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College prep

Navigating college admissions is often overwhelming and discouraging for parents and students. In order to help take the stress out of what should be an exciting time in a student's life, Main Street Scholars has recently joined forces with Liz Murphy College Advising. Together, we help students transition from high school to college by providing assistance with the college application process, identifying educational goals, and preparing for SAT and ACT exams.

College Advising

Liz Murphy College Advising provides a relaxed, personalized approach to help students find success at a college that best fits their academic, social and financial goals. Working with students from their freshman year on—through interest and personality assessments, course and extracurricular planning, SAT/ACT testing advice and scheduling, activities and sports résumés—we develop a personalized college list and guide them through the application process, essays, interviews, financial aid, and making the final decision.

Test prep

Test prep classes begin at least 8 weeks prior to the test dates (in the sidebar at right). You must go online to register about 5–6 weeks BEFORE the test date.


Full test prep 6 weeks/18 hrs $1150 ($200 off) Yes
Proctored test as needed (1st weekend of month) $120 N/A
Single-subject prep 6 weeks/6 hours $400 ($50 off) Yes
SAT / ACT academic coaching as needed $95/hour No

Test FAQs

Do I need to take the essay portion of the SAT? Is it required by universities or colleges?

Click on the link below to go to the College SAT Essay Policies page of the College Board site. Browse schools by state or by name to see their requirements.

If your chosen school is not listed you can go to the school’s website to check on their requirements for the essay. In California, the University of California (UC) system requires the essay. The California State University (CSU) system does not.


How long does it take to get my scores back from a test?

You can click the link below and find out when your test scores will be available.


How is the SAT scored? What is the highest score?

Section Scores (Evidence-based Reading and Writing, and Math) range from 400–1600. The essay (Reading, Analysis, Writing) ranges from 2–8.


How many times do I need to take the SAT or ACT?

There is no absolute right answer to this question. Find out what the colleges you are applying to require for an SAT or ACT test score, then take it once to set a baseline for yourself. If you score as high as you think you should have scored, then use those scores on your college application. If you are not satisifed with your scores, retake the test using your “learned strategies” one or two more times. Then stop!

How far in advance of the test date do I begin practicing using test strategies?

We recommend at least 6–8 weeks. One important consideration is how much time you can spend practicing and taking practice tests under “test conditions” to help improve scores.

What is the cost of a full test prep at Main Street Scholars?

The full 18-hour package is $1150, with the full payment being made up-front. The 18 hours of prep can be divided any way, depending on the topics in which you need the most practice. If you need very little practice in English and more in math, we can do that.

We routinely begin a full practice session 8 weeks before the actual test date. The sessions cover a 6-week period, with the additional 2 weeks allowance for any cancellations (sports, illness, etc) during the 6 weeks and to be used for extra independent practice before the actual test.

How many hours per week will my child meet for test review?

Generally, weekly sessions are each one hour per section, so from 1–3 hours weekly.

What is the cost of a single section of test prep at Main Street Scholars?

The cost of any single section of test preparation (6 weekes/ 6 hours) is $400. The single subjects are Math, reading/English and essay writing.

What if my child only needs 1–2 hours of review?

The hourly cost for any review is $95 per hour (no discount) and can be for any section. You can schedule these sessions at any time.

Do I need a college advisor?

Our college advisor, Liz Murphy, helps guide students through the college and university application process beginning with an initial meeting during the 9th-grade year, following up in 10th grade with the PSAT and coming up with a “wish list” of schools. 11th grade focuses on SAT/ACT test, and 12th grade covers the application submission process.