SAT / ACT
Since 2017 I've completed more than 1,000 lesson hours with 100+ students on the SAT, ACT, PSAT, SSAT, ISEE, and a variety of even more obscure tests such as the CogAT, the ITBS, the NJSLA, and the SBA. The average improvement when having at least 12 lesson hours with me and having done all homework is approximately 180 points on the SAT and 5 points on the ACT (the difference between Florida State and UC Berkeley). I've scored in the 99th percentile on both the SAT and on the ACT, and I love helping students beat these tests. References are available upon request.
My own scores below.
SAT: 1520 / 1600 (99.5th percentile), November 2018
ACT: 35 / 36 (99.7th percentile), February 2014
From 2017 until 2018 I taught SAT, ACT, and SSAT classes for Aurorae Young Learning in Bellevue. I was in charge of curriculum development for these classes.
To achieve large score improvements on the SAT and ACT, it is imperative for students to do the homework. Score improvements of 5+ on the ACT and 180+ on the SAT are typical when students complete all of the homework I assign. To this end, I ask that students and parents treat SAT / ACT preparation as the top academic concern while they are engaged in it. Let's do some math:
I recommend 12 to 18 hours of SAT or ACT tutoring for most students.
I assign approximately 2 hours of homework for every hour of SAT or ACT tutoring, which is 24 to 36 total hours of homework.
That comes out to 36-54 hours spent on SAT / ACT preparation, which will result in a substantial boost to a student's SAT or ACT score.
OK. Now, here are the things that colleges care about most:
Maintaining a high GPA and taking challenging courses during high school (40%)
SAT and / or ACT scores (30%)
Application essays (15%)
If we assume that high school students spend on average 7 hours a day physically present at school, as well as 1.5 hours a day on homework, for 180 days a year, for 4 years, we calculate that the typical high school student spends approximately 6,000 hours on high school. And depending on the commitment, students spend anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand hours on extracurriculars.
SAT / ACT preparation is the quickest and most straightforward way to improve a student's chances of acceptance to any and all colleges. Students who prioritize test preparation (by doing all of the assigned homework) will achieve their goals.
In the table below I compiled the cost of private SAT / ACT tutoring for some of the main national and Seattle-area companies.