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Welcome & Sapere Aude, Test Takers!

We believe all students deserve to go to college without getting crushed under a mountain of student loan debt. Helping our students get higher scores on college entrance tests allows our students a greater selection of better schools and opens up many scholarship opportunities.

Our approach to efficient and effective test prep is two-fold:

  • Understanding: Learn and understand the subject matter.

  • Mastery: Practice! Practice a lot! Practice smart!

Achieving high scores is by no means easy for any student. But the process is extremely simple: learn and practice. The students must put in the work and the hours required to achieve their score goals. We will teach our students the knowledge, the best strategies, methods, and techniques. We will equip them with the best study and practice tools and materials. But the real feat of strength is up to each student individually, and that takes a lot of hard work and tireless dedication.

There are no Bad Students

The sad reality is that most high school students in the U.S. are woefully unprepared and under-practiced. School programs barely cover the minimum curriculum and move on after a few tests. The amount of practice students get is directly related to the amount of homework assigned, and most classes don’t have nearly enough for students to truly master the concepts and skills required. Students halfheartedly do the homework, cram for the tests, and blissfully forget.

So when it’s time to take the SAT most don’t do nearly as well as they’d hoped, through no fault of their own. They haven’t been told how to prepare effectively and efficiently, in fact, half don’t even know that they should have been preparing at all. For being the most important test in any student’s life, it’s astonishingly surprising that the SAT isn’t a full-time subject in high school, as it well should be.

I’ve encountered the same three types of students time and time again.

  1. The first group, the abandoned, have never really cared about their academic success to study and do well in school. They hate school and schools hate them back. It’s an unsettling truth that so many have been abandoned by academic institutions. It’s no surprise that the average SAT scores are so low, and half the people score below average.
  2. The second group is the A and B students, who are used to skating by on natural talent and last-minute cramming sessions. I call them “the Pareto trapped”: they put in the minimum necessary 20% of the work to get 80% of the benefit. That may be a smart life strategy in general, but not a good one if you want to get into an Ivy League school. They’re not used to putting in one hundred percent to get top scores. You’ll recognize them by their disappointed tone when they get their SAT scores: “But I read the math textbook twice over before the test” or “But I did all the practice tests in the Blue Book, or Kaplan’s, or Barron’s, or another book”.
  3. The third group, the top scorers, are usually obsessed with learning and solving problems, I saw them often at math competitions. Usually, they are either grumbling about how they could only do 5 practice tests for the SAT this week because of their various after-school activities, or they brag about doing 30 practice tests a week. They dedicate a lot of time to practice for the SAT, because they know it’s a tricky test designed to outsmart test takers and make them run out of time, and because they know that to get into the top percentiles you need to put in hours of work every day. And they’re right.

Let’s dispel a common myth. The SAT is not an IQ test. The SAT is just like any other test: intentionally designed to be hard. This means you can and should prepare for it if you wanted to achieve higher scores. After all, it’s your future on the line.

Think of the SAT as a triathlon. You wouldn’t do a triathlon without preparation, right? Especially if your future depended on your performance. If you wanted to do well on a triathlon, you’d need to practice for the triathlon, deliberately and efficiently, with dedication and purpose.

Anyone can shore up their knowledge of the standard high school program, learn to apply their critical thinking and logical reasoning skills, learn the best strategies and techniques for the SAT, and practice them to perfection. It’s mind-boggling that so many students even need to hear this! Any student can get a great score on the SAT, and we can teach them how.

How to succeed on the SAT

The steps to success on the SAT are very simple:

  1. Understanding: Learn and understand the subject matter.
    • Dare to know, to learn, and to be wise: sapere aude, test takers!
    • Build a solid foundation. Focus on correctness.
    • What you understand you will not forget!
  2. Mastery: Practice! Practice! Practice!
    • It takes an order of magnitude more time practicing to master a subject: per aspera ad astra!
    • Practice a lot. Practice smart. Build speed, automaticity, confidence, and humility.
    • Once you master a skill, it’ll stay with you for life. You will need all these skills later on in college and in your career.
  3. Take the test: Be prepared on test day and all your hard work will pay off.


Setting Expectations

Most test takers don’t put in nearly enough hours to achieve their goals.
The average SAT score is approximately 1060, or 530 in Math and English each.
The table below shows approximately how much time the average SAT taker will have to study and practice depending on their goal.

Goal Average Range Study and Practice
100 hours
50-150 hours
1-2 hours/day for 2+ months
200 hours
100-300 hours
2+ hours/day for 3+ months
500 hours
300-800 hours
3+ hours/day for 6+ months

If you’re just looking to get 10-50 extra points and your starting score is below average, studying even 15-30 minutes a day for a few weeks will get you some noticeable improvements.
A good conservative rule of thumb is 1 point improvement for every 1 hour of study or practice.
In general, the lower you start the easier it is to improve, because going from not knowing something to knowing, can raise your scores dramatically initially. The higher you go the harder it is to pick up those last few points, because more hinges on building speed and internalizing the right strategies and techniques. A great program will help you cut down on all the fluff and get to the core, so you can optimize your time.

Common Pitfalls

Not reading the questions carefully.

Learning to read the question correctly, translating into a language you understand, and answering what was asked of you are acquired skills that we will drill to the point where it becomes a habit. Our consistent and systematic will guarantee improvements.

Not using the best and most efficient approach to the question.

We can teach the best methods for each type of question, from pre-formulating the response to answer elimination strategies.

Not using their study and practice time efficiently

So many students get stuck endlessly reviewing textbooks and video courses, with little to show for it. Studying and practicing efficiently and effectively is a skill that we teach all our students.

Not paying attention to time.

So many students consistently run out of time. We teach our students the habits and techniques that eliminate time waste and teach them how to get into a flow state.

Not analyzing your mistakes.

Analyzing and dissecting your mistakes is one of the most crucial and efficient ways to improve. Unfortunately, many students are not used to applying this process to their own study and practice.

Not double-checking your work.

Everybody makes mistakes. There are multiple ways of double-checking your work as you go and on a second pass, that ensure you catch your mistakes early and often.

And many others.

The Best Way to Prepare

The road to perfect scores may be long and hard, but with the right study and practice system in place, you can make it as efficient as possible. Having someone with a flashlight and a map is a lot better than wandering alone in the dark. Our goal is to make sure that students are equipped with all the best resources, tools, strategies, and techniques to succeed on the SAT, so they can achieve the best scores and go on to the schools of their choice.

The best way to prepare for the SAT is to focus on solving problems from practice tests. This battle-proven way will quickly reveal all your weaknesses. You need to dissect your mistakes, analyze your weaknesses, review core concepts as necessary, find better and faster ways to approach the problems, so you can eliminate these mistakes forever quickly and efficiently. You need to practice to build up speed until you can finish tests with ample time left over – enough to double-check your work. You need to practice until you internalize the methods and strategies so you can do these problems in your sleep. Doing this every day for weeks or months with dedication and purpose will transform you from an average Joe to a test-taking machine in the fastest way possible.

Why You Need a Tutor

Why does anyone need an SAT tutor?
As I’m sure you’ve heard, the SAT is designed to confuse and trick test takers and make them run out of time. It takes a lot of time to prepare for, so it’s important that you practice not only hard but smart as well. There’s a lot of useful strategies and tricks that need to be learned and internalized.

Let’s be clear: absolutely anyone can achieve the scores they want with a self-study program provided they have enough time until the test, all the best tools and study materials, and they put in the hours required to improve. Most of the success comes from the test taker’s hard work, that’s a sine qua non.

However, having a tutor helps a lot. Because “two heads are better than one.”

Athletes have coaches, yogis have gurus, dancers have instructors, musicians have instructors and conductors, mountain climbers have guides, most professions have mentors, even artists have muses.

And most top-scoring students have had tutors, often more than one.

Most students are going to have areas that they struggle with and having a tutor can help speed up the learning process and make the practice time more efficient.
Moreover, students don’t know what they don’t know. The unknown unknowns can be a particularly difficult struggle because so often the students don’t even know what’s wrong and how to fix it.
A great tutor can be indispensable!

In summary, here’s the good news:
You don’t need to be a genius to get a great score on the SAT.
You need to build a solid foundation.
You need to practice a lot.
You need to practice smart.
And your hard work will pay off!

Upcoming SAT dates:
2021: October 2, November 6, December 4
2022: March 12, May 7, June 4

Don’t leave it till the last moment.
The earlier you start the higher the scores will be.