Test Prep

College, Test Prep

SAT vs. ACT: Which One Should I Take?


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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:

SAT

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

ACT

  • 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!

 

Test Anxiety, Test Prep

Self-Pep Talk: Tips For Test Day


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Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint, and begin to build” – Robert Collier

If you’ve put in the work test anxiety can be the biggest hurdle to overcome on test day.

Similar to how athletes listen to music as their pre-performance ritual, students need to have a mental game plan for test day.

Getting a good night’s sleep and waking up early enough to have a nice breakfast play a huge role in addition to the strategies you’ve practiced up to this point.

But most of all catch your mind from wandering and focus on positive self-talk.

Just like a public speaker, there’s not much rehearsal you can do right before the presentation so instead of trying to cram last minute info, relax and visualize your desired score during the test.

So much of the SAT/ACT is mental which is why our tutors help students demystify the test(s) ahead of time.

Come up with your own mantra for test day and if you need some ideas check out this video to motivate you!

Don’t forget to download your free report: 6 Top Tips For Earning Easy Points On The SAT/ACT here!

Good luck! You got this!

Test Anxiety, Test Prep

Why The SAT/ACT Is A Numbers Game (Not Just The Math Section Either)


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Scoring high on the SAT or ACT has more to do with demystifying the test than it does with actual math and English comprehension.

Did you know the test makers create the assessment for students to get problems wrong?

That’s important because there are “rules” to the SAT/ACT to follow that will help you score more points fast.

For example, there are 4 answers to choose from for each question, but did you know that if you’re able to instantly eliminate 2 of the wrong answers your chances of getting the right answer doubles?

1 out of 4 = 25% vs. 2 out of 4 = 50%!

The test taking tips that our tutors teach will help you identify each type of problem so you can knock out 2 wrong answers right away.

Practically the test taking strategies you’ll learn for the SAT/ACT are transferrable to academic subjects. Most of our clients who do test prep with us end up continuing with academic tutoring because they experienced great results and love the tutor they’re working with.

There’s a myth that only “smart” kids who already do well in class are exclusively high achievers on the test, but that’s false. Some students who normally get good grades struggle with test anxiety on the SAT/ACT where as students who have average grades can attain near perfect scores.

The moral of the story is this: once you understand how the test is made, you will score higher.

That’s why working with one of our tutors is so valuable.

The better prepared you are, the higher chance for success you have.

Don’t just study harder, study smarter with us.

Test Prep

Why Practice Makes Perfect


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I managed a tutor who got 3 perfect scores (SAT and two subject tests) as a student and when I asked her the secret to success, she said “hard work.”

Wanting to get deeper I prodded for more details and she explained studying for the SAT for 3 months almost on a daily basis and taking practice tests often did the trick.

Similar to asking a successful entrepreneur how they became rich, asking someone who got a perfect score on the SAT or ACT is the best way to learn how to do it yourself.

Many times I’ll talk to parents or students about their academic goals, but the expectations don’t match the work ethic.

The beauty of all the free test prep resources out there is the calculated way to know you’re making progress is: take practice tests.

The general rule is for every 6 – 8 hours of studying/tutoring you should take a new practice test. Yes, they are long just like the real one, but scoring and sitting through an actual test cannot be simulated any other way.

A self-driven and motivated student can do this on their own, but for the rest online tutoring provides the accountability to do the work needed to improve.

The SAT/ACT is not a measurement of your intelligence or predictor of future success, but the value in working with a tutor is demystifying the test.

Practice may not equate to a perfect score, but if you put in the work it will definitely result in a higher one.

Online Tutoring, Test Prep

When Should You Prepare For The SAT/ACT?


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Generally: 3 months in advance.

That’s average, but it’s better to be more prepared than less prepared right?

There’s tons of factors including: hours spent studying per week, self-study vs. online tutoring, time before test date, budget, etc. 

Factoring all that take this into consideration…

The SAT/ACT counts for 25% of your college admission plus scores are accepted on a “curve” for each university. That means the more competitive of a school you are applying for, the scores to be considered will be higher.

Ask any high scoring former student their secret to success: hard work.

If you’re a fast learner you can speed up the pace, but we wouldn’t recommend tutoring with us for less than a month’s period. Of course, ultimately it’s your call, but be warned your expectations need to match your work ethic.

Generic answers aren’t a “one size fits all” approach which is why our focus on matchmaking makes so much sense.

Online tutoring is customized learning so if you want the real answer, let’s hop on the phone and complete a student profile to find the right tutor for you!

Test Prep

Is SAT ACT Tutoring Worth The Cost?


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If you type in “SAT Tutor” in Google, the auto-suggestion goes to “Is SAT tutoring worth the cost?

Coming from the mouth of a former tutor, her points are valid.

There’s a range of students from “I don’t care” to self-motivated. The group in the middle are the ones who benefit the most.

Like most things in life, the investment comes down to how committed your child is to working hard. Any coach in sports can provide guidance and strategy (yet while talent separates the good from great), work ethic still rules.

Are there enough free resources out there to improve your score alone? Yes.

Will most students take advantage of that? No.

As someone who has coached many people providing accountability is where the real value lies.

The first question we ask is: what are your goals?

Those include scores, dream schools, grades, etc.

Just like any gym has the equipment to get you in shape, it doesn’t drive you there and make you workout.

Tutoring is worth the cost when your child wants it. They’ve come to the point where they’ve reached their peak and need a tutor to bring them to the next level.

As the owner of a tutoring company I’ll be the first to say it’s expensive…but it depends on what your child is willing to put into it. If their priority is elsewhere and scheduling a session is difficult then save your money. Everyone is busy. You make time for what is important.

This really is a personal question. If I were you I’d sit down with your child and ask them if they’re open and willing to work with a tutor. You may not like their answer, but it may save you money and you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.

Ownership is the difference maker here.

Online Tutoring, Test Prep

Tutoring Is Actually A Relationship Business


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Ok not that type of (romantic) relationship…

A little over a year ago I started working for a test prep company as a faculty manager. Prior to that I’d never worked at an education company so the learning curve was steep for me initially. Fortunately I didn’t have to tutor students (not my role or skill set), instead I managed a team of 30 tutors remotely.

Being immersed in a new industry you learn the lingo quickly, but one thing never clicked for me while I was there: why do we care more about sales than people?

I get it — the difference between a business and a hobby is profit made, but the lifetime worth (loyal customers) and tutor retention make or break your company.

What my former company saw as the “why” was much different than what I believed it was: relationships.

Without great tutors and customers you have no business.

After I decided to leave one motto stuck in my head: if you take care of your people, they will take care of your customers.

That’s why months after starting my own online tutoring company I know I’m in the relationship business.

Truth be told, market research is important, but in a service industry people come first. Being in a relationship-driven business it takes time to grow. That means no overnight contracts, quick sales or cutting corners. Each interaction matters.

Once your sales strategy is determined you stay committed to it and live with the results (pivot over time if needed).

Part of creating and strengthening a working relationship is transparency and vulnerability. Although it sounds risky, it actually attracts the type of person who aligns with your vision.

When it comes to test prep (SAT/ACT) competency is the qualifier (if you don’t know the content, you can’t teach it), but the chemistry between the tutor-student is what determines how successful the results are.

That’s why as a parent previewing the tutor ahead of time makes the biggest difference. It’s why we offer a free 30 minute video meet and greet with student, tutor and parent before committing. We put our money where our mouth is.

What we’re selling isn’t really knowledge…it’s a relationship.