StudentSharp Podcast Episode 2 – Testive Test Prep Interview

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In this interview, we talk with Tom Rose, co-founder of Testive. He explains the ins and outs of test prep for students and parents.

Resources Mentioned:

Tom mentioned the  The Official SAT Study Guide, 2018 Edition and the The Official ACT Prep Guide as some of the best resources available. He also recommended The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker for improving productivity and Grit by Angela Duckworth for motivation and behavior change.

Sponsors: Testive is an innovative test prep company that offers online coaching, personalized study plans and adaptive ACT Prep and SAT Prep programs.

3 Key Points:

  1. Hours of deliberate practice makes the difference when it comes to ACT Score and SAT score improvements.
  2. To accomplish anything, you need to set a goal, get a plan, and get support.
  3. Parents can help by setting the test dates and getting the support (like tutors or test prep companies) for their students.


0:52- Introduction and a little about Testive.

1:10-The importance of the SAT and ACT are that colleges use them in admission decisions.

1:55-There are some key success factors backed up by Testive’s data. It doesn’t matter if a student takes the ACT or SAT. What matters the most is “time on task”- time spent doing deliberate practice. The average person left to their own devices is terrible at deliberate practice and just grinds without much improvement. They don’t spend much time preparing on their own.

4:20-To achieve something, you need to have a goal, a plan and support.  You need to pick a target test score based on the colleges you want to get into.

6:35- Testive offers coaches that work one-on-one with students over video chat once a week and review students’ progress on the online platform.

7:15-Parents have a lot of test prep anxiety.

7:50-The parent roles are to set the long term schedule and to pick or set up test prep vendors (test prep companies, tutors, etc.)

9:45-Students and parents can find free resources at Great resources include the official test prep companies and Khan Academy.

11:56-Favorite books on productivity, motivation, self help and the like: The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker. Also Grit by Angela Duckworth.

12:43-College admissions 101: Four criteria in college admissions.

  1. ACT Score and SAT score
  2. GPA
  3. Letters of Recommendation. If your extracurricular activities are so important to you that you get a leader from those activities to write a letter of recommendation, this is where those activities play a role.
  4. College Application Essay



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