The SAT is the most important test of your life. You already know that colleges use it as a critical part of their admissions process. But did you know that many of the most competitive companies, including investment banks and consulting firms, will look at your SAT scores if you apply for a job or an internship? Did you know that many scholarships and summer programs also look at your SAT scores?
You have two options when preparing for the SAT. If you want to spend a few weeks learning how to use the process of elimination and unreliable guesswork, there are multitudes of companies and tutors that can help you. But if you want to spend a few months actually improving your math and language skills, and actually target the 2300+ SAT scores that can open so many doors, you may find that AVE’s progressive tutoring programs have what you are looking for.
First, let’s dispense with the myths. Despite was a lot of mass-market SAT companies want you to believe, there are not simple “test-taking strategies” that will miraculously guarantee a high score. If there was anything that simple, everyone on earth would get a 2300+ SAT score. The hype about “test-taking strategies” is just that: hype. Test taking strategies are easy to teach, and it is easy for mass-market companies to hire staff that can teach them (in fact, many companies actually hire college students to teach their SAT courses.)
On the other hand, that does not mean that if your current SAT score is a 1700 that you cannot earn a 2350. It just means that to get there, you will have to train hard with the right system and under the right guidance.
At AVE you will not learn to use “back-solve” and “plug-in” to avoid basic algebra. You will not learn better ways to guess. Instead, you will build your math skills, so that while your peers waste their time using plug-in, you will sail through problems, answering each one quickly and surely. And while your peers try to make better guesses, you will answer each question accurately and confidently. If you want to see what types of solutions you will learn, look at this free sample of SAT Math Cognition.
The methods that Arvin Vohra teaches are the same ones he used to earn perfect scores on the GRE and GMAT. (The GRE and GMAT are standardized tests similar to the SAT that people take after college. They are both much harder than the SAT.) He finished the GMAT 1 hour and fifteen minutes early, and he finished the GRE one hour and a half early.
There are the methods that most people use, and then there are the methods that only the best know about. An excellent SAT score can open a lot of doors.
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Are diagnostic tests given as part of the process?
What teaching materials are used?
How early should SAT tutoring begin?
Do students learn basic facts and formulas as part of the process?
Do students learn vocabulary?
Can SAT tutoring be done in a shorter time frame?
Will students learn test-taking strategies?
My child really struggles with standardized tests. Will tutoring help?
Because SAT tutoring works with so many different aspects of learning and cognitive development, a comprehensive description of methods is not practical. Instead, this section focuses on situations in which students test scores and school grades are differ dramatically. These situations are often of particular interest to educators.
Success in school tests generally comes from a combination of mastery of fundamental principles and a knowledge of detail. A sufficiently high level of the latter can compensate for weakness in the former. For example, a student can memorize twenty formulas for a math exam instead of learning the small number of fundamental principles.
When students learn in this way, they often forget large amounts of this memorized information. Exam performance is often weaker than quiz and homework performance. Sometimes, when a student is sufficiently disciplined, exam performance is at the same level as quiz and homework performance.
Success in school that comes through knowledge of detail is possible because there is a limited amount of information. Even a math final exam has a finite number of problem types to choose from. Thus, the student can memorize formulas, facts, and rules of thumb to succeed in school. Each year, he can memorize new information, and succeed to some extent in his classes.
The SAT, however, has an inordinately large number of potential problem types. Memorizing enough to do well is basically impossible, and success requires an understanding of fundamental principles.
In general, the longer a student has relied on memorization as a substitute for understanding, the more intensive SAT preparation will have to be. Long-term calculator use, when combined with reliance on memorization, can be especially damaging to mathematical reasoning.
SAT tutoring addresses these issues by building fundamental knowledge and cognitive skills. Drills are uses to build basic skills, and challenging problems are used to build much of the required reasoning. Development of problem-solving skills is often accomplished by making students make connections and intellectual leaps on their own. Problems are often broken down into smaller components to make this possible; additionally, the student's attention will be directed to the part of the problem that requires the intellectual leap. This method is often preferred to more traditional methods of direct instruction; however, both are used as appropriate. This applies to math, reading, sentence completion, and even certain grammar problems.
Please note that situations in which SAT scores are significantly lower than what school performance predicts make up just one of the many types of circumstances in which SAT tutoring is appropriate. SAT tutoring is available for all levels of students, ranging from those struggling with the rudiments to the most advanced students. Educators with specific questions can contact AVE directly at email@example.com.