Higher SAT & ACT scores =
Places Just Aren't That Good:
[ + ] Exceptionally Talented & Experienced FULL-TIME SAT & ACT Teacher ( Learn more )
- The most PROFICIENT and TALENTED teaching & lessons a student has ever had.
- You know exactly who will teach the classes & lessons - NEVER a random tutor from a team of tutors
- Taken more than 30 SAT exams & 15 ACT exams
- More than 8 years of FULL-TIME ( 7 days a week ) SAT & ACT teaching experience
- An undergraduate of UC Berkeley, graduate teaching credential UC Davis
- Former AP Computer Science High School Teacher at a top performing Bay Area high school
- CBS News & San Francisco Chronicle Award-Winning Teacher
- Entire SAT and ACT course created from ground up
- Personalized Attention: Contact the teacher directly 7 days a week by phone or text
"Best Tutors" "PhD professors" "Ivy-League graduates" "Perfect 2400 scorers" "Credentialed Teachers"
Which actually means:
- Random instructors / tutors - turnover is high, tutors quit
- NEVER TOOK the SAT or ACT ( YES, SHOCKING BUT TRUE )
- Inexperienced part-time workers
- Can't solve the problems on the SAT or ACT.
- Disorganized, confusing lessons and classes.
- No teaching - just reading from Instructor's Manual
[ + ] Learn the RIGHT WAY to solve the every Problem & Question:
Our methods & solutions are derived by researching & analyzing everything in & out.
We explain & teach SAT & ACT problems every day.
Based on our unmatched experience we know what works and WHAT DOES NOT.
- Every question & solution ( more than 2500 ) MEMORIZED = going through explanations and answers 12 - 14 times FASTER than reading, solving, then explaining
Every question & problem solved, checked, and re-checked, and taught
to 100's of students
- We know what mistakes students will make EVEN BEFORE THEY KNOW.
We can tell when a student gets the right answer the WRONG WAY,
and fix it
- Wrong information about SAT & ACT question types and concepts tested
- Wrong way to read passages
- Wrong way to answer English Grammar questions
- INCORRECT / ERRONEOUS SOLUTIONS
- "Proven methods" that don't work and actually TAKE DOWN scores.
[ + ] Acquire REAL KNOWLEDGE with 100% In-Depth SAT & ACT Content Coverage
Having analyzed and reverse-engineered more than 30 SATs and 15 ACTs, we have a comprehensive list of EVERYTHING that is tested on the SAT & ACT. We also take and analyze NEW SATs & ACTs every few months.
More importantly, we know what WILL NOT BE tested on the SAT & ACT.
Our curriculum covers a COMPLETE, COMPREHENSIVE, IN-DEPTH 100%
- We know what WILL show up, and what will NOT show up, so students don't waste time learning unnecessary material.
learn every possible concept
type of question that will appear on the
SAT or ACT, and learn the
RIGHT way to solve ALL of them.
- The RIGHT WAY to handle reading passages
- The RIGHT way to approach Writing
( English grammar sentence) questions
- What SAT / ACT Essay Topics can show up
- EVERY English Grammar rule that is ever tested
[ + ] Real SAT* ACT* Practice Exams & Test Questions from College Board & ACT Inc.
- SAT & ACT questions are created to test specific THINKING, LOGIC, and PROBLEM SOLVING, particular JUST to those tests.
- Students HAVE TO use actual exams in order to know what to expect when taking the SAT or ACT for real.
Most other test prep companies use fake/simulated "SAT" or "ACT" problems which are NOTHING LIKE the real thing.
- Fake / simulated mock SAT & ACT tests that are useless because those DO NOT test the same content, thinking, and logic.
Kids who walk in to take the SAT or ACT for real will see something they are unfamiliar with.
"SAT" & "ACT" online practice
tests / CD-ROMS are even worse because the tests are ON PAPER
[ + ] Direct & Efficient: every lesson CUSTOMIZED in REAL-TIME for each Student.
- DIRECT AND THE POINT: We don't waste hours and hours talking about strategies, tips, tricks, and reviewing math you already know, or covering things you don’t need to know. Students are busy, and can't devote their lives to SAT & ACT.
- MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY - A minimum of books and papers.
- GO SEAMLESSLY from Topic to Topic - No separate teachers for each portion of the test
ENTIRE 50 HOUR COURSE MEMORIZED: Go faster / slower, forward / backward to
ANY POINT of the course at ANY TIME.
- Sit through material you already know.
[ + ] Private Lessons = Maximum Engagement & Attention + Move FASTER or SLOWER at your pace
- Private lessons / Small Classes = Maximum Attention & More Efficient.
- Huge SLOW 30 - 40 student classrooms
[ + ] No lesson time wasted on stuff you know or with busy work, designed to use up your money
- NEVER a waste of time or money.
- Every question / problem memorized = NEVER going slowly and wasting time.
- $200 to $350 per hour. No joke.
- Locked into NON-REFUNDABLE 15 / 20 / 25 hours lesson packages
- Expensive lesson time wasted as students sit and take practice tests and the tutor just waits
- Moving slowly to eat up lesson time.
- Hidden fees or extra charges: enrollment fees, sign up fees.
Many students choose to do private lessons through conference calls,
These are NOT "Youtube video lectures" or "Online LIVE streaming video lessons" like other places. The experience is very different.
Every high school is different, and every student takes different classes. Even students in the same school who take the same class with different teachers will experience harder or easier grading. Thus GPA alone is unreliable in making a college admissions decision. Hence the SAT and ACT - a quick and easy way to measure students against each other.
Why take the SAT or ACT?
For many American colleges and universities, these exams are required. The higher you score, the better your chances of admission.
In addition, many private colleges and universities will give out scholarships ( free money that, unlike loans, does NOT have to paid back ) based on high SAT or ACT scores.
Higher SAT or ACT scores get you into better colleges and scholarships. Better colleges get you better & higher paying jobs.
With 3.5 million kids taking the SAT and 3.4 million taking the ACT each year, there would be NO POINT if every kid got high scores.
Therefore, the SAT & ACT have to be difficult tests.
BAD (but GOOD NEWS): THE SAT and ACT require very specific knowledge & skills you don’t directly learn in school.
GOOD NEWS: The SAT & ACT do not test any ADVANCED material or knowledge.
GOOD NEWS: The SAT and ACT serve as a BLANK SLATE for every student to prove him/ herself, and scores can be increased QUICKLY ( in a matter of months ) if done the RIGHT WAY.
MORE GOOD NEWS: A standardized test MUST have the same type of questions from test to test.
THUS - many questions are RECYCLED, and all you have to do is essentially MEMORIZE how to do them.
Should you take the SAT or ACT?
As of March 2016:
The ACT is MUCH EASIER TO PREPARE FOR because it has not changed and there are more than 30 actual exams to practice from. We know exactly what is going to be tested on the ACT, and it is critical to practice with real exams.
The new SAT ( March 2016 version ) only has 4 sample exams released by the College Board, and the difficulty of the questions and range of topics is still very much unknown. Furthermore, 4 practice exams is not enough, as we usually go through at least 8 to get ready. There are "fake" Kaplan / Barrons / Princeton Review / McGraw Hill etc SAT exams, but studying from those is risky, as we prefer to use actual exams.
But doesn't XYZ University say one exam is the "preferred" test?
There is no "preferred" test or a test which gives you an advantage for 99% of the colleges.
What is the format of the SAT and ACT?
SAT ( format last changed March 2016 ) www.collegeboard.com
4 sections + 1 essay
154 questions ( 180 minutes ) + 1 essay ( 50 minutes )
1 x Reading = 52 questions / 65 minutes ( 5 passages )
1 x Writing & Language = 44 questions / 35 minutes ( 4 passages )
2 x Math = 58 questions / 80 minutes ( 20 no calc + 38 calc )
1 x Essay = 50 minutes
Score Range = 400 to 1600
ACT ( format last changed September 2015 ) www.actstudent.org
4 sections + 1 essay
215 Questions ( 175 minutes ) + 1 essay (optional) ( 40 minutes )
1 x English = 75 questions / 45 minutes ( 5 passages x 15 questions )
1 x Math = 60 questions / 60 minutes
1 x Reading = 40 questions / 35 minutes ( 4 passages x 10 questions )
1 x Science = 40 questions / 35 minutes ( 6 scenarios )
1 x Writing (Essay) = 40 minutes * NEW
Score Range = 1 to 36
When are these tests given?
In the USA: ( International test dates differ )
SAT: 7 times a year
October, November, December, January, March, May, June
ACT: 6 times a year
September, October, December, February, April, June
And NO, there is no "EASIER" test date.... Or else everyone would be taking the test on that date right?
Plan ahead so you get the tests done for college admissions
Students should take their FIRST SAT or ACT NO LATER THAN Junior year. However, DO NOT WAIT UNTIL SENIOR YEAR to take the SAT or ACT because these are very hard tests, and you won’t ace it in just one shot.
What is the deadline to take the SAT or ACT?
Most colleges require that the SAT or ACT be taken by December of the senior year. Sooner is better because you should never wait until last minute. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and many students ( and parents ) who rely on one single test date are very often regretful of a decision poorly made.
APPLICATION DEADLINES ARE NOT THE SAME AS TEST TAKING DEADLINES!!!
** YES, EVEN THOUGH THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA APPLICATIONS are DUE November 30, YOU CAN STILL TAKE THE SAT or ACT IN DECEMBER AND SEND THE SCORES IN. The application deadline IS NOT THE SAME as the TESTING DEADLINE.
Early Action / Early Decision applicants usually have until October of their senior year. Some very lenient colleges allow January or even March of the senior year.
So when should I take the SAT or ACT?
As soon as you have 6-8 weeks of continuous time to study. If you have sports, work, AP exams, Subject Tests, final exams, or are planning to go away for vacation, you need to figure out when is best for you. Everyone is busy all the time, not just you, so do realize that it is not just you that can't fit it in. Everyone else is in the same situation.
Can I take the SAT / ACT more than once?
How many times SHOULD I take the SAT / ACT?
You can take these tests as many times as you like, but the average is 2-3 times. Few students get their highest score the first try. Even Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Michael Phelps didn't break the World Record on his first shot.
Moreover, test site abnormalities and unintended distractions will cause less than optimal testing conditions.
All California State University & University of California will take your ONE HIGHEST TOTAL SCORE so you can take the SAT or ACT AS MANY TIMES as you want, but more than 4 is probably overkill.
Many other colleges will take your HIGHEST COMBINED SCORE ( highest score in each sub-section ).
** Only if you think you can get into Stanford / Harvard / Princeton etc should you try to take the test only ONE TIME.
But what if I get a bad score? Shouldn't I cancel the test or hide my score?
Many colleges will "super-score" ( HIGHEST COMBINED SCORE ), which means they take the highest section score of each test taken and combine it together. So you want to keep ALL of your scores, and it is no benefit to "hide" scores. And no, it won't "look bad" to have a low score.
UC takes your ONE HIGHEST SCORE, so leave them be. And no, it won't "look bad" to have a low score.
Top-tier private schools ( Stanford, Harvard, etc ) will want to see every single score, so no, you cannot "hide" bad scores.
When should I register ( = pay to take the test ) for the SAT or ACT?
ASAP. Test Centers fill up quickly, and the sooner you sign up, the better your chances of taking the test
nearby instead of 30 miles away at an unfamiliar school. Everyone is cramming to take the SAT & ACT, not just you!
Common Misconceptions About Preparing for the SAT or ACT
I'll go take a SAT or ACT. Then I’ll just wait until I get my scores back to decide if I need to study.
First of all, you are throwing away at least $55 to go in and take a real exam “just for practice”.
Second of all, SAT & ACT test scores take 3 weeks to get calculated and released.
Third of all, since you WON’T HAVE A COPY OF the actual SAT or ACT you took, getting a score back tells you VERY LITTLE beyond the sum total number of RIGHT / WRONG questions. The included Score Report “detailed analysis of question types” provided by College Board and ACT Inc is next to useless. ( This is true of ANY mock SAT or ACT exam as well – those given by some company at your high school )
I only need help on one part of the test. I'm good with the other parts.
Students need to work on ALL parts of the SAT & ACT. This is something that many parents & students who are not familiar with SAT or ACT test preparation don’t realize.
A student’s objective is, obviously, to get the highest possible score, regardless of where those points come from. Depending on the student, certain parts of the SAT & ACT are easier to improve than others.
FIRST: In many cases, the “weak areas” are so difficult for a student that little improvement can be made in that area and, counter to what many people think, the most points can be actually gained in the “strong” areas.
SECOND: The SAT & ACT scoring is NOT on a linear scale. What that means is this: A kid scoring in the 650 range on the SAT will get about 14 points for every addition right answer. A kid scoring in the 450 range only gets about 8 points for every addition right answer. Thus, each addition question right in the “strong” area is actually worth TWICE AS MANY POINTS.
FYI: Unless a student is scoring 720 or higher CONSISTENTLY on the “strong area” of the SAT ( or 31 or higher CONSISTENTLY on the “strong area” of the ACT ), it’s not considered “good”, and CAN STILL BE IMPROVED.
Unlike other places that have a rigid course, our courses and lessons are CUSTOMIZED IN REAL-TIME. If students are scoring high in certain areas, the lessons will automatically adjust and adapt to focus on a student's weak areas, without sacrificing the strong areas.
I’m busy all school year. I'll just wait until SUMMER to study for the SAT or ACT
Despite what many parents & students hope, a student can't just "learn the SAT" and then go take the SAT or ACT months later. The SAT is a matter of performance, endurance, memorization, speed, and
All students are busy all the time, not just you. The problem is, starting a course or lessons in June or July, and then stopping when you are busy again when school starts is not very helpful. The first ACT of the year is in September, and the first SAT of the year is in October.
With a 3 - 6 week gap in lessons and preparing, students will either have forgotten nearly everything OR be completely mentally out of shape and unable to perform at a level necessary to maximize their score.
Students do in fact quickly forget things even in 1 or 2 weeks. Just try to think back: what did you in math class 2 weeks ago?
I'll just wait until I get my scores back, then I’ll decide if I'm going to re take the test and study for it
SAT test dates are spaced about 5 - 6 weeks apart. It takes 8 - 10 weeks to get ready for the SAT or ACT. By the time you get your scores back 3 - 4 weeks after you took the test and realize you need help, it's too late – there are only 2 weeks left before the next test date.
My son / daughter just needs some test taking tip and strategies and then he’ll / she’ll be ok.
If the SAT & ACT were so easy that a few test taking tips and tricks would do the job, then everyone would ace those tests with a minimal amount of effort.
Unfortunately, the SAT & ACT do actually test in-depth real knowledge of content ( reading skills, math, science, grammar, essay writing ) which a student needs to learn.
I'll just study on my own.
Sure.... It's like learning chemistry or calculus on your own. Yes, it can be done, but there are things you just can't learn from books, your parents, or friends.
"I'm taking the ACT/SAT because I heard it's easier"
Both tests are hard. I've taken more than 40 SATs and ACTs. There is only one way to determine what to do: Take a real SAT and a real ACT.
"I heard the SAT is tricks and traps, and the ACT is not."
They are both difficult and unfair. There is only one way to determine what to do: Take a real SAT and a real ACT.
"I just want to take the ACT / SAT because I think I'll do better on it."
REALITY: There is only one way to determine what to do: Take a real SAT and a real ACT.
"My college counselor advised me to take the SAT ( or ACT ) based on my grades and coursework"
College counselors, though well meaning, are not fully aware of the intricacies of the thinking and problem solving involved with the SAT & ACT.
The SAT & ACT are NOT DESIGNED TO MEASURE what a student learns in school. School coursework and “strong areas” are absolutely no indicator of a student’s scoring potential on the SAT or ACT.
"I'm taking the SAT because there is science on the ACT, and I'm terrible at science"
The science on the ACT is completely unrelated to what you learned in school.
" XXXX College prefers the ACT over the SAT"
There is no preference. You should take the one you can score higher in. Even CalPoly has no preference.
"I took an ACT / SAT Combo Test at school, and it said I should take the SAT"
Those Princeton or Kaplan SAT/ ACT combo tests will tell you nothing. There is only one way to determine what to do: Take a real SAT and a real ACT.
I don't need to study for the SAT or ACT. I'm getting straight A's in school.
The SAT & ACT are designed to test skills and abilities NOT LEARNED IN SCHOOL. Otherwise, a college would just look at GPA, AP Scores, and Subject Test Scores, and there would NO NEED for the SAT or ACT. You will be pleasantly surprised when you get your test results back ;)
You can't study for the SAT or ACT. You either know it or you don't.
The SAT & ACT are actually a test of how well you can plan & organize yourself to study for a test in addition to being tests of skills and knowledge you can learn quickly if done right.
You don't even get what you paid for: inexperienced tutors who lack teaching skills and never took the SAT or ACT themselves.
RESULTS: REAL ( as opposed to FAKE ) SCORE INCREASES
Did you know that those score increase claims of those other places are deceptive and actually fake?
1) Made up fake score
increases posted on websites & brochures
NEVER deceptive & false "score increases"
like those other places.
Solutions student from Northgate High - Walnut Creek, CA
Solutions student from Bellarmine College Prep - San Jose, CA
Solutions student from Monte Vista - Danville, CA
* SAT is a registered trademark of College Board which is not affiliated with nor endorses Solutions
** ACT is a registered trademark of ACT Inc, which is not affiliated with nor endorses Solutions