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“For nine years and running, ExcelEdge’s ACT 36 has been an excellent, ACT test prep evening course for Community High School District 218 students.  Each year Carol Talabay and her crew of well-trained, highly competent teachers move students along a series of lessons, activities and practice tests designed to boost students’ knowledge and confidence for this most important exam.  Their hard work pays off.  Carol’s annual reports not only demonstrate student achievement but also student satisfaction.  Year after year, students praise their experience. 

This quality program is also one of the most reasonably priced test prep courses in the Chicagoland area. Without a doubt, ExcelEdge edges out the competition for quality and affordability, and we highly recommend their programs.”

- Kevin McCaffrey, EdD
Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services
Community High School District 218

“I have been fortunate enough to work with Carol Talabay and ExcelEdge in two different districts.  In each situation, she customized the program to meet our needs and was extremely flexible in exploring different ways to deliver the program.  The teachers are always excellent, and students consistently respond very favorably to the program and how much it helped them gain confidence, along with a better understanding of test-taking strategies.”

- Anne Roloff, PhD
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
Niles Township High School District 219

"The Talabays are excellent to work with, responsive to questions from school personnel and parents and they streamline the process to make it as easy on schools as possible.

The ExcelEdge test prep program is comprehensive and provides practical strategies to help students feel comfortable and confident in an ACT test situation.  Our staff is so supportive that several have opted to participate as teachers.

With ACT being part of Illinois’s NCLB assessment, it is imperative that students be comfortable with the style of an ACT test – ExcelEdge provides that."

- Debbie Quinn
Director of Guidance
West Aurora High School

"Excel Edge provides guidance, encouragement and applicable test-taking strategies for our students as they prepare for the ACT exam.  Their teachers’ expertise in their content areas assists our students tremendously as they navigate the ACT.  The Give Something Back Foundation students have consistently commented that ExcelEdge has provided the best coaching and instruction, compared to other ACT preparation programs.  The Give Something Back Foundation is very fortunate and proud to have ExcelEdge as one of our educational partners."

- Bob Tucker
Associate Director
Give Something Back Foundation, Inc.


Our test preparation series includes three programs: PSAT 1520, ACT 36 and SAT 1600. While programs do have a “typical” format, we can customize any program to meet your school’s unique needs. As administrators work with us to determine the program(s) that are best for their schools, they often consider their objectives.

PSAT 1520 can raise the PSAT/ NMSQT score of any student; however, we believe this prep program is best used by students who with our instruction and strategies can score in the top 4% of the nation. We work in partnership with schools to identify their most academically-talented juniors, knowing the huge financial rewards that accompany National Merit Commended Scholar or National Merit Semifinalist or Finalist distinction. While scholarships do come from the National Merit Corporation, the largest financial awards come from colleges and universities who compete to recruit these top-scoring scholars.

ACT 36 is essential for juniors who plan to attend a college or university that asks for this score. Our students find it to their advantage to apply with test scores – either from the SAT or ACT – that college admissions offices are most used to seeing. That said, all college and universities have concordant data to help them translate scores from one test to another, if they choose to use it. We work with schools to help them determine the best prep program for their junior population based on the colleges and universities to which their students most typically apply.

SAT 1600 is a must-take for any student who plans to attend a college or university that asks for this score.  SAT 1600 is especially critical for students who take the SAT as part of their state’s graduation qualifying exam. We work with schools to create a program calendar that optimizes scores for their juniors.  

School administrators who work in partnership with us say…

“I would recommend any of the test prep classes of ExcelEdge, Inc. for your students’ test preparation. ExcelEdge is a company that is fully professional in its dealings with parents, students, and counselors. If you wish to have a class at your school, ExcelEdge makes it work for your school schedule and your students. They understand that each school has different schedules and needs, and they will be happy to make their classes work – not because they want to make a sale and have their program at your school – but because they truly believe their program works. And it does! We have had ACT 36 at our school for 18 years and do not intend to stop anytime soon."

Fran David
Director of Counseling
Timothy Christian High School


"PSAT 1520 was an excellent opportunity for those of us at the top of the class. I hope to earn National Merit standing just like my cousins, all graduates of your program!"

Munster High School student

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