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Solutions Specialized SAT ACT Tutoring
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Math2 Subject - AP Chemistry - AP Calculus AB / BC

We are very good at this. Teaching done the RIGHT Way
*We only teach subjects we specialize in and are absolutely good at


*There is no office staff answering calls. You are calling the Head Teacher directly.
If there is no answer, either the Head Teacher is teaching lessons or it is after hours

LESSONS ANYWHERE: Bay Area / California /  USA  /  WORLDWIDE: Private Conference Call

MAIN AREA: Walnut Creek, CA 94596  San Francisco Bay Area,  California, USA

SCHOOL YEAR HOURS 7 DAYS A WEEK: Monday - Friday: 2pm - 11pm Saturday & Sunday: 12pm - 9pm


Some places are expensive...

You can't afford to NOT study for the SAT or ACT.
Sadly, many students work so hard for 4 years in high school and have a great GPA, only to get rejected by colleges because of a low SAT or ACT score.

Why? First of all, grade inflation. Every kid has a 4.0. Secondly, every kid takes different classes, so GPA is not comparable. Third of all, SAT & ACT scores are the ONLY way to have a universal, standard measure of student ability and performance.

SAT score distribution

ACT score distribution   
College only gets more expensive every year. 
Higher SAT & ACT scores get you thousands in tuition reductions

There are some things that you need to invest your money in, and proper education is one of them. If you are looking for cheap tutoring (which actually ends up costing you more because it has to be re-done) or to save money, then you might as well not send your kid to college just to "party" for four years. You could save a lot more by sending your kid to community college or better yet, no college at all. 

Higher SAT & ACT scores =
1) Better Colleges 
2) Reduced Tuition and Loans
3) Higher Future Earnings


expensive colleges

Every year unwitting parents and students waste thousands of dollars and months of time on SAT and ACT classes and tutoring with little improvement, giving up hope and thinking that these exams are just a matter of innate aptitude and academic talent.

Spending thousands of dollars and months of time sitting through SAT or ACT classes is bad enough. Doing it a SECOND TIME because the first course was a waste of time is even worse.

Why? Those other tutors & test prep places have inexperienced part-time tutors who never even took the SAT or ACT, can't solve the problems themselves, lack the ability to explain and teach, and just don't know what they are doing. You would actually better off saving your money and buying a few books.

Get it done right the first time by someone who knows what they are doing and has years of SAT & ACT teaching experience.

Ironically, students ( and their parents ) who are the most confident about their abilities and performance on the SAT & ACT are the ones who perform the worst. Learn more

[ Back to the Top ]
[ Avoid Making These Mistakes ]
[ What makes Solutions SAT & ACT Courses different? ]
[ Lesson Logistics & Details ]  
[ Lessons in-person VS private conference call ]
[ SAT & ACT and College Admissions ]

[ Real Score Results ]

[ Award-Winning Teacher
[ What You Don't Know About Test Prep Companies
[ College Admissions FAQ
[ College Application Essays
[ Subject Test FAQ
[ AP Exam FAQ ]

 Solutions SAT & ACT Courses Teacher
Solutions SAT course taught by our Award-Winning professional credentialed teacher. Not actors or models.
This was how things were done back in the old days. As fun as this looks, maximum learning occurs during one -on-one private lessons.

The SAT & ACT are designed to test specific problem solving abilities and material that are not learned in high school classes.

Preparing for the SAT/ ACT/ AP / Subject tests is very different from studying for a test at school. For a test in school, you just memorize a limited amount of material, take a test, and then just forget it. SAT / ACT / AP / Subject tests are a matter of performance and require a different still set: endurance, concentration, fast thinking, problem solving, analytical skills, and also a broad range of knowledge. Getting ready for these exams is like training for a triathlon. It’s a very different approach.
Students who score high on the SAT & ACT are actually good at solving the problems, NOT because they know a few tricks and strategies.

Despite some popular myths that the kid who scored high learned some test taking strategies that got the 1500 SAT score or the 34 ACT score, that is simply not the case. If it were that easy, no one would need to spend time stdying and preparing for these exams.

We DETERMINE what you don't know, ANALYZE what you are doing wrong and then actually TEACH you what you WON'T LEARN from any other SAT or ACT Course: Real Knowledge and Thinking Skills so you can solve problems the RIGHT way, not by elimination, strategies, guessing, and tricks. We not only teach you WHAT to do, but WHY you are doing it.

I am a professional credentialed high school teacher, and I have personally taken more than 40 SATs and 30 ACTs  because to know what I am talking about, I need to see what test questions show up and analyze them to determine the SIMPLEST, CLEAREST, and RIGHT WAY to answer each one so I can properly teach it. I have  developed and taught my courses to hundreds of students, and more than 6000 test questions have been repeatedly solved and explained to find the best possible methods. Students will get the clearest, most direct, and CORRECT solution to each question, and also learn what NOT to do.

My full-time job 7 days a week is teaching students the RIGHT way ( and the WRONG way ) to solve real SAT / ACT questions. Students will actually learn the critical thinking, analytical reasoning skills, concepts and knowledge underlying the ACT or SAT, and  the RIGHT WAY / WRONG WAY to solve every question, not by lucky guessing / strategies / tricks. I teach students all of the material that shows up on the tests and teach them to combine that knowledge with the thinking and reasoning skills to actually become good at solving the questions.  
As an extremely experienced  teacher, I can do what no self-study book or online video can possibly do: I determine what students don't know they are doing wrong, analyze what they don't know, and correct faulty thinking processes and approaches.

There is a fundamental difference in the thinking of students who answer questions correctly and those who answer wrong or get lucky. That's why just explaining a problem ( self-study using a book or watching videos ) is not very effective.

Any book or online video can give explanations ( which are often times incorrectly done). That doesn't help students solve problems on their own. I will push and challenge students to think. My methods are based on years of teaching experience and educational research. Students will be pushed mentally to their limit in order to MAXIMIZE SCORES.

Students will learn math concepts, English grammar, reading skills, essay writing skills, basic science reasoning and data analysis ( for ACT ), test-taking methods. It covers the ENTIRE ACT or SAT, not just some parts.
In addition, students will take REAL, full-length ACT or SAT practice exams ( ideally at least 8. Any fewer than that and they will not see all the types of questions that appear ).
Because I have literally worked with thousands of students, I can accurately tell how a student compares to his/ her peer across different high schools. 
Because I have ALL of the material memorized, the course and lesson content and speed are actually CUSTOMIZED & ADJUSTED IN REAL-TIME for each student, and even the explanations are customized to the level of each student, something simply NOT POSSIBLE with any other tutor or with a pre-structured course ( example: 3 Math lessons, 2 Reading lessons, 2 Essay lessons ). We will spend more time on areas that need more work, and allocate less time to higher scoring areas.
Every year students endure months of useless tutoring and classes for the SAT & ACT while their parents throw away thousands of dollars with no results.

Most tutors & instructors don't know what they are doing. There are so many WRONG WAYS to teach, and then there is the RIGHT WAY.  
Get it done right -
We know what we are doing

compare US vs THEM

This was how we did things back in the old days. As fun as this looks, maximum learning occurs during one-on-one private lessons.

Teaching the SAT & ACT is not as easy as applying for a part-summer job at Starbuck's or Target ( as much as we all love those places ).

It's actually something that takes years ( yes, YEARS) of practice, taking SATs and ACTs, and working with thousands (yes, THOUSANDS) of students to get good at. 

You can be a tutor too
Yes, we are really good at this. Here are just a few reasons why:

Other places do it WRONG:

- Inexperienced tutors who have never taken a real SAT or ACT, and can't solve all the problems.
- Student does fake / simulated practice SAT or ACT tests, or random "practice exercises"
- Tutor doesn't have a plan, isn't sure what needs to be done.
- Valuable time and money is wasted going slowly over stuff student knows or doing busy work "practice exercises"
- Tutor provides unclear, difficult to understand, and incorrect explanations
- Tutor gives test-taking "tips" and "strategies" and "teaching" is just reciting from a book that you could have bought yourself.


- The teacher has personally taken more than 40 SATs and 30 ACTs, and knows the material in and out.
-   With our expertise and experience, we know exactly what needs to be done and how.
- Students use REAL practice SAT or ACT tests.
- FAST & EFFICIENT: NO TIME is wasted reading and solving the problems because all the questions and explanations are MEMORIZED.
- You get a CLEAR, SIMPLE, and RIGHT solution to 100% of the test questions and the explanations are even adjusted JUST FOR YOU so you can understand.
- We ask you questions (instead of you asking us questions ) because we even know what mistakes you made even when you didn't realize it.
- We check and verify your problem-solving to uncover questions you got right the WRONG way ( wrong logic, luck ).
- Every lesson is ADJUSTED IN REAL TIME to skip what you know, and cover what you don't know.
- We ACTUALLY teach you stuff you never learned before: REAL reading skills, math 100% coverage, grammar 100% coverage, & essay writing

Teaching the SAT & ACT the RIGHT WAY in every detail:

Exceptionally Talented  & Experienced FULL-TIME SAT & ACT Teacher ( Learn more )

- The most PROFICIENT and TALENTED teaching & lessons a student has ever had.
- You know exactly who will teach the classes & lessons - NEVER a random tutor from a team of tutors
- Taken more than 40 SAT exams & 30 ACT exams
- More than 8 years of FULL-TIME ( 7 days a week ) SAT & ACT teaching experience
- An undergraduate of UC Berkeley, graduate teaching credential UC Davis
- Former AP Computer Science High School Teacher at a top performing Bay Area high school
- CBS News & San Francisco Chronicle
Award-Winning Teacher
- Entire SAT and ACT course created from ground up
- Personalized Attention: Contact the teacher directly 7 days a week by phone or text

So called "Best Tutors"  "PhD professors"  "Ivy-League graduates"  "Perfect 1600 scorers" "Credentialed Teachers"

Which actually means:
- Random instructors / tutors - turnover is high, tutors quit
- Inexperienced part-time workers
- Can't solve the problems on the SAT or ACT.
- Disorganized, confusing lessons and classes.
- No teaching - just reading from Instructor's Manual

 Learn the RIGHT  WAY ( and WRONG WAYS ) to solve the every Problem & Question:

Our methods & solutions are derived by researching & analyzing everything in & out.

We explain & teach SAT & ACT problems every day.
Based on our unmatched experience we know what works and WHAT DOES NOT.
-  Every question & solution ( more than 2500 ) MEMORIZED = going through explanations and answers 12 - 14 times FASTER than reading, solving, then explaining 

- Every question & problem solved, checked, and re-checked, and taught to 100's of students
- Explanations and solutions that are CLEAR, SIMPLE, DIRECT, and RIGHT.
- We know what mistakes students will make EVEN BEFORE THEY KNOW.  
- We can tell when a student gets the right answer the WRONG WAY, and fix it

- 10 hours of incompetent lessons  doesn't even add up to 1 hour of good lessons
- NO REAL LEARNING, JUST TEST TAKING TIPS: guessing, luck, elimination, tricks, "shortcuts"
- No explanations - students read complex ( sometimes incorrect ) explanations from a handout
- Poor teaching ability, CONFUSING and WRONG EXPLANATIONS

INCORRECT strategies and techniques :

- Wrong information about SAT & ACT question types and concepts tested  
- Wrong way to read passages  
- Wrong way to answer English Grammar questions  
- INCORRECT / ERRONEOUS answers and explanations  
- "Proven methods" that don't work and actually TAKE DOWN scores.

When you need tax, medical, or legal advice
, it's critical to go to someone who knows what they are talking about. It's the same when it comes to SAT & ACT.

We teach REAL KNOWLEDGE with 100% In-Depth SAT & ACT Content Coverage

Having analyzed and reverse-engineered more than 40 SATs and 30 ACTs, we have a comprehensive list of EVERYTHING that is tested on the SAT & ACT. We also take and analyze NEW SATs & ACTs every few months.

More importantly, we know what WILL NOT BE tested on the SAT & ACT.

Our curriculum covers a COMPLETE, COMPREHENSIVE, IN-DEPTH 100%

- We know what WILL show up, and what will NOT show up, so students don't waste time learning unnecessary material.

- Students learn every possible concept and type of question that will appear on the SAT or ACT, and learn the RIGHT way to solve ALL of them, and the WRONG way
- How to score a 24 on the SAT Essay, 12 on the ACT Essay  
- The RIGHT WAY to handle reading passages  
- The RIGHT way to approach Writing ( English grammar sentence) questions
- EVERY Math Concept that can show up and what will NOT show up  

- What SAT / ACT Essay Topics can show up  
- EVERY English Grammar rule that is ever tested


Virtually all other companies cover only about 60% - 70% of what is on the SAT or ACT, and even cover stuff that does not show up because their course makers DID NOT TAKE ENOUGH SATs or ACTs to see EVERYTHING that is tested.

- 60 to 70% incomplete coverage of tested content
- Quick cram courses ( if students could learn this material that fast and that easily, then everyone would ace the exam )
- Covering irrelevant  material that doesn't show up on the exams

Real SAT* ACT* Practice Exams & Test Questions from College Board & ACT Inc.

SAT & ACT questions are created to test specific THINKING, LOGIC, and PROBLEM SOLVING, particular JUST to those tests.
- Students HAVE TO use actual exams in order to know what to expect when taking the SAT or ACT for real.

Most other test prep companies use fake/simulated "SAT" or "ACT" problems which are NOTHING LIKE the real thing.

- Fake / simulated mock SAT & ACT tests that are useless because those DO NOT test the same content, thinking, and logic. Kids who walk in to take the SAT or ACT for real will see something they are unfamiliar with.  

- Fake "SAT" & "ACT" online practice tests / CD-ROMS are even worse because the tests are ON PAPER

Direct & Efficient: every lesson CUSTOMIZED in REAL-TIME for each Student.

- DIRECT AND THE POINT: We don't waste hours and hours talking about strategies, tips, tricks, and reviewing math you already know, or covering things you don’t need to know. Students are busy, and can't devote their lives to SAT & ACT.

- MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY - A minimum of books and papers.
- GO SEAMLESSLY from Topic to Topic - No separate teachers for each portion of the test
- ENTIRE 50 HOUR COURSE MEMORIZED: Go faster / slower, forward / backward to ANY POINT of the course at ANY TIME.


- Sit through material you already know.
- Piles upon piles of unnecessary books and papers.
- A pre-defined, scripted "one-size fits all" course: DAY 1- Reading;  DAY 2- Math;  DAY 3- Writing; etc etc
- Separate Math / Reading / English / Essay classes 

Private Lessons = Maximum Engagement & Attention + Move FASTER or SLOWER at your pace

- Private lessons = Maximum Attention & More Efficient.

- Huge SLOW 30 - 40 student classrooms

No lesson time wasted on stuff you know or with busy work, designed to use up your money

- NEVER a waste of time or money.
- Every question / problem memorized = NEVER going slowly and wasting time.

-  $200 to $350 per hour. No joke.
- Expensive lesson time wasted as students sit and take practice tests and the tutor just waits
- Moving slowly to eat up lesson time.
- Hidden fees or extra charges: enrollment fees, sign up fees.

( To really appreciate the finer details of how absolutely good our courses are, we invite students to try lessons & classes elsewhere for a DEFINITIVE comparison )


You don't even get what you paid for: inexperienced tutors who lack teaching skills and never took the SAT or ACT themselves.


Wow.. $495 per hour?
very expensive tutoring

Most people don't even know where to start when looking for SAT & ACT tutoring and classes. We encourage you to call around, so you will come to the conclusion that what we do here is top-notch, and done RIGHT:

What to ask when you call? 

Who actually does the teaching?  
Most large companies have random part-time tutors that come and go. You won't know who is doing the teaching. This is important because:

1) You won't get the advertised tutor. Classic bait and switch

2) If there are multiple tutors working with the same student, it becomes a disorganized mess where the next tutor has no idea what has already been done, and what still needs to be done.

Is it one-on-one tutoring or a group of kids?
I can tell you it's impossible to properly teach anything when you have 2 or 3 kids all working on different tests, at different levels. Basically what happens is the student sits and waits while the tutor answers questions the other students have, then comes around to you. This is even WORSE than a class because at least in a class, everyone is doing with same stuff and going through the same questions

Has the tutor ACTUALLY TAKEN THE SAT or ACT ? How many tests has he/she taken?
You would be surprised to learn that most instructors have never even taken the SAT or ACT. Unfortunately, no company would ever admit that their tutor hasn't taken the exam personally. You won't get any honest answers. But common sense should tell you that no one can teach something that they haven't taken themselves.

Even if a tutor did take the SAT / ACT, unless he/she took at least 10 exams, it would not be enough to know the wide range of questions that show up.

What teaching experience does this tutor have? Is this person a certified teacher?
Teaching isn't as simple as getting a job at Starbucks. However, no tutoring company would ever admit that their tutor has just a few weeks of experience. Sure, you will get someone with years of experience right? Common sense should tell you that it is impossible to be any good at teaching  if you only do it a few hours a week. The skills required to teach well don't just come from part-time 3 to 10 hours a week.

What are you going to cover in the course? Strategies and test-taking tips?
If that is what they cover, then you should hang up right away. Strategies and test-taking tips can be covered in 10 minutes, and if that was enough to improve scores, well no one needs tutoring then.

Are you using REAL SAT & ACT exams for practice?
Most companies don't even know the answer to that. But you need to use the real exams for practice. The fake ones are completely different

Is lesson time spent on teaching or just test taking?
Many tutoring companies eat up your valuable lesson time by having kids sit there and take tests. You are going to pay for that?

Analysis of Student Thinking and Real Teaching based on educational & psychological research and years of experience.

[ Back to the Top ]

[ Avoid Making These Mistakes ]
[ What makes Solutions SAT & ACT Courses different? ]
[ Lesson Logistics & Details ]  
[ Lessons in-person VS private conference call ]
[ SAT & ACT and College Admissions ]

 don't make costly mistakes

What you don't know -
Avoid These Mistakes Made by Parents & Students

I'll just take some practice tests. Then I'll be fine.
I found some practice SAT & ACTs online / in a book I bought and will just use those as practice.

First of all, there are fake practice tests and real practice tests. Really? Yes. Fake practice tests are created by some book author or tutoring company and may look like the real exams, but are actually very different in the material tested and thinking / logic required to solve the problems. Students who practice with these fake exams are surprised when the real exam is very different.

Most students can't tell the difference between real SAT/ ACT/ AP/ Subject test and fake ones. Why does it matter? The fake tests cover different material , are a different level of difficulty, often have errors ( even real tests which are proofread & reviewed on several levels have errors! ), and DO NOT HAVE ACCURATE SCORING because they have NOT BEEN TAKEN BY THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS.

The real practice tests come directly from College Board for the SAT and ACT Inc. for the ACT, and are the only tests students should practice with.  The scoring and test content is pretty much what students will see the day of the test.

If you don't know what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong, just jumping in and answering practice questions does no benefit. Pratice makes perfect ONLY IF YOU PRACTICE RIGHT. Practice does NOT make perfect unless students know what they are doing. 

I'll just study on my own.
There are just some things you just can't learn from books, online videos, parents, or friends. If you have a legal problem, you don't read up on the law on websites or books. If you have a medical problem, you don't go online to to self-diagnose.

Student goes and buys some books or finds some info and practice tests on a website. Student reads some test taking strategies. Student takes some practive tests or does some practice problems. Student checks answer key and sees which questions were wrong. Student reads a explanation or asks a friend, or watches an online video.  

a) Pretty much all the books out there are very poorly written by people who themselves have never taken the SAT or ACT

b) Any practice SAT or ACT tests you find in there are not going to be real

c) Reading explanations / watching a video explanations is not very effective. You can't learn by passively watching: you need to do it yourself. That's like learning to drive a car or how to play tennis by watching someone else do it.

If you think you will save time and money, then think again. It takes a substantial amount of time to figure out what to study, how to study, and what to do. Yes, tutoring and classes cost money. But considering the fact that it will get your student into better colleges and thus higher paying jobs, it's well worth it. That is, unless you plan to send your kid to college to "party" for four years. In that case, it doesn't matter. Furthermore, if you plan to attend a private university, high SAT / ACT scores are literally worth thousand of dollars in discounts.

1)  Students always, ALWAYS get lucky. Checking the answer key, the student sees that the answer was right and moves on. Big mistake. In fact, it is the lowest scoring students who tend to think the test was easy and go the questions all right.

You don't know what you are doing wrong. That's where I come in. As an experienced teacher, I am not just a talking textbook. Talented teaching goes way beyond that, in that I analyze and figure out what a student is doing wrong, and how to correct a student's thinking process.  Students can get a question wrong on several different levels, and without knowing what is happening, students will not  get better.  
3)  You've read the explanations, watched the videos, but still don't get it. As an experienced teacher, I adjust the explanations to your level.
4) Because I have worked with literally thousands of students, I am a very accurate gauge of where a student stands, and how he or she compares to other high school students.
5)  Very few students have the discipline to "study" on their own. I've given study materials to students to work on, and after two months, the farthest any student ever got was about 20 pages out of 300 pages of material. Just learning / reading someting once or twice is not enough for a student to do it on their own.

You can't study for the SAT or ACT. You either know it or you don't.
The SAT & ACT are actually a test of how well you can plan & organize yourself to study for a test in addition to being tests of skills and knowledge you can learn quickly if done right.

I'll go take a SAT or ACT "to see how I do". Then I’ll just wait until I get my scores back to decide if I need to study.
1) Wasted money:
Why pay $65 for the SAT or $58.50 for the ACT when you can take an REAL ACTUAL EXAM for FREE. You are throwing away at least $65 to go in and take a real exam “just for practice”.

2) Wasted time:
You have to wait at least 3 weeks for your results to come back. If you take a test at home, you can have your results within minutes.
Students have precious little time. SAT & ACT test scores take 3 weeks to get calculated and released.  3 weeks ( 21 days ) is 11% of the entire academic year ( which is 180 instructional days ), just waiting for a test result.

Then what if you decide after you get your scores back that you need to study? ( Actually, EVERYONE realizes they need to study after getting scores back ). Well, test dates are spaced about 5 - 6 weeks apart. It takes 8 - 10 weeks to get ready for the SAT or ACT. By the time you get your scores back 3 - 4 weeks after you took the test and realize you need help, it's too late – there are only 2 weeks left before the next test date.

3) Not useful. 
Since you WON’T HAVE A COPY OF the SAT or ACT test questions, getting a score back tells you VERY LITTLE beyond the sum total number of RIGHT / WRONG questions. The included Score Report “detailed analysis of question types” provided by College Board and ACT Inc is next to useless. ( This is true of ANY mock SAT or ACT exam as well – those given by some company at your high school )

I only need help on one part of the test. I'm good with the other parts.
Students need to work on ALL parts of the SAT & ACT. This is something that many parents & students who are not familiar with SAT or ACT test preparation don’t realize.
A student’s objective is, obviously, to get the highest possible score, regardless of where those points come from. Depending on the student, certain parts of the SAT & ACT are easier to improve than others.
FIRST: In many cases, the “weak areas” are so difficult for a student that little improvement can be made in that area and, counter to what many people think, the most points can be actually gained in the “strong” areas.
SECOND: The SAT & ACT scoring is NOT on a linear scale. What that means is this: A kid scoring in the 650 range on the SAT will get about 14 points for every addition right answer. A kid scoring in the 450 range only gets about 8 points for every addition right answer. Thus, each addition question right in the “strong” area is actually worth TWICE AS MANY POINTS.

FYI: Unless a student is scoring 720 or higher CONSISTENTLY on the “strong area” of the SAT ( or 31 or higher CONSISTENTLY on the “strong area” of the ACT ), it’s not considered “good”, and CAN STILL BE IMPROVED.
Unlike other places that have a rigid course, our courses and lessons are CUSTOMIZED IN REAL-TIME. If students are scoring high in certain areas, the lessons will automatically adjust and adapt to focus on a student's weak areas, without sacrificing the strong areas.
My son / daughter just needs some test taking tip and strategies and then he’ll / she’ll be ok.
If the SAT & ACT were so easy that a few test taking tips and tricks would do the job, then everyone would ace those tests with a minimal amount of effort.
Unfortunately, the SAT & ACT do actually test in-depth real knowledge of content ( reading skills, math, science, grammar, essay writing ) which a student needs to learn.
Ok fine. We need to get our son / daughter a tutor. All tutors are pretty much the same, so we'll just get anyone we can find.


No two tutors are the same, and not all tutoring is equal. This isn't like comparing the price of gasoline at different gas stations, or the price of something at Target vs Amazon.

There is a huge difference between someone who knows what they are doing versus the many who do not. Even high school Calculus BC teachers have problems teaching the SAT & ACT math because the material is so specialized  ( Yes, we've hired some before ). And even high school English teachers have problems teaching the Grammar and Essay Writing on the SAT & ACT because the material is just so specialized. ( Yes, we also have hired some before )

[ Back to the Top ]
[ Avoid Making These Mistakes ]
[ What makes Solutions SAT & ACT Courses different? ]
[ Lesson Logistics & Details ]  
[ Lessons in-person VS private conference call ]
[ SAT & ACT and College Admissions ]


Your first lesson actually began years ago, when I took more than 40 real exams and analyzed every question on those tests, and taught and re-taught each solution to thousands of students until every explanation was perfect.


It’s best to pick out a test date, and then start 8 – 12 weeks before the planned test date and work up to the day of the test. The other option is to start with lessons, and when the student seems "ready" then the student goes in and takes the test. ( Not recommended )

We do 1 to 2 lessons a week, each lesson 1 or 1.5 hours long ( some cases 2.0 hours ) depending on a student’s progress/ schedule/ and time until the test date.

I spread the lessons out based on a complex algorithm of several factors:

1) Days left until the test date 2) Student ability / performance 3) Amount of material left to cover 4) Amount of lesson time remaining 5) Student’s other commitments

Keep in mind, this will not fit neatly into a "once a week for 1 hour" type of thing. In some cases, we may need to do 2.0 hour lessons, 2x a week.


These are PRIVATE ONE on ONE lessons, taught personally by me. Everything is actually adjusted by me in real-time as I teach, depending on the needs of the student and how much time we have until the test date: what material is focused on, depth of explanations, course content, homework load, pacing, scheduling.

We generally start 8 – 10 weeks before the test and CONTINUE UP TO THE DAY OF THE TEST. Depending on student ability, it may take longer to get through the material.

Generally we are looking at 15 - 20 hours of lessons. ** PEOPLE ARE OFTEN SURPRISED or SHOCKED WHEN we go past 15 hours, but that is typical. Lessons are 1 or 2 times a week, for 1.5 hours ( sometimes lessons will be 1 hour or even 2 hours depending on student need) Please keep in mind that 15 to 20 hours can in no way make up for years of deficiency of knowledge and skills in reading, math, English grammar, essay writing, and problem solving skills.

Usually students take the ACT or SAT more than once, and for the SECOND TEST we do review lessons with additional material. It USUALLY takes 15 – 20 hours ( 10 - 15 lessons ) to get through all the material for the FIRST TEST.

There is homework in between the lessons.

The lessons are usually done over Skype conference call so you don’t need to drive anywhere. I send you all the files you need ( PDF files ). You won’t need to run out and buy anything, but you will need to print off the exams.

Please realize this is not an “ONLINE LESSON”. “ONLINE LESSON” means a student watches a video or audio pre-recorded “lesson or tutorial” on the computer, then completes some exercises or homework at their own pace, then watches another video tutorial.


** AT THE START, DO NOT EXPECT YOUR KID TO SUDDENLY HAVE HOURS OF HOMEWORK to keep HIM/ HER BUSY. Since the student has not learned anything yet, blindly going through practice tests is of absolutely no use.

In between each lesson, there is homework. Expect about 1 to 3 hours of homework between lessons. Homework is allocated based on how much the student understands / how much time between each lesson / how much time until the test.

Students need to do the homework carefully, and do it BEFORE the lesson.


Lessons are scheduled ONE AT A TIME, and scheduling is flexible, BUT ONCE YOU CHOOSE A DATE & TIME, you are committed. Once we are done with a lesson, we will schedule the next lesson.

1) *Generally, we do NOT BOOK A WEEKLY TIME SLOT. Lessons are sometimes twice a week, and don't fit neatly into a "once a week" scheme.
2) *We also do NOT "plan out a schedule for the next 8 weeks" ahead of time either


During the academic school year ( late August through early June ) I teach 7 days a week. This is my full-time job. As busy as some students are, there is no reason as to why the lessons can't fit in.

There is NO way your kid won't find a suitable time for lessons.

Monday - Friday: Lessons are after school from 2pm – 11pm.
Satruday and Sunday: Lessons are 10am - 9pm
** Weekends are the MOST busy, and I will try to fit students in where I can. I sometimes have classes that are all day long.


The objective usually is to get the highest possible score. I say "usually" because
for whatever reason, some parents and students just don't want such high scores . No matter what, we are trying to get the most points possible in the amount of time we have.

I will take every student to the limit of his/her ability. Some students will only be able to reach 1300 SAT or 25 ACT, whereas some students will be able to reach 1550 SAT or 35 ACT. We are not trying to get every single question right, but we want more right than before. Every student is competing against himself / herself.

Therefore I have 3 different categories of objectives:

MAXIMUM: Usually this is what students and parents are interested in. Our singular objective is the get the highest possible score out of each student, regardless of where those points come from. We are going to work on EVERY PART of the test and get EVERY point possible. I will push you to the limit of your ability.

MODERATE: We will work hard and do what we can before that next test.

LOW: We will "work on it just a little bit" or "just get some lessons in".

Not aiming for those top colleges? Just want to "bump it up a little?"

The effort and time to score as high as possible is still well worth it: High scores translate into THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in college scholarships and grants which DO NOT NEED TO BE PAID BACK.

In fact, the MORE EXPENSIVE a PRIVATE UNIVERSITY costs, the more money a high SAT or ACT score is worth.

For example: St. Mary’s College – Moraga, CALIFORNIA gives you $12,000 / year x 4 = $48,000 if student scores 600+ on Math and 600+ on Reading.


Getting THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE score for a student means working on ALL PARTS OF THE TEST, not just "focusing on the weak areas".

1) In many cases, the “weak areas” are so difficult for a student that little improvement can be made in that area and, the greatest gain in the shortest amount of time will be achieved in the other areas. Many students have such a difficult time with the math that even hours of lessons focused on that area see little improvement. In that case, the most points can be actually gained in the “strong” areas.

2) The SAT & ACT scoring is NOT on a linear scale. The more questions you have right, the more points the next question is worth. Each additional question right in the “strong” area is actually worth about TWICE AS MANY POINTS.

3) Bringing up scores in just one area is not enough - the total score depends on all the sections. Many colleges "superscore", combining the highest score in each section from ALL tests taken. Other colleges ( University of California ) look at the SINGLE highest score and if the other section scores drop, it brings down the overall score.

Unlike other test prep companies where there are SEPARATE lessons or classes for English, Writing & Essay, Math, Reading, Science, what I do is very efficient and integrated. We move between ALL the sections very efficiently & seamlessly.

We will spend more time on areas that need more work, and allocate less time to higher scoring areas. But we still do need to work on the ENTIRE TEST to get the HIGHEST POSSIBLE score.

<< How many times should a student take the SAT or ACT ? >>

What? Take the SAT or ACT more than once? Yes, unfortunately, very few students get their highest score the first try. Even Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Michael Phelps didn't break the World Record on his first shot. Moreover, test site abnormalities and unintended distractions will cause less than optimal testing conditions.

Students can take these tests as many times as they like, with most kids taking the SAT or ACT on average 2 or 3 times.

All California State University & University of California will take your ONE HIGHEST TOTAL SCORE so you can take the SAT or ACT AS MANY TIMES as you want, but more than 4 is probably overkill.

Many other colleges will take your HIGHEST COMBINED SCORE ( highest score in each sub-section ).

** WARNING ABOUT SENIORS RELYING ON ONE TEST DATE *** Seniors always seem to think that just planning for 1 last test date is enough. I can tell you from experience that something ALWAYS GOES WRONG. Kids get sick, or test centers get cancelled, scores are delayed, or there is a test irregularity and test doesn't count. For your own sake, plan for at least 2 test dates your senior year.


I hear this question every single day, but there is NO WAY to answer that without doing some lessons to see what the problem is.

Because of my experience teaching, I can quickly tell within a few lessons how well a student is doing, and what kind of score is realistically possible. Every student is different and will see different score improvement results.

Some kids score 26 on the ACT, and that is the maximum of their ability. Other students start at 26 and can reach 31. It really depends on the student, but I will push every student to his or her very limit.

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old style classroom
Teaching and learning has evolved. Things are different now.
Everyone knows how important technology has become in the classroom.

No one likes to see their money wasted. When you go to those other tutoring centers, your money pays for the nice looking office, new tables and chairs, the copy machine and microwave and mini refrigerator, the front office staff who look at social media and shopping sites all day, and other expenses.

Not here. Everything goes straight into the tutoring. As a professional credentialed high school teacher, I have taught group classes and private lessons in school classrooms, cafes, coffee shops, libraries ( talking not permitted ), at student’s homes ( a lot of driving and getting stuck in traffic ), rented an office ( very costly ), and rented conference rooms ( $200 per hour ) for classes & lessons.  

Technology has transformed what it means to teach and learn. With advances in internet connectivity, touchscreen laptops, tablets and phones, and advances in software, we can now do what  could not have been done before.  As I teach and write on the screen, it appears in real-time on your end just as if you were sitting at a table across from me or in a classroom.

technology in the classroom

Based on actual educational research on learning and teaching as well as actual teaching experience, this is no different from face-to-face lessons.

What technology cannot replace is a real human teacher. These are NOT "Youtube video lectures" or "Online lessons". Such "online courses" means a kid sits there and read some materials, watches a video online, then answers some questions on a website or on paper.  This is fully automated, and there would not even be need to for a teacher or tutor.


This lesson experience is very different. I would be more than happy to give you a NO OBLIGATION Free 15 minute sample lesson ( based on availability )


Consider these advantages:

* Students are busy and tired. Between school, home, work, sports, and other extra-curricular activities, there is just not enough time in a day to drive out then back home.


* Students usually get caught in traffic and are late for lessons, which eats into lesson time paid for.


* When student arrive, often they left their books / tests / handouts at home or at school, or brought the wrong set of stuff. At that point we have to improvise.


* Some students don’t have a car or have to rely on parents to drive, making their schedules limited.
* Some students tell their parents they are going to lessons, but instead do something else. ( Yes, many students actually do that! )
* You have a record of exactly when and how long the lessons are, and if the student actually made it to the lesson
* We can do lessons early in the morning ( kids can crawl out of bed and do lessons) or late at night ( without worrying about being out late)
* You and I want to take vacations. You can do lessons from anywhere in the world from your hotel while on Spring / Summer / Winter Break.
* The office space is very expensive for me to maintain, and those extra savings are passed onto the students

Many parents have a misperception of what teaching and learning looks like.

Parents think how they went to school and were tutored 30 or 40 years ago, and have a hard time envisioning anything else. However, times have changed and students today have grown up with technology and are very comfortable with it.

Many parents envision it as a teacher standing in front of  a room and students watching the teacher explain material. Or they envision a student and a tutor sitting side-by-side at a table and the student watching the tutor explain.

That is not the reality.  
During classroom teaching, students are looking at their papers and at the whiteboard or overhead projector while listening to the teacher talk. During private tutoring lessons, students are looking at their papers and the notepad the tutor writes on while listening to the tutor talk.  Even for face-to-face lessons, we do not sit next to the student, but across from the student.  And as technology got more advanced,  we stopped using notepads for tutoring and wrote everything on a laptop which has a second screen facing the student.

Student and tutor look at the papers not each other
Looking at this photo you can see that during in-person tutoring, the student is looking at the papers while listening to the tutor.

What additional benefit would it be if you were right in front of the student? 

Very little. The only difference would be that they could see the tutor talk ( which would be virtually the same over a video call ).  And 95% of the time during a lesson the students are looking at the test questions, handouts, and whiteboard / notepad anyways.

In a classroom / conference room layout, the students are not looking at me, but at the whiteboard / projection and at their papers.
class of students          

The classic "side-by-side" tutoring layout is something I never do. It's very cramped, and tutors only do that because the student won't be able to read what the tutor is writing if the student is sitting across the table. Notice that the student is looking at the test materials or notepad, not at the tutor.

tutoring side by side

In this across-the-table tutoring layout is what I have always done. I can write upside-down, and more recently I write on a screen and there is a second screen facing the student who can see what I am writing. This is what I have done for years. Notice the student is looking at the screen or at the test papers, not at me.

 tutoring across

Take the layout above, and go one step futher and you can see that a conference-call tutoring layout is virtually no different. The student is still looking at the screen or the test papers, not at me.

tutor conference call


But don't you need to see what the student wrote down?

NO.  That is a big misconception of teaching / tutoring that many parents have.

1)  Most students write in such a way that it is very hard for even the student to read what they wrote, much less for the the teacher to make sense of. Looking at what a student wrote down is not very helpful

2)  In a live classroom situation, I would never go to each student and look at what every single student wrote

3) I ask the students to explain what they did, which actually reinforces their understanding of the problem

But don't you need to see the problems?

No. I do not need to see their test papers because I already know what the test questions are

How can the student see what you are doing?

As I write, the images appear on the student's screen in real-time, just like in a classroom or in-person lesson. In fact, I use the same equipment that is used for classroom and in-person lessons. You see a CRYSTAL CLEAR digital whiteboard which appears directly on your  phone / tablet / laptop

we now have the technology to do what was impossible just a fews years ago

 This is what the student sees. No different from in-person lessons

clear online lessons ANYWHERE WORLDWIDE

Other places have blurry, hard to see and hear online webcam lessons


fuzzy online lessons

 Is this effective? Does it work?
We would not be teaching this way if it did not work.
There is nothing that is taught differently, explained differently, or missing because it is done via conference call.
We can say this because we have been teaching lessons in-person and over conference calls for years.


Having done live conference call lessons since 2010 and teaching in-person since 2001, we have found that lessons over real-time conference calls with visuals are the best balance between lower costs ( which pass onto you ), convenience for everyone,  and maximum efficiency.  


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[ Avoid Making These Mistakes ]
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[ Lessons in-person VS private conference call ]
[ SAT & ACT and College Admissions ]


Higher SAT or ACT scores get you into better colleges and scholarships.
Better colleges get you better & higher paying jobs.

higher SAT & ACT scores = Hgiher Income

What are the the SAT or ACT exams for?

Every high school is different, and every student takes different classes. Even students in the same school who take the same class with different teachers will experience harder or easier grading. Thus GPA alone is unreliable in making a college admissions decision.  Hence the SAT and ACT - a quick and easy way to measure students against each other.


With 3.5 million kids taking the SAT and 3.4 million taking the ACT each year,  there would be NO POINT if every kid got high scores.

Therefore, the SAT & ACT have to be difficult tests.

BAD (but GOOD NEWS): THE SAT and ACT require very specific knowledge & skills you don’t directly learn in school.

GOOD NEWS: The SAT & ACT do not test any ADVANCED material or knowledge.

GOOD NEWS: The SAT and ACT serve as a BLANK SLATE for every student to prove him/ herself, and scores can be increased QUICKLY ( in a matter of months ) if done the RIGHT WAY.

MORE GOOD NEWS: A standardized test MUST have the same type of questions from test to test. 
THUS - many questions are RECYCLED, and all you have to do is essentially MEMORIZE how to do them.

Why take the SAT or ACT?

For many American colleges and universities, these exams are required. The higher you score, the better your chances of admission.

In addition, many private colleges and universities will give out scholarships ( free money that, unlike loans, does NOT have to paid back ) based on high SAT or ACT scores. 

What is the format of the SAT and ACT?

SAT ( format last changed March 2016 )

4 sections + 1 essay
154 questions ( 180 minutes ) + 1 essay ( 50 minutes )

1 x Reading = 52 questions / 65 minutes ( 5 passages )
1 x Writing & Language = 44 questions / 35 minutes ( 4 passages )
2 x Math = 58 questions / 80 minutes ( 20 no calc + 38 calc )
1 x Essay = 50 minutes

Score Range = 400 to 1600

ACT ( format last changed September 2015 )

4 sections + 1 essay
215 Questions ( 175 minutes ) + 1 essay (optional)  ( 40 minutes )

1 x English = 75 questions / 45 minutes       ( 5 passages x 15 questions )
1 x Math = 60 questions / 60 minutes      
1 x Reading = 40 questions / 35 minutes       ( 4 passages x 10 questions )
1 x Science = 40 questions / 35 minutes       (  6 scenarios )
1 x Writing (Essay) = 40 minutes * NEW

Score Range = 1 to 36

When are these tests given?
In the USA: ( International test dates differ )

SAT: 7 times a year ( as of 2018 )
August ( NEW ), October, November, December, ( NO MORE JANUARY ), March, May, June  

ACT: 7 times a year ( as of 2018 )
September, October, December, February, April, June, July ( NEW )

And NO, there is no "EASIER" test date.... Or else everyone would be taking the test on that date right?

Should I take the SAT or ACT?

The SAT just changed in 2016. There are very few REAL practice exams to use and go through

The ACT is MUCH EASIER TO PREPARE FOR because it has not changed and there are more than 30 actual exams to practice from.  We know exactly what is going to be tested on the ACT, and it is critical to practice with real exams.

However, the goal is to get the HIGHEST POSSIBLE SCORE in either exam for college admissions purposes.

"I'm taking the ACT/SAT because I heard it's easier"

Both tests are hard. I've taken more than 40 SATs and ACTs. There is only one way to determine what to do: Take a real SAT and a real ACT.
"I heard the SAT is tricks and traps, and the ACT is not."
They are both difficult and unfair. There is only one way to determine what to do: Take a real SAT and a real ACT.
"I just want to take the ACT / SAT because I think I'll do better on it."
REALITY: There is only one way to determine what to do: Take a real SAT and a real ACT.
"My college counselor advised me to take the SAT ( or ACT ) based on my grades and coursework"
College counselors, though well meaning, are not fully aware of the intricacies of the thinking and problem solving involved with the SAT & ACT.
The SAT & ACT are NOT DESIGNED TO MEASURE what a student learns in school. School coursework and “strong areas” are absolutely no indicator of a student’s scoring potential on the SAT or ACT.  
"I'm taking the SAT because there is science on the ACT, and I'm terrible at science"
The science on the ACT is completely unrelated to what you learned in school.
" XXXX College prefers the ACT over the SAT"
There is no preference. You should take the one you can score higher in. Even CalPoly has no preference.
"I took an ACT / SAT Combo Test at school, and it said I should take the SAT"
Those Princeton or Kaplan SAT/ ACT combo tests will tell you nothing. There is only one way to determine what to do: Take a real SAT and a real ACT.  

But doesn't XYZ University say one exam is the "preferred" test?

There is no "preferred" test or a test which gives you an advantage for 99% of the colleges.

Plan ahead so you get the tests done for college admissions

Students should take their FIRST SAT or ACT NO LATER THAN Junior year. However, DO NOT WAIT UNTIL SENIOR YEAR to take the SAT or ACT because these are very hard tests, and you won’t ace it in just one shot.
What is the deadline to take the SAT or ACT?
Most colleges require that the SAT or ACT be taken by December of the senior year.  Sooner is better because you should never wait until last minute.  Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and many students ( and parents ) who rely on one single test date are very often regretful of a decision poorly made.



Early Action / Early Decision applicants usually have until October of their senior year. Some very lenient colleges allow January or even March of the senior year.

So when should I take the SAT or ACT?

As soon as you have 6-8 weeks of continuous time to study. If you have sports, work, AP exams, Subject Tests, final exams, or are planning to go away for vacation, you need to figure out when is best for you. Everyone is busy all the time, not just you, so do realize that it is not just you that can't fit it in. Everyone else is in the same situation.
Can I take the SAT / ACT more than once?
How many times SHOULD I take the SAT / ACT?

You can take these tests as many times as you like, but the average is 2-3 times. Few students get their  highest score the first try. Even Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Michael Phelps didn't break the World Record on his first shot.
Moreover, test site abnormalities and unintended distractions will cause less than optimal testing conditions.
All California State University & University of California will take your ONE HIGHEST TOTAL SCORE so you can take the SAT or ACT AS MANY TIMES as you want, but more than 4 is probably overkill.

Many other colleges will take your HIGHEST COMBINED SCORE ( highest score in each sub-section ).

** Only if you think you can get into Stanford / Harvard / Princeton etc should you try to take the test only ONE TIME.

But what if I get a bad score? Shouldn't I cancel the test or hide my score?

Many colleges will "super-score" ( HIGHEST COMBINED SCORE ), which means they take the highest section score of each test taken and combine it together. So you want to keep ALL of your scores, and it is no benefit to "hide" scores. And no, it won't "look bad" to have a low score.

UC takes your ONE HIGHEST SCORE, so leave them be. And no, it won't "look bad" to have a low score.

Top-tier private schools ( Stanford, Harvard, etc ) will want to see every single score, so no, you cannot "hide" bad scores.

When should I register ( = pay to take the test ) for the SAT or ACT?
ASAP. Test Centers fill up quickly, and the sooner you sign up, the better your chances of taking the test
nearby instead of 30 miles away at an unfamiliar school.  Everyone is cramming to take the SAT & ACT, not just you!


This was how things were done back in the old days. As fun as this looks, maximum learning occurs during one -on-one private lessons.


[ Back to the Top ]
[ Avoid Making These Mistakes ]
[ What makes Solutions SAT & ACT Courses different? ]
[ Lesson Logistics & Details ]  
[ Lessons in-person VS private conference call ]
[ SAT & ACT and College Admissions ]




Did you know that those score increase claims of those other places are deceptive and actually fake?


1) Made up fake score increases posted on websites & brochures
2) FAKE harder SAT & ACT exams that give lower initial scores
3) Altered score charts that give lower initial scores.


NEVER deceptive & false "score increases" like those other places.
Don't fall for +500 and +600 points on SAT. That is beyond the realm of reality.

Just some of many actual verified SAT & ACT scores of Solutions students






Solutions student from Northgate High - Walnut Creek, CA



Solutions student from Bellarmine College Prep - San Jose, CA



Solutions student from Monte Vista - Danville, CA


[ Back to the Top ]
[ Avoid Making These Mistakes ]
[ What makes Solutions SAT & ACT Courses different? ]
[ Lesson Logistics & Details ]  
[ Lessons in-person VS private conference call ]
[ SAT & ACT and College Admissions ]


(C) Solutions SAT ACT Courses