Amir Mousavi of Arlington, owner of Langley Prep, a provider of private, in-home tutoring for standardized tests, says students with limited financial resources are often at a disadvantage when it comes to preparing for college admissions examinations such as the SAT and the ACT.
“My average SAT improvement is 300 points,” said Mousavi. “There are parents who can afford to spend thousands of dollars on private test prep tutors like me. Their kids perform best on tests. Middle income parents can afford classes, which are better than nothing, but low income students can’t afford anything.”
Mousavi founded The ANA Project, named after the first three students he tutored free-of-charge, to offer quality standardized college test preparation tools to students at all income levels. The web-based program is an online resource for SAT and ACT preparation materials.
A graduate of Langley High school in McLean, and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, Mousavi believes economics should not play a role in college preparation. In addition to the ANA Project, he tutors an average of two pro-bono students each quarter.
“The two most important factors for college admissions are test scores and GPA (grade point average),” said Mousavi. “High schools don’t deal with test prep as much anymore. It’s been privatized by companies that are looking to make money.”
Ariana Kuhnsman, one of Mousavi’s pro-bono students, says she improved her test score by 400 points and earned a spot at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg.
“The most valuable thing I learned was what specific areas of the test I needed to focus on versus what I already was doing well,” she said. “Becoming comfortable with the time pressure of the exam by learning how to work effectively was also a big help.”
Mousavi believes that tailoring educational programs to the needs of a variety of students can lead to success.
“My pie-in-the-sky, long-term goal is to have a functioning nonprofit and to get the website used as a one-stop shop for test prep,” said Mousavi. More information on the ANA project can be found at www.theanaproject.com.