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How to Avoid Sabotaging Your Child's ACT & SAT Scores

Just one or two more correct answers can mean The Difference between getting into a "Dream School"...and winning boatloads of fat, juicy scholarships!


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Everyone knows that higher scores on the ACT and SAT tests can unlock doors for your child that might otherwise be closed.

Even improving their scores a few points could mean the difference between getting into their dream school (with scholarships!) or getting passed over.

It makes sense that you want to give your child every chance at success before, during and after college. The challenge is figuring out what “every chance” actually is.

The big risk comes in messing up something that’s important.

What Most Parents Don’t Know About How They’re Sabotaging Their Child’s Chance At Success

If you’re serious about giving your child every advantage which it comes to college, the question isn’t whether or not to get them help preparing for the ACT or SAT, the question is which type of help do you need?

There are a lot of choices. Unfortunately, the devil’s in the details, as they say. And it’s a real devil. This is the reason so many parents in your situation deal with stress, anxiety and fear about the college process.

Below you will find some of the most common test-prep mistakes parents make even when they think they are making smart choices:

Mistake #1: Falling For the “Silver Bullet Test-Prep System”

Your child is not a robot. Kids are not meant to fit into “systems.” And while that approach to test-prep might sound impressive on paper, the only way to help your child learn how to increase their scores is to teach them in the way they learn best.

If there was one test-prep system that worked for everyone, we’d all be using it. But that’s just not the case. If you’re serious about boosting your child’s ACT and SAT scores, the help has to come in a form that fits the way your kid learns.

While it’s just not practical for every child to have one-on-one instruction, it is practical to have personalized instruction in a small group setting. If you’re considering enrolling in classes with 20 or 30 students, that’s not going to give your child the customized instruction they deserve to do their best. Even worse, the “system” they’re forced to use might actually lead to them doing WORSE, because it is geared toward the Lowest Common Denominator, not your child.

Mistake #2: Falling For the “Headed For Disaster” Initial Test Setup

Without revealing any names (we know who you are!), you need to understand that some test prep firms artificially inflate the difficulty of the initial test they give your child. Not only does this freak everyone out (including you!) when the scores come back, but it also makes the firm look amazing at the END of the classes when they give your child a test that more accurately measures their readiness for the ACT or SAT.

Don’t allow anyone to play mind games like this with your child. It doesn’t set anyone up for success. You want to work with someone who uses tests as close to the real thing as possible. When in doubt, ask: “What tests do you use to assess my child’s readiness and where do those tests come from?”

Mistake #3: Falling For the “More is Better” Myth

How long will it take to help your child get to the top of his or her scoring range? No one knows!

The goal is to achieve the highest scores in the least amount of time, with the least amount of effort. This is not “lazy,” this is smart!

Test scores are only one piece of the college success puzzle. So committing your child to two or three YEARS of test-prep isn’t only unnecessary, it can also lead to real problems.

If too much of their time and energy is invested into this, there’s not going to be enough left to deal with all of the other important parts of getting accepted and getting scholarships.

Parents who fall for the “more is better myth” can easily end up sabotaging other parts of the process.

More is not better, better is better. And ideally, you want the better scores in the least amount of time possible.

Mistake #4: Taking On the “Bad Test-Taker” Label

If you remember nothing else from this short message, remember this: there is no such thing as a bad test taker. There are only students who have not prepared in the right way for THEM to achieve their highest possible score.

Taking on the “bad test taker” label leads to mistakes and decisions that are not in anyone’s best interest.

Each child (your teen included!) can achieve great things. The trick is to figure out how best to prepare for that outcome. That’s what real test-prep is about. It’s not about cramming facts into anyone’s head, it’s about unlocking your child’s innate potential to achieve.

Engineering the WIN vs. Hoping and Praying for the Win

The good news is that you can win here. You can help your child get into their dream school. You can position your child to maximize their chances of receiving scholarships. You can dissolve the fear, anxiety (even panic!) that comes with not wanting to make a mistake.

Colleges are in the business of acquiring talent, not creating it, when you think about it. So the importance of showing your child is already one of those kids cannot be stressed too much.

The college selection and admission process happens ONCE in your child’s life. So it’s not something you want to leave up to chance.

One test score won’t do it alone, but the best test score your child can achieve PLUS doing other smart things can end up creating amazing outcomes.


Discover What You Get With Lockwood Test Prep Classes and Tutoring

We offer live local, GUARANTEED small group classes, one-on-one tutoring live or via Skype! When you say "yes" to either option, you'll get the following:

Expert Advice and Coaching!

Our students work with actual test problems under simulated "game day" conditions so that they are prepared to do their best when it counts!

Eliminate Stress, Worry and Confusion!

Our students are confident and calm on Test Day because we are thorough to a fault.  No detail is too small.  Our students have a Test Prep Plan and know EXACTLY what to expect on Test Day, and what could go wrong (something usually does!) 

Fast Results!

Our students achieve their highest scores in the least amount of time compared to any of our competitors, to our knowledge. This means you'll spend less and avoid the "24 Month Mega-Packages" offered by the other guys!

Classes And Tutoring

Choose the option right for you!

Small Group Classes


Personalized instruction, but at group rates

Class size capped at 15

Proctored "Mock Tests" graded and analyzed to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses

"Fist Class" Guarantee - Absolutely no risk to enroll!

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Individual One-On-One Tutoring


In person or via Skype

Three packages available

Afternoons, nights and weekends available

Best for busy athletes, super-motivated students taking a million APs or any motivated, results-driven,  over-scheduled kid!

Proctored "Mock Tests" graded and analyzed to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses

Space limited: first come, first served

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"Hi Marissa !!! i wanted to let you know what l got on the ACT !!! i got a 29 !! l am so happy and wanted to thank you for all of your help ! l will definitely be taking more and coming to you for more help !! "

Manhasset, NY

"My son found Marissa to be an amazing teacher who explained math concepts well, taught him grammar in a way he was able to remember and showed him strategies to significantly help his reading comprehension. Marissa is kind, smart and patient and made my son feel confident and comfortable going into the SAT. On his first attempt at the SAT we saw a big score increase and we owe that to Marissa! I highly recommend Marissa and Lockwood College Consulting!"

Cindy Samide
Syosset NY

"Hi Marissa, Katie and I wanted to be sure to thank you for all your efforts on her behalf. The scores came in this morning and she got a 32, up from a 30! She earned a 35 in both english and reading, up 3 and 2 points respectively, a 30 on the math, up 3 points, and a 29 on the science which stayed the same. She went off to school with a big smile on her face. Hopefully these couple of points will give her a leg up in the application process. Thanks again! Dawn"

Dawn Crawford
Seaford, NY

"I want to thank you for starting your tutoring service. Marissa has shown my son how to understand the English, Math and Science sections and he has shown tremendous improvement on all parts of the ACT that he feels confident that he will score much higher than his last test, which he took without any tutoring. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Peter went from a 24 to a 31! And got into his top choice college :)]"

Barbara Rowan
Wantagh NY

"Mary went from a 26 to a 32! She came in the night before at 2am, shouting, she was so elated! Thank you!"

Pete Nikakis

"First Class" Guarantee

Our ACT and SAT Crusher Small Group Classes feature a 100% Money-Back Guarantee:

If, after the first session of an ACT Crusher or SAT Crusher Class, your student decides that the class is NOT for him - for ANY reason...even NO reason at all - notify us that day and we will promptly and cheerfully refund you EVERY LAST PENNY you paid. it's that simple: no questions asked, no hassles or hard feelings! There is ZERO risk on your part: we're putting our money where our mouth is because we're confident that your child will love our class and CRUSH the ACT or SAT!

About Marissa Uneberg, Esq.

 Marissa has tutored students academically and for the SAT, ACT, LSAT since 1996.

Originally hired by a national franchise test prep company that shall remain nameless (over the phone, based on her SAT scores only, they didn't even check references!) Marissa discovered that she disagreed with their "one size fits all approach" to testing... well as their preference to help students improve their slowly - rather than as quickly as possible! (gee, I wonder why! :)

Marissa's tutoring journey took her to other big and small tutoring companies, even as an instructor at the City University Of New York (CUNY). 

Ultimately, fed up with the Big Test Prep Company's constraints, Marissa decided to develop her own ACT and SAT Crusher curricula, designed to help students achieve their best scores in the LEAST amount of time.

Questions? Book A Test Prep Strategy Session Today!

No charge, no obligation. Speak directly to Marissa about how your child can get their highest scores in the least amount of time!


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