In this feature, we delve into the expertise of Heather Krey, M.Ed. Heather is a co-owner of World Class Tutoring and a seasoned SAT and ACT preparation veteran. Heather’s wealth of experience and innovative techniques offer valuable insights into the test prep world. Join us in this week’s post as we explore Heather’s transformative methods and glean invaluable lessons for academic success.

Member: Heather Krey

Business: World Class Tutoring

Website: Worldclasstutoring.com

Started: February 2024

About Heather Krey

Picture of Heather Krey, Co-Owner of World Class TutoringHeather has over two decades of experience in SAT and ACT preparation. She’s also World Class Tutoring’s leading test prep curriculum architect. Heather earned her bachelor’s degrees in engineering and psychology from Lehigh University and her M.Ed. degrees in Mathematics and Teaching from DeSales University and Kutztown University, respectively. She is certified in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and English and has taught roles at various Pennsylvania high schools. Heather has also worked as an adjunct professor at Cedar Crest College. Heather has been an NTPA member since its inception and is an active member of its blog committee.

 

How has your background influenced your approach to test prep?

In high school, back in the 1990s, teachers and other adults often told me how unusual it was for a girl to be so good at math. (I’m not kidding – we’ve come a long way since then!) So I majored in Industrial Engineering and loved every minute until I got to work. Turns out I just loved being in college, engineering not so much. That’s when I finally realized that what I love is school. So, now I get to do the things I love the most every day: homework, studying, math, and engaging in academic discussions with all kinds of people. Engineering is a beautiful job, and I have several students who have become successful engineers. But I couldn’t be happier staying in high school for the rest of my career.

What strategies do you employ to build confidence and reduce anxiety in your students facing high-stakes tests?

One of the best things I learned in my college psychology classes was how to use the power of association to gain a measure of control over your subconscious processes. Just like Ivan Pavlov trained his dogs to salivate at the sound of a dinner bell, we can train ourselves to relax when given a specific signal. My homework in this psychology class was to practice a particular breathing exercise every night after I went to bed but before I fell asleep.

After doing this for a few weeks, my body learned to associate that wonderful feeling of my fuzzy blankets and soft pillow with my specific pattern of “in through the nose, out through the mouth” breathing. All these years later, when I’m feeling especially stressed, I can take a few of these breaths, and my heart rate goes down, my hands stop shaking, and my voice drops half an octave. I tell my students this story and encourage them to try it themselves. A breathing exercise is so simple and unobtrusive that you can do it during the SAT or ACT. It won’t completely fix anxiety, but it can help many people manage it better.

What are the most common misconceptions about test prep that you’d like to address with new clients?

Test prep isn’t about “tips and tricks.” Yes, we learn the format of the test and the best strategy for different question types, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. I spend most of my time with students doing some educational work. I use diagnostic tests to identify gaps in their knowledge, help them learn those missing skills, give them plenty of practice as homework assignments, and then check back in to ensure the concepts have been mastered. The SAT and ACT are highly well-written tests, and getting smarter is the only reliable way to raise your score. The nice side effect of this process is that my students improve their scores and are more ready for college because of their work with me.

How do you stay updated with the latest educational trends to enhance your tutoring approach?

Continuing education is so important! This is why I love being a National Test Prep Association member. I attend their online summits, town halls, and mastermind meetings to talk shop with other tutors and travel to their in-person conferences twice yearly. The SAT and ACT have been around for a long time, but they’ve also been through many revisions. Thanks to the National Test Prep Association, I know about all these changes well in advance and, in turn, can make sure my students and their families are as prepared as possible to make solid testing-related decisions.

What challenges did one of your most successful students overcome, and how did you support them through that process?

Last year, I teamed up with DAWNetwork to support five girls in Syria in preparing for and applying to colleges here in the US. These girls had many challenges, not the least of which was a terrible earthquake during the semester we were meeting. Fortunately, they were all okay, but they told me they had packed bags and sat by the door in case they needed to exit quickly at the sign of another tremor.

They also had to travel to several towns to take their SAT and couldn’t take the ACT because the journey to that center was through a war-torn area. Not only did these girls work very hard to study for their test, but they were also a delight to get to know, and I found myself looking forward to seeing them each week. About halfway through the semester, the oldest girl in the group emailed me to say that she was sad she’d be missing the rest of our classes, but she had a very good reason. She had just been accepted to Bowdoin College on a full scholarship! I’m so excited for her and wish the best for her four classmates when it’s their turn.

Imagine that your tutoring business grows exponentially in 5 years. What does your main office look like?

Of course, I want World Class Tutoring to become a leader on the international test prep stage over the next five years! But what will my office look like? Exactly the way it does now! World Class Tutoring is an all (or at least mostly) online business where we go to our students worldwide using the magic of Zoom. I’ve tutored students in Canada, Germany, Syria, the Dominican Republic, Spain, the Philippines, Ethiopia, New Zealand, and even a pair of students on a boat near Panama! And I did it all from my home office in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Over the next five years, I plan to continue meeting new and exciting people worldwide and train a team of tutors to help me reach even more students who could help with the college testing process. The fantastic thing is that I can accomplish all this without getting a bigger office or leaving my family and community.

Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Michael Jordan