Summertime is the perfect season for improving your SAT results.

Last Updated: May 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM

At Score at the Top, students supported by our tutors typically see score gains of 150 points. Your plan of action? Which of these sounds like you:

My scores are…well let’s just say I’ll be taking the test again.

  • It’s not unusual for students to be disappointed by their first SAT. Most people do better the second or third time they take the test.
  • Sign up for tutoring: concentrate on your weaker areas and continue to build on your strengths
  • Practice with as many real SATs as possible.
  • Take at least two simulated tests before your actual test.

I did well in some but not all sections.

  • It‘s to your advantage to take the test again for two reasons:
    (1) Colleges like to see you try to improve your scores.
    (2) The majority of colleges “super-score” your SATs, which means that they pick the highest scores from each section of those tests that you submit.
  • Sign up for tutoring to help you improve results in the sections where you are under performing.
  • Practice throughout the summer on actual SAT tests.
  • Take two simulations before you take your actual test.

I am happy with my scores.

  • Great!! Make sure that your colleges will be happy with the scores too. Log into to confirm the requirements of the colleges where you are applying.
  • If your scores put you in the 75%+ score band, then you have a competitive score that will be an asset to your application.
  • You only need to reconsider taking the SAT again if you have a GPA that is a bit weaker than your college’s average GPA for accepted students.

Remember that when it comes to SATs, practice makes (nearly!) perfect. In pretty much every case, students who work on practice tests and strategies with a tutor see a marked improvement in their scores!

A Quick Guide To Adding SAT Points

Raise the Critical Reading
  • Build vocabulary by learning root words; drilling vocabulary cards; and reading, reading and more reading.
  • Practice looking for evidence in the text that backs up your answer choice. Every answer can be found within the passage — even inferences.
  • Learn to read the questions carefully so you don’t choose one of the “distractors” based on an incorrect understanding of the question
  • Look for your own patterns…Do you often miss main ideas, or inference questions?….Identify your personal weaknesses so you can turn them into strengths!
Master the Math
  • Make flashcards to drill challenging math concepts.
  • Do timing drills to gain speed (possibly adding 30-40 points to your score gain).
  • Identify your repeated errors, and work with a tutor to learn how to avoid them.
Reward your Writing
  • Evaluate your practice tests to identify your own grammatical weaknesses and then do drills to strengthen your knowledge.
  • Look for the shorter answer….most often, concise is nice!
  • Practice outlining essays with thesis statements, two or three examples, and a multitude of supporting details.
  • Memorize supporting details and outlines that you can use for day of the test.
  • Write!

Summer SAT/ACT at Score At The Top

Our “Beef-it-Up” Buffet includes your choice of three main courses:
  1. Group workshops—go to www. for our summer schedule
  2. Individual Tutoring
  3. Create-Your-Own Study Group—Find two or more friends, pick the times and dates you would like to meet, and SATT will provide the tutor and workshop at one of our Centers.

College Savy Summer Planning

Summertime is the also the right time to kick back, relax, hang with friends, go to the beach…..and do your college planning without the pressure of mountains of homework, team practices, or learning your lines for the school play. So this summer…

Leave Home

Take a plane, train or automobile and visit colleges. Talking to students, eating on campus, maybe even sitting in on a class during summer term will give you a real sense if this is a place where you wish to spend four years of your life. If you are unable to make the trip, visit for a virtual tour.

Follow the Money

In these hard economic times, finding scholarships is more important than ever. Use your time this summer to research the opportunities available on Find out if your parents’ employers or local clubs and organizations have funding available. And if you have a talent like singing opera or throwing a baseball 90 miles an hour, there could likely be money for you.

Say Yes You Can

Take an AP course that is not offered at your school, get a research internship, attend a college summer study program, develop a youth leadership initiative for a local homeless shelter. Using your summer productively will help you develop a more interesting resume for your college applications. And you might actually find learning a tough subject or helping others rewarding!

Topics: Tutoring College Planning Educational Consulting

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