Quick FAQ

When should I take the test?

If you have completed Geometry and Algebra 2, you are ready to take either test. You actually do not want to be too far removed from Algebra 2. The earliest I recommend is fall of junior year. Math is a pivotal factor for both tests.

You also want to take the test when you can prepare for it adequately. This means attending session once a week for 8-12 weeks and completing 2-3 hours of homework in-between sessions. For most students this means scheduling test prep when you are NOT in season with time-consuming extracurricular activities.

ACT and SAT are both offered seven times per year- see resources page for links to those dates. A February ACT or March SAT in junior year would make great first tests, with prep starting late December/ early January. End of junior year gets busy academically, so a winter test and then a little refresher for a June test suits most students.

Which test should I take?

The only way to know is to take a practice test of each. I am happy to provide links to practice tests as part of my intake/ consultation process. PSAT is not as helpful an indicator as one would think, unfortunately. SAT is more rigorous.

There is substantial overlap in content with ACT and SAT, especially in Math and Writing (multiple choice grammar section). The combo course will prepare you to do your best on either test.

That being said, SAT tends to work well for those with a Language Arts strength, has a narrower curriculum base (making it easier to prep for), and is better for time management. ACT tends to work well for those with a Math/ Science strength and who are comfortable working quickly.

How many times should I take the test?

Up until recently, you could take the test unlimitedly and just submit your highest scores to many schools. Some schools would even “super score” and let you pull your highest individual sections across several tests- highest Math from one sitting, highest Reading from another, etc. Although that is still the case with some schools, many, including the UCs, Georgetown, and Yale, want to see ALL of your scores and only consider one sitting. The assumption is that they only consider your highest, but still.

For this reason, I no longer advise taking a “cold” test as a baseline (I am happy to direct you to a practice test). You should take the test no more than three times, with a serious effort each and every time. And definitely research what the schools you are applying to request as far as scores.

Where do you tutor?

I come to your home or library in south Orange County.

How long are sessions?

One and a half or two hours.

When and how do we pay?

Packages are 50% deposit to book a course, remaining 50% balance halfway through the course. Custom hourly is due at session and is subject to availability. Packages receive a discounted rate and take priority booking. Payment by Venmo, check, or Paypal (credit cards).

What high schools have you had students from?

Many. One of the most interesting things about teaching this material is hearing the variety of different curricula happening in our local schools. I’ve had students from public schools San Clemente, San Juan Hills, Dana Point, Tesoro, Capo Valley, Aliso Niguel, Capistrano Connections, and Laguna Beach, and private high schools J Serra, Santa Margarita Catholic, Capo Valley Christian, St. Margaret’s, Tesla, and Fusion Academy.

Have you worked with students with learning differences, special needs, and the like?

I have, quite extensively, and I find this work very rewarding. I’ve tutored students with ADD, ADHD, chronic anxiety, dyslexia (both mild and severe), Autism, auditory processing disorder, TBI, and undiagnosed learning impairments warranting accommodations in the testing setting, usually extra time. I tailor the tutoring and practice tests accordingly. I love seeing these students build confidence in their test-taking abilities.

Do you tutor more than one student at a time?

Yes, most definitely. Small groups of 2-3 students work well. You may work with a sibling or a study buddy of similar academic level. Please call for more information.

When should I book tutoring?

You should book tutoring when you have a test and date to aim for. My busiest time tends to be late summer when I have juniors and seniors. I maintain a small roster, and I do fill up. Packages require a 50% deposit. Custom hourly is subject to availability.