SAT and ACT Tutoring Rates and Frequently Asked Questions

Email or call today 610-350-1335 to discuss a plan.

Due to the high volume of inquiries, please allow 2-4 days for a reply. My schedule is booked 4-6 weeks in advance – if you need help more quickly, please call Todd Stong 610-761-4799 or email toddstong@gmail.com. Todd uses all of my materials and strategies and has years of tutoring experience with a number of different companies – his rate ~$100-$110 per hour.


Tutoring




SAT and ACT ONLINE Tutoring Rates

Rates valid as of 7/18/17 :

10 Hours Online Tutoring purchased at one time: $1,450 (Additional hours over 10 are $145/hr)

We use a free online whiteboard to demonstrate solutions and Facetime or Skype for audio/video. Results of online students are indistinguishable from those of students receiving in-person tutoring.

SAT and ACT In-Person Tutoring Rates

Rates valid as of 7/18/17 :
10 Hours purchased at one time: $1,600 (Additional hours over 10 are $160/hour)
Pay-by-the-hour rate: $180/hour

For students seeking a less expensive option, I have several tutors who work with me and use my materials and are available for tutoring in West Chester or in students’ homes for ~$100/hour. Please call or email for details. Additionally small group rates (see below) are another relatively cost-effective option.

Small Group Rates (Great Value)
2 students in same lesson at the same time: $170/hour total (Only $85 per student per hour)
3 students in same lesson at the same time: $180/hour total (Only $60 per student per hour)

Cancellations/Reschedules
Cancellations and reschedules without 36 hours notice will be charged $125. It will also likely not be possible to reschedule these sessions, especially in the last two weeks before a test. If 36-hour notice is provided, there will be no charge for cancellations/rescheduling.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Sessions start 6-12 weeks before desired test date. Average program length is 10-14 hours, with 10 hours as the minimum recommended. Sample schedules appear below. Although we generally keep same day/time each week, we can tailor the plan to schedule and available times. Please email to work out specifics.

Sign up for KHAN ACADEMY SAT PREP to start getting an idea of what is covered now. Independent study assigned through Khan Academy is part of tutoring program. Although my materials are somewhat different, more is always good!

 

SAT BOOKS TO OBTAIN:

College Board Official SAT Study Guide

https://www.amazon.com/Official-SAT-Study-Guide-2018/dp/1457309289/

RK Test Prep Book of Essential SAT® Grammar: Writing and Language Practice Tests

https://www.amazon.com/Test-Prep-Book-Essential-Grammar/dp/1545003440/

 

 

SAMPLE OCTOBER ACT PREP SCHEDULE
Week of Sept 10
Week of Sept 17
Week of Sept 24
Week of Oct 1
Week of Oct 8
Week of Oct 15
Week of Oct 22
Week of Oct 29
Sat Oct 28 ACT TEST

 

SAMPLE NOVEMBER SAT PREP SCHEDULE
Week of Sept 10
Week of Sept 17
Week of Sept 24
Week of Oct 1
Week of Oct 8
Week of Oct 15
Week of Oct 22
Week of Oct 29
Sat Nov 4 SAT TEST

 

SAMPLE DECEMBER SAT PREP SCHEDULE

Week of Oct 8

Week of Oct 15
Week of Oct 22
Week of Oct 29
Week of Nov 5
Week of Nov 12
Week of Nov 19
Week of Nov 26

Sat Dec 2 SAT TEST

 

SAMPLE DECEMBER ACT PREP SCHEDULE
Week of Oct 15
Week of Oct 22
Week of Oct 29
Week of Nov 5
Week of Nov 12
Week of Nov 19
Week of Nov 26
Week of Dec 3
Sat Dec 9 ACT Test

 

SAMPLE FEBRUARY ACT PREP SCHEDULE
Week of Dec 17
Week of Dec 24
Week of Dec 31
Week of Jan 7
Week of Jan 14
Week of Jan 21
Week of Jan 28
Week of Feb 4
Sat Feb 10 ACT Test

 

SAMPLE MARCH SAT PREP SCHEDULE

Week of Jan 14

Week of Jan 21
Week of Jan 28
Week of Feb 4
Week of Feb 11
Week of Feb 18
Week of Feb 25
Week of March 4
March 10 SAT Test

 

SAMPLE APRIL ACT PREP SCHEDULE
Week of February 18
Week of February 25
Week of March 4
Week of March 11
Week of March 18
Week of March 25
Week of April 1
Week of April 8
April 14 ACT Test

 

SAMPLE MAY SAT PREP SCHEDULE
Week of March 18
Week of March 25
Week of April 1
Week of April 8
Week of April 15
Week of April 22
Week of April 29
May 5 SAT Test

 

SAMPLE JUNE SAT PREP SCHEDULE
Week of April 17
Week of April 24
Week of May 1
Week of May 8
Week of May 15
Week of May 22
Week of May 29
June 2 SAT Test

SAMPLE JUNE ACT PREP SCHEDULE
Week of April 17
Week of April 24
Week of May 1
Week of May 8
Week of May 15
Week of May 22
Week of May 29
Week of June 5
June 9 ACT Test

SAMPLE SUMMER SAT PREP SCHEDULE
Tues 7/12 1215-145pm
Tues 7/19 1215-145pm
Tues 7/26 1215-145pm
Tues 8/2 1215-145pm
Tues 8/9 1215-145pm
Tues 8/16 1215-145pm
Tues 8/23 1215-145pm
Tues 8/30 1 hr session? (school starts?)
September ~1-3 1-hr sessions?
Sat Oct 1 SAT TEST

SAMPLE SUMMER ACT PREP SCHEDULE
Thurs 7/7 2-330pm
Thurs 7/14 2-330pm
Thurs 7/21 2-330pm
Thurs 7/28 2-330pm
Thurs 8/4 2-330pm
Thurs 8/11 2-330pm
Thurs 8/18 2-3 or 2-330pm
Thurs 8/25 2-3 or 2-330pm
Thurs 9/1 1 hr session sometime?
Thurs 9/8 1 hr session sometime?
Sat Sept 10 ACT Test

 

SAMPLE AUGUST SAT PREP SCHEDULE
Week of July 10 x 2 sessions
Week of July 17
Week of July 24
Week of July 31
Week of August 7
Week of August 14
Week of August 21
August 26 SAT Test

SAMPLE SEPTEMBER ACT PREP SCHEDULE
Week of July 10 x 2 sessions
Week of July 17
Week of July 24
Week of July 31
Week of August 7
Week of August 14
Week of August 21
Week of August 28
Week of September 4
September 9 ACT Test

 

SAMPLE OCTOBER SAT PREP SCHEDULE
Tues 8/9 1215-145pm
Tues 8/16 1215-145pm
Tues 8/23 1215-145pm
Tues 8/30 1.5 hr session afternoon or evening or Saturday (school starts)
Tues 9/6 1.5 hr session
Tues 9/13 1.5 hr session
Tues 9/20 1.5 hr session
Tues 9/27 1.5 hr session
Sat Oct 7 SAT TEST

 

Individual programs vary, but the most popular is meeting for 1.5 hours per week (plus 2-5 hours of homework for the student to complete on their own time), beginning 2-3 months before the exam. On average, students complete between 10 and 16 hours of tutoring. Some students opt for more tutoring time, but it depends on the student’s experience and goals. In-person sessions can be 1.25 or 1.5 hours. Online Sessions can be 1 or 1.25 or 1.5 hours. Please call or email to discuss details of the programs.

My approach for the Mathematics Section is to begin by reviewing some concepts from math and some test-specific strategies. After this the student completes practice sections from the official SAT® Study Guide, and then as we review the incorrect or omitted problems I figure out whether the topic needs to be taught again or just practiced. I make up practice problems like those that were difficult and then the student practices those until he or she is confident in his or her ability to answer those types of questions. At this point we move on and the student works on new problems and we continue to eliminate trouble spots and the student’s scores on practice tests increase over time*.

For the Critical Reading section, we discuss strategies for each type of question and the student completes a vocabulary program during the course of the tutoring. Students are encouraged to start reading YESTERDAY – anything is good, but the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Economist are possible sources of SAT®-level material. Critical Reading tends to be the most difficult and time-consuming score to raise, as deficiencies in vocabulary often present large obstacles to comprehension. I encourage students who lack familiarity with SAT®-type texts to select two articles each week, either from a magazine, newspaper, or online source, and the following lesson we review the article and I quiz them in great detail so they can see and practice the strategies needed to decode dense or rambling texts.

For the writing section I spend time reviewing the specific grammar and punctuation rules with the student and then have them practice these on increasingly difficult sentences. Students are required to not only explain why their answer is correct, but also precisely why every other answer choice is incorrect. This rigorous practice and explanation best prepares the student for test day. For the essay portion of the writing section, the student is given a blueprint for writing an effective essay and then practices coming up with examples for each argument and arranging their thoughts in the proper format.

Every week there is homework covering all areas of the test, averaging 2 hours per week but ranging from 1.5 hours at the initial meeting to 4 hours on the one (or two) weeks where a student will complete an entire practice test at home. We discuss the homework at the next lesson, reviewing any concepts that are not crystal clear.

At any given time I am working with somewhere between 10 and 30 students in some form or other (not all meeting weekly). If you can reserve times 4-6 weeks or more in advance, you can have pretty much any day and time that you want. If you wait until the week before, your options will be very limited. For this reason I recommend laying out a schedule ahead of time.

I am very careful not to overbook – that is, when I see that my schedule is full I stop accepting new students. However, if you are a current student and do choose to roll the dice and wait until the week before to schedule, you might hear something like “I can do 6:30-8pm Thursday or 6-7:30pm Saturday.” This also means that re-schedulings are VERY tough – the sooner you can tell me there needs to be a change, the more options you will have. This is also the reason for the charge for any cancellations in under 24 hours. All these scary disclaimers aside, I have never had an incident in nearly 4,000 hours of tutoring where a student was not able to fit in a time for their session.

There are a million different answers to this question depending on who you ask, but based on my experience the flow chart should look like this (These are just general recommendations, every student is different, talk to your guidance counselor, read College Confidential, etc.):

1. Have you completed Algebra II before Junior Year?

If NO, then wait until at least the winter if not spring of Junior year to take the SAT.  I see no reason to take a test before one has completed the subjects tested.
If YES, then you can take the test whenever you want.

2. Do you have a time- and energy-intensive activity during one part of the year?

If YES, then you should try to take the test in the off-season.  For example, football players don’t need to rush and test in the fall during the middle of the season.  But students involved in baseball/lacrosse/other spring activities may want to think ahead and try to take the test in the fall or winter if possible.
If NO, then again it doesn’t matter when you take it.

3. Are you potentially a recruited athlete?

If YES, then you may want to take a test earlier in Junior year (like in the Fall) than might be otherwise recommended for the general student population.  The reason for this is that in most cases coaches want to know if you can get in to a school before they start considering you as a recruit.  For example, if you take a test (even without practice) and score 1400/2400, it will be very hard for a Harvard to consider recruiting you, even if you are tops in your sport.  Of course schools understand that test scores can be improved with practice, so a low-ish score will not rule anything out but again a test may be encouraged to help properly set your goals.

4. On practice tests, are you scoring at a level that you would be happy with on the real test? (VERY IMPORTANT!)

If YES, then take the test whenever you want.
If NO, then WAIT and KEEP STUDYING!

There is no magical bump from practice test to actual test beyond some nominal amount (maybe 30-40 points) due to perhaps somewhat increased focus.  But if you are scoring 1800 on practice tests and you need a 2000 on the real thing, those 200 points will not materialize just because you are sitting in a testing room – there are still math concepts you need to learn and practice, vocabulary words to learn, and grammar rules to study and internalize.  Again, what you are scoring on practice tests from the blue book is very likely to be approximately what you will score on the actual test.  There have been rare exceptions (in both directions), but for the most part this holds true.

The corollary to this is that if you are a sophomore who has already completed Algebra II and are scoring 2150-2250 on practice tests and that is your target score, you could conceivably take the test Sophomore year and be done with it.  There will likely be many students going this route in the next two years as the test changes and students want to complete at least one “old” version of the test given the large amount of study material available (an other concerns).  On the other hand, some students have noted that the extra rigor of Junior year AP English added to their vocabulary and reading comprehension skills and thus gave a boost on the Reading section; however, high-achieving students may choose to get the SAT out of the way Sophomore year if Junior year is stacked with a lot of AP classes.

Colleges use SAT®/ACT® scores as a factor in their decisions for both admission AND financial aid. Making yourself more valuable to schools through higher test scores will increase your options.

This is not actually a frequently asked question, but I think it merits addressing. For the most part, parents seem pretty enthused about the amount of homework that I assign. But it is important to recognize that diligent repetition and consistent practice are the keys to a student’s success. I can show them the strategies and relevant grammar rules, but until they practice it consistently on their own they will not internalize these skills. I like to say that Michael Jordan could spend two hours showing you how to shoot a basketball, but unless you go to the gym on your own and shoot thousands of shots (with proper form!), his lesson will be irrelevant. (Note: No, I do not think that I am the Michael Jordan of the SAT®).

Maybe. But there is a reason why even professional golfers have private coaches. You could practice for 1,000 hours, but if your form is not right then that practice is worse than useless – it is actually damaging because you are internalizing and cementing in your mind the incorrect form! Only perfect practice makes perfect, so I encourage students to make sure they are practicing with correct techniques and also that they are practicing and studying the right material. There are a lot of bad SAT® study books out there that actually quiz and drill concepts that don’t actually appear on the test. I am available to help students learn how and what they should be studying and am completely willing to let them go work on their own if they are motivated enough to do the work themselves.

We can meet in person Mondays and Wednesdays between 10:30am and 9:30pm and on Saturdays from 11am to 9pm. For in-person tutoring, we meet at my office in the borough of West Chester, 117 W Gay St Ste 340, West Chester PA 19380. Higher rates apply for tutoring at another location.

Weekday sessions generally run from 3:30-5pm, 5:05-6:35pm, 6:40-8:10pm, or 8:15-9:15/9:45pm. Given that in-season athletes and students with after-school activities cannot do the earlier times, the 6:40-8:10pm is usually taken sooner. Sessions on Saturday can be anytime between 11am and 9pm.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time teaching math in the classroom at Twin Valley, but several factors motivated my decision to tutor instead. First, students learn more effectively one-on-one and the level of results I can get in short periods of time with students is very satisfying. I remember having students who would struggle with material in class and being able to fix their comprehension issues in literally minutes together one-on-one. It is way easier to figure out their problems and to effectively design the best possible solution in this environment.

Second, I enjoy being able to spend time at home with my boys, especially given their young ages. I anticipate I will likely return to the classroom at a later date, but for now I enjoy this. Also I received nothing but positive evaluations and parental and student feedback for my teaching.

No. While my rates are well below those of most large tutoring companies, if your student is really motivated and there is demonstrated financial hardship we can work something out. Please call or email to discuss.

No. It is pretty beat that I have to even address this, but, well, some have tried this approach. So I must state that all packages are non-refundable.

*This is not a guarantee. Results vary.
SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board. ACT® is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc. None of the trademark holders were involved in the production of, and do not endorse this product.