FAQ

Here are some commonly encountered questions from our students.

1What is admissions coaching?

Spark Prep believes that the admissions journey can be a profound opportunity for self-reflection and discovery. Turns out, this is one of the keys to applications of distinction.

Our coaching program provides students with the mentorship, guidance, and technical expertise necessary to identify strengths and articulate values in a clear, authentic, and compelling manner. Coaching enables students to dig deep into their experience and identify the values that will serve as the foundation for both their higher education and their lives.

Spark Prep is dedicated to relieving clients from the stress and anxiety that often accompany moments of transition. Our specialists have been through thousands of applications and understand the nuances of each admissions process intimately. With our support, clients can feel confident that their hard work, determination, and focus will lead them to a life of purpose and fulfillment.

2What should I write in my Personal Statement?

There’s no such thing as a unique personal statement topic. Imagine an admissions officer who sees 1500 applications per year and has worked in admissions for five years…they’ve seen every topic you can imagine.

More important than topic is execution. Applicants are regularly admitted to the top programs in the world by writing about something personal in their experience – and writing about it well. Good writing takes time, and we’re here to help you strengthen your writing skills, which has the added benefit of preparing you for the immense amount of writing that comes with higher education.

Spark Prep was founded by writers-turned-coaches dedicated to empowering students with the technical skills necessary to craft excellent essays.

Graduate applications are a bit different and subject to the specifications of each program.

3Should I take the ACT, SAT, or both?

The SAT and ACT are considered equally by admissions committees. The formats, however, differ significantly, and are administered by two separate organizations. In addition to the SAT and ACT, you are still encouraged (and often required) to take SAT Subject tests (SAT IIs) in areas where you have achieved academic excellence.

Regardless of which test you prefer – the ACT or the SAT – there’s no good reason to take both. Your time is valuable, and the most efficient path is to commit your preparation to one test format, which you can determine by taking a practice test (which are free and online or available through us).

Spark Prep has a preference for the ACT because we consider it more holistic, but we support students in preparation for both tests.

4Do you have any professional affiliation?
Yes. Spark Prep is a member of Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and National Association for College Admissions Coaching (NACAC).
5Do you work with international students?
Yes. We work with students from around the world, particularly East and Southeast Asia. Many go on to attend top tier universities including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale.
6What kinds of applicants do you work with?

We work with students and professionals applying to both undergraduate and graduate programs include MA, MFT, MD, MBA, JD, and Ph.D. programs.

We work with both academically superlative candidates and candidates looking for more substantial support and guidance. Everyone can benefit from coaching and we tailor each program to the specific needs of each student.

7How do you work?

Spark Prep supports students in three different areas: (1) Academic tutoring; (2) Test Prep; and (3) Admissions Coaching.

We use a team-based method to provide students with seamless access to specialists with more than 50 combined years of experience.

The vast majority of our work takes place online, though we often teach and lecture across the United States and Southeast Asia.

See what our students have to say about us.