Today is the PSAT day in our neck of the woods. This time of year always generates a lot of questions and texts from my readers. I just went through this process with my son, TJ, and still have two more rounds to go with my girls. When the Fall of my son's junior year rolled around I was so clueless. I knew it was an important year but really did not know what to do or how to begin. I asked around to other parents of college students, everyone had "The GUY". The guy who was the best in Westchester. The guy who was the best in Greenwich. The Guy that got students into Harvard and Yale. The Guy the private school students use. The Guy who was the math SAT guru. My head was spinning and how did I know that these Guys were going to be Our Guy. And, when I started calling some of these "GUYS" they told me that fall of junior year was wayyyyyyyy to late in the game...some of my son's classmates were well into SAT/ACT studying and he (we!!!) would have to catch up!!!!!!!!!! WAIT!!!! WHAT!!!!! I knew that starting to study for the SAT prior to the fall of junior year would be a huge mistake for my son. I could not and would not put that pressure on him. I called every single one of the college preparatory places mentioned to me. By some miracle of God, I met Samantha at Private Prep. She just seemed to get it and most importantly get US. She spoke of seeing results, and of watching his scores increase with hard work. And I have to honestly tell you, they really did. The program was amazing. TJ's tutor, a Harvard grad, who went onto Medical school, after she finished with him, was a true God send. She would text and skype him all week long after the session, following up with information. She would send us updates, the good, the bad and the ugly. But, all the while the scores were climbing. On a couple of occasions, if TJ had an extremely stressful assignment or test that week, she would always take time out to help him, at the end of the session, with his school work, even though it was not related to his SAT tutoring. She revised and revised his admissions essay with him. She answered questions about the interview process and gave him tips. Samantha checked in often, mostly reminding us it was time to take yet another practice test. This was so much more than tutoring...it was a mentor-ship, it was a friendship and it was working. I know 3 other students who followed the same Private Prep program with stellar results, as well, and in turn received acceptances to their top choices. The college process does not have to be stressful. Once you have your team in place, it can be a breeze. We were so lucky for our Private Prep team!!!!