Meet The Team
Justin Van Wely
Our company's founder, dubbed “Test-Prep Nerd” by many of his friends and colleagues, began his career with Kaplan as an SAT classroom instructor and tutor before going out on his own. He has more than twelve years of experience teaching and tutoring for standardized tests, including the SAT, the ACT, SAT IIs, Regents Exams, and other tests of core curriculum. He attended Harvard University.
Our co-founder and primary teacher for Prowess CANY has 12 years of experience teaching for standardized tests including the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT and TOEFL exams. He graduated from Cornell University in 2001 and went on to work overseas in various teaching positions in Italy, China and Thailand. James holds an M.S. in Mathematics.
Erin has been a teacher and a tutor for Perfect Score Test Prep since 2015. She received her B.S. in Education from Manhattan College and is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Biostatistics. Certified in Math 7 - 12, Erin has taught at home and abroad, including 15 months in China. She contributes her success on the SAT and ACT to a strong understanding of the core content and a knowledge of when to apply the right strategies.
Kevin Root has been teaching in one capacity or another for most of his life. He started volunteering as a tutor in High School, where he racked up almost a hundred hours. He tutored professionally in various subjects during College. After graduating with dual degrees in Mathematics and Education, he taught for a couple of years at a High School in Virginia, where he established a Physics department during his first year of teaching. He is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Mathematics at SUNY Albany. He believes that greatness is a measure of potential, not achievement, and that every student was born with the spark of greatness already inside them.
Why Choose Us for Test Prep?
We believe that a strong test prep program should cover all content that is expected to appear on the test. Perfect Score courses and instructional workbooks thoroughly cover every type of question, every formula needed, every grammatical issue, every concept, and every small detail that might appear on Test Day. By using our signature Perfect Points, we are able to accurately predict the point-wise value of every concept so that our students will know exactly what they need to improve and by how much their score is likely to change as a result of that improvement.
We know strategy
We believe a strong test prep program should regularly employ basic and advanced strategy to every aspect of the test. We also recognize that not all brains are alike and that not all students comprehend the same way. Through helping our students visualize complex word problems or apply mathematical thinking to understanding grammatical concepts, we can get them to bring the abstract to their realm. Lastly, we believe systems help reduce the number of errors students tend to make in their problem-solving process. Through an iterative approach, our students are able to manage their time more effectively and avoid small errors that plague average test takers.
We make it fun
We believe a strong test prep program needs to be engaging and interactive for its students. PowerPoint presentations and “teachbacks” are just a couple of the reasons why our students say that “Perfect Score makes learning the SAT fun,” or “I thought this class was going to be boring, but I was so interested in what I was learning that I was surprised by how fast the time flew by.” Perfect Score prides itself on being in touch with the hallmarks of 21st Century Learning. Our expert teachers are amongst the best in the country with multiple years of teaching experience at both the pre-college and college level. We are all 99th-percentile scorers and passionate educators with a joy of learning that is often contagious to our students.
We care about our students
We believe a strong test prep program should help you as long as you need it. We call this our Student-for-Life promise to you. If you register for our Perfect Score Course Unlimited plan, or sign up for 1:1 tutoring of 30 hours or more, we grant you unlimited access to every class for as long as you still plan to take tests. Think of it as a gym membership for your brain. Whether you miss a class, need a refresher after the long summer, or just plain want to sit through the same class twice, you can just show up and do it all again. See our policies for more specific details regarding the Student-for-Life promise.
We guarantee our results
We believe a strong test prep program should have the confidence to guarantee its students will find success. That's why our Fix It Guarantee is not a money back guarantee or a "re-take our class" gauarantee; instead, if you don't increase your score from your baseline to your Target Exam, we will match you up with one of our expert tutors and give you 4 hours of 1:1 tutoring for free (a $580 value). And we will continue to do so until the problem is fixed. We don't want our students to be dissatisfied with their prep, and a money back guarantee doesn't help them get into college, but our guarantee fixes both.
Hi, I'm Justin
A note from the business owner
As a self-proclaimed test prep nerd, I find the only thing I love more than taking tests is teaching others how to take them. This is why many of my students have found immense success on these exams, some students increasing their scores as many as 510 points between administrations of the SAT and 16 points on the ACT, since I began the company back in 2013.
While point increases may vary, one thing I found that stays the same is that all students who work with me find my love for these exams infectious.
As the essayist Donald Miller explains in Blue Like Jazz:
"I never liked jazz music. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes, not even once. After that I liked jazz music."
To do well in something, I believe you have to love it a little. And, sometimes, the only way to love a thing is to watch someone else who loves it, first. It is like this with standardized exams, which is why I make it my personal goal to get students to enjoy test taking, in general, treating each exam as a challenge to overcome, a puzzle to solve, a game they can win. Most students eventually do find they love taking these tests once the proper methods are in place.
I've built my company, Perfect Score Test Prep, around these ideals. I hope you find the same pleasure in test taking that I always do.
Justin P. Van Wely,
Our mission is to bridge the growing gap between below-average and above-average test takers created by standardized tests. At Perfect Score Test Prep, we teach our students to employ systematic techniques in combination with logical reasoning to excel not just on standardized exams factored into college admissions decisions but on any exam they will face ever.