In 2012, the test-prep world was rocked by the news that for the first time ever, more college applicants in the US had taken the ACT than the SAT. Long thought to be the SAT’s stranger, less prestigious cousin, the ACT is now considered its equal by all college admissions officers. This means that one of the most important questions now facing applicants is: “Which test do I take?” This is a complex question, because the ACT differs from the SAT in a number of crucial ways:
- It includes a science section, which focuses on your ability to interpret scientific data, not memorize it.
- The essay is optional.
- It’s less “tricky” - in other words, the test is less strategy-oriented, which can, perversely, make it hard to prepare for.
- You have much less time per question.
- Vocabulary is not tested.
If you are deciding between the SAT and ACT, please contact us today for a free consultation; we will be happy to help you with this decision. Once you set your sights on the ACT, your success on the test depends on your ability to:
- Recognize and master question types
- Understand the knowledge and concepts covered by the test
- Strategically leverage the best materials for your specific needs
- Adopt a data-driven approach to diagnostic assessment
We are experts at guiding students through all these challenges. Before you even meet with your tutor, we assess your strengths and weaknesses with a diagnostic exam. But, we believe in doing more than just targeting your weaknesses - your tutor’s goal is to identify the sections where you have the greatest potential for improvement, and help you wring every last point from them. That’s why, based on your results, your tutor will construct a customized syllabus in advance of your first session.
Here’s what you get when you study for the ACT with Cambridge Coaching:
Taking the ACT is a critically important part of the college process. This intimidating, confusing test can be significantly demystified by a supremely qualified tutor. Cambridge Coaching ACT tutors understand the central importance of the ACT, but we also understand that the ACT needs to fit into your life, which (we hope!) is packed with lots of other stuff. We emphasize a highly structured and systematic study process—not just doing more problems—as the best path to a higher score. That means that, even though you will have to do a lot of work to reach your best score, we’d like to make sure you only do meaningful, score-raising work.
2The Best-Compensated Tutors
Unlike other companies, we place a heavy emphasis on tutors' pay and their professional development as teachers. As far as we are aware, our tutors earn the highest compensation—and the greatest share of company revenue—of any tutors in the industry. Although it seems like common sense that tutors are the most important part of a tutoring organization, most companies shortchange their tutors in order to reap greater profits. We consider our tutors to be our most important investment, and we have found that caring about our tutors allows us to hire and retain the very best.
National companies develop general curricula aimed at a broad population, the so called "average students." They do not tailor their curricula based on your needs because customization is expensive and time-consuming, which means that every student is taught in exactly the same way. We believe that a tailored program is a basic prerequisite for any effective tutoring relationship, particularly for high school students navigating the ACT. We build each tutoring relationship around each unique student. Before you even meet with a tutor, you will take an official exam and based on the results, your tutor will create a customized syllabus.
We typically meet with students once or twice per week for 90 minutes each time. The sessions correspond to your customized syllabus, which includes homework, practice exams, and in-session methodological drills. Each syllabus is based on the individual student and his or her specific weaknesses, not the weaknesses of an average student. Between each 90 minute session, we scrutinize student progress section-by-section and problem-by-problem. We will show you how to track every single problem you complete, so that we can adjust your syllabus, based on a growing base of knowledge about your strengths and weaknesses.
Our programs are intensive, but we have found that they actually minimize the stress of taking the ACT. During the course of a Comprehensive Package, our students see between 1600 and 2000 questions, the complete set of available practice exams, and study between 60 and 100 hours. We make sure that our students have raised their scores and maintained them before taking the official ACT. It isn't a coincidence that our students consistently achieve outstanding results.
5Official Practice Material
Our primary materials consist of the five official exams released by ACT Inc. (the company that writes the exam) and the two official guides to the test: The Real ACT Prep Guide and Preparing for the ACT. Unlike other companies who write their own "simulated questions," our materials prepare you for what you will see on test day. We supplement official material with an evolving list of the secondary sources that we view to be the best means of mastering particular methodologies. Because we are not invested in selling proprietary materials, we prefer to cherry-pick the best materials from as many sources as possible.
6A Holistic Approach
Because we know that the ACT is only one small component of your life, we think about all aspects of our students’ academic lives. In everything we do, we think about how we can help you grow and develop as an individual, finding inspiration in learning and intellectual development. At this crucial point in high school, this might mean helping you with coursework to catalyze a high score, or helping you to organize extracurriculars and community activities into a more balanced study schedule. Our tutors are not only ACT experts, but also mentors who connect all the dots, so that you can reach your best score in the context of the bigger picture. For ACT students, we typically offer a free college consultation to help you begin thinking about the college process as a whole. For more information on our application coaching services, please visit our college page.