Method Learning's Values

"You have a long, legitimate history of values-based decision making."

–A college counseling director at a Massachusetts school that has been using our program for the past several years

"There is not a better company at actually caring about our kids."

Montgomery Hinton, the College and Career Specialist in Mississippi’s Rankin County School District

"You are so prompt and thorough! I truly appreciate your approach to your job! Thanks again!"

–A counselor at a Kansas school that started using our program last year

I will never take these compliments for granted. They strongly affirm the first goal of the Method Learning mission statement:

To help the families and schools we work with in a positive way and to help students achieve more academically.

When I began my test prep career in 1998, my first student helped me recognize the tremendous need for all students to learn about the tests they would be taking. My student knew nothing about the SAT. He didn't know what concepts would be tested; he didn’t understand how to navigate the timing of the test; he didn’t know any of the test taking strategies or techniques that had become second nature to me; he didn’t understand how to comprehend and analyze a reading passage; he needed help with basic math concepts like percents and ratios; he didn’t understand what an analogy was. (Yep, that’s how long I’ve been doing this—there were analogies on the SAT back then.) It was impossible to not help my student improve his score—he was starting from square one. Anything I taught him was another ten points added to his scaled score.

As Method started to grow, the business evolved into a means to help more students like that first one. Both I and the people who joined me followed common sense principles:

  1. Pick up the phone when parents and educators call.
  2. If we can’t pick up the phone, return voicemails right away.
  3. Never rush a call: parents and educators tend to have many questions about the college admissions testing process.
  4. Help every student as much as we possibly can: even if I was tutoring 10 students in a row without a break, I would never “mail it in.”
  5. Remember that with each student we work with, we could literally change the trajectory of that student’s academic career.

And when you do the right thing, people notice. Educators at our schools often seem surprised by how quickly we respond to them. We consistently hear from our contacts that we “are the first vendor I have worked with that got back to me on the same day I reached out.”

That first element of our mission reminds us that why we do what we do is just as important as what we do and how we do it.

As our organization has grown, we've made our values central to building our team. When interviewing new job candidates for any division of the company, we ask two key questions:

Why are you passionate about learning and education?
How have you demonstrated a passion for learning and education?

Our passion for helping students and schools also informs our pricing. From the beginning, we wanted to enable schools and other organizations to provide access to high-quality ACT and SAT prep for all of their students, regardless of their families’ financial situations. We have priced our school and organization solutions such that cost is almost never a hurdle. And for students who attend schools that don’t provide our self-paced program to all students, we offer a low-priced individual subscription good through the students’ graduation—their parents don’t have to worry about a recurring charge. This year, Method Test Prep was, for thousands of students, the only resource they needed to prepare for the ACT and SAT.

Our self-paced program embodies our philosophy that high school students need to take a more active role in their own learning. We are reasonable with students, simply asking them to complete four fifteen-minute tasks per week that will teach them every trick, strategy, and technique they need to score well on the SAT and ACT. We encourage students to learn at their own pace and to complete the tasks on their own schedules. With greater agency in how we use our time and perform our actions comes greater benefit.

We’ve worked hard to make students’ user experience intuitive and uncluttered. Students follow a clearly defined path that tells them the next step every step of the way. We tell students what to expect, and we provide key data points so they can easily monitor their progress.

A person’s work should be about more than just a paycheck. I feel fortunate that I get to work every day at something I have always been passionate about: helping students achieve more academically. And I feel fortunate that I get to work with a group of people who share my passion for learning, education, and helping the families, students, and schools we work with.

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