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Please call us at (914) 341-2714 or email us at to learn more about our services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the PSAT count?

For the majority of students, the simple answer is NO. The "P" in PSAT stands for practice, and that is exactly what it is. The test is given once a year in October, and is designed to give students a feel for how the SAT is structured and how the questions are worded. PSAT scores are not reported to colleges.

The one time that PSAT scores do count is for the small group of students who hope to qualify for a National Merit Scholarship. Please let us know if you think that your child may qualify for this award so that we can tailor his or her tutoring plan accordingly.

What are the differences between the SAT and the ACT?

Both the SAT and the ACT are nationally administered standardized exams used for college admissions. Most schools accept both SAT and ACT test results.

Though both the SAT and the ACT help colleges assess a student's academic accomplishments, the two tests are structured a bit differently from each other and reward different attributes. Guidance counselors and admissions officers often describe the difference between SAT and ACT this way: the SAT focuses on logic and reasoning in grammar, critical reading and math, while the ACT measures scholastic proficiency in English, mathematics, reading, and science.

Specifically, the primary differences between the SAT and ACT are as follows:

  • The ACT is a more time-driven test than the SAT.
  • The ACT includes a science reasoning test; the SAT does not.
  • The ACT math section includes trigonometry; the SAT math section does not.
  • The SAT tests vocabulary much more than the ACT.
  • The SAT has an experimental section; the ACT does not.
  • The SAT penalizes for guessing; the ACT does not.

The first step in your John Jay Prep relationship will be an assessment of your student's testing strengths and weaknesses to determine which test or tests is best suited to his or her abilities.

Does my child need to take any SAT II Subject Tests?

Of the approximately 3,000 colleges and universities across the country, only about 100 of the most competitive use SAT II Subject Tests in their admissions decisions. And, the vast majority of colleges requiring or recommending SAT II Subject Tests limit their expectation to TWO subjects. Your John Jay Prep testing plan will include an analysis of whether or not your child should prepare to take one or more SAT II Subject tests.

When should my child begin tutoring for the college entrance exams?

The answer to this commonly asked question varies by student and depends on their academic and extracurricular activity schedule, as well as their personal goals regarding college selection. We see students throughout the school year as well as over the summer in preparation for the PSAT, SAT and ACT. Please contact us to discuss the best time for your child to begin working with John Jay Prep.

What is the first step in preparing for the college entrance exams?

The first time you call John Jay Prep, you will speak with Deb who will be your personal guide to the entire test preparation process. We will set up a one-on-one consultation during which we will discuss your child's personal goals and testing expectations and answer any questions you may have. In addition, we will give each student two diagnostic exams to complete (SAT and ACT), the results of which will be used to begin formulating a personalized tutoring and testing plan recommendation.

What time commitment is involved with preparing for the college entrance exams?

Most students will prepare for a minimum of 12 weeks for either the SAT or the ACT. At John Jay Prep, students are expected to devote at least 3-4 hours each week (including tutoring time) to their SAT/ACT studies in order to gain the maximum benefit from the program. Our program is designed to ensure that students are practicing on a consistent basis, focusing on improving their weaker areas and maximizing their areas of strength.

When are the SAT, SAT II Subjects and ACT offered and how do you I register?

Please see our Schedule page for specific test dates, fees and registration instructions.