When Katonah native Anthony-James Green found himself tutoring on the side, he never imagined that he would someday revolutionize one-on-one teaching. Despite technology’s exponential growth over the years, the act of tutoring has remained largely the same. The Green Test Prep System—an online set of lesson plans, strategies, and assignments designed by the young entrepreneur—changes that.
Dubbed “America’s top SAT tutor” by Business Insider, Green is somewhat of a celebrity in the world of ACT and SAT tutoring. His remarkable ability to raise students’ test scores, not to mention his $1,000 per hour price tag, earned him coverage from The New York Times and FOX Business. The road to his very own tutoring practice, however, had less to do with accruing fame and more to do with aiding struggling students.
Green began tutoring pupils during his freshman year at Columbia University. “At first, it was just an ‘odd job,’ but I quickly realized that I had a knack for identifying and knocking out the obstacles keeping my students from getting higher scores,” he says. “Between my freshman and sophomore years I started training at one of the big [tutoring] firms’ classroom sessions, but immediately dropped out since the methods they were teaching were just so clearly contrary to everything I’d seen working in my own experience. From there, I launched my own one-on-one practice and started taking things much more seriously.”
With a better sense of how to serve pupils in need, Green began teaching the children of New York City and Westchester’s elite doctors, lawyers, executives, and entrepreneurs. Once he discovered the video interfacing opportunities of Skype, his clientele grew to include students from across the globe.
This sudden success made Green wonder how he could bring his expertise to an even larger audience. Over time, he had created his own proprietary software to simplify his lessons and save time when dealing with multiple students. This was, for Green, the logical next step in the expansion of his business model.
“I had perfected and documented a lot of my strategies and lesson plans, and so I gave my one-on-one software to my clients as a way of enhancing the effectiveness of our sessions,” says Green. “It saved me from repeating my lessons and allowed me to focus on the particular needs of my students. However, because the demands on my time were so high, I started giving the software away to friends and family of my students who I didn’t have the time or bandwidth to tutor myself.”
Soon thereafter, several of these acquaintances began notifying Green that their children’s SAT scores had increased by hundreds of points after using the software alone. “That’s when I realized the incredible potential of the system,” recalls Green.
“In early 2013, I launched the software to the public, and I haven’t turned back,” he says. “I got into this to help ambitious kids achieve their goals, and this software allows me to do that at a scale unimaginable as a one-on-one tutor.”
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The cost of the system is a far-cry from Green’s $1,000-per-hour personal rate: For a one-time payment of $597, students are provided with unlimited and never-expiring access to preparations for SAT, ACT, new SAT, PSAT, and PLAN tests. This includes practice tests, materials, and the ability for parents to track a student’s progress through the program.
The software itself, which is tailored to both the SATs and ACTs, is surprisingly straightforward. “The Green Test Prep System is a step-by-step set of lesson plans, assignments, strategies, and tactics that I’ve put together over 15,000 plus hours tutoring,” remarks Green. “Students log in, follow my lessons and assignments in sequence, and [learn] what I view as the three core ‘pillars’ of effective test prep.”
These three pillars include first identifying the material weaknesses holding students back by cataloguing and prioritizing a subject’s core elements. Students are then introduced to Green’s strategies and tactics, which allow them to translate this core knowledge into test solutions. And, finally, students learn application tools, to improve their timing and hone their test-taking skills.
“Students can access the Green Test Prep System on their time and their schedule, anywhere in the world, from any internet connected device,” notes Green. He adds that the system “adapts to every student at every level of proficiency, and crafts customized lessons based on the exact lessons that each student needs to learn, in the exact right order.”
Green’s system does not stop at clarifying a test’s subject matter. It also provides students with a better sense of what other practices translate into high scores. “Students learn how to sleep correctly, how to study for maximum retention, how to set goals, how to optimize their schedules, and how to learn anything better,” says Green. “There’s no other product or program on the market that approaches this level of holistic education.”
This is apparently true, since 60% of Green’s clients now come from word of mouth or referral alone. The thousands of results generated by these clients have also allowed Green to optimize his software even further. Despite its extensive use and good results, Green hopes his software will reach and even wider audience in the future.
“I won’t be satisfied until Green Test Prep is a household name,” he says. “Our results—an average improvement of over 346 points on the SAT and 4.66 points on the ACT—are the best in the industry, and they’re only getting better. I see this program as the corrective that the test prep industry has needed for decades, and I’m thrilled that I have the chance to focus on it and keep spreading the word.”