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About Kate Dalby

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So far Kate Dalby has created 54 blog entries.

TJ Student Portrait Sheet 2021

Well, we are having another exciting year helping students gain entry into Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology.  There is no longer a math, reading, and science test that you have to pass to make first cut.  There does seem to be some hoops to jump though: a math question and some essay questions.

If you would like help preparing for the written essays for the TJ Student Portrait Sheet. Mrs. Cathy Colglazier, English teacher and former chair of TJ’s humanity department,  is here to help.  To arrange instruction, call her at 703-628-2348.  Click here to purchase a package of four hours of private instruction via zoom.
If you would like to prepare for the math question, we now have five free SIS math videos available on Inspiring Test Preparation’s Rumble.com channel. Click the year you wish to access:
2016 2017  2018 2019 2020
2021-03-04T20:32:27-05:00

Score Results for 2020 Are Coming In

Wow.  What a crazy year it has been.

We started the new year moving from our McLean, VA office to a new location in Vienna, VA.  We were so excited to be in a new space near so many of our clients; it was such a promising beginning . . . then Covid hit.  Bam!  We went from 60 to 0 over night.  Students’ SAT and ACT test dates were cancelled, we were locked down (eventually closing our office) and all we could safely do was go online to tutor.  Even though we have tutored remotely in the past with great results, we weren’t sure if our success would hold up under large numbers of students.  By June we were getting pretty busy and this is the first chance to catch our breath and assess our results.  If you haven’t reported your scores, we would love to hear from you.

The following are profiles of students and their results:

  1. BZ, ’21, prepped in the spring SAT before covid.  Raised scores 170 pts to a super score of 790v 780m.
  2. CJ ’22 took a couple of SAT lessons online and raised scores 80 pts to 790v 800m.
  3. GC ’22 started at an SAT of 590v 650m raised scores 210 pts. to 700v 750m. Only half way through online flex prep – plans to retest in spring.
  4. KC’21 took SAT flex prep online and raised scores from 1270 to 1430 (160 pt. gain.)
  5. MS’21 took summer SAT flex prep online and got 220 pt gain for a 1490 combined.
  6. MP’21 raised SAT scores 130 pts to 1560.
  7. OJ’21 went from 630v 530m SAT to 650v 680m (170 gain) plans to retest.
  8. RH’21 raised SAT scores 150 pts from 570v560m to 610v 670m.
  9. AS’21 prepped in person.  Started at 450v 380m scored 510v 490m on Sept SAT. Gain: 170.
  10. SR ’21 prepped in person.  Started at a 990 SAT, scored 1120, gained 130.
  11. SM’22 online went from 1180 to 1360 SAT for a 180 pt. gain.
  12. TB’21 online scored a 1570 SAT for a 130 pt. gain.
  13. TJ’21 started at 750v 720m SAT, scored a 790v760m (80 pt. gain).
  14. VJ ’21 560v 640m SAT to 670v 710m; 180 pt. gain.
  15. VP’21 went up 190 pts to a 590v 530m SAT.  Plans to retest.
  16. MZ’22 with online ACT flex prep raised composite scores from 27 to 30.  Last four practice tests were 34 so advised to retest.
  17. BA’22 took online ACT summer flex prep and raised her composite from 30 to 34.
  18.  FA’21 took ACT prep in person last year starting with a 21 composite, took a test Dec 19 and got a 25, and retested in Oct’20 scoring a 31 composite. That’s a 10 pt. gain. Persistence pays off.
  19. MR’22 took SAT prep in person got a 70 pt. gain for a 1330.  Best practice was 1460, so we recommend retest.
  20. FQ’21 took SAT prep in person and got a 260 pt. gain raising scores to 1390.
  21. AA’21 worked really hard to raise a 21 to a 28 in practice.  She scored 23 on the fall ACT and plans to retest.
  22. HD’22 raised SAT scores 80 pts. to a 1510 after 2,5 hours of online prep.
  23. SS’21 started with a 31 ACT and raised her score to 35.  (4 pt. gain.)
  24. NN’22 was unhappy with scores and would not report or respond to our follow up calls.
  25. WA’21 raised his ACT scores with flex prep going from a 27 to a 34, then a 35 the next month.  He really put in the hours for a 8 pt. gain.
  26. VM’22 reports he got a 34 composite on his Oct ’20 ACT, up from a 30 composite on his diagnostic test.
  27. Just heard from online prepper GC ’22 today, November 20,2020.  He got a 750v800m.  His PSAT last year was a 590v650m (320 point gain).  Pretty impressive improvement.
  28. SH ’22 finally got back to me with her scores.  She went from an 18 to a 26 composite after in person test prep. Recommendation: retest because she super scored 30 in practice.
  29. SS ’22 prepared for the SAT online: she started with a 630V/660M and scored 700V/730M on the November 2020 test (140 point gain).

 

Average SAT gain of 170 points for 16 testers (excludes three high scorers who did not do a full preparation ie: CJ, TJ, HD).  Range is 70 to 320 points.  Two modes: 130 and 170.

Average ACT gain of 5.4 points for 8 testers.  Range is 2 to 10 points.  Mode is 4 points.

We have about 10 outstanding scores.  When we get those values, we will update the statistics; however, these results are fairly typical.  We are delighted to see that scores have not suffered with the advent of online tutoring.

Curious how we can help?  Click the link to set up a free consultation.

2020-12-16T15:21:29-05:00

New! Virtual Fireside Chat with Dr. Sybil Gohari, Founder of Admissions Company

Join Dr. Sybil Gohari, founder of Admissions Company, for a virtual Fireside Chat on College Admissions on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020 at 7 pm. This event is sponsored by Kate Dalby, owner of Inspiring Test Preparation. Contact Dr. Gohari directly to sign up at info@admissions.company. Seating is limited.

Dr. Gohari brings over a decade of experience as an educator and entrepreneur; she spends her time at the intersection of academia and technology. She has taught at the University of Maryland, College Park; American University; George Washington University; and Georgetown University.

She founded Admissions Company to harness the proprietary method rooted in data and analytics, to not only help students significantly increase their chances of gaining admission to competitive schools but to determine the optimal schools for their individual needs and interests. Admissions Company complements its use of big data with a deep reservoir of expertise to guide students from an early point in the admissions process.

Dr. Gohari graduated from the American University Magna Cum Laude, with a degree in Art History, where she was also a division I lacrosse player. She went on to earn her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park.

2020-12-08T18:58:58-05:00

May You Live in Interesting Times: TJ’s Merit Lottery

“May you live in interesting times”: a blessing to some and a curse to others.  But there is no doubt, we are living in interesting times.  We are fortunate to live in a country with so many opportunities for people who take the initiative to prosper.  And while our country is reeling under the challenges of Covid-19, quarantine, protests, riots, and economic turmoil, some in our own community have the following response to these challenges.

Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent, Scott Brabrand, with the goal of increasing enrollment of underrepresented minorities at the elite Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology (TJ), proposes that admissions become a merit lottery.  A merit lottery would eliminate the three-hour long TJ admissions test, teacher recommendations, the $100 application fee, and would use a minimum student GPA of 3.5 as the sole measure of merit.  The lottery would allot seats by region and necessarily admit more students from areas of the county that have not be represented at TJ historically.  Some groups are delighted by this proposed change; others are outraged.  This proposal is likely to pass if for no other reason than it gets the county off the hook for testing 3000+ students during a pandemic.  It’s a great time for another experiment in education.

There will be a town hall regarding the proposed admissions policy changes on Wednesday, September 23, beginning at 7 p.m.  Families and community members can watch onlinesubmit comments and questions or call into the town hall live at 1-800-231-6359

Additional details about the plan are available here.

Here are some links to other news stories and opinion pieces.

AP News: PTA clashes…

Washingtonian: Thomas Jefferson High School Could Switch to a “Merit Lottery”…

WTOP: [TJ] student speaks out against… 

fcps.edu: Superintendent Presents Recommendations…

Advocacy Group in Favor of Lottery

Advocacy Group Opposed to Lottery

If you would like to comment, visit our facebook page.
2020-09-20T11:42:06-04:00

Insight Into Yelp Reviews

    • A C.
    • West Springfield, VA
    •  0 friends
    •  1 review

    3/21/2020

    Kate is an incredible teacher and tutor!  She is a hidden gem in the NOVA area and has been helping students for over 30 years!  Kate helped my 3 children over the past few years, and did in a few weeks what other places try to do in months, to prepare students for the ACT and SAT.  In addition to practicing & reviewing the tests every week, Kate teaches students how to read, think, analyze, and answer questions properly!

    All my 3 children scored in the upper 30’s on the ACT, the highest being 35 (out of 36), an increase of 5 – 10 points per child.  And at least a couple of hundred points higher on the SAT each.  Kate is truly magical and transforms children’s thought process and improves their critical thinking skills with her vast knowledge and experience!

  • Cindy G.
    • Cindy G.
    • Great Falls, VA
    •  0 friends
    •  8 reviews

    5/13/2017

    A trusted friend had enrolled her daughter with Kate Dalby a year or two earlier (the daughter, who is extremely intelligent in any case, got 800s on her SAT).  She recommended Kate to us and we have enrolled our three kids, one for Spring 2017 (now underway), two for the summer (have not begun).

    After one session, our daughter’s ACT average went from a 31 to a 34.5; after a few sessions, a session later her math SAT was up to a 780 and she knew exactly why she had missed the two questions that cost her a perfect score.  Her verbal had increased slightly to mid-700s – both are still works in progress.  We have found Kate always available to consultation in person and by phone – and our emails have been answered almost instantly, even over the weekend.

    We began the process with complimentary, no-obligation practice ACT tests, diagnosis and recommendations for each of our kids.  The tests were graded immediately and the feedback was interesting and useful.  A friend of ours had his two kids take the test and was amazed at how quickly and accurately Kate was able to identify the specific areas where they needed help.

    The office is small and comfortable, and Kate teaches all the classes herself.  Her maximum is 12 students per class; my daughter’s Spring class has two students (one Langley, one TJ), very personal attention.  We have yet to see class size for the other two.  I am writing this review a bit early in the process because, but for our trusted friend’s recommendation, we would not have known about Kate and thought others might like to consider her.  We will update when all the classes are complete.

  • Karen A.
    • Karen A.
    • Oakton, VA
    •  40 friends
    •  1 review

    5/6/2016

    Kate helped my older child with TJ admissions and PSAT test prep. It helped a lot, I credit kate for the extra boost that helped achieve National Merit Scholar Semifinalist and an 800 on Math SAT and  TJ class of 2015. My younger child also found Kate’s course offerings helpful and thinks that extra boost helped secure admission to TJ class of 2020 to great relief, because child was really determined to follow older sibling and has no doubts about wanting to excel at TJ. My kids looked forward to sessions with Dalby and Inspiring Test Prep and always found them enjoyable.

  • Ahkar P.
    • Ahkar P.
    • Falls Church, VA
    •  202 friends
    •  1 review

    12/20/2015

    Ms. Dalby is not only knowledgeable, but also very helpful. If you do not get a concept she will explain until you achieve perfect clarity. When I came to her my senior after I took the ACT and was at a 25 composite. After only a couple of weeks, the next test I got a 28. Only in a few weeks I improved by 3 points and the best of all my super score was a 30. From a 25 to a superscore of 30, I have came a long way. It would not have been possible without her. She makes learning fun and exciting.

  • Niles R.
    • Niles R.
    • Arlington, VA
    •  12 friends
    •  1 review

    10/8/2015

    I started with a 29 act composite and got a 32 on my first test, 35 on the second one. She really helps, and she knows the tests inside and out. She will give you one on one review for all the tests you take, and prepare you as best she can

  • Nate L.
    • Nate L.
    • McLean, VA
    •  0 friends
    •  1 review
    10/8/2015
    Great tutoring service. I came in with a 29 ACT composite and left with a 31 after only a few weeks of tutoring. Ms. Dalby knows her stuff and gives you practical tips that really do help when taking the test. I’d recommend Inspiring Test Prep to anyone who wishes to improve either their SAT or ACT score.
2020-04-06T16:46:51-04:00