ACT/SAT Test Prep

ACT/SAT Test Preparation

For your student to gain acceptance at their preferred college it is very important for them to earn the highest score possible on the standardized tests. Fortunately it is acceptable for students to take a test more than once in order for them to improve their score. Our approach helps on a number of levels through our process.

Here are some common questions and areas we address. Click them to go to the information on this page.


What is ACT/SAT Test Preparation? 
Student and tutor sessions in which the student reviews content and skills, and learns strategies in order to be more prepared to take the ACT and SAT tests.  For both of these tests there is an emphasis on the knowledge and use of Standard English grammar and rhetoric, mathematics knowledge and reading skills.

Content review in English for example would cover the use of punctuation, use of pronouns, and proper use of modifiers among others. All the things you learned in 6-8th grade; the things you know but don’t know the rule for. It would also include proper word choice, conciseness and correct opening and closing sentences.

In the math the list of topics is fairly long. It includes basic math: number theory, rates, ratios, percentages and word problems. Moving along it would include Algebra, Co-ordinate Geometry, Plane Geometry , Trigonometry, Statistics and more advanced word problems.

Reading prep focuses on understanding the test and reviewing methods for close reading.  The ACT test also has a Science section. The Science section is very similar to the reading but when prepping for the ACT some attention is paid to this subject as well.

In writing we would learn how the test is scored and develop strategies to quickly produce a 6 paragraph paper that is organized, coherent and written grammatically.


What do we do at Discovery Learning Institute? 
For most topics the prep process is more coaching than instruction.  The review is accomplished with instructional material, one on one explanations and practice, practice, practice. The coach helps the student identify the problems they are are having and makes suggestions to help the student minimize their weaknesses and build upon their strengths. The coach also helps the student to develop strategies that are appropriate to their skill set.


I just don’t have the ability. 
Sometimes the student does not really have the skill set. The coach will help you to see that and when it makes sense teach the student the material.


I get really anxious when it comes to taking the test. 
A lot of students become anxious during tests. The test situations provides plenty of stress and if a student is even more anxious just because it is a test then that will interfere with performance. If test anxiety is especially severe the student might consider counseling and or desensitization methods. That is outside the score of test prep. For those students for whom test anxiety is a factor but not a clinical situation then we try to over practice. While more time consuming, if you have mastered the material to the point of boredom then the test anxiety will be an asset not a liability.


We can help you manage the test timing. 
Close to half of the students run out of time or are rushed at the end of test sections.  We work extensively to address this.

1) Developing a timing plan is the first step.

2) But then it requires substantial practice. As one practices some aspects of the process become automatic and the student naturally becomes much faster.  Because some of the times are so short you can get behind even if you only use an extra minute on each reading passage.  The positive side of that is that you only need to speed up by a minute.

3) You can often pick up a few moments simply by being more knowledgeable about the test.  And of course there is the practice.


We help you recognize a strategy. 
Strategy is sort of a buzzword.  You cannot strategize yourself from a 700 to a 1650. You must have the skill set.  It is also the case that naming a strategy is easy but execution can be very challenging.  Strategy is most effective when it is automatic, so we are working on this all the time.  And we adjust it to the students changing skill levels.


Does all of this work? 
It almost always works if the student works hard.

It almost always doesn’t if the student doesn’t work.

We generally look for 2-3 hours at home for each one hour session. With that amount of time, with concentration, then the student progresses.

We offer both one-on-one coaching as well as a small study group approach. Depending on your students specific need, Discovery Learning Institute is able to offer the best approach to achieve the highest score possible. To obtain more information about Discovery Learning Institute, or to obtain a quote, please
Contact Us.