November 16, 2004

High school students prepare for SATs with PrepMe

Current and former Chicago undergrads are pursuing entrepreneurial aspirations through PrepMe, a new online SAT preparatory service for the nation's high schoolers.

Founded by Karan Goel, a Chicago alumnus and a current student at the GSB who won the US Small Business Administration's 2004 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, PrepMe bills itself as a premium college admissions and test preparation service that not only emphasizes the material on standardized tests, but how to best prepare for the tests mentally and physically. The new company prides itself on employing college students who have scored high on the SATs and were admitted to premier colleges.

The founders of PrepMe spent three years developing their curriculum. In April 2003, they offered their program to juniors in the Chicago area who were interested in college and had never taken the SAT I before. Looking at the test results of the students who took 90 percent of their courses and materials and comparing it to the national SAT scores given at the same day, PrepMe calculated a mean score increase of 168 points per student.

Ramon Cuenca, a third-year in the College who is working for PrepMe this year, said that because it is being run by students who know how the collegiate admissions system works, PrepMe can offer services that Kaplan and the Princeton Review cannot.

"We are about honest, real score increases," Cuenca said. "No unrealistic practice tests, no low-quality teachers, only high-quality materials delivered by high-quality students from the nation's top universities. We want students to have the same quality of materials that they would for a private tutoring course."