PSAT/SAT/ACT test prep

Looking to maximize your PSAT/SAT/ACT score? You’re in the right place!

Tutoring available in most areas of Houston. For the moment, most group classes take place in Memorial or Rice Village.

Monday through Friday before 9pm. Weekend lessons available for an additional fee.

How much?
1-1 lesson: $50-55/hr
2 students: $25/hr each
small group (3-5): $15/hr each


What’s the difference?

PSAT – The PSAT is basically a precursor to the SAT. It is extremely similar to the SAT, just in a shorter format. Nationwide, public schools require all juniors to take the test during school on a set date in October. The test is scored out of 240 possible points. It includes 2 math sections, 2 reading sections, and 1 writing section (no essay). While universities and colleges do not ask for your PSAT score, it can give you a good opportunity to be considered for scholarships… Students who score higher than the cut-off score (usually 214-217) can be considered for National Merit Scholar.

SAT – The SAT is generally the more preferred test of the SAT and ACT. It has 10 sections: 3 math, 3 reading, 2 writing, 1 essay, and one experimental section that is not counted towards your total score. The math sections are totaled together to receive a score out of 800 points; the reading sections are totaled for another score out of 800 points; and the writing sections and essay are totaled for another score out of 800. In total, your SAT score is out of 2400 points.

ACT – Most students feel that the ACT is more straightforward than the SAT. The questions are looking for clearer information rather than trying to trick you. The ACT is composed of 4 sections (math, reading, writing, science), with an optional essay component. Each of the 4 sections is scored out of 36 points, and your score of each section is averaged to get your total score out of 36 points.

Why should I study at all? Isn’t it basically an IQ test?

Your SAT/ACT score is an important component of your college acceptance. While many factors such as grades/GPA, class rank, extracurricular activities, community service, college essays, letters of recommendation, and sometimes an interview play a significant role in your acceptance, your SAT/ACT score is an important factor. Many schools have a “minimum” SAT score that you need in order to be considered…

Many students avoid studying for the test because they assume they already know everything they’re going to know for the test. They figure they’re already as smart as they’re going to get, so there’s no point in studying for a standardized test.

The truth is, studying for the test, for even a couple of months, can highly increase your score. You can study things like vocabulary, but there are quite a few strategies that you can learn in order to improve your score.

I find that most of my students already know most of the academic information they need to do well on the test, but by practicing and learning a few strategies, most of their scores go up by 200+ points within just a few weeks.

Which one should I take?

Most schools require all juniors to take the PSAT in school during October. By preparing for the PSAT, you have automatically started preparing for the SAT.  Many schools (especially in Texas) still prefer the SAT over the ACT. Different schools and tutoring centers give varying advice; however, I have found that it’s generally better to take the SAT first, then the ACT. Generally, students need more time to prepare for the SAT than they do for the ACT, so I find it’s best to study for the PSAT/SAT and afterwards, move on to the ACT.

But I do recommend taking both. Even if you prefer one to the other, one of 2 things will happen.
1. Your scores from both tests will be comprable to each other with neither significantly higher than the other. This is the most common case. So why should you still take the other test? Because it usually opens up more scholarship/funding opportunities. Even if the 2nd test doesn’t necessarily get you into a different school, it very likely will increase your eligibility to apply for scholarships. And why wouldn’t you try to get all the free school money you can? College is expensive these days!
2. Your score from one test will be significantly higher than your score from the other test. And in that case, you just might get into that school you were “reaching” to get into.

Should I study for the SAT and ACT at the same time?

Generally, no. Because the 2 tests are set up totally different, I don’t recommend studying for both at the same time. I also don’t recommend switching back and forth between the two. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, as there are exceptions for everything in life. However, in my experience, students best maximize their scores when they focus on one until satisfied, then move on to the other.

How many times should I take the test?

Most of my students take the SAT 2 times.

How do you teach?

Most students in private lessons take 2-4 hours of class per week. I assign one full practice test along with new essential vocabulary for homework each week. During class, we spend time going over homework, learning new strategies, and improving timing and specific weaknesses. Most students who do the work and have consistent lessons improve to reach their goal score.