General Content of Program
Students begin by taking a diagnostic test. Over the course of the first several months, tutors expose students to the material they will encounter on the SAT and develop disciplined strategies for approaching each section. We emphasize learning the material thoroughly and thinking critically about every question. Weekly meetings, assignments, and practice tests help students develop a deeper understanding of concepts and refine their problem-solving techniques.
Our systematic, educational approach to the SAT emphasizes critical reasoning, directed vocabulary review using a mnemonic approach, writing structure, prose style, and efficient methods for solving the types of math problems that recur on the test. We expect that students who complete our tutoring program will not only improve their standardized test results but also be better equipped for their future academic endeavors.
Our course materials have been designed by logically deconstructing every official SAT published in the last 25 years. We neither emphasize nor believe in "tricks." Of course, we teach the approaches and strategies relevant to the test (e.g., when to guess, what order to follow in working through the questions, when to look at the answer choices, and so forth), but our academic approach is a distinctly educational one.
Our Critical Reading materials emphasize both the vocabulary essential to a student's ability to grasp college-level material and the ability to read, digest, and extract essential information from a given text. We help students recognize recurrent question types and differentiate right from wrong answers. Our students become more attuned to the significance of word choice and more adept at discerning an author's meaning, skills that are useful in any college career. Moreover, we have developed a series of vocabulary lists representing the words most frequently tested on the SAT. The mastery of these words helps students improve their accuracy in sentence completion questions, while also aiding them in the assessment of vocabulary-driven reading comprehension questions.
We emphasize the concepts, facts, and principles underlying Math questions. Our Math materials identify the mathematical terms and the recurring math question types in Arithmetic, Algebra I and II, Geometry, and miscellaneous topics that have appeared on the official SAT. These terms and question types can be found, with levels of difficulty commensurate to those on the official test, in our math exercises, problem sets, and summary reviews.
In preparing students for the Essay component, we emphasize the fundamental structure and fluidity of expression inherent in a strong written composition. Although students must address a new topic question on each test, they can still practice and refine the process of evaluating a given topic and assembling a coherent and persuasive response in a limited period. Through essay practice-with pointed, individualized comments and suggestions from their tutors-students gain the confidence to approach this section, knowing that they can develop a well-rounded, thoughtful essay despite having limited time to reflect upon the topic.
The multiple-choice Writing questions test traditional grammatical and syntactical principles as well as idiomatic expression. We train students to develop a critical eye for editing what they read and what they write. Students are often gratified to recognize that the skills that help them improve their accuracy on the SAT Writing also help them identify and correct errors in their own writing, both on the SAT Essay section and in their schoolwork and written assignments.
Length of Program
The precise length of our SAT program depends on several factors, including:
- the student's tutoring needs, as demonstrated on the diagnostic test, on practice tests, and in related academic pursuits
- when the student begins working with us
- the student's goals
- the number of meetings the student has with the tutor each week
- the date the student plans to take the official test
Each tutoring program is designed to address the particular needs of the student. While there is no prescribed or mandatory program, there is a typical schedule that we have found to be efficient and productive. We strongly recommend that a student work with a tutor for an academic year or more. This approach generally gives us enough time to cover the Critical Reading, Math, and Writing material at an appropriate level of detail and at a reasonable pace.
What Kind of Exam Is It?
The SAT is a three-hour and 45-minute college entrance exam.
When Is It Taken?
- The SAT is offered seven times per academic year, usually in October, November, December, January, March, May, and June. International test dates may vary.
- Most of our students take the SAT in the spring of their junior year and retake it in the fall of their senior year.
|Section||Number of Questions||Minutes per Section||Content|
|Critical Reading||67 Total, including:
||70 Total, including:
||Reading comprehension and vocabulary|
|Math||54 Total, including:
||70 Total, including:
||Arithmetic, algebra I and II, functions, planar and coordinate geometry, and probability (calculators permitted)|
|Writing||1 Essay topic||1 25-minute written essay||Essay composition|
|49 Total, including:
||35 Total, including:
||Grammar and usage|
|Experimental (unscored and unidentified)||Varies||25||Critical Reading, Math, or Writing multiple-choice questions|
How Is It Scored?
- Each subject area of the SAT-Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing-is scored on a range from 200 to 800. The essay component receives a sub-score between 2 and 12 that is factored into the overall Writing score out of 800.
- The experimental or variable section is used for research only; it is not scored and does not affect a student's results.
- Every test result that is not cancelled by the first Wednesday after the SAT will appear on the student's permanent score record.
- Unlike the ACT, the SAT deducts a fraction of a point from the raw score for an incorrect answer.
- To see an ACT and SAT score correspondence table, please click here.
- Students who are considering the SAT in addition to or instead of the ACT may find it useful to read our FAQs about the SAT versus the ACT.
Anything Else?For additional information about preparing and registering for the SAT, follow the link below to the College Board's website:
External Link: http://www.collegeboard.com/ (link will open in a new window)