SAT Tutoring and Test Prep

General Academic is Houston’s SAT-prep leader. For more than 20 years, thousands of students have aced the SAT college admissions test with the help of our private tutoring and courses plus our 12 published practice tests.

We offer both private one-to-one tutoring and group test prep classes. Private tutoring can occur in your home or at our Rice Village Study Lounge.

Our Proven Approach to SAT Test Prep

Students start with a full-length diagnostic/practice test to evaluate their current strengths and weaknesses. The test should be as realistic as possible including timed conditions.

Upon scoring the test, our tutors and managers will evaluate the student’s position and outline a roadmap for improvement. The tutor will discuss test-taking strategies and general tips.

Concept review comprises the bulk of SAT test prep. To do well, students must have a firm grasp of the tested math and reading concepts. No amount of tips and tricks will compensate for not knowing fractions or how to identify a main idea.

As students strengthen their fundamental math and reading skills, they must still be able to apply that knowledge to the new and novel ways tested on a standardized test like the SAT. The best way to ensure this capability is to work many test-like practice questions.

The process of SAT test prep is continual, and the duration and intensity of preparation will depend on the disparity between the student’s starting place and desired outcome. Most of our students will take a minimum of 3 full-length practice tests and 2 official tests.

SAT Test Preparation Services

SAT Overview

Students may take the SAT as frequently as they want and need to. Official SAT test dates vary slightly from year-to-year, but we generally recommend that students take the test up to three times throughout their Junior year of high school:

  1. Early November
  2. Mid-March
  3. Early May

Testing multiple times allows students to set goals for themselves leading up to each test date, and to then revisit those goals and adjust their study plan accordingly each time they take the test. It also allows students to become more comfortable with the testing environment.

The SAT is a 4-part test that lasts approximately 3 hours and includes one 5 to 10-minute break.

The four multiple-choice sections include:

  • Reading (52 questions, 65 minutes)
  • Writing & Language (44 questions, 35 minutes)
  • Math – No Calculator (20 questions, 25 minutes)
  • Math – With Calculator (38 questions, 55 minutes)

The SAT is designed to test students on concepts that they have learned throughout their high school career. This includes:

  • Reading comprehension and analysis skills across a variety of genres for the Reading test
  • Grammar, mechanics, rhetoric, and style for the Writing and Language test
  • Math through Algebra 2 (along with some Trigonometry) for the Math test
  • Data analysis in parts of the Reading and Writing and Language tests

Preparing for the SAT therefore does not require students to learn a significant number of new concepts; instead, students must continually review and reinforce their knowledge and skills based on their individual strengths and weaknesses, while also gaining familiarity and comfort with the test structure (including its format and timing).

For each of the four multiple-choice sections on the SAT, the student’s raw score is converted into a “Scale Score” from 200 to 800. The sum of the student’s scale score from each section results in their overall SAT score, or composite score, from 400 to 1600.

A total score of 1000 to 1100 places students in the 40th-58th percentile nationally, but many selective colleges look for students who have scored in the the top 5% (1400 or above). It is very important for students to pay attention to the median SAT scores of admitted students for the colleges they are interested in so that they can set their score goals accordingly.

​The best predictors of a student’s success on the SAT are good grades in school in core academic subjects like math, science, English, and history. ​

​Therefore the best way for a student to prepare is to ensure that they’re doing well in core subjects well before a few months before they plan to take the sat.

Next up are standard good test-taking practices:

  1. Determine target score & what it takes to achieve
  2. Know the content and format of the SAT
  3. Identify subject areas that are weak

Core academics are king. There are no amount of tips and tricks that will help students ace the SAT if they do not know how to do division or punctuate a sentence.

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