Test FAQs

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.

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 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.