Tharina and Jaco Hattingh

We are Tharina and Jaco Hattingh, practising attorneys in a rural town in Limpopo Province, namely Marble Hall and parents of Carel Hattingh who matriculated in 2019 at Ben Viljoen High School, Groblersdal.

Carel is in the fortunate position to pursue tertiary education in America, but as he grew up and was educated in Afrikaans, we soon realized that not being taught in an English medium placed him at a severe disadvantage and he needed assistance if he is to study in English.

Mrs Dianne Steward of PathWay USA referred us to and provided the contact details of Ms Marique Terblanche of Genius Premium Tuition who offers study guidance for the SAT examinations, a requirement to be accepted for studying at an American university.

After meeting with Marique at Genius’s premises in Johannesburg, Carel was assessed by writing his first mock SAT exam. A week later, Marique provided her feedback and presentation of what Genius could do to assist Carel in preparing for the SAT exams. Carel’s test results from his first mock exam placed him in the 20th percentile, placing him in a severe disadvantage to get into a reliable university in the US. Marique meticulously assessed Carel’s needs and requirements to prepare for the SAT’s and concisely presented the composition of these examinations, specifically the challenges Carel would face to obtain his required marks. As Carel had a low Grade Point Average, Marique explained that in order to qualify for admission to a university in America, an SAT score of at least 1250 / 1600 must be obtained.

The tuition commenced during March 2020 with one-on-one sessions in both mathematics and language sections by hand-picked tutors. The appointed tutors, Max Behrens for mathematics and Teanette van der Spuy attended to the tuition sessions at Carel’s premises in Pretoria, and from the outset, we were pleasantly surprised and extremely satisfied with their approach and standard of tuition. Both Max and Teanette took time to build a rapport with Carel and getting to know him, which allowed both tutors to recognize his strengths and weaknesses, understand his thought process and preparation skills and setting him at ease. They were both able to break down complex aspects of the study material into simple steps to grasp the concepts and build thereon.

The mathematics portion was under control from the beginning, and Max inspired Carel to set his minimum goal at obtaining a perfect score of full marks. Carel’s mathematical tuition came to an end in June 2020, and Carel is currently marking in the 90th percentile for his mathematical mock exams.

Teanette had the monumental task to prepare Carel for the language portion of the SAT’s, an area which is not only foreign to him, but also extremely difficult. She had to convince Carel that time spent reading is never wasted as reading improves not only one’s vocabulary and language skills but also develops a range of processing skills. More than simply tutoring him in English, Teanette purposefully exposed him to different techniques to expand his intellectual absorption abilities. His progress in this section was initially slow, an aspect Marique highlighted to us in our initial meetings, but this method of tutoring laid a solid foundation for him to excel in his most challenging subject, resulting in Carel currently achieving beyond his pre-set goals.

Unfortunately, Teanette left Pretoria to further her studies and although we
only met during a single online meeting, we miss her.

Kaylynne Gurnell took over the language tutoring from Teanette and has hit the ground running. She is wonderful and definite proof that the quality of the tutors employed by Genius is of an exceptional standard. Kaylynne is friendly, patient and confident in her knowledge of the subject. She has a wonderful ability to explain concepts easily, checking if Carel understands and simplifying difficult topics if needed. Hopefully, we will also be able to meet with Kaylynne and extend our appreciation of her tuition to Carel personally.

Above all, Genius realizes the importance of frequent communication with parents as tutoring is not just about attending individual lessons but also expressing important aspects during the process. After every lesson, we receive a Whatsapp/email detailing what was taught, giving us the ability to keep track of Carel’s progression.

It must be stressed that the COVID-19 lockdown since 27 March 2020 created several challenges as the tuition sessions and normal procedures could not continue. The Genius management team had to adjust the methods and activated highly convenient processes which endured throughout the lockdown ordeal. Genius provided a total package that can be summed up in one word, exceptional. Marique handles the management of the task at hand with surgical precision and any attempt to put it into words cannot possibly express the commendation she deserves.

Admittedly, the costs for tuition is substantial, but the quality of Genius’s tutors are unrivalled, and monetary value cannot be placed on the instrumental part the tuition will play in our son’s future success. We have come to realize that this method of teaching, where your child is in a comfortable environment, where he can ask questions without feeling embarrassed or afraid of being judged by his peers promotes student learning and increased student motivation.

Carel has registered for the SAT exams on 26 September 2020, 3 October 2020 and 5 December 2020 to give him three opportunities to achieve his highest SAT marks possible.

The ultimate rating of Genius’s tuition services will manifest in the marks Carel obtain in the formal SAT exams, and we have no doubt that Carel will achieve his pre-set goals.

Thank you Genius, you helped Carel immensely with his preparations for the SAT exams and additionally, taught him solid life and study skills that are extremely valuable.

Tharina and Jaco Hattingh

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