SAT I Tutoring

The SAT I, which is similar to the ACT, is used for entrance into US Universities. We are very experienced at tutoring the SAT and the ACT and at helping students apply to US Universities.

The ACT is often much better for STEM students and students with less than perfect English - contact us to see how we can help and hear more about the ACT!

SAT I Tutoring

The SAT I, which is similar to the ACT, is used for entrance into US Universities. We are very experienced at tutoring the SAT and the ACT and at helping students apply to US Universities.

The ACT is often much better for STEM students and students with less than perfect English - contact us to see how we can help and hear more about the ACT!

SAT I

What is the SAT I?

TThe SAT I assesses the skills that are taught in all schools: reading, writing, and mathematics. The College Board administered changes in 2016 to the format, but the essence of the exam remains the same. The SAT I (or the ACT) is a requirement for US university applications. In theory, the exam gives university admissions teams a metric by which to compare students from different educational and geographic backgrounds. It lasts for 3 hours with 50 minutes for an optional essay section and is scored out of 1600, reflecting an equal distribution across the three disciplines. The SAT I is not taught explicitly in US schools, but students will spend time and resources preparing outside of school. Preparation time for an American student can range from 3 months to 3 years with a very small minority of students starting as early as 5th Grade (UK Year 6). For a British student, there is no equivalent, although the medical school aptitude exam the UKCAT has many similarities.

Read about the SAT I test format and question types and about the new SAT below, or see our dedicated webpage on frequently asked questions comparing the SAT I vs the ACT.

Our Experience & Approach

We have a very rigorous, logical approach to the SAT I exam. We start with a practice test to ensure that our tutors can identify strengths and weaknesses in test-taking and content. Our tutors are adept at teaching vocabulary words, mathematical tricks, and reading strategies. We have special experience with British students as well as with International students for whom English is not mother tongue. We teach both content for the exam as well as exam strategy. We provide a bespoke service specific to the needs of individual students which may or may not include specialised tutors for sub-sections, simulated exam condition practice, and detailed test feedback. All of our SAT I teaching is closely overseen by our Head Tutor, Sophia Ohler McCarthy and our Founder Katherine Wiles.

International Students

We understand that your needs may be slightly different, and that the Writing, Reading, and Essay portions of the exam are more challenging. We have tutors who are experienced with English as a Second Language education. These teachers are exceptional individuals and can start with students from any age to help prepare them for entering US education at any stage.

SAT I Test Format & Question Types

The SAT I assesses the skills that are taught in all schools: reading, writing, and mathematics. It lasts 3 hours, with a 50-minute optional essay, and is scored out of 1600 reflecting an equal distribution across the subjects.

Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section has two tests: the reading test and the writing and language test. The reading test is 65 minutes long with a total of 52 questions, and the writing and language test is 35 minutes long with a total of 44 questions. It is scored out of 800. The reading section will now be focused more on evidence, where students will be asked questions about the text and then asked about which piece of evidence best supports the answer. The texts are being pulled from U.S. founding documents (the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, etc.) as well as from works by important historical authors (Martin Luther King, Jr., Elizabeth Cady Stanton) to make the reading section more relevant and closer aligned to what students are learning in school.

Mathematics

The purpose of the Mathematics test is to see how well you can apply mathematical skills to the types of problems you will see in college and in your career. The Mathematics test is a total of 80 minutes, with 58 questions. There are two types of questions: multiple choice and student-completed. The score is out of 800. The Mathematics portion assesses numeracy, algebra, geometry, data analysis, statistics, and probability. There are two sections:

  • Section 1: 55 minutes; 38 questions with calculator
  • Section 2: 25 minutes; 20 questions without calculator

The mathematics questions are ordered by difficulty i.e. question 20 is more difficult than question 1.

Calculators

Four-function, scientific, graphing, and Computer Algebra System calculators are permitted on the SAT math sections only. College Board has identified that students with higher performance calculators tend to do better on the exam. Most students will choose a TI-83.

Essay

The essay is now an optional section on the SAT I. It is 50 minutes long, and students will be provided a passage (600-700 words) and will then be asked to analyze how the author built their argument. Students will be asked to understand how authors construct persuasive arguments. The essay measures reading and understanding skills, as well as analytical skills and overall writing capability. Some colleges will require that students take the essay portion, so it’s important to know and plan accordingly beforehand. The essay will be evaluated along three requisites – Reading, Analysis and Writing – with scores of 1-4 for each category. Two scorers will grade each essay, and then the six numbers will be combined for a final score.

No Guessing Penalty

One of the biggest changes from the old SAT I, the new SAT I will no longer negatively mark incorrect answers. Instead of losing ¼ of a point on an incorrect answer, there will simply be no points awarded to incorrect answers. Each multiple choice question now has four possible answers, except for the math grid-in questions, and guessing will no longer be penalized. penalty for guessing on the questions.

Overall changes in the new SAT I

The new SAT I began in March 2016. In order to prepare students, the College Board produced guidance for students who will be affected by the change. In summary, the big changes were:

New SAT College Board Logo
  • No more obscure vocabulary.
  • No penalties for wrong answers (like the ACT)
  • Only 4 multiple choice answers, instead of 5
  • Evidence-based reading and writing. You may be asked in the Reading exam where the evidence is to support the answer or to pull together answers from words or graphics.
  • The Writing section has more analysis: eg does a sentence make sense in context?
  • The SAT Essay will be optional.
  • The new essay requires a student to read a passage and then analyze the author’s ability to build an argument and persuade the audience. Thus, the essay will more closely mimic essays that students write in school.
  • New scoring and structure - in particular no negative marking

Please contact us if these changes are affecting you, and you would like to learn more.

PSAT

Some students will be offered the PSAT through their school to assess readiness for the SAT I exam. The PSAT is an abridged version of the SAT that is used in America to award some university scholarships. The PSAT is an excellent practice test for the SAT and can even be used to create a benchmark score. If you would like tutoring for the PSAT specifically, then please do get in touch.

Selected SAT I Testimonials

Please see below some example SAT I Testimonials that we have received. If you would like to hear more, you may be interested to read about our tutor guarantee or to read about Wentworth Tutors' philosophy and approach in a letter to parents from Dr Katherine Wiles, our Founder. Alternatively, some more SAT I Testimonials can be found on our dedicated testimonials page, where you can filter by subject.

SAT/ACT | Sophia Ohler

"We're very impressed with Sophia, she's lovely and [my daughter] gets on with her very well. Sophia is very inspiring and a good role model for [her]." ... See Sophia Ohler's tutoring profile.

SAT | David Wilkinson

"I just want to let you know that the SATs went well for me yesterday. Nothing tripped me up. Thank you very much for the hours of tutoring. They certainly helped me a lot." ... See David Wilkinson's tutoring profile.

SAT | Arina Patrikova

"I recommended Arina to a friend whose son needed to improve his SAT score. With her guidance he achieved a dramatic improvement in one month of work. She has a "can do" attitude and a thorough knowledge of the US educational system. " ... See Arina Patrikova's tutoring profile.

SAT II [Physics] | Dr Katherine Wiles

"Tests have been a challenge for [my son] who has had many tutors before you (until now you and the math tutor are the only tutors who have actually made his score go up!). He got his best test score to date." ... See Dr Katherine Wiles's tutoring profile.

SAT | Wentworth Education Private Tutoring

"The tutor] is very focused and identifies my problems very quickly, and therefore is able to help me with exactly what I need. I have learned a lot from her despite the fact that I only had four days of tuition."

Selected Profiles of our SAT I Tutors

Please see below some example profiles of the SAT I Tutors that we represent. If you would like to hear more, you may be interested to read about our tutor selection criteria or to read about Wentworth Tutors' philosophy and approach in a letter to parents from Dr Katherine Wiles, our Founder. Alternatively, some more profiles of our SAT I Tutors can be found on our dedicated tutors page, where you can filter by subject.

I taught Latin literature and Greek language to undergraduates during my D. Phil. at the University of Oxford (2008-2009), both in individual tutorials and in the classroom. I have advised students on Oxbridge and US University applications and interview preparation, with a 100% success rate at Oxbridge interviews. Drawing on my own experience of the US educational system, I have also helped my students secure successful outcomes in preparation for SAT and SAT Subject Tests (Latin and French) examinations.

Since 2003, I have tutored over 50 students, ranging from 8 to 20+ in age, in French, Classical languages, and Russian. Some of my most recent "case studies" are at the very bottom of the page. ...
My passion for tutoring stems from my own personal experience with understanding the impact that excellent teachers can have on our lives. At Winchester College, the leadership and inspiration of my teachers motivated me to succeed, and is reflected in my consistently strong academic record. Having now graduated with a First Class BA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and successfully completed an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London, I am keen to share my understanding and passion of the sciences and mathematics with new students. ...
Born in New York City, I moved to the UK when I was 12 years old. I attended two North London day schools: The Hall and University College School. I completed both US and UK university applications. I attended Georgetown University, where I earned a Bachelor's degree from the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

I am familiar with the challenges associated with applying to US universities from the UK, as well as what is required to prepare for the SATs in the UK system. I have worked as a trained English teacher abroad and a junior athletic coach in New York City. ...
I am a highly experienced private tutor, having been tutoring part time since graduating with a First Class degree from Cambridge in 2013, and full time since achieving a Distinction in my Masters at the University of London. I put into practice the approaches I have learned from the outstanding teachers I've had on my educational journey, and have accumulated a wealth of experience that ensures I can discover the right approach for each individual tutee.

I have a particular interest in teaching English, Politics, and for entrance exams (with especial experience teaching for 11+ and Common Entrance) and have tutored English and humanities subjects from KS2 up to undergraduate level. Having worked at schools, and been a senior tutor at a tuition centre, I have devised work for a wide range of pupils of different abilities and tailored teaching and approaches to support their needs, and have a detailed knowledge of a wide range of curricula.

I am also an experienced public speaker and debate coach, and all my tuition is designed not just to bolster my tutees' techniques and understanding, but also their confidence, interest, and ability to enjoy the subject. Observing my tutees' success and their growth in confidence makes me very happy. ...
I'm originally from New York, and have been living in London for a bit over a year now. After graduating from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing (Cum Laude), I received my Master's degree from the London Film School. I've been privately tutoring for years, as a peer tutor on Harvard's campus with the Bureau of Study Council, as well as with private agencies. I also have extensive experience as an Admissions Representative in the Harvard Admissions Office. I specialise in the American curriculum and US College Counselling, but know and work with the English curriculum as well. ...
I graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a degree in Human Biology -- my area of concentration is Cultural Neuroscience, an interdisciplinary field combining anthropology, psychology, and neurobiology. Though I majored in Human Biology, I also excelled in all my other courses (English, math, chemistry), earning above a 4.0 upon graduation. After university, I taught in the Human Biology department at Stanford, teaching courses such as Human Evolution, Child Psychology and Development, and Health and Environmental Policy. For the past two years, I have been working at a customer experience tech start-up, and I am now pursuing an MA in Service Design at the Royal College of Art. ...
I grew up in London, and was in school at Godolphin and Latymer before deciding to head to the US to attend Phillips Academy, Andover. I then went on to study History of Art at Harvard University where I graduated magna cum laude with high honors. After two years working at an art gallery in New York, I am happy to be back in London pursuing my master's degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Throughout my education I have benefitted form tutoring to help me achieve my academic goals and I understand how effective one-on-one teaching can be in preparing for big tests, catching up in a specific subject, and also building confidence. Along with tutoring for both UK and US entrance examinations, I am particularly helpful and interested in working with students who need help with their personal essays or general applications for boarding school or university. As an alumni admission representative at Phillips Academy, I have worked with many students who are working on preparing applications to boarding schools and enjoy helping them to identify their strengths and use those to build a strong application. ...
I'm a tutor and PhD candidate in English literature at the University of Cambridge. I'm looking to take on a select number of Wentworth students who are seeking to gain admissions to American and/or British preparatory schools and universities. I offer tutoring in prep school and university admissions, standardised testing (SAT, SAT II, PSAT, SSAT, ACT, APs, IB, ISEE), and crafting personal statements. I'm also available for tutoring in English literature GCSE, A-level, and AS-level. ...
I have experience teaching a range of ages, both privately part-time and in full time employment as a teacher at Hurstpierpoint College, where I worked for a year before starting my degree at Oxford University. I have a particular interest in entrance into the UK's top schools and Universities, teaching 11 plus, Common Entrance, and preparing students for Oxbridge. I am aided by a detailed understanding of UK independent schools as well as experience preparing for the American education system at ISEE and SSAT level in particular. I have delivered private tuition to children between 5 and 20 years. I find tutoring immensely rewarding and particularly enjoy the focused nature of assisting an individual with their academic goals. ...
After graduating from Harvard with a B.A. in Neurobiology I worked as a management consultant in the US for three years before starting the graduate medicine course at King's. I taught my first class in public speaking at the age of 17 and have sought out opportunities to teach and mentor others in everything I pursue. To that end, I joined Wentworth Tutors in 2018. ...