Wouldn’t the SAT & ACT be easier if you could solve every math problem using 4th grade math skills?
© 2004 - 2017 Jonathan Wilson, CFP® founder of Carolina College Prep, Inc.
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Wouldn’t the SAT & ACT be easier if you could
solve every math problem using 4th grade math skills?
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Each workshop is tailored to the perceived needs of the attendees as the day progresses. As such, it is flexible, and the workshops don’t “all look the same.” They are all effective however, as the instruction is targeted to the specific weaknesses of the attendees. I move on to a different task when the majority of the students have demonstrated tangible improvement. Because our focus is score improvement, we spend time in the areas which training will deliver the most significant score improvements.
The delivery and focus of our instruction is the strength of our system. I’m a former college head coach, and I will prepare your student for the SAT the same way I would prepare a team for a critical game. I treat the SAT like an “Opponent” a sports team would face on the field of competition. I’ve taken and reviewed countless SATs (3 full length SATs per year since 1999 – at a minimum), and have plotted out tendencies within the test itself. Using all of this experience and “film study”, to use a coach’s term, I have created a unique game plan to ensure victory for your son or daughter on SAT test day.
My game plan is essentially a presentation of a full breakdown on the most frequent types of questions your students will see on SAT Saturday (game day). This is not simply a discussion of the type of questions in each section (eg: sentence completions, or geometry problems), but an example of the actual question – complete with a thorough discussion of its difficulty level, its frequency in appearing on the SAT (some show up as many as 10 - 11 times per SAT), theories as to why students struggle with the particular problem, and most importantly, a simple way to solve it correctly. In addition, I will explain all of the possible “looks” a particular problem can take on. These different looks serve as disguise mechanisms to try and offset any value in SAT Prep workshops and courses like mine. More importantly, the questions on the SAT are constantly falling in and out of favor. We’ll see a particular question on every SAT for 9 months, and then it’ll disappear for 3 years; only to reappear at a future date. It’s important to know “what’s coming next.”
Our competition doesn’t take my approach. Rather than focus on specific problems that will appear on the next SAT, they try to cover every possible scenario. This is one reason their workshops feel like “surveys.” They also typically spend a lot of time on the “gamesmanship” aspect of the exam (eg: When to guess, or How to bubble in your answer sheet faster, etc. ~ rather than consider actual, high frequency, difficult questions that appear on every SAT). These “general approaches rarely lead to any score improvement because they focusing on things that do not lead to score improvement (like the format of the exam, how much it costs to take, when it is administered, what score do you need to get into XYZ Tech, etc.). While they mean well, their approach often ensures complete failure.
Another point about the competition: In my opinion, when they do sit down to consider a problem, they unnecessarily complicate things. The competition will spend countless hours teaching 15 different approaches to work 15 different problems (rather than see the common element that connects all of those problems). The sheer number of techniques and inability to distinguish between when a particular application should be employed quickly overwhelms, confuses, and demoralizes the typical student.
Unlike the competition, I approach the SAT with the goal of simplification as a priority. For example, in my system, rather than have your child memorize 10 different math class techniques to work 10 different problems in the Math Section of the SAT (like our competitors would have your student do), I teach ONE technique, that I developed, which allows my students to work ALL of the problems on the SAT's Math Section – using elementary school math skills. If you’re child has passed the 6th grade, he’ll do fine on the Math Section of the SAT with my techniques. We take a similar approach to in the Critical Reading section.
Now, I could go on for hours about why I believe my workshop is the best SAT offering out there, but I’ll leave you with this simple truth: I do what I do because I want to make an investment in your child’s life – an investment that no one ever made in my life.
Based on my career occupation, you might be surprised to know that I was not a very good student in high school. Moreover, to this date, I have never come across anyone who scored lower than I did on the SAT. In fact, if it weren’t for the commitment of one college soccer coach, I’m certain I would have never gotten a chance to even go to college. While I’m grateful for this coach’s efforts on my behalf and thankful for the college education I received, I didn’t particularly want to go to his school. Unfortunately, no other college coach seemed to be interested in me as a player after they saw my SAT scores. I guess they knew that I’d have significant difficulties being admitted to the college. As a result, I was thoroughly miserable outside of my time on the soccer field at the college I attended.
To the point though, for years after I graduated from college, I believed I was an “idiot” because of my low score on the SAT. Only later did I realize that I wasn’t dumb. More accurately I just wasn’t coached “to win” on the SAT. Now, using the simplification strategies that I’m going to teach your child, I regularly score in the 1550 – 1600 range on the SAT. These extremely high scores make me wonder what I may have done differently if I’d had a 1550 to 1600 on the SAT instead of the 620 I received in high school. During periods of reflection, I find myself wondering, “How might my life be different had I had a higher SAT score when it mattered?”
Of course, the past is history as they say, and what is done is done. My focus for the future is to make sure that everyone that wants a higher SAT score gets it. I want to give your students the all the advantages I didn’t have when I was in their shoes. I want to invest in their lives where no one invested in mine. I can make a difference in your students’ lives – let me show you.
The SAT Prep workshop hopes to improve the average attendee’s SAT score by 70 points. Note that our average High School Workshop score improvements are not as high as our Private SAT Course average (between 100 - 190 points). The reason for the difference between the two score improvement averages is because we have less time with the students in the High School Workshop. As you can imagine, time limitations limit the score Workshop score improvement averages, as we are not able to cover as much material.
Please note that the workshop is designed to meet the needs of the average kid with a typical SAT score. Average kids do not have a 1400 (Critical Reading & Math) on the SAT prior to attending the workshop. These exceptional students will probably be bored most of the time, and are not likely to benefit at all from the workshop (though there are exceptions).
That said, with prior planning we can be successful with an entire group of students with elite SAT scores (eg: SC Governor’s School for Science and Math), but the usual approach we take is not designed for the student with the elite SAT score. They should be steered into our if they would like additional SAT help.
I'm not aware of another workshop that targets a specified score improvement, but it is something I do with all of my courses and workshops, and it seems to be working (based on feedback we’ve received).
The Workshop is heavily focused on the Math and Evidenced Based Writing (English) Sections. These two sections represent the easiest material in which to quickly, and significantly, improve SAT & ACT scores for most students. The bottom line is that the purpose of any legitimate SAT or ACT Prep Workshop should be to achieve significant score improvements for the students in attendance. A workshop that provides only a “survey of the test,” (with no capacity for score increase), is worthless in our mind. We want to add measurable and significant points to students’ scores, and we believe that our 70 point score improvement average per student target can be most easily and consistently obtained by focusing on the Math & Evidenced Based Writing (English) sections (even for the students who are strong in Math & English).
We WILL cover the Reading Section also.
All students will receive a professionally printed & bound proprietary workshop syllabus, covering all covered topics with plenty of space for taking notes and writing in additional problems, is provided to all students as part of the overall course fee. These are our own proprietary SAT & ACT Prep materials – not something you can buy off a bookshelf, or check out of the library.
1. The cost of our high school workshop is $1,000 plus $11 per student; ergo, a workshop with 50 students would cost $1,550 [eg: $1,000 + 55($11) = $1,550].
2. Schools worried about numbers, or school who have lost their “SAT Budget” could use a $51 per student fee, with a 25 student minimum (and have the students foot the entire bill).
Customized pricing schedules are available upon request. All schools must commit to a pricing structure before the workshop.
By way of background, I teach private courses throughout the state for kids who want follow on instruction that is more detailed than the workshop environment. The average score improvement in the private course is between 100 and 190 points, and I guarantee a score improvement in the private course. To make this follow on instruction more affordable for those who want it, I provide every workshop attendee a $100 credit toward the purchase of the Live SAT/ ACT Prep Course (normally $395), or any other service Carolina College Prep provides. In addition to the $100 credit toward the purchase of the course, I award one of the workshop attendees a “full scholarship” to the course allowing them free entry. The full scholarship is determined based on a drawing at the end of the class.
1. The workshop works the best when it can be set up in an atmosphere that resembles a class room ~ as we are in a teaching environment. Ideally students should have their own desk, or be seated in a manner that provides a ‘writing platform.’ Cavernous auditoriums are generally not our preferred venue (unless the auditorium is going to be full of students). Gymnasiums are even less desirable due to the echo inherent to gymnasiums. Libraries are good. Classrooms are best. Generally speaking, the ‘smallest space’ we can host the workshop, with every student in their own desk, is the ‘preferred space.’
2. We need access to a projection screen, at the front of the room.
3. All students must be able to have a visual line of sight to the projection screen without having to turn their head away from their desk.
4. All students should have their own calculator, or (if the school provides the calculator) the brand of calculator they plan to take to the SAT or ACT.
5. All students should have a sharpened pencil (no pens).
6. Schools should consider having a monitor present at all times, so that they can observe first hand the quality of instruction the students receive.
To reserve the date for your workshop, phone: 803/957-0459, or
Email me at
Do You Want An SAT/ ACT Banner For Your School Too? Call Us Today To Schedule Your Workshop!
Carolina College Prep is proud to offer 1-day SAT / ACT (Evidenced Based Reading & Writing and Math) Preparation workshops for high schools. These workshops are scheduled by the guidance department at a particular school, and the workshop is held on campus, during normal school hours.
The workshop is entertaining and generates results. This is NOT a simple “Survey of the SAT and the ACT” with some general strategies, and a practice test for the students at the end of the day.
Unlike the competition, we target a 70 point score improvement for the typical student in the workshop on the SAT. The concepts also completely transfer to the ACT. This “tangible” score improvement is the key factor in keeping kids engaged in the material the whole day, and it works!
We show the kids the problems they will see on the next SAT/ACT, and then super easy, 4th grade solutions to solve them. This is a revolutionary approach to score improvement and it works! It is also completely transferable to the ACT test.
Generally, kids are surprised to find the workshop so informative and enjoyable at the same time. The attendance at previous workshops with other providers are lamented by kids who have attended our workshop for the first time, and they regularly say things like, "When are you coming back?" and "I stayed through early dismissal because I need 60 more points," etc. Read our testimonials for a full range of comments from hundreds of students.
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