First Day of SAT Summer Camp at IES

By Jennifer Leung, a former IES student, currently attending Harvard University

It’s 80 degrees in Metuchen, NJ, and 75 teenagers gather outside on the sunny yard of a quaint, century-old building. Enthusiastic conversation and chatter fill the air as students patiently wait to be led to their classes, anxious to meet their teachers, excited to begin learning. Only one event could congregate so many willing and disciplined adolescents in one place: it’s the first day of the wildly-popular SAT Prep Summer Camp at Integrated Educational Services, a specialized SAT preparatory center.

Beginning as a husband-wife tutoring duo-- current CEOs and co-founders, Arianna and Khalid – Integrated Educational Services, or IES, as it’s endearingly nicknamed, skyrocketed in success over the span of a decade. As students’ scores increased dramatically, so did the high demand for IES classes, culminating to the present-day expansion from one humble building in 2007 to the four buildings that now proudly boast IES ownership. Situated on a campus surrounded by a duck pond and charming Victorian buildings, IES doesn’t feel like school. Rather, it feels like a home away from home in the small, picturesque town of Metuchen, only a walk away from downtown Main Street, which bustles with restaurants and antique bookstores.

The immense success of IES can be accredited to its well cultivated and finely honed technique and to IES’ 18 highly-qualified instructors. Students initially improve an average of 250 to 300 points after taking the course and even more with the Bridge Program, which “bridges” the gap between the end of SAT Summer Camp and their first official SAT test. During this interim, students receive a bundle of services: including private lessons, workshops, and practice tests on a weekly basis.

“It’s incredible, the power of word-of-mouth,” attests Arianna Astuni, co-owner of IES. “We would not be where we are today if not for the word-of-mouth of satisfied students, who achieved a high SAT score with our help.” And the number of IES students with incredible SAT scores cannot be underestimated. Strewn along the walls of  Khalid’s office and all throughout the hallways of the main building are the scores of former students. They range from high 2200’s to the esteemed 2400’s that line his door. Under each of their scores and their names is the university they are now attending: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Wharton, Georgia Tech, Brown—the list goes on and on.

Watching the kids eagerly follow their teachers to their respective classrooms, I’m reminded of the first day of my own IES Summer Camp experience. As a current intern and a former student, I see in retrospect how instrumental IES was to my present success. I recall the trepidation I felt two years ago as a nervous student fretting about the upcoming SATs. With IES’s guidance, I was able to raise my score 250 points and get into Harvard, the college of my dreams. IES is more than just a SAT Prep center—it’s a nurturing environment where you find a shared camaraderie with your classmates, mentorship through your teachers, and knowledge that you carry long after the SATs. IES is a place that makes you realize that your wishful collegiate dreams can in fact become a reality.