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 II [Chemistry] | Dr Katherine Wiles

"Everything is going well. Katherine is prompt and well prepared, and my daughter is now very motivated to study." ... See Dr Katherine Wiles's tutoring profile.

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

"Well I took the SAT yesterday and it was actually really fun. There were specific questions where I knew I wouldn’t have been able to do them if I hadn’t done that prep with you." ... See David Wilkinson'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."

SAT & University Admissions Counselling | Talal Al-Nawab

"Talal and I first started working together at the end of my Freshman year (Year 9) to support me in my high school Math classes as I was taking the most advanced course that my school offered. This continued into Sophomore year (Year 10), and he also then worked with me on my SAT test preparation from the beginning of Junior year (Year 11). Always patient and encouraging, Talal's tutoring and test preparation help was invaluable to allow me to excel in my school studies and prepare me for university. He challenged me to think on my feet and push my academic abilities. My confidence in Math continued to grow along with my GPA, and I am very grateful for his support. In the SAT, I was able to improve my score significantly through our work together which put me in a fantastic position for my university applications. Towards the end of Junior year (Year 11), Talal also began supporting me as a US university admissions counsellor. He helped me finalise a strong list of my best-fit universities and ensured that I began the essay drafting process in good time ahead of my Early applications. He guided me through the crucial essay process through careful and well thought-through iterations of my essay drafts to end up with highly personalised and impactful essays. He also ensured that I always stuck to my deadlines. I truly valued Talal's support and academic mentorship along the way, and I highly recommend him as a tutor, test prep coach and university admissions counsellor." ... See Talal Al-Nawab's tutoring profile.

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.

Having worked in the education space for over four years as a Senior Academic Mentor and University Admissions Counsellor, I have built up my experience of working with a wide range of students. My primary focus has been on SAT & ACT tutoring, US & UK University Admissions Counselling, and general high school Mathematics tutoring. I take a 'mentorship' approach to my work with students and focus on building a strong relationship based on trust and respect to ensure that students feel well-supported and are able to improve their abilities and performance levels. ...
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 for high school. 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 returned to London where I received my Master's degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art. I have since returned to New York where I am working toward my PhD at CUNY Graduate Center.

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. I am particularly experienced in helping students prepare for US independent and boarding school entrance examinations (ISEE, SSAT) and 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. ...
Dr Caitlin Rea is a dual (US/UK) citizen, graduating from Harvard with a BA in Neurobiology and Anthropology in 2015. She graduated with a degree in medicine from Kings College London Graduate medical school in 2019 and has relocated from London to Edinburgh last year. She has been working for Wentworth since 2015 focusing on US school and college admissions. At Harvard, she worked for Veritas Education for 2 years and travelled to China to work as both a teacher and US college consultant. She also tutored children with Autism throughout college. Researching and teaching children who have learning difficulties is one of her main interests. Before Harvard, she completed her GCSE's and A-levels (Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geography) in the UK. Alongside her final year of A-levels, she completed the SAT and SAT II exams and went through the US college application process alongside her UK UCAS application. She is well versed in the various US entrance exams and the US application process. ...
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. ...
After finishing two degrees from Stanford and Kingston Universities (covering a range of topics from philosophy of religion and mathematics to critical theory) I am now preparing to teach philosophy in prisons and studying to become a psychoanalyst. ...
I specialise in US exam preparation, reading comprehension, Art History, English (writing and literature), History, and French language. I have benefitted from one-on-one tutoring throughout my education in order to prepare for standardized tests (ISEE/SSAT, SAT/ACT, GRE), which helped me build confidence and was a huge factor in my success. Having grown up in Manhattan and having attended boarding school and university in the US, I am intimately acquainted with the American educational system and the testing and admissions processes for US high schools and universities. Because of my background, I am well equipped to provide admission advice and counselling.

In New York, I attended a private, all-girls school, Convent of the Sacred Heart, before continuing my education at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. At Choate, I took many Advanced Placement and honors courses. I achieved a 35 (of 36) on my ACT and 5's on my Art History, French, English Literature, and European History AP exams. I attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee where I double-majored in Art History and French. Before beginning my graduate studies in September 2019, in order to improve my German, I attended the Middlebury College Intensive Summer Language Program in Middlebury, Vermont, an 8 week, immersive program where all classes and socialising are conducted in German. I moved to London in 2019 to attend the master's programme in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute (M.A. distinction, 2020; course: German Modernism: Politics, Utopia, and Times of Turmoil).

I am now the Project Curator of an online journal and exhibition space affiliated with MIT on art and migration and Performa director RoseLee Goldberg's research assistant for the fourth edition of her book Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present, focusing on performance and new media from 2010 onward. ...
I grew up in a family that moved every few years, so I attended school first in private academies in Singapore, then the U.S. public school system. I went on to Harvard University, where I focused on the social sciences and graduated with a degree in Women & Gender Studies. After working in tech in the US, including over 3 years building and leading the customer support organization at Uber, I am currently pursuing a Master of Science at the London School of Economics.

As a lifelong bookworm and overall nerd, I look to bring that excitement for learning to those around me, be that within a classroom or in the workplace. During my undergraduate years, I focused my extracurricular time tutoring in and leading an organization that provided free English Second Language classes. At Uber, I personally coached 11 direct reports to develop leadership, analytical, and people management skills, either directly promoting or facilitating their promotion to higher level roles within the company.

I am well versed in the US system, including AP and college entrance exams, and I particularly enjoy working with students through the entire admissions processes, especially when it comes to personal essays. In addition, I can support any students looking to gain presentation and data analysis skills. You can always count of me to bring some humor and levity to facilitate learning, whether the topic is the SAT exam or using Excel. ...
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 am a graduate of Durham University, where I completed a BA in English and Philosophy. Although I went to university in the UK, I grew up in New York, and completed all of my schooling in America. I attended one of the top boarding schools in the country, Groton School, on an academic scholarship. I took the SAT and AP exams, earning some of the highest scores in my class for both. I have been tutoring since the age of 15, as part of a tutoring program at Groton. I continued at university for English and Philosophy students, and post-graduation, here in London. Having attended both US and UK education systems, I understand and can work with both curriculums, especially with school and university entrance exams and processes. ...
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. ...