Find easy ‘solution’ to exams

Michael Kemp plans to go to graduate school at Florida State University after he graduates from FAMU.

The freshman music education student said he’s already looked into test preparation courses to ensure that he does his best on the important exam.

He said he’s looked at Kaplan’s program, but the $1009 course was too expensive. Kaplan is a college exam preparation center.

“I wouldn’t do it because it costs too much to take the test prep (at Kaplan),” said the 22-year old Tallahassee native.

The high costs for the graduate record examination and other preparatory test courses are reasons why Randy Vickers, founder of Solution Skills, decided to offer test prep and tutoring for lower prices than his national competitors.

“That’s one of our features,” Vickers said.

“Compared to other places, like Kaplan, our complete course is $300.”

Located at 519 E. Tennessee St., across from Leon High School, Vickers said his company started as just a place for students to get tutored.

Fifteen years later, Solution Skills has become a place for students of all ages, from grade school to graduate school, to get help.

“We believe that educational services should be geared toward helping persons reach their potential through caring, personal intervention with concerned professors at reasonable costs,” Vickers said.

In addition to tutoring math, science and English, Vickers said the company prepares students for a number of entrance examinations, including the GRE, CLAST, SAT and ACT, all at a price that students can afford.

“We make it easy,” Vickers said.

“You can register and pay for courses using Visa or Mastercard, and we also have a payment program.”

Vickers said the courses are taught throughout the year to accommodate the students who are apt to take the computerized GRE at any time during the year.

“We teach the GRE in small group classes, and we also do one-on-one tutorials,” Vickers said.

Kemp said the price was enough for him to consider giving Solution Skills a try.

“I would probably do it through them, or through the military,” Kemp said.

Dimitra Mainer, 23, a Solution Skills tutor, said she enjoys helping the students prepare for class and entrance exams.

Mainer, a junior elementary education student at FSU, said the company would continue to expand its services for college students as more students come in for help.

“The more college students that come in, the more calculus, biology and writing (tutorial) opportunities that will come in, and we’ll have another avenue for college students,” Mainer said.

Vickers said he plans to have more services for college students in the fall, including preparatory courses for the LSAT.

“We’re part of the community,” Vickers said. “We really do whatever we can to be a service to the students.”

Tanya Caldwell can be reached at