at a phone bank. At every step, you’ll be dealing with test prep experts — not salespeople.
Please Look Around!
I hope this gives you some ideas about what we value in test prep. If you believe that you or your son or daughter would benefit more from personal attention than a series of lectures, I invite you to contact us by email or phone.