As proud as we are of our industry-record average increase -- independently-verified
in 1998 at 9.5 points -- that record is actually an UNDERREPRESENTATION
in at least three respects:
1) the last independent survey was done on our 1998 student population.
At that time, our Course consisted of 6 4-1/4- hour Lessons, and
we ran 8 to 10 live PracTests each semester. Now our Course consists
of 9 5-hour Lessons, and we run 12 to 25 PracTests each semester.
The last reported avg increase from our students (from 2002) was
10.7 points -- we just can't base our advertising on that number,
since it has not been independently verified.
2) unlike at all the mass-market firms, a substantial fraction
of our students START their training in the 165+ range. Clearly,
someone starting at a 168 has a maximum possible increase of only
12 points, drastically lowering our average score increase numbers.
If we didn't count these folks, our average increase would
be well over 12 points. But we count everyone so that you can be
assured our average applies to you, no matter where your starting
3) "averages" are not very revealing. What's much
more important is the DISTRIBUTION of score increases -- something
only TestWell publishes. As you can see from the data here, almost
90% of our students went up a minimum of 5 points -- more than enough
to triple your chances of acceptance at a given school, and more
than enough to justify the time, effort, and financial cost of the
course. (By contrast, if a course increase averages only 7 points,
like the Princeton Review's, or 7.2 points, like Kaplan's,
it's likely that an awful lot of people are going up only 3
or 4 points, isn't it? Too bad they're not showing their
actual figures.) And over 2/5 of our students -- 42% in 1998 --
go up at least 12 points, and nearly 1 in 5 (18% in 1998) go up
an amazing 15 points or more.
4) finally, not that we want to sound like complainers here, but
The last independent verification Kaplan has for their average increase
claim of 7.2 points (the "Price-Waterhouse" study) dates
from 1993 -- at a time when their course consisted of 7 4-hour lessons
(28 hours of class time), and when the minimum score necessary to
teach for them was a 168. Now their course has only 21.5 teaching
hours, and the minimum score required to teach for them is only
a 162. Do you really think they can maintain the same increase now
as they had then?