Thanks for your interest in working with me to improve your SAT or ACT scores. See below for important info about required materials, what to expect in your first lesson, and more. (If you came to this page because you’re interested in booking lessons, please visit my WyzAnt tutoring profile.)
1) Official Guide
First and foremost, you’ll need the official guide for the test you’re taking – either the The Official SAT Study Guide or The Official Act Prep Guide. The official guides are critical resources because they are the only books with official exams, produced by the College Board or ACT organization. Like most serious ACT/SAT tutors, I never work with unofficial tests.
Note on the official guide for those taking the SAT:
If you are taking the SAT, you should know that all of the real SAT practice exams in the official guide are available as free downloads from Kahn Academy and the College Board. However, before choosing the “free” route, there are a couple of things to consider. I require that students work from paper exams (i.e., not reading them on a screen), since that is what they’ll be working with on test day and since many of the tactics I teach involve writing on the test paper. The tests are 64 pages each. When you consider the cost of printer ink, you may find there’s not much of a difference between going with the “free” tests versus buying the book. Also, if you download and print the tests, you’ll need to have a 3-hole punch and purchase an additional 3-ring binder, as the hundreds of test pages are impossible to keep straight otherwise.
2) Three-Hole Punch and Three-Ring Binder
I tend to give my students a lot of supplemental material, ranging from “cheat sheets” to be used during the beginning stages of test practice, to grammar and math worksheets, to reading material. All of this should be printed and kept organized in one place. In my experience, simple disorganization is one of the biggest roadblocks to score improvement. A student may take excellent notes, but they don’t do much good if they aren’t categorized and stored in a readily accessible place along with other material on the same topic. During sessions, I also ask students to look things up in their notes and/or supplemental materials if it’s something we’ve covered but they’ve forgotten. Thus, I ask that students have everything in a binder, and that the binder be divided according to the 4 sections of their test (ACT: reading, English, math, science. SAT: reading, W&L, non-calc math, calc math).
(For your convenience, I’m including links to these items on Amazon, in case you don’t already have them.)
Swingline 3-Hole Punch, SmartTouch, Low Force, 12 Sheet Punch Capacity (A7074134)
Avery Durable View Binder, 3″ Slant Rings, 600-Sheet Capacity, DuraHinge, White (17042)
Avery Big Tab Insertable Plastic Dividers, Multicolor, 1 Set of 8 Tabs (11901)