The SAT/ACT are carefully designed tests of a student’s ability to reason under pressure. As such, the skills they test include detailed textual analysis, problem solving in ambiguous situations, and careful time management.
Our students begin with taking a full baseline test (all tests are authentic tests that have been administered and released by the ACT). We review these tests and listen carefully to the ways students are processing questions, so we can assess where we will be able to intervene effectively.
Our plan for each student will be unique and tailored to his or her specific needs. As an intervention specialist, Jeannie is able to gear test preparation to special needs and to assist in applying for needed accommodations.
Our primary goal in coaching students is to help them build skills and strategies in an environment free of any pressure to perform under timed conditions. Testing can cause considerable anxiety, and we focus on achieving high levels of accuracy before we reintroduce the time element.
Without pressure to meet time targets, students develop the skills and strategies to answer questions at a high level of accuracy and efficiency. Time management is then much easier for them to master. Before their test date our students will practice repeatedly on timed test sections and full tests until strategies become automatic and results predictable.
While preparation time varies from student to student, we generally recommend a set-aside time of 8-10 weeks of one or one and a half hours. Follow-up assignments are given but we are very aware of the careful balance that students carry with academics, sports and other activities. We aim to integrate their test prep into a routine so that work can be done with proper focus but is not intrusive.
All test preparation takes place in our offices in Beachwood. We have quiet rooms that we have set aside for testing, which allows us to offer a practice setting that mirrors as closely as possible the environment they will encounter on their testing day. Our office is also available for students who wish to come in early to work quietly on their assignments.