Academic test prep must be a well-planned and executed TEAM effort involving students, parents (of our pre-adult students), and the mentor.
We support the following major standardized tests and programs. These tests are targeted for various audiences. Refer to the tab for each test, for specific details, procedures and questions. However, in general, regardless of the individual test, we have a STRATEGY.
LSAT (Law School Admissions Test)
AP (Advanced Placement)
SAT/ACT (Scholastic Aptitude Test/American College Test)
GRE (Graduate Record Exam)
GED (Tests for General Educational Development).
Our Academic Test Prep Strategy
Plan Plan Plan
We often get inquiries from parents such as the following:
“My daughter is taking her junior year SAT in 6 weeks. She is generally a B average student. She needs to score a 1350 to get into the college of her choice with a scholarship. Can you meet with her a couple of times to make this happen?”
Likely not. The SAT and ACT tests cover not only the first three years of high school mathematics, but foundational pre-algebra topics. A score in that range will also require a high level of logical thinking skills. This likely won’t be accomplished in a matter of weeks.
This is why we must PLAN beginning WHEN?
CHANGE and SUCCESS is only possible if we work together as a team that includes the student, parents or guardians, and our tutor. Teachers are often a member of the team as well.
We all only experience success when we minimize the concept of motivation and focus on change of habits. This can be very difficult for students. They must make, for them, difficult choices as it relates to prioritization.
We work with students beyond just academic improvement. We can also work with students on a more planned, consistent basis to change habits. However, the bottom line is that the student must personally commit to change in order to benefit most from our academic test prep service.
Set Target Goals
Planning requires target goals. The higher the goals, the more preparation is required. We have worked with a wide variety of students. Some students only had goals of an SAT score of 1150. This can be a major accomplishment for a student who is an average C student. But, it is doable, with the right level of planning and preparation
Standardized testing requires consistent levels of “improving confidence” that do not and will not occur overnight. Thus, again, planning is key.
Assess and Reassess
We can not create an effective test prep plan and goals if we do not know where we are starting from. Some students are very weak in pre-algebra and/or reading and grammar skills. Starting to work on getting ready for the test often means getting that foundation firm.
With our AP test prep program, we believe in challenging students to stretch beyond what they believe their limits are.
Oftentimes, our school system does not challenge students. My students are individuals with unrealized skills.
“It is our job to teach our students and instill confidence TO DO HARD THINGS.” — Our Owner, Joe
One of the characteristics that makes the Academic Expert so unique is the level in which we excel in AP test prep and STEM or AP tutoring. Very few tutoring companies provide and demonstrate AP level skills and teaching ability in STEM subject matter.
We specialize in AP Calc AB, AP Calc BC, AP Statistics and AP Physics (all four tests which includes the calculus-based tests). We also support AP Chemistry students. (This is one of Joe’s favorite subjects!) We (and he) are always adding new skills. It is NEVER too early to start preparing for an upcoming AP class.
If you have an AP subject not listed, LET US KNOW!
We Expect Excellence of Effort
To be brutally honest, we work with AP students that are willing to do the work and are willing to learn how to do the work. AP success requires a high level of self-motivation and ability to plan and execute.
And, we will be there for you every step of the way,
The students who are committed to scoring a 4 or 5 on an AP test NEED to begin their planning no later than the beginning of the fall semester. However, we strongly recommend and work with students who start their preparation the summer BEFORE the school year in which they will take the test. (See the General Planning approach above.)
In much the same way that SAT/ACT and other standardized testing MUST be “prepped for” in a highly planned scheme, AP tests must be addressed in that same manner. However, mastery of AP topics requires even more attention to how the student studies at home, as well as how the student must learn and be able to handle the rigor of an AP class and exam.
The students must acquire, have, or improve in their ability to handle “out of the box” situations and problems. This is, we believe, where the real benefit of an AP curriculum is—teaching the students to think.
It is truly rewarding to work with AP students who are committed to the concept and acquisition of mastery. We work together as a team.
What We Do For You
Here is what we do for our AP Test Prep and AP Tutoring students:
Ensure that our AP test prep & AP tutoring students are grounded in the basics.
Teach with creativity in mind. A student can’t learn creativity if they are not taught creativity.
EVERY AP topic must be tied into previous related subject matter topics. Students learn best when they see how topics tie together.
Most errors made on AP Calculus and Science exams are due to lack of preparation and lack of visualization of the specifics of the problem or lack of grounding in the basics. We teach our AP test prep and AP tutoring students not to assume.
Which Tests Do We Support?
In our AP test prep and AP tutoring programs, we have worked with students in:
AP Calculus AB & BC
AP Physics 1 & 2
AP Physics C: Mechanics & AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism
Calculus Based Physics
What do we expect of our AP test prep & AP tutoring students?
Desire to reach and work for mastery.
Desire to wonder how things work.
Desire to build a relationship when they learn from me and I learn from them.
Desire to build that confidence that they know they need and want.
AP will challenge your student. We have seen more confidence building occur in AP classes than in most any other curriculum. Success in a student’s AP endeavors REQUIRES a commitment to mastery and the habits needed to accomplish that level of success.
If you are a parent or middle school parent or high school parent needing general information for the AP, visit the AP Central website:
So, if your student is in the position of not having graduated on-time with her class and wants to pursue her GED, what should she do?
Depending on your state, there may be some hoops to jump through depending on the age of your student and how recently their class graduated.
The GED test covers Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning Through Language Arts, Social Studies and Science. Many states also have a requirement to pass a civics test. Each test must be passed in order to obtain the high school diploma equivalency.
As we discussed when talking about these tests in general, and other tests, specifically, the ability of the student to be a self-starter is the most important characteristic or skill of the student.
We here at the Academic Expert have worked with students who have been able to navigate and succeed through the GED process. It is NOT easy, however. We can and do provide various levels of support. Sometimes the students need us to minimally help them with content questions. Sometimes, students need us to teach various levels of GED topics. Sometimes students and parents need us to invest in helping the students to manage their time on a daily basis.
What To Expect
Do NOT rely on the GED to save the day, if staying in school is still an option.
If your student failed to graduate or is “planning” on that path, look before you leap.
If your student had trouble with motivation, self-starting, completing assignments, or paying attention, opting for the GED may well NOT provide a solution without changes; major changes to their habits.
I have worked with students prepping for the GED; some succeeded and some did not. The ones who succeeded were able to become self-starters and carry themselves across the finish line.
Regardless as to what the problems are in the high school, graduating will still be a preferable path. Trying to, in essence, cover multiple years of high school curricula is very difficult for the average teenager.
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is the standardized test used by many universities to assist the admission process for graduate school.
Adults are continuing to attend colleges and graduate school at an increasing rate. Many adults may have been away from formal education for decades, however.
In some ways the GRE is similar to the SAT/ACT. Here is a quick rundown of the two tests and similarities vs. differences:
The GRE test consists of three topics—Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. There are six sections on the test:
Analytical Writing (one section with two separately timed tasks)
Quantitative Reasoning (two sections)
Experimental Section or Research Section – Verbal or Quantitative Reasoning
Test-takers get either the research section or the experimental section. The experimental section is unmarked and random.However, if there is a Research section instead, it will be the last section of the test, and it will be optional. The purpose of the Experimental and Research sections is to test out potential future GRE questions.
The SAT includes two main topics—Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math. This breaks down into four sections:
(1) Reading section
(1) Writing section
(2) Math sections
In comparison to the SAT, the GRE will have some familiar albeit often more difficult questions. Like the SAT’s Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section, the Verbal Reasoning sections on the GRE will test your comprehension and reasoning skills.
The GRE doesn’t have a section for grammar and punctuation. It tests your ability to establish a coherent, logical argument.
In the GRE Quantitative Reasoning sections, the GRE tests more basic math concepts and has a heavier focus on geometry than the SAT.
The Analytical Writing section on the GRE does not test your knowledge of specific content, rather it tests your ability to articulate and support complex ideas, develop and evaluate arguments, and sustain a focused and logical discussion.
**Note that the GRE is now accepted by some law schools as a substitute or replacement for the LSAT.
As with the other tests, in order to do your best, you need a plan. Contact us if you are considering grad school and anticipate needing to take the GRE.
Many schools have removed the requirement for submitting ACT or SAT scores during the admission process. A large number of schools have made these tests optional.
Keep in mind that that stipulation should not be interpreted as the school won’t look at submitted scores. Check with your school of interest to be sure that you understand what their position is.
And in fact, MIT has reinstated the requirement and more will follow — READ THIS
We can help your student with SAT Prep and ACT prep, and all the necessary planning for both of these important tests.
Most students that we observe in schools that we work with, don’t have a plan that maps to their ACT and SAT score goals. Most students do not have a quantitative understanding of their current performance level on the ACT or SAT test. Many students believe that the best path to success (even though that level of success may not be understood) is to just work problems from SAT and/or ACT prep books until they get tired of working problems.
We work with the student and parents on a number of metrics to determine how many tests the student is likely to need, assess their current performance level, and determine which subject matter needs to be reviewed or retaught.
It is our experience that just working problems will NOT rectify conceptual issues that the student never mastered in school. In short, we work with you to assess, develop a plan, teach how to study at home daily for the SAT and ACT, consistently follow-up on progress, and modify plans and goals as appropriate.
We will help you navigate issues and, as with all of our other tests, will help you put a plan together for test preparation. As with all of the other tests that we support, ultimately the student’s outcome is owned by the student.
We will talk with you the whole way.
SAT — The only remaining firm test date for 2022 is:
June 4, 2022
The following are anticipated dates for 2022 and 2023:
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