IN PERSON CLASSES ARE BACK! Register today -- space limited

SAT and ACT Math

Uncategorized Aug 02, 2022

Levels of math

The vast majority of math on both the SAT and ACT consists of pre-algebra, algebra 1 and 2, geometry, and trigonometry. Any student who has learned these topics is ready to take the SAT or ACT. You do not need to take pre-calculus to do well on the math section of either test.


Differences between the tests


  • The SAT weighs math more heavily, counting it as 50% of your score, whereas the ACT counts it for 25% of your score.
  • The SAT is slower paced, while the ACT is a lot faster.
  • The SAT has a no calculator section and a calculator section, while the ACT allows the calculator on its one math section
  • The SAT has some free answer questions as well as multiple choice questions, and the ACT is 100% multiple choice.
  • The SAT gives students a reference sheet with some commonly used formulas facts (it does not have everything you will need), and the ACT does not.
  • The SAT has wordier questions that typically require more reading than the ACT does.


Continue Reading...

Upcoming changes to the ACT and SAT

Uncategorized Jul 11, 2022


The new SAT will be computer adaptive (you get different questions on the second part of the test depending on your performance on the first half), shorter (2 hours and 14 minutes vs 3 hours), and a calculator will be allowed on all math questions. Scores will also be available a lot sooner – within days instead of weeks.


Who will be impacted? The class of 2025 and beyond (this information is for US students – internationally, the changes roll out earlier). If you are in the class of 2024, you will have completed testing before the changes are rolled out. In the Fall of 2023, the PSAT will be computer based, and in the Spring of 2024, the SAT will be computer based.



Not much is changing! The essay remains (although most schools do not require it, it is still being used in state testing, so they are keeping the essay), the science section will not be eliminated (as many have hypothesized), and the test will remain paper based for the time being...

Continue Reading...

Summer SAT and ACT Preparation

Uncategorized Jun 21, 2022

I get a lot of questions from parents about using the summer to prepare for the SAT or ACT, because they want to take advantage of a calmer period of time, when students aren’t inundated with the demands of schoolwork and extracurriculars.  


Rising Juniors 

Since both tests include Algebra 2 questions, students who have already completed Algebra 2 will really benefit from summer preparation (and taking the exam in early fall/late summer).  For students who will be starting Algebra 2 in their junior year, using the summer to get a head start on test prep might be a good idea; however, it’s important that these students to take the test after they’ve completed a chunk of Algebra 2, so they should plan to do some prep during the school year and take the SAT or ACT in December or the early spring.


Rising Seniors

For seniors, it’s really important to use the summer to review/prepare for the exam.  I’ve seen many seniors...

Continue Reading...

Should I take both the SAT and ACT?

We normally start our students off with a diagnostic test, so we can assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses and recommend one test over the other.  About half of the students show a propensity for one test over the other, while the other half does equally well on both the SAT and ACT.  For the majority of students, it’s best to choose a single  test, focus all of their energy into that test, and stick with that test.  


There are several benefits to focusing on a single test.  It is better to focus on a single test and become an absolute expert in it. Mastering one test alone is far easier than splitting your attention between two different exams, with different pacing, different question types, and even different topics!  It is also a lot less stressful to study for a single test.


While it can be very rewarding, studying for the SAT or ACT is intensive, exhausting, and time consuming.  Adding a second test into...

Continue Reading...

Improving Your Reading Score

Uncategorized Mar 13, 2022

Many parents want to know the best way to improve their child’s reading score or reading comprehension.  These are two separate issues!  Improving reading comprehension is a nearly lifelong process, including reading a lot of challenging material and strengthening vocabulary.  By the time you reach your junior year, you don’t have much time to work on your reading comprehension.  However, you can improve your SAT or ACT reading score:


  1.  Learn a solid reading strategy!  Many students make the mistake of reading the passage first and then doing the questions in order, but this is very inefficient and costs you points.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the different question types, such as main idea, author’s tone, inference, graphs/tables, vocabulary, and more. 
  3. Know the patterns for right and wrong answers.  For example, an author’s tone is highly unlikely to be extreme or very negative, and vocabulary questions typically...
Continue Reading...

The SAT Curve Disaster

Uncategorized Jul 13, 2018

Marissa and I discuss how kids performed better on the last SAT  math section , yet received LOWER scores.  Fun!

Continue Reading...