Score Improvement

Pinnacle Prep is proud to be an industry leader in student performance:

• Our students’ average score improvement is over 120 points per section on the SAT – over 6 points on the ACT
• 95% increase by 100 or more points on at least one section
• 93% increase by 150 or more total points
• 30% increase by 200 or more points on at least one section
• 70% increase by 200 or more total points

These statistics are drawn from SATs and ACTs. All scores have been converted to the 1600-point SAT scale for ease of comparison. The statistics are compiled from all Pinnacle Prep students over recent years (those who did their homework, had a minimum of 10 hours of tutoring, and followed our recommended test plan) and are calculated by comparing the scores from the most recent test that students had taken prior to working with Pinnacle Prep with the last test that they took after working with Pinnacle Prep.

For a recent class of ISEE and SSAT students at a private elementary school in Manhattan, the score improvements were as follows:

Average change in percentile rank: ISEE

• Verbal Reasoning: +18 percentile points
• Reading Comprehension: +10 percentile points
• Quantitative Reasoning: +16 percentile points
• Mathematics Achievement: +33 percentile points

Average change in percentile rank: SSAT

• Verbal: +14 percentile points
• Quantitative: +21 percentile points
• Reading: +12 percentile points
• Total: +17 percentile points

Our results have been comparable on all tests, including the SAT, ACT, Subject Tests, and graduate school and high school entrance exams such as the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, SSAT, ISEE, and SHSAT.

How much tutoring should I do?

One of the first trends we noticed with our students was that the number of hours of tutoring correlated with performance. Pinnacle Prep students who receive 50 or more hours of tutoring increase by nearly 150 points on average on the 1600 SAT scale (8-9 points on the ACT). Here is a breakdown of performance by hour of tutoring:

Hours of Tutoring Average Increase
50+ 146 per section
40-50 133 per section
30-40 114 per section
20-30 105 per section

Pinnacle Prep has found that there are diminishing returns as students exceed 80 hours of tutoring. Some of our top performers, including numerous students who improved by 350 to 470 points on the 1600 scale, had approximately 60 hours of tutoring, but those who logged more than 70 hours did not show markedly better results. While our sample size of students who received over 80 hours of tutoring is small, we have found that further tutoring hours do not necessarily dramatically increase the student’s chances of reaching his or her best score. However, every student is different, and some students take longer to reach their goals, so never give up! We never stop learning and improving with practice.


As mentioned above, every student is unique, so we arrange an initial session to introduce basic concepts and see how the student responds. From that initial session, we are able to construct a test plan (what tests to take and when) that makes sense for the student and a preparation plan that will not interfere with academics or extracurriculars. We also gain a sense of the student’s strengths, weaknesses, and personality, which helps us match him or her with a tutor who will be a good fit. We typically recommend programs in the 40-60 hour range, starting prior to the PSAT and carrying students through the ACT, SAT, and Subject Tests.