Beyond Content & Strategy: The Test-Taking Mindset

Performance Prep 2.0 Launches

Private Prep 2.0

It was nearly ten years ago that we at Private Prep considered placing a heavier emphasis on the mental preparation needed to succeed in high-stakes test environments. Many of our students were athletes, and the foundational concepts of preparation and performance came up often in conversation around sports. Why not bring this into the world of test prep since there are so many similarities? Our children learn strategies to navigate the test and take numerous practice tests to simulate the test-taking experience—but what happens if students walk into the real test and are unable to overcome challenges like anxiety, distractions, and a ticking clock?  These conversations uncovered a true need for strategies that address the test-taking mindset—and, thus, our Performance Prep program was born.

We take great pride in our holistic viewpoint of test-taking, the recognition that our students need the strength of mind to accompany their strength in content and strategy. Over the past six months, we performed an audit of our program to determine areas for continued growth and development. There are key concepts and exercises at the core of Performance Prep that will always remain, favorites of both our students and our tutors, but the demands on our children have shifted as the role of technology has grown in their academic and personal lives. The college admissions landscape continues to change, and we watch as our children try to balance the pressures. 

We are calling our refresh “Performance Prep 2.0” as it is not a total overhaul but a newly refined vision. A major focus has been the Performance Prep training process, which prepares our tutors to organically weave Performance Prep exercises into their lessons. As with all our work at Private Prep, we recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to Performance Prep. There will be students deeply engaged in the idea of a mindful approach to test-taking, eager to drink in all the program has to offer, while others will need a gentler, more indirect approach. Private Prep will continue to invest in the growth of this program because we have seen first-hand the positive outcomes of a test prep approach that goes beyond content and strategies.


Steve Feldman, Founder and Managing Partner
Scott Levenson, Managing Partner
Vanessa Hughes, Performance Prep Director