Saturday, May 30, 2015

How Much SAT or ACT Tutoring Is Needed?

The old mantra of "you get what you pay for" does not always apply to SAT or ACT prep. There are plenty of free resources available. Check previous blog posts about why you don't need to hire an SAT tutor or other posts for free ACT resources or free SAT resources

However, it is worth noting that a private tutor from CROSSWALK will help any student navigate the troubled test prep waters.

CROSSWALK specializes in individualized plans. Unlike some competitors that offer set programs of strict schedules, CROSSWALK feels that there is no one model that meets the needs of every student. 

CROSSWALK knows that students have busy schedules, tight budgets and other constraints that make test prep difficult. For this reason, we tailor programs based on a student's needs and time frame

So what does a typical student need? While not every student needs the same program, consider the following parameters when scheduling a private CROSSWALK tutor:

  • 3-6 Hours: this amount of time allows for minimal preparation, but a CROSSWALK tutor can present the major strategies of one test, like the ACT or SAT over this amount of time. 
  • 6-12 Hours: CROSSWALK recommends at least six hours to properly prepare for either the SAT or ACT (i.e. six hours for one test, not both). More is ideal, but with at least six hours, a tutor can present the major strategies and also start some guided practice. 
  • 12+ Hours: historically, the CROSSWALK students that have achieved the most point increase are the ones that put in the most time. See recent success stories both here and here for examples. With more than twelve hours to work with a student, a tutor can really dig into individual needs and move the needle. 
In all of the above scenarios, the key is to put in study time in addition to tutoring sessions. Just like homework reinforces classwork, SAT and ACT practice reinforces the lessons and strategies learned with a tutor. 

So instead of seeing private tutoring as "you get what you pay for," perhaps the more accurate statement would be "you get out what you put in." If your budget and schedule can allow for more hours, your score can increase. 

But not everyone has the luxury of an unlimited budget or endless free time. For this reason, CROSSWALK can help design a plan to fit your needs. Contact CROSSWALK today to learn more.

CROSSWALK specializes in individualized ACT and SAT preparation plans as well as private tutoring for a variety of academic subjects. Learn more at

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The 4 R's of Successful Test Takers

What are the most important R's for successful test takers?

If you said "reading, writing and arithmetic" then I am afraid you missed the mark.

While good test takers excel at reading, writing and arithmetic, the following R's represent the qualities of the best test takers:


Good test takers are realistic. They understand that test taking is a skill. Skills, like playing an instrument or mastering a new sport, require time and dedicated practice. Happy outcomes only come to those realistic enough to put in the time and effort.


As stress is the primary cause of poor test scores, good test takers know that readiness is the cure for stress. Prior to test day, good test takers develop and practice a game plan for each question. Subsequently, they face test day focused, stress-free and ready for a challenge. 


Successful test takers are resolute, steadfast, dedicated and motivated. By diligently pursuing a purpose, like a specific score or entry into a particular college, resolute test takers understand that motivation and dedication yield positive results. 


Taking the SAT and/or the ACT is a humbling experience. Learning and improving upon a weakness requires resilience and the ability to recover from a setback. The best test takers learn from a mistake, adjust quickly and move forward with their eyes on the prize.

If you are preparing for the SAT or ACT, make sure you are realistic about the work, ready to take on the challenge, resolute in your pursuit of a good score and resilient enough to learn quickly from any missteps.

Should you need some support in your test prep, contact CROSSWALK, the Monterey Peninsula's local resource for test prep and private tutoring. Also, learn how to demystify the SAT by reading 2400 SCORES: 24 Life Lessons to Demystify the SAT and Boost Your Score