The Ultimate Payoff For Test Prep

If you Google search “SAT Tips” there are endless strategies and tactics to get you prepared for the test, but that doesn’t motivate the average high school student.

Think as a consumer: do you buy what you want or what you need?

If you answered the former, you’re being honest.

Outside of necessities, we are drawn to purchase what interests us.

Case in point: SAT/ACT tutoring is NOT attractive.

But you know what is? Your dream college.

Most high school students don’t know what they’re going to eat for lunch today, but where and why you’re going to college should be discussed early and often.

Statistics show most students will accumulate debt post-college and won’t land a job in their major. But a lot of that has to do with the backwards process of college counseling.

In high school, you’re urged to apply for college, but not guided on what you want to do as a career.

Attending college won’t solve that question for you. At best it will provide the resources and network to make life after college a smoother transition.

My point is: we are committed to increase your chances of getting into your dream school.

As mentioned earlier, GPA’s are more competitive now so the differentiator of college acceptance falls on SAT/ACT scores.

Focusing on your dream school is thinking big picture. That’s why test prep should be viewed as an investment for your future.

To be honest the education at a more prestigious University may not be better than your local college, yet once you decide what industry you’re interested in the higher SAT/ACT score gives you more options to choose from.

Motivation is about what’s next so if you’re thinking about working with us, know that our goal is to expand your college options. Where you decide to go is up to you.

How Competition Makes The SAT/ACT More Important

Did you know that your SAT/ACT score accounts for 25% of college admission?

GPA is 50% while the remaining 25% is made up of extra curricular activities (volunteering, clubs, sports, etc.).

BUT since weighted GPA’s are rising maintaining a 4.0 or higher isn’t that exclusive anymore…

Therefore SAT/ACT scores are the difference maker when it comes to deciding whether you or someone else gets into the college of their dreams.

The reason why is: it’s much harder to get a perfect score on the SAT/ACT.

Which is why SAT/ACT prep becomes more important!

Also, the SAT/ACT is NOT a measurement of how smart you are as a student. Many “A” students score low while “C” or below students score high. It’s because the test makers write the test in order for you to do poorly on it.

When else in your high school career are you going to sit through a 4 hour test? (let alone be away from your mobile phone for that long)

Our tutors focus on helping students demystify the test. For example, we teach you how to identify the types of questions on the test and eliminate wrong answers before you even read the entire question!

If you can take out 2 wrong answers prior to examining the problem your chances double (25% to 50% choosing the correct answer)!

We’re not saying take your grades lightly. Instead take your SAT/ACT prep more seriously!

Your score closes the gap between making your dream school a reality.

Don’t delay. Get started here!

The Optimal Time To Take The SAT/ACT

Conventional wisdom says Spring of your Junior year, then Fall of your Senior year if you haven’t achieved the score you desire yet.

But the problem with that generic reply is it doesn’t take into consideration your overall schedule.

The more competitive academically a student is Spring may overlap with Finals and AP Exams.

If you’re a student athlete games and playoffs factor into your busyness.

You could go on and on with scheduling challenges, but for future college students it comes down to identifying the optimal time to focus on SAT/ACT prep.

Most high school students are procrastinators, so parents you may have to help them strategize on long-term planning.

We recommend starting to prepare 1 – 3 months before the test date so pick the time then work backwards.

Studying during winter or summer break isn’t favorable, but if it allows for the most prep to be done then this might be your smartest choice.

In the big picture you want to take your best shot so making a sacrifice once for an opportunity that only comes along once in a lifetime is worth it.

The best way for students to stay motivated is focus on what score it takes to be accepted to your dream school and provide accountability for doing the work.

We can help you with the latter either through group courses or individual tutoring.

Here’s the best place to start.

The Case Against Test Prep

Don’t worry. You’re reading this correctly.

This may sound like an asinine post coming from the owner of an online test prep company, but you need to hear the truth.

There are 3 categories of students listed below. Identify which one your son/daughter is (and be honest with yourself!)

Self-motivated: this is the student who pushes himself/herself harder than anyone else can. Give them free resources and they’re on their way. Valedictorians, college-bound athletes, academic scholarship recipients live here. Chances are putting additional pressure on them would cause burnout. A group class initially with some friends might jumpstart the process, but this type of student takes initiative and responsibility for her/her results consistently.

Lazy/Procrastinator: you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink. Test prep tutoring includes accountability, but if you choose to tune it out it may be a waste of your time. The tutor doesn’t take the test, the student does. A tutor can give you all the resources and training possible, but at the end of the day it’s the student who does (or doesn’t) do the work and lives with the results. That’s why we put such an emphasis on finding the right tutor match for your son/daughter. If they are motivated because they actually like their tutor, they’ll work harder. If not, save your money.

Everything in between: the two archetypes mentioned above tend to lie on the ends of the spectrum so chances are your son/daughter is somewhere in between. There are enough free resources out there, but the reason why test prep companies exist is the same reason why personal trainers are employed at gyms. Left unsupervised and lacking accountability usually produces poor results for high school students. Also scoring well on the SAT/ACT isn’t purely math and English comprehension, it’s about demystifying the test both by eliminating wrong answers and identifying patterns of questions immediately. The messenger matters as much as the message in this case hence why we hire mostly tutors in their 20’s and 30’s for their relational advantage.

Overall the stigma of hiring a tutor has shifted from being a luxury to a necessity for having an edge in the college admissions process. Investing a couple of thousands of dollars in test prep seems like a lot, but knowing the average 4 year public university costs $40,000 and the average 4 year private university costs $140,000 it’s only 1% – 5% of the amount.

All high school athletes have a coach, so why not hire a private tutor to boost your chances of getting into your dream school? 

SAT vs. ACT: Which One Should I Take?

Fortunately, there are enough free resources out there to make a sound decision.

Start here with the college(s) you want to get into.

Based on your school selection it should be clear which test (SAT or ACT) is accepted or preferred and what score you need to achieve to be accepted (along with GPA).

If both assessments are acceptable and you’re not sure which test is the better fit, here are the main differences:


  • 50% Math
  • Focus on Critical Thinking
  • No Calculator Section


  • 25% Math, but harder
  • Science Section
  • Faster (time to complete)

Even with this knowledge if you’re still at a standstill take a practice test for each and see which one you score higher in naturally.

Some regions favor one over the other, but ultimately it’s your choice.

We can help you make a decision with this prior information since it’s not advised that you take both tests unless required (why spend your time/energy on two when you can focus on one).

Once you decide you can start preparing to surpass your goal score!

Let us know if we can help!


If I Hired a Tutor, How Much Would That Increase Their Chances of Getting Into Their Dream School?


Disclaimer: there are no guarantees in life (besides the whole death and taxes thing).

If a tutoring company guarantees a certain amount of score increase, run. Not only can you not warrant a score jump, there’s other factors involved such as: learning style, personality, work ethic, previous comprehension, motivation, etc.

These days getting into your dream school isn’t a mystery anymore. College Simply provides the SAT and ACT score you need to achieve to be highly considered for admission of your desired school.

Beyond there you just have to figure out which test to focus on: SAT or ACT?

You may be asking: how do I go about that? Have your child take the practice test for both here — SAT & ACT.

Then if there is a clear distinction your answer is clear, but if not there are some differences that work better to your preferences.

Let me take a step back and challenge you with a different approach: what is your child interested in doing as a career? Identify that first, then start looking for colleges that have his/her major.

The concept of a dream school needs to be defined. Will attending that school give you an advantage to landing your dream job or is the location, sports team or closest friends attending driving your decision?

The answer to that question is a huge discrepancy.

As the owner of an online tutoring company I’ll be the first to say college isn’t for everyone. College isn’t always the direct path to your professional career.

But if you’ve decided college is the next step, what matters most in hiring a test prep tutor is the following: 1) knowledge/experience 2) compatibility with your child’s personality 3) availability.

Don’t overlook #1, but what normally separates a slight improvement from a significant one is tutor-student chemistry. In fact, when I worked at a tutoring company one of my gripes is that they didn’t spend enough time or energy on the matching process.

Choosing the right tutor will increase the chances of your child getting into their dream school because they will be more motivated and engaged to learn the strategies needed to score higher on the SAT or ACT.

The average parent wants to see stats about how much of a score increase will happen, but that data is infused with subjectivity. Tutoring is most effective when it is customized to the learning style of the student.

In fact the right tutor will not only help your child increase their test scores, but their grades, study habits and confidence.

As a parent, any investment needs to have a tangible ROI and in this case having your child being paired with the right tutor is priceless.

Are My Kid’s Grades/Scores Competitive Enough To Get Into College?

Short answer: yes. College acceptance rates are as low as 4.65% (Stanford), but as high as 100% (schools listed here).

But the question you’re probably asking as a parent is centered around desired schools. Any university’s requirements can easily be found online, so having the answers isn’t the problem.

The college admissions process is as follows: 50% GPA, 25% SAT/ACT score & 25% extracurricular activities (leadership, volunteering, clubs, etc). The breakdown in percentages are approximate, but this gives you better sense of the overall equation.

Today the trend is to hire a tutor. What used to be considered a luxury less than 10 years ago is now a necessity. Is it a result of the faltering education system or your child’s learning style?

Both. This post is not about my educational views, but the reality is teachers are put in a no-win situation because within a classroom each student learns differently. Your son/daughter’s struggle academically may have nothing to do with the teacher’s efforts, but the sheer lack of time in a day to accomplish what is being asked of them.

On top of grades, getting into college has become overall more competitive because GPA’s and scores have been rising. The SAT/ACT is more about understanding how the creators made the test than it is about how smart your kid is. Disclaimer: the test is made to trick, not help you achieve a high score.

That’s where trained test prep tutors come in handy. If your child is struggling in math class, no tutor can magically improve their score on the math section of the SAT/ACT in a matter of months (you should hire a math tutor). But, if your kid is doing well in math, but his test prep scores don’t translate, it’s sheerly a strategy issue.

Let’s take a completely different path: what does your son/daughter want to do for a career? Chances are the answer will change several times throughout their life, but as a parent why not assist them in figuring that out before deciding what schools to apply for?

What’s the point of applying to a school if the career they choose isn’t offered as a major? To throw another wrench in there, what if college isn’t the correct next step to their desired occupation?

These are questions your college counselor should be asking, but they usually don’t. Teenagers aren’t the most receptive to their parent’s advice in high school, so sometimes you need additional help of mentors, tutors and role models to point them in the right direction.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this! (A lot of parents are worried too)