What We Think
We think that the entire college admissions process should be full of possibility, not something terrifying that drains the future of its excitement. We want to make sure your college admissions experience – from test prep to school selection to admissions — fulfills your needs and goals and opens the door to a bright future.
We think that the process looks different from every student. Some students will need more prep than others while some won’t need any prep. Some students won’t find the most competitive colleges fulfilling, even if they have the admissions profile to compete for an admissions spot. Others will discover ambitions that lead them to completely re-imagine what school would be the most rewarding for them.
We think there is a lot of bad advice out there that survives because families are terrified that their kids will somehow miss out on their futures as high school students. We aren’t interested in feeding the college admissions beast that drives so many families to pay for whatever service someone is willing to offer. Our mission is to help families see their options clearly (and there are a lot of options!) and make the best possible decisions about the entire college admissions process.
There are lot of options out there for “test prep" and college admissions. Some have big names and have been around forever (rhymes with Winston Laview). Many are your local school teachers who try to transfer their classroom skills over to the (strange) world of ACTs and SATs. Unfortunately, good intentions and expertise aren't the same thing. We understand that at the end of the day, you may not work with Breakaway. But you should insist that whoever you do work with follow some very sensible best practices.
- The opportunity for regular assessments in addition to homework assignments and session work. Students should have the opportunity to work through exams in real test conditions. (No, a table at the local library doesn’t count)
- Real test materials. Both SAT and ACT have made some of their exams available. In addition to test-taking strategies, real material should be at the heart of any serious prep experience. If a tutor shows up with a Princeton Review book or some other "big brand" book under his arm, just keep in mind that you are paying for your student to learn how to succeed on that company's best guess at the SAT or ACT.
- Adaptable prep plans. Believe us, we get it: prep isn’t the most exciting way for a student to spend his or her time. There should always be opportunity for regular feedback and the opportunity to adjust plans accordingly. There is no need to make a top-notch math student sit for hours and hours of math prep or a strong reader spend hours alongside those who need a bit more attention.
"Thank you so much for working with our son to prepare for the ACT test. I'm thrilled with his first test results.... this is a direct result of having more skills and more confidence in taking the test, which he has gained from working with you. He's so open and receptive to working with you. You're a great teacher!"Wayzata High School parent