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Frequenly Asked Questions

A Ridiculously Complete List


Group Courses

The cost is variable based on number of students, number of sessions, and logistical costs. Let us know what you're thinking and we'll put together a price for you to review.

Most likely. We have tutored students in a number of subjects, so we can likely create a class for whatever it is you're interested in. Please reach out to us to find out.

Mentor Program

No! Whether a student is attending a four or two-year college, or whether you just would like our services for one year, we're happy to help when needed. Our program contains four years of assignments that are applicable for freshmen to seniors, but the entire list of assignments does not need to be completed by each student.

You certainly can, and we actively encourage you to do so. Career service departments can be extremely helpful for some students, but less helpful for others. Even within our program, students will be encouraged to explore the opportunities these departments might provide for them — from signing up for internships to getting placed on valuable listservs. That being said, these departments cannot provide the same level of individualized assistance and guidance that students receive from our program.

This varies based on the student, but typically meetings occur once a month to make sure the student is on track. Meetings could also be more frequent if the student wishes, and some assignments between monthly check-ins might necessitate an additional meeting.

While we cannot guarantee this, we can ensure that your child will make the most out of the contacts available at their university. Most students overlook the value of professorial connections, both during their education and beyond. Additionally, compared to the average college student, students in our program will graduate with a much more focused and detailed plan for pursuing a career in their field of choice.

Policies

While we have a superior track record and have helped thousands of students to dramatically improve their test scores since 2003, there are only two things that are guaranteed: death and taxes. Offering score guarantees is not only an undeliverable promise — no one can guarantee how a student will perform test day — but it also sends the message that students don't have to work hard, because their parents paid for a guaranteed point increase. We work hard to show students that with dedication and practice they can dramatically improve their scores. Our testimonials are a great place to get a sense of how our students perform. It's important to note that scores do not always increase as a result of nerves, illness, fatigue, a distraction on test day, or because the student did not do all of the assigned homework and did not fully apply him/herself during the time we worked together. Preparing for a standardized test is much like preparing for a piano recital: practice and hard work after each tutorial are what give each student the best chance to achieve higher scores, which is why we work to inspire students to work hard.

You may cancel up to 24 hours prior to the tutorial without penalty. After that, there is a $40 charge for cancellations within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment. Exceptions are made for sudden illness and reasonable emergencies. In the event of a sudden illness or legitimate emergency, we must be notified by 9 a.m. of the day we're to tutor. The one exception to this would be if a student left school after 9 a.m. due to illness. In that instance we must be notified at least three hours before the start of the tutorial.

Payment is expected to be made in full prior to the completion of a student’s tutoring program.
  • We require a credit card on file for all tutoring. Lessons will not begin without a credit card on file.
  • When confirming the schedule, you will have the option to either be billed for the complete balance before tutoring begins, or 50% before tutoring begins and the remaining balance halfway through the
  • lessons. If you wish to set up a different payment schedule, please contact Ann Louise in our billing department by emailing or calling our office at 860-664-9857.
  • We accept other forms of payment such as check or wire transfer. However, we will still require credit card information to remain on file.
  • For all payment plans that pay by credit, CPP will bill the card on file based on the chosen payment plan and send receipt automatically.

Tutoring

Our rate for
  • Standardized Test Prep is $120/hr
  • SSAT Test Prep is $100/hr
  • Academic Tutoring starts at $85/hr

We generally work 6 days a week (Sunday-Friday), and we often work late to accommodate students' busy schedules.

Test Dates

While this rarely happens, we can and will switch tutors. This may involve having to tutor on a different day as the potential tutors may already have students at your specific time slot — but we will make the switch.

How We Prep For Exams

Take a look at over 150 testimonials that include first name, last name, and town to see how we differ from other test prep companies. Over and over you'll see from students and families — in their own words — that not only do we care deeply about each and every student, but we know how to get results.

We create a plan of attack by starting with a student's specific needs, abilities, and objectives. Our goal from day one is to build a student's confidence, which we do by showing them how to break the test sections into manageable parts. Once they see how to unpack the material, they see that the test is easier than they had thought. Our goal for our first lesson is for students to finish the lesson confident that they will be able to succeed on the entire test. We typically meet with students during 90-minute sessions that occur twice a week for six weeks. We put a big emphasis on tailored instruction and demonstrating from the first class that the test is not nearly as daunting as a student might have thought. We also place a large emphasis on homework because it's an opportunity for students to gain better insight into the the test and themselves. We want students to become more aware of not only what's on the test, but also of their own proclivities that can lead them to wrong answers.

An hour a week for math or science and an hour a week for verbal is a good ballpark number. That said, some students will need to spend more time if they're struggling with the material. We often have students take "snapshot quizzes," which we use to quantify the accuracy of student homework and better inform the next lesson. These quizzes also help students to see if they need to spend more time on their homework. We share with each student that homework is the time when they get to see which strategies work for them, which don't, and specifically what they need more help with. Homework is essential to increasing scores: we go over every topic that appears on the exam and the assigned homework gives students the opportunity to work on those critical topics.

Homework is the second most important step to increasing scores after expert instruction. When students do homework they can identify just what they find difficult to do, as well as what they have to guard against test day. For example, students who have not spent a lot of time prepping tend to go too fast test day, because they fear running out of time. When students time themselves while doing homework, they learn how to pace themselves to take full advantage of the time offered on the test. It makes no sense to finish 20 minutes early when you can't go home early. The inverse is also true; a student can discover that he/she needs to bring more focus and energy to the test, if he/she is to finish in the prescribed amount of time.
We place a large emphasis on homework as it's the time when students can really learn more about the test's funny, sometimes, cruel ways and their test taking tendencies. Some, for example, discover that they don't finish reading all of the answer choices, while others discover they read the questions too fast. So, while we see homework as an opportunity for students to learn more about their test-taking tendencies (they rush, take too long, lose focus, over think, run out of gas, drift, read too much into the text, don't write their work out, miss steps), many parents are happy their kids are taking the course. They feel that the time spent with us preparing for the test is better than not preparing for the test.

The first thing we suggest is that you ask your student what he/she learned after each class. Ask how they find the class. Also, ask to see his/her assigned homework. Ask what he/she scored on her last homework quiz or full exam. You can also reach out to his or her tutor for an update. Parents can also navigate to the profile page to see exactly what a student has been assigned for homework.

The answer to that depends upon the student. If the student is not going to study after he/she finishes prepping because he/she does not have the time or the inclination, then the best time to finish is the week of the exam. If a student has the inclination and the time to continue to prep after he/she finishes her tutoring than we suggest finishing either a week before or two weeks before. By spending another week or two prepping on their own, students have the opportunity to further sharpen their test-taking skills.

An hour a week for math and an hour a week for verbal is a good ballpark number. That said, some students will need to spend more time if they're struggling with the material. We often have students take snapshot quizzes. These quizzes help students to see if they need to spend more time on their homework. We share with students that homework is the time when they get to see which strategies work for them, which don't, and specifically what they need more help with. Homework is essential to increasing scores, because we go over all of the topics that appear on the exam. Homework gives students the opportunity to work on each and every topic that appears on the exam.

One-on-one tutoring focuses only on one student, and the entire tutorial is dedicated to that one student's needs. The benefit is that the student has all of our attention and we can tailor our instruction for that student. Our group classes are decidedly less expensive, and since 2003 we have had many students from our group classes score in the 99th percentile.
We do not recommend group classes for any student who has scored below the 50th percentile because these students will gain more from one-on-one prep than a group setting. Curiously, over the last eight years, more and more parents have shied away from having their students take group classes. They find that one-on-one tutoring is more productive since the tutor is focusing only on their student and his/her specific needs. That said, group classes are dramatically less expensive than one-on-one prep, and we have many students over the years who have taken our group classes and scored brilliantly and gone off to attend elite colleges and universities. It boils down to the student and a family's finances. If a family prefers to economize, group classes are an exceptional option. If the student is going to stay focused in a group setting and ask questions, a group class works well.

  • Students with packed schedules.
  • Students who scored below the 50th percentile on he PreACT
  • Students who scored above the 85th percentile on the PreACT
  • Students who tend to drift in large classes
  • Students who shy away from asking the questions they'd like answers to in a large group setting.

For starters, we have a conversation regarding how the student felt on test day. There can always be mitigating circumstances that impacted the outcome: first-time nerves, lack of sleep, a tough first section that shook their confidence. If we can identify something that led to underscoring. we discuss how to deal with that moving forward. We remind students of their performance with us and advise them that their most recent score does not define them as test-takers. We then give them a test to take at home. More often than not students score what they had been scoring with us on that test, which is proof that the last outing was an anomaly. A student who underscores, we share, is no different than a stellar pitcher who was off his game on a particular day.

Standardized Exams

Colleges give equal weight to both the ACT and the SAT. They do not prefer that students submit one test over the other. That said, to be absolutely certain, take a look at the websites of the colleges you will be applying to make sure that they give equal weight to both exams. You might see that some schools also count the ACT science as an SAT II (subject) exam.

No. Our policy has always been to help students determine the test they are likely to score higher on and then prep for that exam. We want to avoid double prep whenever possible. This will save students time and their parents money. We have created an SAT/ACT Diagnostic that over 300 companies nationwide use to determine if a student is better suited to take the SAT or the ACT. If you're not clear on which test your son or daughter is better at give us a call at 860-664-9857 or reach out to us at info@satprepct.com, and we'll tell you more about our SAT/ACT Diagnostic.

We are huge proponents of rising juniors taking the test either in the summer before junior year or at the start of the school year. The ACT offers an exam in in July and September. If a sophomore has completed Algebra II, he/she has all of the math needed to prep over the summer and take the test. By taking the test early, one of two things happens: the student either has the challenge off his/her back or realizes early that he/she needs to bring up her scores. We then encourage students to retake the test later in the year when the ACT is offered in Oct. and Dec. By getting the testing out of the way early, students will have more time to focus on their schoolwork and the outside school activities that are important to them.

The ACT is often referred to as a speed exam because there is more work to accomplish on the ACT than there is on the SAT and in a shorter period of time. For example, on the SAT reading portion of the edam, students have 13 minutes to read a passage and answer 10 or 11 questions. On the ACT, students only have 8 minutes and 45 seconds to read a passage and answer 10 questions. The ACT also features a science section that requires students to very quickly understand concepts and data presented in charts and figures — most students without experience cannot finish this section in the allotted time. Finally, when it comes to math, students are required to know more concepts but in less detail on the ACT whereas on the SAT students are required to know fewer concepts but understand them more deeply.

The SAT works well for students who do not process really quickly and who do not have strong memory of small details. We find the ACT to be more memory reliant because students need to process text and arrive at answers faster than is required on the SAT. Additionally, students who have an aversion to science tend to opt for the SAT because the ACT contains a science section that is not present on the SAT (though the reading portion of the SAT does contain two passages based on science). Finally, the SAT math tends to cover smaller range of topics than the ACT math, so students should factor this into their decision.

Just like there's a better way to carve a turkey, plant a row of corn, or play the electric guitar or videogames, there is a better way to take any standardized exam. Test prep previews all of the different tasks that students will be asked to complete and then walks students through those tasks. Just as students with high GPAs have learned what each of their teachers expects of them, test prep teaches them what the exams expects of them and then shows them how to do it with strategies that will work for them.

If a student has been diligently studying and learning from his/her mistakes, then more often than not it does not make sense to take the test a fourth time as the test is not a moving target: it attempts to test students on the same topics. However, if a student has not been prepping diligently and has not tried to learn from his/her previous three outings, and now wants to apply him/herself, then taking the test for a fourth time makes sense. It's important to remember than taking a test, without learning from that experience, is not likely to help a student improve his/her scores on the next round.

This depends upon where you live and the colleges you're applying to. Many of the select schools will discount scores when they see that the student has taken it four times or more and hails from a wealthy home. The assumption is that the student was afforded superior test prep and the increased scores are more of a reflection of privilege than academic ability. On the other hand, if it's clear that a student is not from privilege and just keeps at is as he/she is determined to do better, schools are not likely to devalue a sixth test score.

Test scores make it easier for admissions to accept a student. Admissions officers have to separate all the valedictorians from all the valedictorians as well as all the 3.0 students from all the 3.0 students. One of the ways they do this is with objective data (SAT, ACT, AP Exams, SAT Subject Tests). Test scores also make it easier for schools to award meritorious money. It is to your advantage to take a test because it's clear that students who don't submit scores did not have the requisite performance or chose not to take it because it wasn't mandatory. College are looking for students who have strong work ethics. They are not looking for students who'd prefer to do as little as possible; those students are more likely to drop out, a circumstance all colleges are looking to avoid.

Meritorious money is scholarship money that schools award students whose test scores bring up the school's overall test scores. Colleges offer merit money to students because a school's national ranking is based in part on its overall test scores. To bring those rankings up, schools offer students merit money to students whose scores help to increase the school's overall averages. Merit money does not need to be paid back and is not based on need: you can be a multi-millionaire and still get a full-ride if your scores and GPA hit a college's specific point spread. Many families and students do not know about merit money until a college advises them that they qualify for an award. We encourage you to identify colleges that will offer you merit money based on your expected score.

SAT: General Questions

The score you need will depend upon the institutions you are applying to. The College Board site has a great search where you can type in the college(s) you're wondering about. Click on "Applying" and click next on SAT Scores. Look to see what the mid-range scores are. To be safe, try to score in the upper range of that score. For instance, the mid-range of UConn's scores indicates that the midrange evidence-based reading and writing score ranged from 590-680. The requirements for each school will be different, so be sure to know precisely what you need to score before you start to prep.

You can find a list of available test centers on the College Board site. Once you found a test center near you, you can register.

The Total score of the exam ranges from 400–1600. The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section comprises half of that score, ranging from 200–800. The other half is made up of two math sections — one that allows calculator and one that doesn't — that add up to the other 200–800 points. There is also an optional essay section that doesn't impact the overall SAT score; its score features three sections that range from 2–8 points.

The College Board site will advise when you can expect to see your scores. It will also note when you can expect your multiple-choice scores, your essay score (if you wrote it), when scores can be sent to colleges, and when a paper report will be sent (if you requested one).

You can see your scores on the College Board Site.

Score Choice let's you choose which scores you want to send to colleges. Choose by test date for the SAT and by individual test for SAT Subject Tests, but keep in mind that some colleges and scholarship programs require you to send all your scores. For more information, visit the College Board site.

Go to your online score report in your College Board profile to send scores.

Yes, you may cancel your test so it's not scored, but you need to act quickly because there is a cancellation deadline: you must cancel no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the Thursday after your test date. Students with disabilities might have a different deadline. Please visit the College Board site for more information on cancelling scores.

All 10 College Board SATs are available for free on their site.

You should be notified by email if your test has been cancelled, though College Board should also announce it on their site.

For international registration and test dates, please visit the College Board site.

  • International registration deadlines apply to anyone testing outside of the United States and U.S. territories.
  • There is no late registration for international testing. Online and telephone registrations must be completed by the international deadlines.
  • Mailed registration forms must be received by the international deadlines.
  • If you register through an international representative, you need to submit your paper registration with payment by the early registration deadline.
  • In 2020-21, Language with Listening tests are offered in November 2020 and May 2021.
  • Fees for testing internationally vary. Get info on registration and other international fees.
  • Sunday administrations for students who can't test on Saturday due to religious observance usually occur the day after each Saturday test date.
  • Your registration options will be limited if you aren't taking the SAT for one of its main purposes.
  • Some test centers require an additional fee.

Colleges give equal weight to both the SAT and the ACT. They do not prefer that students submit one test over the other. That said, to be absolutely certain, take a look at the websites of the colleges you will be applying to make sure that they give equal weight to both exams.

We are huge proponents of rising juniors taking the test either in the summer before junior year or at the start of the school year. The SAT offers an exam in August and in September. If a sophomore has complete Algebra II, he/she has all of the math needed to prep over the summer and take the test at this time. By taking the test early, one of two things happens: the student either has the challenge off his/her back, or realizes early that he/she needs to bring up her scores. We then encourage students to retake the test that fall. The SAT is offered in Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. By getting the testing out of the way early, students will have more time to focus on their schoolwork and the outside school activities that are important to them.

Still try to perp as early in the school year (assuming you've completed or are taking Algebra II) as possible. The main reason for that is to avoid adding to the logjam in June. The end of school year is often a race to squeeze a lot in, which is why it's helpful to get the testing done early. As the year comes to a close there are AP exams, final exams, sports, junior prom, and it's also important to factor in the end-of-the- year fatigue. By starting early students get the SAT out of way by the end of the school year and avoid having the exam loom over them.

This is going to depend upon the student. If a student does not have the time or the inclination to study post prep, then finish the week of the exam. If a student has the time and wants to continue prepping on his/her own then finish either the week before the exam or two weeks prior to the exam. We will support you with additional exams to take on your own to sharpen your test-taking skills.

Your score report provides a lot of feedback, and it might be hard to know where to start. Mean scores, percentiles, and benchmarks can help you put your scores in perspective. Subscores and cross-test scores can help you identify strengths and weaknesses and see what skills need more practice. The College Board's SAT Understanding Scores, 2020 is a good place to start.

Please use the ACT/SAT Concordance Table found on the ACT site.

The SAT exam is very different from the exams students are used to taking in school, and students don't know how to take the SAT. Key terms on the test are often used differently than how they are used in class. Once the curtain is pulled back and students are shown what the test's standards are, what makes a correct answer correct, and what the test is trying to do muddy the waters, scores go up. Keep in mind that the test is designed so only one percent of all the students who take it can get a perfect score. If the test were scored on a 1-100 basis, 50 percent of the students who take it would score under 50.

Prepping for the SAT will not specifically prepare you for the ACT, because they are two very different tests: there is no science on the SAT, while there is science on the ACT. Both the math and reading are presented differently on the two tests, so prepping for one will not prep a student for other. There is some crossover between the two tests on the English section on the ACT and the Writing and Language section on the SAT. Also, prepping for the SAT will get a student into the test zone, a place that requires total concentration and awareness to the smallest detail. Students discover they cannot take these tests as they take a run-of-the mill test in school. This cultivated respect for the test at hand will help when it comes to taking the ACT.

Not necessarily. If you have the requisite GPA, APs, extracurricular, and recommendations that a college is looking for, not submitting SAT scores will not hurt you. However, if another student has your GPA, your AP scores similar extracurricular activities, and stellar SAT or ACT scores, he/she is likely to have an advantage.

Just the SAT exam is $52, and the test with the optional writing exam is $68. For additional information on pricing and fees please visit the College Board site.

You're eligible to take the SAT for free if you say "yes" to any of the following:
  • You're enrolled in or eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
  • Your annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
  • You're enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., Federal TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).
  • Your family receives public assistance.
  • You live in federally subsidized public housing or a foster home, or are homeless.
  • You are a ward of the state or an orphan.
If you think you're eligible, your school counselor or a representative of an authorized community-based organization will help you get a fee waiver.

Yes, but only if you sign up for their Question and Answer Service, which is an additional $18 fee on top of the registration fee. This service provides a copy of the exam that was taken, as well as a report that indicates the types of questions missed. It can be a great first step for students who are trying to prepare for the SAT by themselves, as well an opportunity for students to ensure their current prep regime is working. Please see the QAS signup form for more information.

Yes. Currently, masks are required at testing centers.

ACT: General Questions

The score you need will depend upon the institutions you are applying to. The College Board site has a great search where you can type in the college(s) you're wondering about. Click on "Applying" and click next on ACT Scores. Look to see what the mid-range scores are. To be safe, try to score in the upper range of that score. For instance, the mid-range of UConn's scores indicates that fifty percent of the students who were most recently accepted had a composite ACT score that ranged from 30-36. The requirements for each school will be different, so be sure to know precisely what you need to score before you start to prep.

If you haven taken a complete ACT exam and you need to bring up a limited number of section scores, not all of the sections, you may sign up just to take the sections you'd like to improve. More information can be found on the ACT site .

No. The online testing option that was previously announced — where students have the option to take the ACT test on a computer at an ACT national test center — has been postponed until 2021.

ACT will send email updates Monday-Friday by 6 p.m. to notify you if there has been a change in your registration.

As of September 2020, all examinees are required to wear masks. You will not be allowed to enter the test facility if you do not have a mask.

Exceptions will be granted for those who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability. On the day of the test, please alert staff at the test center of your need for an exception. You do not need to call ACT prior to the test event.

Click here to be taken to the ACT registration page.

The ACT tests four different areas: Math, Reading, Science and English. On each of those sections you will be given a numerical score of 1 to 36. All four scores are added up and divided by four to arrive at your composite score. Take a look at this sample student score report for better understanding.

Scores are generally posted within two weeks. However, the October and February results are available within 3-8 weeks. Writing scores generally follow multiple choice scores by two weeks.

Sign in to the ACT site to view your scores.

In short, identify the topics and sections that proved to be the most difficult and focus on those area. For a deep dive into what you can learn from your test performance, take a look at this brochure.

Yes. You can keep your best score and use your overall score. While ACT permits and encourages colleges to superscore, colleges have their own policies regrading superscoring. It would be wise to reach out to the schools you're likely to apply to see if they superscore. For more information on this. visit the ACT site.

You send scores from your ACT account. First, Sign in or create an account on the ACT site. Most multiple-choice scores, including the composite score, are typically ready to report within 2 weeks after each test date. Writing scores are added as soon as they are available, usually 2 weeks after the multiple-choice scores — however, they may take up to 8 weeks to be reported. Your scores will not be released to colleges until all of your scores are available for reporting, and are transmitted to colleges 3 times a week, as complete reports are made available.

You can send your ACT Superscore through your online ACT account. Information regarding the number of free reports ACT will offer (and any associated fees for sending reports) is noted in your account.

Yes. The deadline for canceling college reports is the Thursday noon (central time) immediately after the regularly scheduled Saturday test date.

Visit the ACT site for free English, Math, Reading and Science exams.

ACT will send email updates Monday through Friday by 6:00 p.m. (Central Time) to notify you if there has been a change in your registration. Potential changes in your registration include:
  • Your test center is closed.
  • Your test center had a reduction in capacity.
  • You were registered at an unlisted test center, which was established only to test specific examinees, and ACT adjusted the roster at their request.

To help make sense of your scores and determine your state rank, your U.S. rank, and detailed results for Math, English, Reading and Science, visit the ACT site.

To find the equivalent SAT score, please use the ACT/SAT Concordance Table found on the ACT site.

International student students can register through the global ACT site.

11 & 12 September 2020
Register by 4 September 2020
(Late fees waived)

9 & 10 October 2020
Register 2 October 2020
(Late fees waived)

16 & 17 April 2021
Register by 26 March 2021
(9 April + late fee)

11 & 12 June 2021
Register by 21 May 2021
(4 June + late fee)

16 & 17 July 2021
Register by 25 June 2021
(9 July + late fee)

Colleges give equal weight to both the ACT and the SAT. They do not prefer that students submit one test over the other. That said, to be absolutely certain, take a look at the websites of the colleges you will be applying to make sure that they give equal weight to both exams. You might see that some schools also count the ACT science as an SAT II (subject) exam.

We are huge proponents of rising juniors taking the test either in the summer before junior year or at the start of the school year. The ACT offers an exam in in July and September. If a sophomore has completed Algebra II, he/she has all of the math needed to prep over the summer and take the test. By taking the test early, one of two things happens: the student either has the challenge off his/her back or realizes early that he/she needs to bring up her scores. We then encourage students to retake the test later in the year when the ACT is offered in Oct. and Dec. By getting the testing out of the way early, students will have more time to focus on their schoolwork and the outside school activities that are important to them.

Still try to perp as early in the school year (assuming you've completed or are taking Algebra II) as possible. The main reason for that is to avoid adding to the logjam in June. The end of school year is often a race to squeeze a lot in, which is why it's helpful to get the testing done early. AP exams, final exams, sports, and junior prom also add to the end-of-the-year fatigue. By starting early, students can get the ACT out of way by the end of the school year and avoid having the exam loom over them.

This is going to depend upon the student. If a student does not have the time or the inclination to study post prep, then finish the week of the exam. If a student has the time and wants to continue prepping on his/her own then finish either the week before the exam or two weeks prior to the exam. We will support you with additional exams to take on your own to sharpen your test-taking skills.

This document will show you how to interpret your scores.

The ACT exam emphasizes topics and concepts that are foreign to many students. For example, because students only have eight minutes and 45 seconds to read a passage and answer 10 questions, the ACT places a high premium on speed during an exam. Additionally, the exam places a premium on short-term memory and contains an entire section on science, which asks questions in a way that most students have not encountered before.

Prepping for the ACT will not specifically prepare you for the SAT because they are two very different tests. The math and reading are presented differently on the two tests, and the ACT has a science section that does not appear on the SAT. There is, however, crossover between the two tests on the English section on the ACT and the Writing and Language section on the SAT. Also, prepping for the ACT will get a student into the test zone, a place that requires total concentration and awareness to the smallest detail. As they start to prep, students discover they cannot take these tests as they take a run-of-the mill test in school. This cultivated respect for the test at hand will help when it comes to prepping for the SAT.

Not necessarily. If you have the requisite GPA, APs, extracurricular, and recommendations that a college is looking for, not submitting ACT scores will not hurt you. However, if another student has your GPA, your AP scores similar extracurricular activities, and stellar ACT scores, he/she is likely to have an advantage.

The test without writing is $55, while the test with writing is $75. This includes reports for you, your high school, and up to four colleges (if codes are provided when you register). The writing fee is refundable on written request if you are absent on test day or switch to ACT (no writing) before the test begins.

If you are testing on a national test date and can't afford the registration fee for the ACT or ACT with writing, you may be eligible for an ACT Fee Waiver. Information about the eligibility requirements and how to request a fee waiver is sent each summer to high schools. You should work with your high school to determine your eligibility. Additionally, you must meet all of the following requirements:
  • Currently enrolled in high school in the 11th or 12th grade.
  • Be testing in the US, US territories, or Puerto Rico.
  • Meet one or more indicators of economic need listed on the ACT Fee Waiver form.
  • If you are eligible, you may use a maximum of four separate fee waivers total. The waiver is used once you register, even if you do not test on the requested test date.

Yes. The ACT will release three national tests a year: tests that are given in December, April and June. For detailed information on how to apply, please visit the ACT site. You can also view the Test information Release Order Form 2020-2021.

Resource Questions

Yes! You can find 8 free practice SAT exams on the College Board site. For the ACT, you can work through practice questions for each section or download a free Prepping for the ACT guide.


The SAT and ACT have agreed on a set of concordance tables, the most recent of which were released a couple years ago. This document provides both the tables that can be used for conversion, as well as more information regarding the construction and interpretation of those tables.

Test Dates

SAT Subject Exams

SAT Subject Tests are college admission exams on specific subjects. Subject exams are required at more selective institutions. Go to your top picks' websites to see if they require subject exams. There are 20 SAT Subject Tests in five general subject areas: English, history, languages, mathematics and science. You can visit the College Board site to get a look at the different exams offered.

The Mathematics Level 1 Subject Test assesses the knowledge you’ve gained from three years of college-preparatory mathematics, including two years of algebra and one year of geometry. The Mathematics Level 2 Subject Test covers the same material as the Mathematics Level 1 test — with the addition of trigonometry and elementary functions (precalculus).

With Score Choice, you can put your best foot forward by choosing which scores you send to colleges. Choose by test date for the SAT and by individual test for SAT Subject Tests, but keep in mind that some colleges and scholarship programs require you to send all your scores. For more information, please visit the College Board site.

Create and then sign in to your College Board account — your parent or counselor can’t register for you. Provide your full legal name and other identifying information. Make sure it’s the exact same name and information shown on your photo ID. Choose which Subject Tests you want to take and then upload a photo that meets the very specific photo requirements. Finally, print your Admission Ticket.

  • $26 for each SAT Subject Test.
  • $22 for each additional test.
  • $30 late registration fee for registering after the regular deadline but before the late registration deadline.
  • $30 waitlist fee charged if you're admitted to the test center on test day.
  • $53 for Additional Score Services. Four registration score reports are available up to nine days after the test date.
  • $12 fee waiver available If you request rush service. Your score reports will typically be sent to colleges within two to four business days (not counting holidays and weekends). Additional score report fees (as described above) still apply on rush orders.
  • $31 for scores by phone, which are released according to the same schedule as online scores. This service does not send scores to colleges any earlier.
  • $31 for multiple-choice hand score verification. When hand scoring of a multiple-choice score is requested, your entire answer sheet will be manually reviewed—you can't request verification of scores for a single section on the SAT or just one of several SAT Subject Tests taken on the same date.
  • $15 change fee. Test type (from SAT to SAT Subject Tests or vice versa), center, or date change. Note: There's no fee to add, subtract, or switch Subject Tests.

You should expect to arrive at the test center no later than 7:45 a.m., unless your Admission Ticket says otherwise. The doors to the testing rooms close about 8 a.m, and testing starts between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Once testing has begun, latecomers cannot be admitted. You will be given two five-minute breaks, and you can consume snacks and drinks at these times. Your ID and Admission Ticket will be checked whenever you enter the testing room. Keep your ID and Admission Ticket with you at all times in the center. Wait to be seated — your seat is assigned, not chosen by you. Test books, answer sheets, and calculators must remain on your desk during breaks.

In general, you can take a different test from the one you signed up for — the test booklet contains all Subject Tests available that day, so just take the ones you want. But there are some exceptions:
  • You can’t switch to a Language with Listening Test that you're not registered for, because they require special equipment.
  • If you decide to take fewer tests than you signed up for, just turn in your answer sheet before the next test begins. Remember, though, that once you start answering a test, you can't decide not to take it — you’ll have to cancel all tests taken that day to avoid having it scored.
  • You can also add a test on test day, if it’s being given on that day. You’ll be billed for the tests you add.

In most cases, if you arrive at the test center after testing has started, you won’t be let in and you’ll have to reschedule your test (you don’t have to re-register; just change your test date. A change fee applies). However, some centers may allow students to start testing at the second hour for SAT Subject Tests.

Yes, but you have less than a week to cancel your scores. You must cancel no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the Thursday after the test date. Your scores for all Subject Tests taken on that date are canceled and will not be reported to you or any institutions. Once a request to cancel scores has been submitted, scores cannot be reinstated.

Most colleges require applicants to send them official score reports directly from the College Board. They do not accept copies of online score reports or score report labels on transcripts. You can request the College Board to send score reports to colleges before you get your scores. We'd suggest holding off on sending until you see your scores. You can send your scores through the College Board Site

Once you have left high school and have not tested for a year, the College Board archives your test scores and your responses to the SAT Questionnaire. They can be retrieved for reporting to you and to the colleges, universities, and scholarship programs you choose.

AP Exams

May 3-7 and May 10-14, 2021 Please use this link: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/exam-calendar

AP Exams are only given once a year, but you may repeat an exam in a subsequent year. If you do, both scores will be reported unless you request that one be withheld or canceled.

You can take an AP Exam each time it’s offered. Exams are administered once a year in May. Your score report will include your scores for all the AP Exams you have taken unless you request that one or more scores be withheld or canceled.

If you have a documented disability, you may be eligible for accommodations on AP Exams. Learn more about testing accommodations for AP Exams and contact your school's AP coordinator.

You are not permitted to bring food or drink, including bottled water, into the exam room (unless approved as an accommodation by College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities office). During the 10-minute break between Sections 1 and 2 of the exam, with the proctor’s permission, you can leave the exam room to get a drink of water or a snack.

If two of the exams you want to take are scheduled for the same time, ask your AP coordinator for information about taking one of the exams during the late-testing period. You may still register for both.

The mean score for the 2019 AP Exams was 2.91. Nearly 60% of all exams taken earned a score of 3 or higher. To learn more about individual exams, visit https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/about-ap-scores/score-distributions

If your school doesn’t offer the exam you want to take, you’ll need to arrange to take the exam at a local school that does administer it. Your first step is to search the AP Course Ledger. The AP Course Ledger is the official, up-to-date, comprehensive list of schools that have passed the AP Course Audit. You can search by country, state/province, or city to find a school where you might be able to test. After finding schools near you that offer the course or courses you want to take exams for, do an internet search for the school’s main phone number. Then call and ask to speak with the school’s AP coordinator to ask if the school is planning to allow homeschooled students to test there this year. The College Board recommends you do this as early in the school year as possible. Note that schools may have their own local deadlines and policies for receiving requests from outside students to test at their school--particularly this year during the ongoing pandemic—so you’ll want to give yourself as much time as possible to contact schools Updates will be made to the AP Course Ledger for 2020-21 in November, so if you still need to find possible schools, you can check the Ledger again in November to see if any schools in your area were added. When you find an AP coordinator able to administer your AP Exam(s), they are responsible for ordering your exam materials, telling you when and where to report for the exams, and collecting the exam fees.

Yes. You can’t order AP Exams directly, but you should be able to arrange to take exams at a nearby high school that administers AP Exams. Here’s how. Your first step is to search the AP Course Ledger. The AP Course Ledger is the official, up-to-date, comprehensive list of schools that have passed the AP Course Audit. You can search by country, state/province, or city to find a school where you might be able to test. After finding schools near you that offer the course or courses you want to take exams for, do an internet search for the school’s main phone number. Then call and ask to speak with the school’s AP coordinator to ask if the school is planning to allow homeschooled students to test there this year. The College Board recommends that you do this as early in the school year as possible. Note that schools may have their own local deadlines and policies for receiving requests from outside students to test at their school--particularly this year during the ongoing pandemic—so you’ll want to give yourself as much time as possible to contact schools. Updates will be made to the Course Ledger for 2020-21 in November, so if you still need to find possible schools, you can check the Ledger again in November to see any schools in your area were added. When you find an AP coordinator able to administer your AP Exam(s), they are responsible for ordering your exam materials, telling you when and where to report for the exams, and collecting the exam fees.

Many schools across the world offer AP Exams. If your school doesn’t, and you want to register for an exam, please review the steps to find secondary schools and online schools that offer authorized AP courses to locate an alternate school for testing or take the exams at a local AP test center. If you are registering for AP Exams in India without access to AP courses in your school, visit AP in India. For students in China, please visit AP in China. You can also find test centers authorized by the AP Program in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore.

Yes. It's not required to take the course. The College Board wants to make the tests available to students who are homeschooled and to students in schools that don’t offer AP courses. You will have to arrange to take the exam at your school or, if your school doesn’t administer the exam, at a local school or testing center that administers it. See The AP Exam I want to take isn’t offered at my school. What should I do? and I’m homeschooled. How can I take an AP Exam? for details. To prepare for the exam without taking the course, you should study the skills and content outlined in the course and exam description for your subject, which you can find on the specific course page. For most courses, this document also explains how your knowledge of the course content and skills is assessed on the exams. Get to know the exams by reviewing free practice questions. The AP Program releases the free-response questions every year for exams that have them. We also offer free-response questions from past exams along with sample student responses and scoring guidelines so you can see why a real exam taker got the score they did. Note: AP Seminar and AP Research are exceptions. Only students whose schools offer the AP Capstone program can enroll in AP Seminar or AP Research and submit performance tasks and/or take the AP Seminar End-of-Course Exam

Yes. Although AP Art and Design students will submit portfolios instead of taking a traditional exam, they still need to register. You’ll need to join your class section in AP Classroom in order to register for the assessment. You will also need to create an account in the AP Art and Design Digital Submission web application, where you’ll be submitting your portfolio.

Total scores on the multiple-choice section are based on the number of questions answered correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers and no points are awarded for unanswered questions.

Each of the 38 exams has its own unique requirements; however, almost all of the exams have several things in common: Most exams are 2–3 hours long. The first part of the exam usually consists of multiple-choice questions. You will choose 1 of 4–5 answer choices for each question and use a pencil to bubble in your choice on your AP answer sheet. Your total exam score on the multiple-choice section is based only on the number of questions answered correctly. You won’t receive or lose points for incorrect answers or unanswered questions. The second part of the exam usually consists of free-response questions that require you to generate your own responses. Depending on the exam, your responses could be in the form of an essay, a solution to a problem, or a spoken response. In most cases, you’ll be writing your response in pen in the free-response exam booklet.

How to Write a Winning College Essay

The key to writing a winning college essay is to offer a compelling and authentic autobiography that separates you from the pack. Colleges want to learn what you have done with the hand you were dealt; they want to learn about something that's been important to you for a long period of time. Sharing that you picked up the French horn junior year is not nearly as compelling as sharing the long-standing relationship that you've had with music and how it's shaped your views. Since you have little practice writing honest autobiography that sells, we encourage you to read successful college essays that have been published before you attempt to write your essay. Once you think you've identified the subject matter for your essay, try it out verbally on your Language Arts teacher and school counselor. It'll be easier to shift away from it if they give it the thumbs down, and if they like it, they are likely to be able to help you with its structure and what else you might add to strengthen your candidacy.

  • A winning topic. The topic must engage admissions officers and reveal who you are.
  • Self-revelation. The essay lets the readers know something important and memorable about you.
  • Originality. The writer should tell a story in his or her voice that only he or she could share; that makes for an original essay.
  • Captivating opening. The reader should have a vivid picture of who the writer is by the close of the first paragraph.
  • An element of surprise. Readers like to be surprised.
  • Time reference. How long have you been involved with what you’re writing about?
  • Effective expression. Varied sentence structure, correct grammar, vivid word choice, and details that engage and satisfy the reader.
  • Direction and Pace. The essay should be paced and build to a satisfying close.
  • A powerful close. The final paragraph should not only conclude the story, but it should make the reader say, “Now that’s a wonderful individual.”
  • Individuality. Did you stand out by being yourself?

  • This is the time to be myself, not reinvent myself
  • What's the essay that only I could write?
  • How do I put my best foot forward?
  • How do I find my voice?
  • What do I feel strongly about?
  • Strive for depth, not breadth
  • How do I make admissions think, “We have to have this student on campus”?
  • Think about what you value and treasure most, as well as what you can't tolerate
  • Make it fun or serious and let your personality bubble to the top
  • Don’t try to second-guess admissions officers
  • How do I make it vivid, engaging and memorable?
  • How do I make the first paragraph or last paragraph memorable?
  • How do I keep it smart and to the point?
  • If someone asked your bestfriend why a college should accept you, what would you best friend say?

Try your essay out verbally on a teacher, a school counselor and another trusted adult. Let them know how you're going to start your essay, what each body paragraph will entail, and what your conclusion looks like. While you tell them what you're going to write, look at their faces to gauge their responses. You're looking to discover two things: 1) Does your notion of a college essay work in their eyes and 2) What suggestions they might have to make it more compelling

The focus of the essay is you – your achievements, your goals, your values The essay should be memorable Tell the readers something your application doesn’t Honest autobiography eclipses style Try to share something that you've been at for at least two years Grammar, syntax, spelling, word choice count are essential Make sure to have two outside readers review your essay This is your opportunity wow admissions