ACT & SAT Prep and College Admissions Blog

How to Hire the Best ACT or SAT Tutor for You

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Dec 29, 2021 @ 12:46 PM

Preparing for the ACT or SAT can seem daunting, but remember, these exams are your chance to improve the likelihood of admission to your dream college. In fact, if your GPA isn’t as high as it could be, this could be the chance you have at giving yourself an edge in the admissions process. While many colleges are going test optional, a strong ACT score can only help you show off your academic prowess and readiness to thrive in at the university level. Though the ACT can be challenging, and perhaps you’ve scored less-than-ideally on a practice test, utilizing an ACT tutor can noticeably improve your score. An in-person or online ACT tutor can really kick-start your ACT prep process, providing you with the ACT study plan you need to be effective and efficient when you self-study for the ACT. After all, for every hour you spend with an ACT or SAT tutor, you should spend three hours self-studying.

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Topics: sat tutoring, ACT concepts, SAT test, ACT/SAT study skills

Should You Hire an SAT Tutor?

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Dec 22, 2021 @ 09:00 AM

A recent celebrity college admission scandal saw actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman being charged with bribery and fraud, accused of going to devious and illegal measures to ensure their kids were admitted to colleges that they might not otherwise have been accepted to. The scandal illuminated the lengths to which some students and parents will go to ensure attendance at their school of choice. While most of us won’t break the law, there are certainly increased measures one can take to broaden their chances for university admissions. Scoring particularly well on the SAT is one obvious tactic. Some students chase this goal via significant self-study; others pay for private SAT tutors and SAT prep courses.

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Topics: sat tutoring, tips for studying for the SATs, ACT/SAT study skills, SAT self-study

How to Improve your SAT Score (or ACT Score) Through Deliberate Practice

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Tue, May 18, 2021 @ 10:00 AM

If you really want to get a high SAT score, perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that “talent” or “IQ” matters far less than you think. There are not really “math people” or “natural readers.” What matters is the amount and quality of your SAT prep, which of course is influenced in large part by how passionate and genuinely interested you are in doing well on the SAT or ACT. So if you want to get a 99th percentile SAT score or a 34 on the ACT, it’s possible that you can do it.

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Topics: sat tutors, College Admissions, ACT/SAT study skills, college tips, college entrance, college timeline, ACT prep, sat prep, college

The Best Way to Prepare for the ACT or SAT Might Surprise - and Calm - You

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Fri, May 07, 2021 @ 02:33 PM

What is the best way to prepare for the ACT or SAT?

Well, it’s true arriving at a useful answer to this question does depend a lot on your timing and the context. If you are a junior with average grades, but aspire to get a high SAT score, and you take the SAT in 30 days, this article should be able to help adopt the right mindset and bring some calm and confidence to exam day. But practically, with only 30 days until the exam, you should be considering online SAT tutoring or an SAT crash course to get the best SAT score you possibly can. SAT tutoring and courses can and will help you get a higher score.

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Topics: sat tutors, College Admissions, ACT/SAT study skills, college tips, college entrance, college timeline, ACT prep, sat prep, college

Exploring SAT Tutoring Rates: Is SAT Help from a Private Tutor Worth It?

Posted by Morgan Bissett-Tessier on Wed, Apr 14, 2021 @ 12:52 PM

Since we are an SAT tutoring company, you might expect us to argue that hiring an SAT coach is almost always worth it. But we don’t believe that to be true.

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Topics: sat tutors, College Admissions, ACT/SAT study skills, college tips, college entrance, college timeline, ACT prep, sat prep, college

Early College Planning: What Matters and How to Get Started

Posted by Morgan Bissett-Tessier on Fri, Mar 26, 2021 @ 11:29 AM

Parents of high schoolers frequently ask me when the best time is to begin planning for college. My answer is usually “now!” which often, and more importantly, leads to talking about “how.”

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Topics: sat tutors, College Admissions, ACT/SAT study skills, college tips, college entrance, college timeline, ACT prep, sat prep, college

SAT Math Mastery

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Tue, Dec 15, 2020 @ 10:41 AM

SAT Math Mastery: The Origin Story of an SAT Math Textbook

This is a guest post by Christian Heath, author of SAT Math Mastery Volume 1 and Volume 2. Chris has been teaching SAT and ACT prep to high school students for 10 years and has perfect scores on both tests.

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Topics: sat tutors, College Admissions, ACT/SAT study skills, sat help, SAT math, sat prep, sat online

SAT/ACT English: A Common Language

Posted by Steve Markofsky on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 @ 09:10 AM

As the ACT has come into its own over the past 10-20 years as a fully recognized college admissions test alongside the SAT, students increasingly weigh both of these exams to assess which one may be better suited for them, sometimes opting for both.  Preferences (and rumors) abound, of course: “There are too many trick questions on the SAT math!” or “I'd take the ACT, but the science section is a deal-breaker!”  While these sentiments may (or may not) be true, depending on the student, what's certainly true is that they contribute heavily towards apprehension over which test to take!  There is, however, one section that is nearly identical on each test, and offers a way to kill two birds with one stone in your college admission exam prep.  That's the grammar/rhetoric section, referred to as the “English” section in the ACT, and the “Writing and Language” section on the SAT. CollegeXpress offers an in-depth analysis of the similarities and differences between the two tests.

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Topics: ACT, SAT, SAT study help, ACT study help, ACT/SAT study skills, SAT writing, ACT english

The PSAT: Your First Step to SAT & ACT Success

Posted by Method Test Prep on Wed, Sep 06, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

This fall, many high school juniors––and even some sophomores––will take the PSAT. In all likelihood, this will be their first experience with standardized college admissions exams. You may have heard that students’ PSAT results “don’t count” and “don’t matter.” While it’s true for most students that college admissions committees won’t use PSAT scores to gauge their college readiness (that is, after all, what the SAT and ACT are for), the view that the PSAT doesn’t matter at all is both shortsighted and counterproductive. In truth, PSAT scores can provide valuable insight into your strengths and weaknesses; when used correctly, the results can help students take a big first step toward success on the SAT and ACT.
 
But what do we mean when we say used correctly? There are several ways to take advantage of your scores, some more practical and valuable than others. Here are three tips for getting everything you can out of the data on your PSAT report.
 
1. Don’t get too distracted by the overall section scores; instead, focus on the detail. The highest-level scores provided by your PSAT report will be in the form of two numbers, each out of 760: your Math score, and your Evidence-Based Reading & Writing (ERW) scores. (Note that on the SAT, both of these are scored out of 800.) Students and parents tend to obsess over these scores, forgetting about the other numbers the PSAT report provides. While they do suggest something about overall performance, these numbers are not terribly revealing. Instead of focusing on your 540 in Reading & Writing and your 580 on Math, pay closer attention to your subscores, listed on a scale from 0 to 15. These scores reveal more specific areas of strength and weakness. For example, let’s suppose you do score a 580 on the Math. That number alone tells you that you are “above average” (average for juniors is around a 510), but not much else. The subscores, however, can reveal where that 580 came from. Perhaps your “Problem Solving and Data Analysis” subscore was a very strong 12 out of 15, but your “Heart of Algebra” score was an 8. This immediately reveals that you need to direct your focus toward reinforcing your algebra skills, which include interpreting, creating, and rearranging equations and expressions.
 
2. Make a list of topics you need to work on; use the test to isolate examples. It will be easier for you to formulate a prep plan if you translate the information within your PSAT score report into your own summary. Use your subscores to assemble a list of topics that disproportionately impacted your score. Furthermore, take a look at the answer sheet provided on the final page of the report to isolate the specific questions you found difficult. You’ll have your test booklet, so you will be able to see the exact questions you could not answer or that you answered incorrectly. Consider taking pictures of these questions with your phone, or even printing them out and pasting them into a notebook. Now, you have a suite of problems and questions that will form the basis of your prep. And by the way, even if you’re planning on sticking to the ACT, know that the (P)SAT and ACT share lots of content: the subscore categories presented by your PSAT report are just as likely to reveal potential strengths and weaknesses on the ACT.
 
3. Use the scores to establish a baseline and formulate goals. Realistic expectations and goals are are both very important. Assuming you put in a decent effort while taking the PSAT, your scores reflect where you stand without any concerted prep. Now, you can use the report to begin planning. How many topics must you focus on to increase your scores? How much time are you prepared to dedicate to SAT or ACT prep? Do your initial scores suggest you may benefit from a prep course setting (students who score around average are more likely to benefit from multi-student group courses than are students whose scores are on the extremes), or would small-group or private tutoring be more productive? Is your goal to increase your score by 50 points, or by 300 points? On which section can you focus to maximize the points earned for the time spent studying? The answers to all of these questions lie within your report: you simply have to use the data at your fingertips.
 
Remember: though the PSAT may seem inconsequential, the information it provides can be extremely helpful in raising your scores. Using the PSAT to develop positive and proactive momentum can mean the difference between productive, meaningful prep and last-minute frantic cramming. So take advantage of all the PSAT report has to offer––when all is said and done, you’ll thank yourself for doing so.
 
-Evan Wessler, Vice President of Education––Method Test Prep

 

 
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Topics: ACT/SAT, ACT, SAT test, ACT test, SAT study help, ACT study help, ACT/SAT study skills, ACT-Math practice, PSAT

A Guide to Tackling the ACT Reading Section

Posted by Banke Abioye on Mon, Apr 03, 2017 @ 12:48 PM

Reading four lengthy passages and answering 40 questions in a short timespan of 35 minutes can seem overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with the ACT Reading section and the many tricks that the ACT writers try to confuse test-takers with. However, a little review and practice of a few simple test-taking strategies will give you the skills and confidence necessary to tackle the ACT Reading section.

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Topics: ACT, Reading Comprehension, ACT/SAT study skills