MIHS grad to hold SAT prep classes through ‘Ivy Insiders’ program here

To prep or not to prep? For a growing number of high school parents and students, that is the question. And with college admissions getting more competitive every year, many students have begun turning to a short list of pricey test prep companies to help them earn the scores they need to compete.

But the dominance of the old-school test prep giants may not be here to stay. At least that’s what an entrepreneurial college student is banking on.

This summer, Ian Zhang, a 2010 graduate of Mercer Island High School and now a student majoring in English and history at Duke University, has been selected to bring Revolution Prep’s Ivy Insiders programs to Mercer Island.  Revolution Prep, an innovative test prep company started in 2002, selects undergraduates from top colleges around the nation to run its Ivy Insiders programs during the summer.

“The old-school education giants have dominated test prep for too long,” says Zhang.

Zhang said he was hired to run Revolution’s Ivy Insiders programs based on his prior tutoring experience and 99th percentile scores.

“The reason I signed on with Revolution Prep was because the SAT is beatable: you just have to be taught how to go about doing that,” Zhang explained. Once you know the SAT inside and out, your score will increase, and you’ll better your chances of getting into the college you want.”

Zhang also remembers his own SAT prep experience. “I took a prep class (with a cookie-cutter, brand-name company) the summer before my senior year of high school, and it was a complete waste of money. The instructor was old, the curriculum was bland, and it was a struggle to stay focused. I clearly remember that the hefty price of the course was the only reason I didn’t skip any of the classes.”

On the other hand, he said, Revolution Prep’s curriculum is updated every year; it’s fun, engaging, and taught by young, dynamic undergraduates who have already beaten the test. The best part is that a classroom course is $599.”

Revolution’s Ivy Insiders claim to have helped nearly 10,000 students raise their SAT scores by an average of almost 300 points — results that outpace most traditional test prep companies by a factor of two.

According to Zhang, “The reason Ivy Insiders has had so much success is that we take a student-centered approach to the test. We approach the SAT like a game to be beaten and expose students to some its best players — Ivy League undergraduates who beat the exam themselves. By simplifying the test’s content, tailoring our instruction to individual students’ needs, and focusing on results, we’ve been able to produce score jumps that are unprecedented.”

“I’m really happy to be back in Mercer Island this summer with the Ivy Insiders program,” said Zhang. “It really is the full package, top instructors, the right approach, reasonable prices, and of course, guaranteed results. I think the potential of this program is limitless.”

A class begins July 1 at MIHS. Revolution Prep will run Ivy Insiders courses and tutoring programs in Mercer Island throughout this summer.

For more information, contact Ian Zhang at (425) 443-1171 or e-mail


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