After a 25-year career as a successful business consultant, Barbara Levine left the consulting world to open her own business. Certain she wanted to pursue a rewarding endeavor that would allow her to help students achieve their personal best while being her own boss and impacting her local community, the Harvard graduate and long-time North Stamford resident opened Chyten Educational Services in New Canaan in 2007.

During the past five years since she opened the business in Fairfield County, Levine has grown Chyten substantially, helping more than 800 families and their children by providing tutoring, test preparation and college admission planning. Chyten's popularity in New Canaan, Darien, Wilton and the surrounding area is proof Chyten has filled the niche for quality tutoring and test preparation services in Fairfield County, which is known as an academically-competitive region.

Chyten has earned a reputation as one of America's leading providers of tutoring and test preparation services with its alternative strategies that stand apart from the one-size-fits-all, prepackaged solutions of others in an industry comprised of independent tutors along with regional and national brands, according to the company. Chyten hires experienced tutors -- each of whom is an experienced teacher who has earned at least a master's degree -- and utilizes proprietary reading, math and study-skills-based strategies that are proactive and truly individualized, enabling students to earn the best academic grades and test scores.

"To be able to focus everyday on helping students accomplish their goals is very personally satisfying," Levine said. "We've helped students increase their scores anywhere from 100 to 400 points -- with an average increase of 274 points -- which is an extraordinary achievement and speaks to the commitment of both the students and tutors. Just recently one of our tutoring students scored a perfect 2400."

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Levine's Ivy League education coupled with her business experience leading large teams of people and excelling at customer service have lent to Chyten's success, according to the company. Levine knows how to run a successful business internally by hiring the right tutors and focusing on her customers' needs while externally implementing the best marketing and networking techniques that are crucial to the growth of a business.

"Because I have a school-aged child, I can relate to the needs of Chyten families," Levine said. "Having 25 years of business experience has provided me with a great sense of what it takes to run a successful business, and that has translated into making every family's experience at Chyten valuable and productive."

Chyten utilizes proprietary test-taking and teaching strategies born from the inspiration and efforts of founder Neil Chyten, who began teaching study skills and test preparation in 1980 and whose methods helped countless students improve their academics and obtain top scores on standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, ISEE and SSAT.

Chyten of New Canaan offers special "boot camps" in the summer for students in grades 6-12. The Study Skills Boot Camp focuses on improving organizational skills and increasing reading speed and comprehension. The SAT and ACT Boot Camps, which start in August, are one-week classes designed to give students the tools they need to tackle the tests' hardest questions.

Aside from only hiring experienced teachers who have earned at least a master's degree, what sets Chyten apart is its strategic approach. Chyten works with every family to build an individual success plan for students, which includes test planning, curriculum planning, extracurricular planning, college-prep planning and more.

As Levine continues to work every day to increase the potential for success for students and their families in the New Canaan area and beyond, she hopes to expand the business' reach by opening an additional one to two locations in the area over the next several years.