Langley HS Student, Class of 2018 ACT Group Class, Math Tutoring With Caroline Hesse 27 to 32 ACT Composite
Langley HS Student, Class of 2019 Accelerated ACT/SAT Class 30 to 34 ACT Composite
McLean HS Student, Class of 2018 10 Hours of Tutoring
5 Full Practice Tests, Extra Science & Reading Test
18 to 26 ACT Composite
Marshall HS Student, Class of 2018 ACT Group Class 20 to 26 ACT Composite
TJHSST Student, Class of 2018 ACT Group Class 27 to 33 ACT Composite
Marshall HS Student, Class of 2018 ACT Group Class 22 to 28 ACT Composite
Poolesville HS Student, Class of 2018 ACT Group Class 29 to 34 ACT Composite
Freedom HS Student, Class of 2018 ACT Private Tutoring 18 to 23 ACT Composite
Oakton HS Student, Class of 2018 ACT Group Class, ACT Private Tutoring 22 to 26 ACT Composite
McLean HS Student, Class of 2018 ACT Group Class 29 to 33 ACT Composite
Potomac HS Student, Class of 2018 ACT Group Class 27 to 31 ACT Composite
Georgetown HS Student, Class of 2018 ACT Private Tutoring 29 to 33 ACT Composite
McLean HS Student, Class of 2018 ACT Private Tutoring 24 to 28 ACT Composite
James Madison HS Student, Class of 2018 SAT Group Class 1060 to 1260 SAT Composite
Marshall HS Student, Class of 2018 SAT Group Class 1100 to 1320 SAT Composite
Marshall HS Student, Class of 2018 SAT Private Tutoring 1020 to 1230 SAT Composite
Bullis HS Student, Class of 2018 SAT Group Class 1220 to 1340 SAT Composite
St. Agnes HS Student, Class of 2018 SAT Private Tutoring 1200 to 1410 SAT Composite
Langley HS Student, Class of 2018 SAT Group Class 1020 to 1230 SAT Composite
Oakton HS Student, Class of 2018 SAT Group Class 1020 to 1230 SAT Composite
Langley HS Student, Class of 2018 SAT Group Class 1320 to 1500 SAT Composite
Potomac HS Student, Class of 2018 SAT Private Tutoring 1410 to 1580 SAT Composite
Gonzaga HS Student, Class of 2018 SAT Private Tutoring 1110 to 1330 SAT Composite
Seton HS Student, Class of 2018 SAT Online Tutoring 1140 to 1330 SAT Composite
McLean HS Student, Class of 2018 SAT Group Class 1180 to 1290 SAT Composite

Results & Testimonials

Class of 2016 College Admissions

This year, our students were accepted into a fantastic mix of schools. Twelve students were accepted to the University of Virginia, eleven to Virginia Tech, six to the College of William and Mary, and five to the University of Chicago! Congratulations to all of our seniors – you deserve it!

The average SAT combined score (out of 2400) for the class of 2016 was a whopping 2127, with an average gain of 200 points after working with us. We even helped one student get a 2400.

The average ACT composite score (out of 36) for the class of 2016 was 33.5, with a mode of 35 and an average gain of 4.1 points after working with us.

Here’s the full list of colleges that our students reported getting into:

  • Air Force Academy (1 student)
  • Boston College (3 students)
  • University of California – Berkeley (3)
  • University of California – Los Angeles (2)
  • University of California – San Diego (1)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (3)
  • University of Chicago (5)
  • Christopher Newport University (2)
  • Colby College (2)
  • Colgate University (1)
  • Cornell University (1)
  • Davidson College (1)
  • Emory University (1)
  • Fordham University (1)
  • George Mason University (1)
  • George Washington University (1)
  • Georgetown University (2)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (1)
  • Gettysburg College (1)
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2)
  • James Madison University (2)
  • Kent State University (1)
  • Kenyon College (1)
  • McGill University (1)
  • New York University (2)
  • Northeastern University (2)
  • Oberlin College (1)
  • Purdue University (1)
  • Southern Methodist University (1)
  • Stanford University (1)
  • Stony Brook University (1)
  • Swarthmore College (1)
  • University of Maryland – Baltimore County (1)
  • University of Maryland – College Park (4)
  • University of Miami (3)
  • University of Michigan (1)
  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (1)
  • University of Pittsburgh (1)
  • University of Virginia (12)
  • Vanderbilt University (2)
  • Villanova University (1)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (3)
  • Virginia Tech (11)
  • Wake Forest University (2)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (2)
  • Wellesley College (1)
  • West Point (1)
  • College of William and Mary (6)
Congratulations to all of our seniors!
For all of you juniors worried about college admissions, Inspiring Test Prep will be holding two Common Application workshops this summer, in July and August. We also offer private college essay help and revisions.
During spring break we got updates on our test prep students and where they are gaining admissions.  Such sweet news. Congratulations to all!
  • A 2330 snagged EF “yeses” to UVA, VATech, and UC Berkeley.
  • 750R 670M 740W (300 point gain) opened doors for AC at UVA, VATech, William and Mary, and Wake Forest.
  • MD super scored 740R 800M 730W SAT (270 pt gain) and gained acceptance into University of VABoston College and Villanova.  
  • Not to be outdone, AN found a 30 ACT just the ticket to UCLA, Michigan, and UVA.  
  • NL raised his composite ACT 2 points after a few hours of tutoring and got into Southern Methodist University with a 31.  
  • HI’s 34 composite got her admissions to UVA, William and Mary, Tech, and a full ride to VCU.  
  • A 33 super score got PS into UVA, Vanderbilt, and W&L.  Decisions, decisions.  
  • A TJ student got a 35 composite (up from 31) and acceptance to Washington University of St. Louis and William & Mary.  
  • After taking another review class and getting 27 ACT composite, MM got private tutoring, reached a 30 composite and gained acceptance to West Point and the Air Force Academy.
  • AT started with a 1330 (44,43,46 PSAT) and got into CNU, and MWU with a 25 composite.  
  • AP got a $3k scholarship to VCU, entry to GMU’s honors college, and VATech with a super score of 29 (up from 25).  Hard work and a GPA of 4.1 paid off.

Hey Ms. Kate,

I just wanted to let you know that I made the first cut for the TJ Admission! Thank you all so very much for your help and support, because without it, I would have most definitely been lost while taking the test.

On to phase 2!


Yay! Im a semifinalist!!!now i just have to fill out another application :(thanks for all your help!



I made the TJ first cut!!!


Dear Kate,

I just got a letter from TJ that I passed the first cut for my TJ test! Thank you so much for all of your help! I will let you know the results of the second stage of screening, which I know is very hard.



Dear Ms. Kate,
Just want to let you know that I got semi-finalist letter today. I made it!!
Thank you so much for everything you did to help me. i will let you know how I make out.
Thanks Again,


Thanks so much for helping me get that 33.


S. made it to the next phase of TJ admissions and would like to say thanks for all your help.



Hello Kate,

We just wanted you all to be the first to know that our son, JC, is a TJ semifinalist!! He received his letter today!
Thank you so much for your tutoring, preparation and guidance through this process! Now he’s off to begin the second phase of the TJ Admissions process (i.e seeking teacher recommendations, completing student information sheet, etc.) Any helpful tips regarding this second phase is most welcome:)
Thank you again for teaching and preparing him!



He got into:
UVA, Boston College,Northeastern, Colgate, Colby [and] Davidson (was nominated for the Belk Scholarship,…he is one of two alternates).

Parent of J

So far, he’s been accepted to the Engineering school at ILLINOIS, as well as RIT and the Colorado School of Mines. (Raised score from 31 to 35 composite.)


I got a 35!!!!! Could not have done it without you!!!! Thanks so much! 32 English, 35 Math, 36 Reading, 35 Science.


Dear Mrs. Dalby–

Our son leaves for the college of his choice in six months. Your SAT-prep and general guidance on college admissions helped him make it to the Ivy League.

When I first called you in the spring of Coy’s sophomore year, we weren’t sure how SAT-prep with you might work out. You had come highly recommended, but we live a few hours’ drive away from the D.C. area. I was relieved that you agreed to take Coy as online student, even though you had only just started with that delivery method.

At your instruction, Coy focused on his math and reading scores. That “two-part” score is what the universities he wanted to attend would consider most for athletes like him. His first set of SAT scores in the fall of his junior year [after he had met online twice in the spring and had been prepping for six months] was 740 reading, 670 math, 660 writing, or 2070 total and 1420 for the two-part. His final set in December of his junior year [after a third online session] was 760 reading, 730 math, and 660 writing, or 2150 total and 1490 for the two-part. On the SAT II he scored 780 on history and 700 on Math 1. We were thrilled with the improvement from the PSAT[205 in 11th grade] and with the advances he made on the SAT. And his two-part was stellar among athletes applying to Harvard, Princeton, and Cornell Universities – his top choices.

After each session with you, Coy came away with a deeper understanding not only of particular mathematics problems, for example, but of test strategy – what to focus on and how. And he used your advice as guidance in the countless hours he spent studying SAT problems on his own. I also personally appreciated your advice. You talked me through the process so I had a deeper understanding of what top universities would look for in terms of grades and test scores from an athletic recruit.

With Coy’s final 1490 two-part and his 4.7 GPA from a course load full of AP classes, he had no problem qualifying for admission at the Ivy League universities he wanted to attend. Few other high-school competitors are ranked in the Top 10 nationally in his sport and have such high scores. The combination meant the coaches at Ivy League universities knew they could present the admissions office with Coy’s portfolio and he would likely gain approval. As a result, both Harvard and Princeton universities gave him a chance at early admission. Coy chose Princeton and by October of his senior year he had a letter in hand, telling him that early admission was likely. By December 2013 the dean of admissions formally called to offer him a spot and he accepted.

The early acceptance meant Coy could focus on his courses and his sport for the final season of his high-school career without having to worry about college applications. As a result of his success, we have referred several of our friends to you for online tutoring. And they have referred you to their friends. Thank you for helping us understand the test and what Coy needed to do to make it to Princeton.

Robin Wilson

Blacksburg, VA

Robin Wilson

Thanks Kate ~ without your help Jack wouldn’t have raised his Science score to a perfect 36 from a 28!! And increased his Reading and English scores. He knew when he left the test he had gotten it least one wrong on Math and realized the correct answer when he thought about it in the car…

You can ABSOLUTELY brag about Jack’s results and YOUR help!! We went straight back to Dalby without thinking twice when it came time for ACT test prep! We are so grateful to you and your teaching methods and strategies!!

Jack will take the test again. I guess April 18th? He really wants to try and get a perfect score on the Math. He is currently taking Honors Calculus and doing very well.

What are your thoughts and advice on test prep prior to April 18th?

Thanks again!!

Annemarie Heaps

St Alban’s 2016

Kate’s notes: Jack prepared for the TJ test with me back in 8th grade, and took the one-day PSAT workshop last fall, raising his scores from 183 to 194.

He was invited in to try the ACT (we determined it was a better fit for him based on a phone interview) and he scored a composite of 31 (30.5). After three hours of tutoring and some practice sessions he raised his composite score to 34 (34.25). He went from 28 to 36 on his Science which was his primary focus in practice.

Annemarie Heaps

These are preliminary results so far for our students who applied for admission to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in Alexandria, Virginia.  Some were class students, some essay workshop, some both, some essay and/or test tutoring students.  When I have time I will post beginning scores if they did test prep with us.  Of the 18 students who took the comprehensive classes, 15 made the first cut.



10 students were admitted who took the essay workshop.  Three of them also took six-week comprehensive course.


One student who took both class and essay workshop. Update: she was accepted!

Not Accepted

So far eight not accepted who took test prep and/or workshop.


Scores/SIS question Accepted

  • 50 math 45 verbal SIS ?
  • 32 math 45 verbal SIS 1:30pm
  • 44 math 43 verbal SIS 1:30pm
  • 46 math 47 verbal SIS ?
  • 42 math 45 verbal SIS 1:30pm

Scores/SIS question Waitlisted

  • 41 math 48 verbal SIS 1:30pm

Scores/SIS question Not Accepted

  • 44 math 46 verbal 1:30pm
  • 40 math 44 verbal SIS?
  • 41 math 39  verbal SIS 1:30pm
  • 32 math 44 verbal SIS incorrect
  • 43 math 45 verbal SIS 1:30pm
  • 44 math 42 verbal SIS 1:30pm

I am waiting to hear from a couple of students.  If you have not told me your status or scores, I would love to hear from you!

Here are the 2nd cut results (so far) for Mrs. (Dalby) vanSchaick’s fall 2019 TJ prep classes. Fall 2019, Ms. Kate taught four TJ admissions prep classes.   Altogether 25 students prepared and sat for the TJHSST admissions test in early December.  She had three students in the Tuesday evening class, six in the Saturday 11am class, eight in the 2pm class, and eight in the 5pm class.  Twenty-four of the class students passed the first cut (one student did not respond to status requests). Of those 24 students who made the first cut, 58% so far have made the 2nd cut or wait listed. 20 have reported their status.  Of those 20,

  • 11 were granted admission,
  • 3 were wait listed, and
  • 6 were turned down.

Below is a chart of beginning diagnostic test scores,  and actual scores the day of the test (as reported by parent or student).  I will also post any relevant comments from students about the course or the testing/admissions process.

47M44V 46M49V
39M 41V 37M46V
45M27V 43M45V
41M39V 43M49V
44M34V 44M38V
41M41V 46M47V
38M46V 46M48V
49M38V 49M48V
48M42V 50M47V
47M44V 48M49V

 AVERAGE  Before = 83.3

AVERAGE After = 90.8
DIAGNOSTIC TEST -wait listed ACTUAL -wait listed
31M30V 39M41V
40M45V 45M44V
44M44V 44M43V
 AVERAGE Before = 78   AVERAGE After = 86.7
DIAGNOSTIC TEST – refused admission ACTUAL – refused admission
40M24V 38M24V
28M29V 37M37V
43M41V 39M47V
41M44V 47M48V
31M33V 33M40V
  AVERAGE Before = 70.8   AVERAGE After = 78
29M20V not included in statistics na

Here is one parent’s comment:

Did I tell you — when we saw [ ]’s results, he said “I am glad I took that class!”? And I appreciate the “gloves off” feedback that you all gave him on his practice Personal Statement and essays. I think he really needed to hear that some attention to capitalization and spelling do make a big difference in readability.
Average SAT Combined Score (out of 2400)
Average Gain = 200
Rounded Average ACT Composite Score
(out of 36)
Mode of 35
Average Gain = 4.1

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Best Test Prep Tutors in Washington DC 2016