Test Prep FAQ
Are all of your tutoring packages 1 on 1?
Yes. We do occasionally offer programs which are for small groups, but our 1 on 1 tutoring is what makes our approach effective; we’re able to tailor the program and gauge progress based on the evolving needs of the individual students with whom we work at Crest.
What subjects do you provide tutoring for?
We have staff experienced in a wide variety of subjects that span elementary, middle and high school as well as post-graduate, college-level subjects.
We can provide tutoring for all of the following (subjects marked with * are by special request and we may not have availability at all times)
English – Reading Comprehension
English – Writing
Essay Writing and Editing
High School Level
History – US/World
Civics – Government and Politics
English – Elements of Literature
English – Analytical Writing
English – Comprehension
Science – Biology
Science – Chemistry*
Science – Physics*
What can we expect to gain from 1 on 1 tutoring?
The Crest approach is threefold. First, we aim to eliminate stress and promote harmony at home. This means ensuring the student feels confident and comfortable tackling academic work with a positive, healthy mindset. This mindset provides a stronger foundation for the next step in the approach. The second aim is to build skills and fluency to improve grades and build momentum. Finally, the ultimate goal: lifelong learning and a strong sense of purpose. Our students eventually adopt a strong long-term, goal-motivated mindset that allows them to determine their own personal path beyond the school setting.
Test Prep FAQ
Is the SAT/ACT valuable anymore now that more colleges and universities have gone test-optional, test-blind, or even dropped the requirement altogether?
Yes. It is a myth – a fallacy, if you will – to insist that standardized “admissions tests” have no value or relevance anymore. However, it is a commonly held assertion today, which leads many students to wait too long to prepare for the SAT or ACT, leaving them disadvantaged when it comes to scholarship opportunities.
Knowing what to do with SAT and ACT scores – and what scores are truly ‘valuable’ is a vital factor in succeeding in the college admissions stage of a student’s life. For one person, the score could simply be the deal-breaker between a YES and a NO. For another, it could mean $50-100,000 or more in scholarship opportunities. For some others, it won’t make a difference at all. These are three vastly different scenarios. When it comes time to decide about test prep, the entire family should know how important the SAT/ACT, and by extension the test prep that will help students excel on those tests, will be in reality.
When should I take the SAT or ACT for the first time?
We usually recommend students take their first official test before spring of their Junior year, as early as March of Sophomore year. If you’re looking to improve your scores, you will not have much time between spring of Junior year and fall of Senior year (when applications have already been prepared, finalized, and sent).
This all comes down to personal planning. Students who are applying to colleges and universities with competitive admissions (accepting fewer than 25% of applicants) or who are looking for substantial scholarship opportunities will likely face increasing obstacles as time goes by; students are likely to have more obligations in the summer after Junior and before Senior year – between jobs, sports, socialization, driver’s ed, college applications, and family – than ever before. Therefore, waiting until that point may put undue pressure on students to perform without enough training to succeed. They might only have six months to make all of the important decisions about their post-graduation life, all while trying to improve their test-taking skills and overall score in the process.
On the other hand, students who plan to take their first official test during the fall of Junior year (when many are taking the PSAT, not the actual SAT/ACT) will have up to a full year to evaluate and modify their goals, and this will lead to better decision making when it comes to finding a school that matches their qualifications and their financial needs.
Finally, there is no cookie-cutter answer for these questions. Students need to identify their qualifications and their needs before the end of their Sophomore year so as not to leave these decisions until panic time.
What is a ‘good score?’
Again, there is no response to this that satisfies most students. However, there are benchmarks that we use for what we call a ‘generic’ student. This is a student who’s got the look of a quality applicant (top 10% GPA, strong extra-curricular activity history, involvement in community, etc…) but doesn’t have a strong background in standardized testing. The generic student isn’t earning scholarships at the private schools he or she has been told match his or her qualifications unless they hit certain numbers on the test. This is largely because, despite being a top student in high school, he or she is competing against hundreds of other students who have the exact same qualifications.
So, what’s ‘good’ depends on what the goal is. And that’s how we’ll answer this question.
If ‘good’ means scoring at the national or state average, then we’d say, “aim slightly higher.”
By this measurement, an 1100 constitutes a ‘good score’ because the national average SAT score is about 1050.
If ‘good’ means ‘good enough to earn a sizable scholarship from a highly respected university,” then the numbers change quite a bit. A student looking for scholarship opportunities at somewhat competitive schools will see 1200 – 1300 as a good starting point. We usually use 1200 as the baseline benchmark for the generic student seeking scholarship opportunities. However, students seeking admission and scholarships from more competitive schools will need scores much higher than this in order to meet their needs. This is another reason for starting early and having authentic conversations with family members and peers.