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SAT and ACT Math Preparation — Individualized tutoring and group sessions

I was trained and certified as a SAT Prep Instructor for Princeton Review, whose SAT prep system is regarded as one of the best. For Princeton Review, I conducted marathon 20+ hour SAT prep classes, covering all three subject areas (Reading, Writing, and Math), at three Cobb County high schools before leaving Princeton Review. I also conducted several SAT preparation courses at the high school I formerly taught at. I have successfully helped a number of individual students prepare for the SAT test.

I also served as an official SAT test proctor, so not only do I understand SAT test preparation, I also have first-hand understanding of the SAT test center environment, and can provide the student the test proctor’s perspective.

Regarding the ACT test, although I am not trained/certified in ACT test preparation, the ACT is similar enough to the SAT that the techniques to prepare for the SAT apply to the ACT with only minor modifications. I have successfully helped a number of individual students prepare for the ACT test.

For individualized SAT/ACT preparation tutoring, my rates are identical to those for subject tutoring (refer to my tutoring page). The student must also purchase the latest Cracking the SAT book published by Princeton Review (or the equivalent book for the ACT), available online and at many bookstores — this will be used as the tutoring “course book.”

I also hold SAT Math-only preparation courses for groups of four to six students. This is a fast-paced 6 hour course, using Princeton Review’s Cracking the SAT book as the course book. The course fee is $100 per student (the student must also buy a copy of the latest edition of PR’s Cracking the SAT). The students’ parents/guardians may sit in on the class at no extra charge. If you are interested, find three to five other students and we will set up a course! (Or let me know your interest and I may be able to setup a group session.)

Individualized tutoring following the course is available at a $5/hour discount off my normal tutoring rates.

Specialized SAT Reading and Writing preparation courses are also available, taught by a certified and highly experienced high school English teacher, Ms. Lea Valencia. Ms. Valencia teaches the highly-regarded “Valencia Method” (developed by her mother, a former head of the English Department at Valdosta State University) for composing quality essays, important for the essay writing section of the SAT.

A “Slightly Dirty” Little Secret About SAT (and ACT) Preparation Courses:

Most SAT (and ACT) Prep services advertise that students who take their courses will achieve significant improvements in their test scores. What is never mentioned in the advertisements, however, is in order for a student to see a major improvement in test scores, he or she must do a lot of self-study, primarily working several hundred or even more than a thousand practice problems, and thoroughly reviewing the incorrectly answered problems.

This does not mean a student will see no improvement if he or she attends a preparation course but does little self-study — for example, a student whose baseline (pre-course) score in a particular SAT section is 500 (about average) may see a 50 to 75 point improvement by fully applying the advanced strategies and honing up on the principles the SAT covers. But the real improvement comes from practice, practice, and more practice. Practice firms up the strategies, provides a thorough review of all the principles the SAT covers, and exposes the student to a large variety of problem types and “tricks” likely to be encountered on the SAT test. None of these important skills can be acquired by passively listening to an instructor or tutor.

So what is the role of the SAT Preparation tutor? The tutor’s first task is to provide the student with SAT prep “prep” — to explain the basics of the SAT test, to teach the strategies (such as guessing strategies) to maximize the test score, and to provide an overview of the principles the SAT covers. The student is then ready for self-study, and the tutor will become the student’s coach, providing the needed support and oversight of the student’s self-study program. The tutor will also explain any practice problems which the student did not correctly answer and needs help in understanding. This way the tutor’s time is focused in the most efficient way to help the student self-master the SAT test.

This is the approach I take when doing individual tutoring and group sessions for SAT and ACT preparation, and it has proven successful for those students who thoroughly self-prepare.