When should I start preparing for the SAT and ACT?
Many students begin preparing for college entrance exams in the summer between their sophomore and junior years. Others prefer to use the fall or spring semester of their junior year to prepare. The New SAT has higher level math: into trigonometry. Also, dual credit English will help students with the essay task on the new SAT.
Consider the student's schedule to best allow for preparation. Schedule tutoring or structured study of some type at the time of year that allows for more study time. For example, during the student's off season from sports or other activities.
The best course of action is to have at least one score by the middle of ones junior year to allow time for study or tutoring before the the test offered at then end of the year. The tests are not offered over the summer and many colleges start accepting applications in August.
Which test should I take? The SAT or the ACT?
I suggest taking both of them with no preparation. That will give you some experience with each and a baseline score. Some students score markedly better on one or the other. From there, you can choose on which test you want to focus and set goals for your performance.
Strong test takers generally prefer the SAT while solid, well rounded students do well on the ACT.
With the latest update of the SAT, the tests are more similar than ever, but the flavors of the test still differ.
How long does it take to study for the SAT or ACT?
Most students cover the material in about 16-20 sessions of one on one coaching. Nine to ten weeks of two sessions per week yields excellent results. Another possibility is six to seven weeks of three sessions per week. Either way, 2-3 months of tutoring allows for the greatest improvement. Private tutoring sessions often fill up 6 months or more in advance, so start planning and reserve your spot well in advance.
Small Group Sessions allow for tighter time frames or budgets. Small Group Classes Cover all the SAT material in 15 hours over 5 weeks.
Some students benefit from a combination of Small Group Class and one on one coaching through practice tests.
I don't have 2-3 months. What can I do?
In 5-7 private sessions, you can get an overview which includes the types of questions and strategies for each section of the test as well as review of the most commonly missed material.
What hours do you have available?
I prefer to schedule sessions between 8 am and 8 pm weekdays when possible. I do offer sessions during first period, lunch, or other off periods during the day.
*Please note that sessions after 6 pm generally fill up 6-12 months ahead of time. Small Group Classes provide an evening or weekend option for students with demanding schedules.
Where do you conduct your tutoring sessions?
I hold my private and small group sessions in my home which is near the old HEB in Midland. It is central to most Midland high schools and easy to find. I will give you the address and driving directions when we set up our first session.