The tutors at Ivy Coach regularly help our students boost their scores — be it on the SAT, ACT, or AP exams for college applicants, the SSAT or ISEE for prep school applicants, or the GMAT, GRE, LSAT, or MCAT for graduate school applicants. Our tutoring is all conducted via Zoom, and it’s designed to address students’ areas of weakness.
Undergraduate College Admissions Test Prep
We tutor students for the SAT, the ACT, AP Exams, and the TOEFL.
Created and administered by The College Board, this granddaddy of all standardized tests is now a 3-hour multiple choice-style exam that assesses evidence-based reading, writing and language, and math in 4 timed sub-sections. Reading and Writing scores combine for one section score, while Math without Calculator and Math with Calculator combine for the other score. Both sections of the SAT are scored on a basis of 200 (for signing one’s name) to 800 (for a perfect score).
The SAT is offered in the United States and internationally as a paper-based test about 8 times a year, including once in the summer. With few exceptions, most colleges will superscore the SAT, so it strongly behooves students to study for this test over the long term and take it multiple times. SAT Question and Answer Service, offered 3 times a year in the U.S. and once a year overseas, is a terrific study resource for students as they prep for their next round.
The SAT is changing soon, though, and Ivy Coach’s tutors are ready for it! As of March 2024 in the U.S. – and already current for international test-takers – the SAT will be given exclusively via computer at the test centers. That’s right: no more paper test booklets. The revised test is about a third shorter than the current one – 2 hours to the current 3. But in order to shorten the test, The College Board has had to make it adaptive. The test is thus in line with graduate school exams like the GRE and GMAT but this change puts students in need of new test strategies. Our tutors guide students preparing for this brand-new SAT with strategies to manage the risks and rewards of the new weighted scoring system – as well as the revised content, particularly dramatic in the Reading and Writing test.
The ACT, an abbreviation for American College Testing, is an alternative, equally popular, and accepted college admissions exam that measures English, math, reading, and science reasoning abilities. Like the current SAT, the test is about 3 hours in length. The sections are each scored on a scale of 1-36 points, rendering a Composite Score, as well, from the average of the four subtests.
All colleges in the U.S. will accept the ACT in lieu of the SAT, and some colleges will superscore the ACT. The ACT is offered about 7 times a year. In the U.S., the ACT is usually offered as a paper-based test, while internationally, it’s computer-based. Like the current SAT, the ACT offers a question-and-answer service (Test Information Release) several times a year, a terrific tool for students honing their skills for the next test.
The Advanced Placement program administered by the College Board offers a wide range of college-level courses and exams to high school students, including:
AP English Literature and Composition
AP English Language and Composition
AP United States History
AP European History
AP Art History
AP Human Geography
AP Comparative Government and Politics
AP World History: Modern
AP United States Government and Politics
AP Computer Science A
AP Computer Science Principles
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based
AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based
AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
AP Environmental Science
AP Italian Language and Culture
AP Chinese Language and Culture
AP German Language and Culture
AP Spanish Literature and Culture
AP Spanish Language and Culture
AP French Language and Culture
AP Japanese Language and Culture
AP Music Theory
With top scores on these exams, students can qualify for advanced placement in college courses and even earn college credit (though, more often at our nation’s elite universities, they simply help students optimize their case for admission). With the demise of the SAT Subject Tests, the more comprehensive AP Exams are the only standardized measures of advanced academic achievement for college admissions. They are thus more important than ever for competitive admissions. The most enterprising students will study independently to round out their AP course load, even beyond their high school offerings. Ivy Coach prepares students for the AP tests in most disciplines.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) must be taken by students who attend high schools in which English is not the primary language of instruction. Most highly selective colleges require students to have scored between 100 and 110 on the iBT (Internet-Based TOEFL).
Prep / Independent School Admissions Test Prep
For students applying to preparatory or independent high schools, we offer ISEE and SSAT tutoring. Very few tutors are experts at these particular exams, as the vast majority of students in the country don’t take these tests. But Ivy Coach’s tutors are masters at improving students’ SSAT and ISEE test scores.
The SSAT is a test required by many private or boarding elementary, middle, and secondary schools. The test is administered to students in grades 3 through 11 on three different levels.
- The Elementary Level SSAT is administered to students who are applying to schools for grades 4 and 5.
- The Middle Level SSAT is administered for students applying for grades 6, 7, and 8.
- The Upper Level SSAT is administered to students who are applying to high schools in grades 9 through 12 and the PG (post-graduate) year.
All three SSAT levels have four sections — verbal, math, reading comprehension, and a writing sample. The essay does not receive a grade.
The ISEE is a test required by private or boarding elementary, middle, and high schools. There are three levels to the ISEE exam.
- The Lower Level ISEE is for students who are applying for admission to grades 5 and 6.
- The Middle Level ISEE is for students who are applying for admission to grades 7 and 8.
- The Upper Level ISEE is for students who are applying for admission to high school or grades 9 through 12 and the PG (post-graduate) year.
All three levels of the test have four components – verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, and mathematics achievement. There’s also an essay that is not scored.
Graduate School Admissions Test Prep
For students applying to graduate schools including law schools, medical schools, business schools, or other graduate programs, we offer LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE tutoring.
The Graduate Management Admission Test is a test taken by applicants to business schools in graduate programs such as: business management, MBA, Master of Finance, or Master of Accountancy. There are 4 sections on the GMAT: verbal, quantitative, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing. The GMAT measures performance only on the quantitative and verbal sections. The total score of the GMAT is on a scale of 200 to 800 (with intervals of 10). The analytical writing assessment is graded on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 6 (highest) and in intervals of half points by two readers, one of which may be an automated essay-scoring engine. Performance on the integrated reasoning and analytical writing sections do not factor into the total score.
Students applying to specific graduate and business programs, as well as some law schools, take the GRE. The GRE measures verbal reasoning (scored on a basis of 130-170 in one point increments), quantitative reasoning – which includes arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis (scored on a basis of 130-170 in one point increments), and analytical writing skills (scored on a basis of 0-6 in half point increments). The GRE may be taken as often as a student prefers because, through the Score Select Option, the student sends only the highest scores.
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) administers the LSAT, or The Law School Admission Test, six times a year to prospective law school candidates. The test consists of five multiple-choice sections and a writing sample that can tilt the balance in admissions decision-making.
The LSAT measures reading comprehension, analytical reasoning (AKA “logic games”), and verbal reasoning (AKA “arguments”). Scores range from 120 (lowest score) to 180 (highest score). Since one’s LSAT score and GPA are the two most important factors in gaining admission to law school, there is currently a movement underway by the American Bar Association to no longer require the LSAT for admission to law schools. In fact, the GRE is accepted now at some top law schools in lieu of the LSAT, though the GRE’s math section deters some law school applicants from pursuing this alternative.
For over 80 years, the MCAT, or the Medical College Admission Test, has been the test for admission to medical school. Students applying to allopathic, osteopathic, podiatric, and veterinary medicine schools also take the MCAT. The MCAT is a computer-based exam that consists of 3 sections: physical sciences (PS), biological sciences (BS), and verbal reasoning (VR). All answers are multiple-choice and there is no penalty for an incorrect answer. Scores for each of the three multiple-choice sections range from 1 to 15. A 15 is a perfect score on an individual section and a 45 is a perfect score on the MCAT.