Yes. Even though there are quite a few colleges out there that don’t require the essay, your child will probably take the exam during junior year. At that point, we don’t really know where he/she will be applying next fall. We don’t know if he/she needs the essay score. If he/she goes into the first test and gets the goal score, but doesn’t have writing, he/she will have to take the test again. He/she can’t take just the writing section. He/she has to take the entire test and try to do well on it because you can’t pull the writing/essay form one test and submit it with another test. You have to submit the entire test.
Both SAT and ACT give you 4 free score submissions when you register for the test. These scores automatically go to the schools you list. However, we don’t know what those scores are. We suggest that you not send scores until you know what they are and which set is the best. If you take the test 3 times, you may only want colleges to see the best set of scores, especially if you are applying to highly selective scores. It does cost more to send scores later. ACT is currently $13 and SAT is $12, but it’s a small price to pay in order to control who sees what.
Superscore happens when a college will average the highest section scores from more than one test. Sometimes a student takes the test twice and scores high in English and math on one test but reading and science on another test. Instead of having to take the test a third time to get high scores in all the sections on one test, many schools now average the highest scores for a super score.
Both the ACT and SAT are score choice which means you can choose which set of scores you want colleges to see. You can take the test as many times as you want and only send in 1 set of the best scores.
Then we don’t tutor it. We have quite a few students who score high enough in a section that we don’t tutor it. If your child scores above a 31 in any section, we may suggest that the tutor assign that subject as homework but not directly tutor it. The tutor can review any questions on the homework but will focus on the other sections that were lower. If this happens, we generally reduce tutoring to 1.5 hours per week versus 2.
Congratulations!! We are very happy for him/her. We believe in individualization. As students get their goal scores, they can be finished with tutoring. Our goal is to get a goal score that everyone is happy with. That score is different for every student. If they manage to knock it out of the park on the first pitch, we are very happy for them. However, many times students will want to continue to try to get even higher. We are fine with that too!
Sometimes students get their goal scores and finish tutoring. Then over the summer, they find their dream college but need another point or two. Sometimes students need another point or two for a scholarship. That’s fine! We’ll tutor some more. Often when a student has a goal in mind, getting there is much easier than just trying to get their highest score.
Check in with your sons/daughters about their progress. Ask them how homework is going and when they are planning to do it. Help them plan out their homework, so they are not racing to do it right before their tutoring session. If they spend a week not looking at their homework, they can easily forget what they learned and not practice new strategies properly.
On average, we meet once a week for an hour. If your child needs more time, we can increase the session length to 1.5 hours or meet twice a week. We will not increase that amount unless there are extenuating circumstances. We don’t want our students to learn to depend on us. We want them to use us for things they don’t know, not just as company while they do their homework.
Goals differ with each student but generally fall into several categories. Sometimes we tutor to improve grades. We focus on study skills, organizational skills, homework skills, etc. Sometimes we tutor to build confidence. This is the best by-product of tutoring, We get to reinforce to students that they are smart regardless of how many times they’ve told themselves that they aren’t. Sometimes we tutor for accountability. The student knows we come every week and are going to ask to see their grades. They may need to investigate if scores aren’t where everyone expects them to be.