Our approach to test preparation is distinct from the traditional approach to learning academic curricula. The increasing number of students in the US that graduate with a 4.0 or higher GPA begs the question why so few of these outstanding students who have demonstrated perfect academic mastery at the high school level, score perfect 1600s on the SAT or perfect 36s on the ACT. We believe that the underlying issue is that high school curricula test whether you understand “how” to do things, with very little emphasis on “why” or “why not” do them. When students see questions that are framed in a way that is unfamiliar from their course work, they often struggle with finding the most efficient approach to reach the correct answer.
By working directly with students in a one-on-one format, our instructors are able to teach individual students how to effectively and efficiently transfer their academic mastery to test execution mastery. This is a distinct skill set facilitated by our Socratic Method approach to test preparation and is a major component of our success at significantly raising students’ scores.
All colleges in the US will accept either the SAT or the ACT for admissions consideration. However, each test is designed differently with unique potential upsides and downsides. We are happy to discuss with students which exam might be better for them given their prior academic preparation, as well as their anticipated preparation plan.
Although scores from either exam are valid for approximately 5 years, we encourage most students to plan to prepare for and take the exams at the end of the summer before Junior year, or in the fall of Junior year. There are, of course, certain constraints that may make summer preparation and fall testing unworkable for some students, and we are happy to discuss alternative testing schedules with students.
Maybe not! There are students every year who get into top colleges without using commercial test preparation or private admissions counseling. However, that number is small compared to the number of students getting into those schools who do take advantage of effective professional services.
One way to look at it is this. If you have played a sport or instrument for several years, but still use a private coach for that sport, instrument, theatre, dance, etc., ask yourself “why?” Surely you know the drills to practice or the scales to improve upon. However, most of us realize that the live-coaching component is indispensable in reaching those elite levels and becoming competitive with an increasingly accomplished class of athletes, musicians, or students.
How much a student’s score will increase depends on preparation, appetite and execution. We wholeheartedly believe that students cannot get better prepared for the SAT or ACT than they can using AcerLogic’s proven preparation methods and curriculum. However, effective preparation is only as good as a student’s willingness to the follow and commit to the preparation program, go in to the exam, and execute the processes and strategies that he or she has been taught. Students who wholly commit to the AcerLogic preparation program routinely see gains in the 200-350 point range. Since the release of the New SAT beginning with March of 2016, approximately 90% of our clients have scored in the top 10% of all test takers in the US.
A “good score” is a relative concept. Both the College Board and the ACT Corporation publish relative percentile tables for individual scores on their respective exams that offer students a comparison to other students. However, at the end of the day, a good score is one that promotes admissions into the school of your choice AND that garners merit based aid in an amount that makes your school of choice financially viable.