For the past 30 years I’ve been helping students excel on the SAT, ACT & ISEE.
ACT versus SAT
The first step is to determine which test is best suited for the student, the ACT or the SAT. The questions on the ACT math test tend to be similar to what students have seen on their math tests at school (more achievement based), whereas the SAT math test tends to be less similar (a bit more aptitude based). The time constraints on the ACT are more severe (you have one hour to answer all 60 questions—calculator allowed), whereas the SAT allows 25 minutes for 20 questions on the no calculator section and 55 minutes for 38 questions on the calculator section. In addition, the ACT has a science section (the SAT does not) consisting of 40 questions that must be answered in 35 minutes. Five of the sections test the student’s ability to quickly interpret graphs and tables, while one section consists of science-based reading comprehension questions.
Which Test To Take?
My recommendation is that the student complete one or two practice tests of each type before making a decision. For details read my blog post below: SAT Versus ACT–Which Is The Best For You? Here are links to some free practice tests.
How Tutoring Works
The first phase consists of working through 2-3 practice tests and setting a baseline score. Usually these scores are similar to PSAT scores and Pre-ACT scores. The goal is to then maximize the scores by doing subsequent practice tests until a plateau is reached. How high the plateau will be depends on the strength of the student’s background in math and the amount of practice he or she is willing to do. The advantage I have in working with students is that (as a math and science tutor) I know what they have learned in their math and science courses and can help them bring this knowledge to the fore when they are preparing for the exams. The goal for both exams is to raise the baseline score by 100-150 points on the SAT and 3-5 points on the ACT (both math & science).
If you’re interested in tutoring for any of the above exams, please drop me a line.