Mathnasium Student Beats the Odds and Almost Doubles Her SAT Score

Feb 18, 2019 | Cinco Ranch

Every day we see thousands of parent testimonials detailing how we’ve impacted their children’s lives through their confidence in math. Sometimes, though, a student’s story really surprises us, like the most recent one from our learning center in Centerville, Ohio, owned and operated by Glenn and Susie Mikaloff.

“Words can't describe how happy I am with the results Mathnasium has produced through my daughter's exposure to their processes!” Chris Johns says in a testimonial in early January. While taking her regular weekly sessions, she also attended SAT prep sessions and almost doubled her math score.

Wow. That surprised even us. Many parents don’t know that Mathnasium offers a variety of programs, from elementary and middle school math help to SAT/ACT prep and college tutoring classes. And we don’t teach the “tricks” of test taking; instead, we teach the math behind it.

Obviously, parents shouldn’t expect to double their child’s standardized tests scores. Chris and his daughter, Emma, worked hard to get there.

Taking the SAT or ACT is one of those unavoidable, inevitable life events that most high school students dread. Hoping to apply to her first-choice college, Xavier University in Ohio, Emma, while nearing the end of her junior year, took the SAT for the first time.

The results did not impress. She started out with a math score in the 300s. By senior year, Johns and his daughter were looking at college applications and could tell her scores weren’t going to cut it.

 “I wasn’t ready in the slightest,” said Emma. “I’ve never been good at math or test taking.” After seeing the results, Emma and her father decided extra math tutoring would be her best option if she wanted to get into Xavier.

The average Xavier student achieves an average math score of 570, so they had some work to do.

Although Johns was interested in the SAT program, he and Emma knew she needed to significantly improve her scores, and they only had four weeks until she took the exam again. So Johns signed Emma up for private tutoring 3 to 4 times a week for a month.

Mathnasium owner Glenn Mikaloff knew Emma from when she attended the center in middle school.

“When she went through the first try of SAT, it did not go well, without having seen us for several years,” said Mikaloff. “Then she came back in and we got it straightened out.”

Emma rose to the challenge and buckled down for an intense month of preparation. Her hard work was rewarded by highly improved math scores.

 “When I went in to take the SAT for the second time, it was so much easier. I recognized the material so much better, and it really showed!” Emma scored in the high 600s on her second try, doubling her previous score.

With the new scores and higher hopes, Emma applied to her dream college.

“My GPA was ‘flirting with the line’ almost my whole senior year,” she said. Her SAT score was the only thing that could help her. “When I got not only my college acceptance letter, but also scholarship money, it was one of the best days of my life!”

No one could be happier for Emma than her parents, especially since that scholarship was enough to pay for over half of her tuition.

 “They gave her a $15,000 per year scholarship,” said Johns, “so when I say that Glenn saved me $60,000 in college tuition, he absolutely did. He went above and beyond for one of his kids, and that’s just how they run their business. Emma’s success is due to him.”

Today, Emma is adjusting to college life and loving it. With a few months away from completing her first year, she’s hoping to work with her father as a financial advisor.

Often, siblings can have differing experiences with math and that was surely the case with the Johns family. Regardless of where they started out, Mathnasium of Centerville greatly impacted each of them.

 “I have three kids, and all three have benefited and continue to benefit from Mathnasium,” said Johns. “My middle child, Garrett, excels at math. Mathnasium kickstarted him. Now he’s in seventh grade in Geometry, which is a tenth-grade level. When he starts his freshman year of high school, he’ll take online college math classes.

“My youngest daughter, Ainsley, has been at Mathnasium for the last year. She’s the only one still there.”

Johns also credits Mathnasium for motivating his children.

“My kids must put in the work, but motivation is a key component.”

Emma’s story is proof that Mathnasium can change lives through math. By building a strong foundation, we are opening doors to success in school, college and life. “Changing lives through math” isn’t just a slogan here at Mathnasium. It’s something that we strive for every day.