SAT

Margie M.

"My son and I could not have gone through the college testing and application process without Great Expectations. They made a very overwhelming process understandable and manageable. They were able to manage our concerns as parents and my son’s need to be independent, all the while securing a 530-point increase on the SAT and 6-point jump on the ACT. Our tutor was gifted and a true asset to our family. Hats off to you!"
2015-02-26T00:23:25+00:00
"My son and I could not have gone through the college testing and application process without Great Expectations. They made a very overwhelming process understandable and manageable. They were able to manage our concerns as parents and my son’s need to be independent, all the while securing a 530-point increase on the SAT and 6-point jump on the ACT. Our tutor was gifted and a true asset to our family. Hats off to you!"

Jamie M.

"My test scores improved dramatically in each section because GE helped me understand the nuances of the tests and how to attack each section in the way best fit to my skills. I would highly recommend the tutors at Great Expectations – not only do they teach you everything you need to know about the SAT, ACT, or college applications, but they develop a relationship with you filled with trust, kindness, and teamwork."
2015-02-26T00:22:20+00:00
"My test scores improved dramatically in each section because GE helped me understand the nuances of the tests and how to attack each section in the way best fit to my skills. I would highly recommend the tutors at Great Expectations – not only do they teach you everything you need to know about the SAT, ACT, or college applications, but they develop a relationship with you filled with trust, kindness, and teamwork."

Jenn K.

"I wasn’t treated just like any high school student; I was able to focus on my weaknesses and enhance my skills. My tutor was very knowledgeable about the intricacies of both the ACT and the SAT. Because of this, I was able to study more efficiently for each of them. With the help of my GE tutor, I scored a 34 on my ACT, a 2190 on my SAT and was admitted to Amherst College (my top choice) Early Decision."
2015-02-26T00:17:38+00:00
"I wasn’t treated just like any high school student; I was able to focus on my weaknesses and enhance my skills. My tutor was very knowledgeable about the intricacies of both the ACT and the SAT. Because of this, I was able to study more efficiently for each of them. With the help of my GE tutor, I scored a 34 on my ACT, a 2190 on my SAT and was admitted to Amherst College (my top choice) Early Decision."

Alysha K.

"I wasn't really too keen on getting a test prep tutor because I thought I could do it myself, but my mom insisted. After I met with my tutor, I realized that I absolutely did need the help of a tutor; the SAT wasn't just about knowing the answers to the questions but instead understanding how to navigate the tricks and the phrasing of questions. I also really got along well with my tutor! GE does a great job of pairing tutors with students based on personality type. This definitely made studying for the SAT a lot more enjoyable."
2015-02-24T23:58:04+00:00
"I wasn't really too keen on getting a test prep tutor because I thought I could do it myself, but my mom insisted. After I met with my tutor, I realized that I absolutely did need the help of a tutor; the SAT wasn't just about knowing the answers to the questions but instead understanding how to navigate the tricks and the phrasing of questions. I also really got along well with my tutor! GE does a great job of pairing tutors with students based on personality type. This definitely made studying for the SAT a lot more enjoyable."

Ronald C.

"Great Expectations did a fabulous job preparing our daughter for both the SAT and SAT Subject tests. Their tutors were always on time, had a fabulous attitude and a thorough knowledge of the subjects they taught, and could convey that knowledge in a straightforward and entertaining manner. They gave my daughter the confidence to overcome her test taking insecurities, and her SAT scores rose 300 points after only a few sessions — an average of 100 points per section. I highly recommend them to all serious students who need to improve their SAT test taking ability."
2015-02-24T23:53:00+00:00
"Great Expectations did a fabulous job preparing our daughter for both the SAT and SAT Subject tests. Their tutors were always on time, had a fabulous attitude and a thorough knowledge of the subjects they taught, and could convey that knowledge in a straightforward and entertaining manner. They gave my daughter the confidence to overcome her test taking insecurities, and her SAT scores rose 300 points after only a few sessions — an average of 100 points per section. I highly recommend them to all serious students who need to improve their SAT test taking ability."

Susan H.

"Our tutor really understood how to help my daughter prepare for the SAT. He was able to identify early on the specific areas where she needed to improve, and most importantly, what type of preparation she needed to do in order to make those gains. Thanks to a 510-point improvement, my daughter will be attending Stanford University in the fall. Thank you!"
2014-04-23T16:09:41+00:00
"Our tutor really understood how to help my daughter prepare for the SAT. He was able to identify early on the specific areas where she needed to improve, and most importantly, what type of preparation she needed to do in order to make those gains. Thanks to a 510-point improvement, my daughter will be attending Stanford University in the fall. Thank you!"

Deborah S.

"Both of my children are blessed with learning diversities. Test taking has always been a challenge, to say the least. With Great Expectations’ personalized approach and positive encouragement, my daughter was able to raise her SAT scores more than 400 points and gain admittance to several excellent universities."
2014-04-20T16:30:37+00:00
"Both of my children are blessed with learning diversities. Test taking has always been a challenge, to say the least. With Great Expectations’ personalized approach and positive encouragement, my daughter was able to raise her SAT scores more than 400 points and gain admittance to several excellent universities."

Clara C.

"Great Expectations matched me with the best tutor I’ve ever worked with. For someone who cannot take a standardized test to save my life, my tutor helped me truly grasp the concepts and different approaches to each section. Not only did my score improve more than 300 points, but the time flew and it never felt like tutoring. She was a joy to be around and an amazing motivator."
2015-02-24T23:55:14+00:00
"Great Expectations matched me with the best tutor I’ve ever worked with. For someone who cannot take a standardized test to save my life, my tutor helped me truly grasp the concepts and different approaches to each section. Not only did my score improve more than 300 points, but the time flew and it never felt like tutoring. She was a joy to be around and an amazing motivator."

FACT: The average SAT score improvement for Great Expectations students in the Class of ’18 was 230 points.

On the surface, the SAT’s changes may appeal to many students: in a deliberate effort to focus on material more relevant in college and the real world, the College Board has moved away from testing geometry, obscure vocabulary words, and the like. Before a student gets excited by these omissions, however, it would behoove them to investigate what will be tested in their place.

testing-roomWhereas the prior Math section barely touched on Algebra II, the new one goes as far as pre-calculus. The new Reading section includes far denser, more complex texts to analyze and less time in which to do so. The essay is no longer a short sample of straight-forward opinion-based writing; rather, it is a long, complicated exercise in analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of rhetorical devices used in famous political and social texts.

We encourage students to at least consider the ACT. For students who don’t know which exam they want to pursue (ACT or SAT), we offer a program that is an efficient, cost-effective way to truly determine which test is the best fit. We encourage you to explore our group programs to learn more about what they offer, how they work, et cetera. If the SAT proves to be the right choice, then we would be delighted to help you prepare for it!

PSAT

WHAT TO KNOW

For most students, the PSAT offers an opportunity to gauge their standardized testing abilities before taking the “real” SAT (or ACT, as the case may be), giving them ample time to prepare. Also, colleges keep an eye on the results and send materials to students whose scores fall within (or near) their standard admissions range.

The PSAT also serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, and for excellent students, this offers a chance to garner both scholarship money and recognition from top universities. (Only scores submitted during a student’s junior year are valid for entry.)nervous college student before exams

Out of the average 1.5 million entrants, the top 3% (approx. 50,000) receive recognition for their results. Two-thirds of those (approx. 34,000) receive Letters of Commendation for their outstanding performance, while one-third (approx. 16,000) qualify as semifinalists. Of these, the National Merit Scholarship Program selects 15,000 students (1% of all entrants) as finalists based on overall academic performance, not just PSAT scores. Finally, slightly more than half (approx. 8,400 students) are selected to receive a monetary Merit Scholarship award.

Any level of National Merit recognition is extremely prestigious and greatly enhances a college application.

WHAT IT IS

The PSAT is offered once a year in mid-October and reflects the content and organizational changes of the SAT.

It consists of five sections that span 2 hours and 45 minutes:

  • 60 minutes of Reading
  • 70 minutes of Math
  • 35 minutes of Writing and Language

The new test comes, of course, with new scoring; tests will be scored on a 160-760 scale (previously 20-80). The percentile ranking, which compares you to other students who took the test the same day, is often the easiest to gauge how “well” you did.

While most students who take the PSAT are juniors, it is also a great chance for sophomores (and even freshmen) to familiarize themselves with what’s to come.

Unlike the last generation of the PSAT/SAT, there is NO penalty for wrong answers, so guessing is completely acceptable.

For more specifications regarding the PSAT changes, please view College Board’s comparison chart.

WHAT WE RECOMMEND

PSAT preparation is worth pursuing in two instances:

  • If a student is on the cusp of National Merit recognition, it is likely worth the time and energy to prepare. National Merit students need to be in the top 3%, so if you are testing in/near the top 10% without any preparation, you have a good chance of making the cut!
  • If you intend to take the SAT shortly after the PSAT and simply want to start early. You can use the PSAT as a practice test to gauge what needs to be worked on for the real SAT, and your tutor can benefit from reviewing the official results with you and seeing how well (or poorly) you implemented the strategies under pressure!

If a student is NOT a good test taker and/or is unsure whether to pursue the SAT or ACT, PSAT preparation is not necessarily the best undertaking. Students can use that time and energy to review fundamental math and grammar concepts or even explore the differences between the SAT and ACT in order to decide which is a better fit for them.

SAT

WHAT TO KNOW

Many people do well on the PSAT, then poorly on the SAT. Why? Not only does the SAT cover more advanced material and include an essay, but it is significantly longer; a lot of students have not honed the mental endurance necessary to focus for several hours. (And don’t forget the rumors that PSAT scores were artificially inflated last year to encourage students to give the SAT a try…)

2017-18 SAT DatesRegistration Deadlines
August 26, 2017July 28, 2017
October 7, 2017 *September 8, 2017
November 4, 2017October 5, 2017
December 2, 2017November 2, 2017
March 10, 2018 *February 9, 2018
May 5, 2018 *April 6, 2018
June 2, 2018May 3, 2018
* Question and Answer Services Available

WHAT IT IS

Academic ExpectationsThe new, redesigned SAT consists of five sections that span 3 hours and 50 minutes (5 minutes longer than the old SAT):

  • 65 minutes of Reading
  • 80 minutes of Math
  • 50 minutes for the Essay (technically “optional,” but most colleges will require it)
  • 35 minutes of Writing and Language

The new test comes, of course, with new scoring; tests will be scored on a 200-1600 scale (previously 600-2400); 200-800 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and 200-800 for Math. The essay is scored on three traits, and students receive a score of 2-8 for each trait (the essay results do NOT factor into the composite).

Unlike the last generation of the SAT, there is NO penalty for wrong answers, so guessing is completely acceptable.

For specifications regarding the SAT changes, you can view College Board’s comparison chart and College Board’s explanation of the content changes.

To view sample questions for the new generation of the SAT, explore College Board’s published sample questions.

WHAT WE RECOMMEND

In the past, students typically fared better on either the SAT or the ACT, depending on their natural strengths and weaknesses. Now, the design of the new SAT makes it unlikely that a student who struggles on the ACT will shine on the SAT. That being said, the slower pacing of the SAT might come into play for strong students who have mastery of the material itself and only struggle with time constraints. Strong students who excel at standardized testing (and have already secured an impressive score on the ACT) may consider taking the SAT if they are intrigued by the format and want to give it a shot.

The College Board’s eventual hope is that the more prestigious colleges will come to prefer the SAT, but until scoring is truly standardized and admissions officers understand how to interpret the scores (and are convinced that they are, indeed, a better gauge of success than ACT scores), that preference is far from a reality.

Explore our various Private Tutoring packages and Founder’s Circle Packages to determine which is best for you!

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