The Basics I am in my thirteenth year providing SAT and ACT prep. In that time I've worked with students from all of San Francisco's highest-performing schools; the vast majority of my current students attend S.I., Lick, Drew, University, Urban, SHC, or Lowell.
I offer both individual and small-group prep. I ask that small groups (2 to 6 students) come to me already assembled, as I've found that joining students who aren't already friends produces less-than-optimal results.
Every college in the U.S. accepts both tests. Very few colleges express even a mild preference between them. (The ones that do — this might be a surprise to you — indicate a preference for the ACT over the SAT.)
It's never too early to start preparing. The earlier students begin, the more prepared they'll be for their first attempts, and the less stress and worry they'll experience throughout the process. Students planning to start with February/March test dates are recommended to start test prep in September.
SAT vs. ACT All of my students should plan to take the SAT and ACT once each and use these results to determine which test to focus on going forward. I believe that the SAT vs. ACT decision should be based on actual test score data — especially because there are many more differences between the two tests than most people realize. Some high schools advise students to choose one test or the other based on the results of diagnostic/sample tests. It is my opinion that the results of diagnostic tests taken without prep cannot accurately predict the results oftests taken after several months of diligent practice, additional learning in school, and increased maturity. Given the downside of choosing the "wrong" test, I think it's important to prepare for and attempt both tests before making a final decision to continue with one or the other.
For more information about SAT Subject Tests, click here.
Fees My fee for SAT/ACT prep (and all other college-admissions-related services) is $200 per hour for individual tutoring. Fees for groups of 2-6 students are based on the $200 per hour individual price, plus $40 per hour for each additional student. In a group of 4, for example, each student would pay [$200+3($40)]÷4=$80 per hour.
To prepare for first attempts at each test, anywhere from 20-30 total hours would be standard; this number is flexible in either direction depending on needs, schedule, budget, and other factors.
Individual vs. Small-Group Tutoring Many of my students do their test prep in a small group of 2-6 total students. There are several potential benefits to small-group tutoring — the camaraderie of working alongside friends, enhanced learning from listening to (and helping to answer) others' questions, and the additional motivation of wanting to keep up with (or outperform) their fellow group-mates, to name a few. Small-group prep can also offer a significant cost savings. If you're interested in forming a small group, please note that students should already be very comfortable with each other, and also at the same general academic level. I will review each student's GPA and PSAT scores and may ask additional questions to ensure group compatibility.
Not all students benefit from a group setting. If your student feels more comfortable working individually, is shy about asking questions or making mistakes in front of classmates, or has significant testing accommodations (use of a reader, more than 50% extra time, etc.), then individual tutoring is probably best.
Next Steps Please contact me at (415) 990-1130 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to discuss your student's needs in more detail or schedule lessons.