Wouldn’t the SAT and ACT be easier, if you could solve every math problem using 4th grade math skills?
Wouldn’t the SAT & ACT be easier if you could solve every math problem using 4th grade math skills?
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I’ve listed the most commonly recurring questions that I receive on the telephone regarding our Live Course. Please read through them if you have an opportunity, as they will help you understand the SAT and our approach to your child’s SAT score improvement much better. It might also save you a phone call.
The Course is a 10-hour course taught on the weekday evenings, and weekends off campus, and is purchased by parents for their children. The Course guarantees a score improvement ~ the average of which is between 100 - 190 points per student (See Score Increase Guarantee). Once a student is enrolled in the course, he never has to pay again to attend the course again (See Unlimited, FREE, Course Retake Provision). In contrast, a One-Day High School Workshop is taught during a single school day ~ providing about 6 hours worth of SAT Prep instruction. It is scheduled by your high school administrators. The workshop targets a 70 point score improvement average per student, but does not guarantee a score improvement.
Most students enrolling in the course have an SAT score between the state and national averages (e.g.: a Critical Reading and Math total between a 950 - 1030). Students who enroll in our course are usually high school juniors or seniors, and have taken the SAT at least once to establish a “baseline” SAT score. The baseline score is helpful because it allows us to measure the score improvement the course provides for your student. Our goal within the course is to take these “typical” students to a 1200 on the SAT if possible. Having said that, many students outside of these initial scoring boundaries (either higher or lower) have succeeded in achieving score improvements in the course.
Finally, if your scores are significantly higher than a 1200, or significantly lower than a 950, please call the office to discuss 1 On 1 tutoring options (or click the 1 On 1 Tutoring link in the navigation bar to the left), as our tutoring module may be the preferred format for your situation.
The typical course is taught is made up of 10 hours of course work ~ no need for your kid to sign his life away to get a significant boost to his SAT score. They typical course is divided into 5 class sessions and follow the following outline:
Well let me begin by pointing out that there is no one who loathes math as much me. In fact, I majored in English in college because I believed that doing so would negate the need to take four semesters of math (as was required in other majors). Incidentally, when I found out I was mistaken, I nearly collapsed and died of a heart attack.
I provide that background to point out that I do NOT overweight the Math Section just because I like “math.” On the contrary, my focus is always on maximizing student score improvements on the SAT, in as short a timeframe as possible. The Math Section is the best section on the SAT to quickly improve scores.
My “anti-math” techniques are useful in helping kids with, and without, gifted math brains, and add significant points to their SAT scores. These techniques and concepts position all students to succeed on EVERY question in the Math Section, regardless of inherent talent they may or may not possess.
The concepts I discuss in the Evidenced Based Reading Section of the course are powerful, but improvements in any reading skill take significant investments of time to develop into a measurable score improvement. Once the student understands the concepts covered in the portion of the course devoted to the Reading Section, they are free to work on developing these skills on their own. Unlike the Math Section or the Evidenced Based Writing Section, the Reading Section is not facilitator driven, so a great deal of the labor can be conducted without my supervision - freeing up class time for other areas of concern. Top of the Page.
Think about any talent or skill you seek to perfect: additional practice will never harm your ability to perform that talent or that skill, and will typically improve them as well. Think of a musician: how many times must he play the major scale to “master it?” Think of an athlete: how many free throws must a basketball player take to guarantee that he will not miss a single opportunity at the free throw line on game day? In both situations, the answer is “countless” ~ yet the ensemble will never be perfect, and invariably, a few basketballs will clank off the rim in spite of all those repetitions ~ but the overall result is still better than it would be without all that practice. Our system is based on the same philosophy. The questions on the SAT & ACT do not change. They are fundamentally the same, and generally consistent from test to test. The only thing that changes over time is your child’s ability to handle these problems as “routinely” (read “stress free”) as they’d tap out the notes of the major scale, or sink a free throw in an empty gym. This is the value of course repetition.
In my mind, academic preparation for success is the same process as artistic and athletic preparation for success. The more time you have to prepare, and the more time you devote to practice, the better, and more consistent the results. Sure some students will come through our course one time, go up 150 points, and we’ll never hear from them again, but with most students, more time in the course leads to even higher score improvements.
In the interest of seeking the highest score improvements possible, the Score Increase Guarantee requires that a student come through the course twice, and take two SATs. There is no additional charge for multiple course retakes (via our Unlimited, FREE, Course Retake Provision). We consistently find that the highest score improvements are gained by students via multiple course repetitions, and the course is set up in this fashion.
The Optional Essay Section is covered thoroughly in the course syllabus, but is not addressed at all during class time. There is a very good reason for this decision. Currently, the Optional Essay Sections for both the SAT & ACT are not helpful for college admissions at the vast majority of colleges and universities (and 100% of all colleges in SC). Furthermore, the optional Essay Section does not help students qualify for the SC Life Scholarship, the Palmetto Fellows Award, NCAA Initial eligibility, or ROTC Scholarships. Generally speaking, no one is concerned with your score on the Essay, and for that reason, we don’t waste precious class time to cover it. If this focus ever changes we will change our course format to include it. Top of the Page.
Absolutely. Every course, has a unique focus. The course format is more of a guideline, than a clear path to follow. We adjust the course curriculum to generate the highest score improvement for the group, based on what we’ve done in prior courses, and also in consideration of what SAT & ACT seem to be emphasizing at the time, but it will always be “Math heavy.”
If I may use an analogy, our online SAT/ACT Prep University is like a 7-11 Convenience Store. It offers an SAT/ACT Prep Class any time your child wants one. All they need is an internet connection. The Online SAT/ACT Prep University is a great source of archived information. It discusses all of the problems we work in our Live Course, and contains many types of problems that we typically do not have time to cover in our Live Courses. It was originally designed for students who wanted to take our course, but had no way of getting to the course location. Since then, it has become a valuable resource to all students. Case in point, there are currently over 24 hours of instructional video in the Math Section of the forum. Students may also post questions in the forum that they run across in their own preparations and have no idea how to solve. We will work these problems on video, and post the video on the forum, so that the student can watch the video explanation. Online SAT/ACT Prep University access is gained by clicking the link in the top left hand corner of every page in our website titled: “Registered Students Click Here to Access Our Online SAT/ACT Prep University.” Your student’s User Id & Password will be emailed to you upon registration for the course, and is good for unlimited forum access for 1 year.
~ Should My Student Take the SAT or the ACT?
There is way too much time spent by Guidance Counselors and the like trying to “figure out” which test the student would do best on ~ and then only taking that test. We say take them both. Even with the new format changes on the SAT, there is a significant set of factors that might work in your student’s favor on either test. For example, if the student is a slow worker, we would recommend the SAT over the ACT because the ACT constantly puts the student under significantly more time pressure than the SAT. On the other hand, the ACT includes a Science Section that counts for 25% of the student’s overall score, so if Science is a strength, it might make sense to take advantage of that section. All that said, Take them Both. Schools simply take the highest ACT, or the highest combination of SAT sectional scores and use them to determine your student’s admission and scholarship packages. The more you have to choose from, the better your changes for a favorable combination.
Yes, they are highly effective, and they will completely transfer onto the ACT (in the Reading, Grammar & Math Sections). Just keep in mind that the ACT has a Science Section (which the SAT does not include). So, our content, while effective on the Math, English, and Reading sections, will not thoroughly address the Science Sections. Since we do not address all of the sections of the ACT, the Live SAT/ ACT Prep Course only offers a score improvement guarantee on the SAT.
Frequently Asked Questions About Our Live SAT/ ACT Prep Course
“Coach: I went up 100 points from the March SAT to the June SAT, and I took the June SAT with my wisdom teeth having just been removed, so hopefully I can do even better when I take the test again under more optimal conditions.
- Caroline Matthews
¨ We are so excited to share with you our news that Jordan improved his SAT score in November by 200 points!!! Our initial goal was to “crack” a 1000… now he’s 10 points away from becoming a Palmetto Fellow. Thank you so much!
- Mrs. Berry
(He improved an additional 30 points on the following SAT).
¨ Coach, I got my June scores in a few weeks ago, and I wanted to let you know how I did. This time I got a 1360! The breakdown was a 610 in the Math, and a 750 in the Critical Reading. [His baseline Math score (pre course enrollment) was in the low 500 range, and the baseline Critical Reading score around 600 ~ resulting in a 200 plus point score improvement in the course]. It been great!
- John Behnke
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