Reading ability, vocabulary, and mathematical knowledge are the pillars upon which to build a successful bid for the general SAT/ACT.

Starting as a Sophomore, doing well in challenging classes, being academically curious, constantly enriching one's vocabulary, and working on math problems with eagerness and gusto will maximize the student's ability in their Junior and Senior years to attain the SAT score needed for a befitting college within a few, intensive sessions of SAT practice.

There is no need for students and parents to start fretting about the SAT/ACT in Sophomore year, undergoing intensive test-taking prep then, when they can be unproductive for lack of both motivation and solid academic foundations. The extensive coursework foundations and the degree of maturity required for the SAT/ACT are acquired during Junior year -- it is at that stage that a concentrated and intensive SAT/ACT practice can be most fruitful.

General test prep

To prepare for the test, we recommend a schedule spanning 3-5 weeks and involving five practice tests and five 2 hours tutoring sessions. In each cycle, spanning 4-7 days:

  • before the tutoring session, the student independently takes a full practice test

  • during the tutoring session, the wrong and guessed answers are addressed, and SAT/ACT-specific concepts and methods are reviewed

  • after the tutoring session, the student independently reviews the tutor's notes and the lessons learned to be deployed in the next practice test

The practice test is not timed in the first 2-3 cycles: knowledge base and quality of reasoning supporting the answers are initially emphasized over speed. The last 2-3 practice tests are timed. The number of practice cycles can be reduced or increased depending on the student's progress.

This intensive schedule is mainly intended for the end of Summer of the student's Junior year, in order to improve the score of the general SAT/ACT administered at school in the Spring. For the latter, a lighter schedule, involving only 2-3 cycles, is recommended to avoid interference with finals.


  • Sophomore year

    • Focus on coursework and take AP/IB classes. Coursework quality and performance during this challenging but fruitful year will lay the foundations for a successful SAT/ACT bid.

  • Junior year, August-September

  • Junior year, October

    • Take the PSAT:

      • become acquainted with official college admission testing

      • get feedback on your performance

      • qualify to compete for scholarships

      • start addressing your weaknesses for the SAT

  • Junior year, Spring

    • Register for the general SAT.

    • Take the SAT in March/May/June.

    • Start looking at colleges.

    • If applying to competitive colleges, take also the required SAT Subjects.

    • If you are attending AP/IB classes, take the general SAT and SAT Subjects in March, long before finals.

  • Junior year, Summer

    • Enjoy Summer and recharge yourself!

  • Junior year, end of Summer

    • 2-3 weeks of intensive practice for your second pass at the general SAT and SAT Subjects.

  • Senior year, Fall

    • Refine your general SAT score.

    • Retake your chosen SAT Subjects tests.

    • Taking the October/November SAT or the September/October ACT allows enough time for early admission.

    • Even taking the SAT/ACT in December still allows for regular admission.