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Teaching students real skills.

We are proud to be an industry leader in student performance. Our techniques and strategies help students improve their scores by an average of 240 SAT points!

Score Improvement

Over the last 3 years:

  • Pinnacle Prep students have improved by an average of 123 points per SAT section!
  • 83% of our students have improved by 100+ points on at least one SAT section, 5+ points on at least one ACT section!
  • 79% of our students improved by 200+ total points on the SAT, 5+ composite points on the ACT!

These statistics are drawn from both SATs and ACTs. Scores have been converted to the 1600-point SAT scale for ease of comparison. The statistics are compiled from Pinnacle Prep students over recent years (those who did their homework regularly, had a minimum of 20 hours of tutoring, reasonably followed our recommended test plan, and started with a baseline ≤750 per section) and are calculated by comparing the scores from their baselines (the most recent official test that students took prior to working with Pinnacle Prep) to scores from the last official tests they took after working with us.

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: +30 percentile points, 1.9 stanines
• Reading Comprehension: +30 percentile points, 2.2 stanines
• Quantitative Reasoning: +16 percentile points, 1.4 stanines
• Mathematics Achievement: +29 percentile points, 1.9 stanines

Average change in percentile rank: SSAT

• Verbal: +17 percentile points
• Quantitative: +22 percentile points
• Reading: +9 percentile points
• Total: +19 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.

score improvement

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 improve by nearly 150 points per section on average on the 1600 SAT scale (8-9 points on the ACT). Here is a breakdown of performance by hours 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

Some of our top performers, including numerous students who improved by 350 to 470 points on the 1600 scale, had over 60 hours of tutoring, but many of our top improvers did between 40 and 60 hours.

Please remember that every student is different, and some students take longer to reach their goals, so never give up! With practice, we never stop learning and improving.


Because every student is unique, we arrange an initial session with each new student to introduce fundamental concepts and get to know him or her a bit. From that initial session, we are able to construct a personalized test plan (which tests to take and when), as well as a preparation plan that will not interfere with academics or extracurriculars. In that first session 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.


Pinnacle Prep is THE BEST tutoring firm in NYC. And the proof is in his scores — my son Greg’s score went up 700 points! The owner, David Gordon, is a true professional and sets very high standards for all his tutors. They not only do a fantastic job with the SAT, but their tutoring for all subjects is outstanding. David is readily available, sensitive, respectful, and truly committed to making your child both successful and happy throughout the process. He and his team of professionals teach students real skills, not just how to memorize a list of a thousand vocabulary words. He keeps in close communication with all his clients, and his tutor manager is very helpful, sensitive, and respectful too. Another really great thing about Pinnacle Prep is that David and his close-knit teams of tutors return calls and are always readily accessible. Greg called his tutor the night before the SAT to go over a few questions, and his tutor was more than happy to hear from him. I highly recommend David and his team and can’t say enough good things about them. You won’t find a better firm.

– Celine, parent of UVA student

testimonials- Pinnacle Prep is THE BEST tutoring firm in NYC

We are so grateful to Pinnacle Prep for the assistance they gave Lexie — the preparation was outstanding, and I am sure was the largely the reason that she scored 2340 for her SATs, and was accepted into amazing colleges like Princeton, Brown, UChicago and UPenn. We continue to recommend Pinnacle Prep to people here in South Africa.

– Bev, parent


My daughter’s tutor Ellen was absolutely terrific. She had an easy but confident way about her and they connected really well. While my daughter is a self starter for sure, no doubt she benefited tremendously from Ellen’s tutoring. And Ellen encouraged her before the test and checked in with her afterwards, which meant a lot to both my daughter and me (and her dad). So kudos to Ellen — she is a superstar for sure and we appreciate her so much!

– Mary, parent


You helped Alex tremendously. Due to the fantastic scores he achieved on the May SAT he was recruited by both Brown and Penn to be on their squash teams. Alex worked incredibly hard to achieve the results he did but you provided calm, reasoned, encouraging advice that made him more competent and confident — the winning combination!

– Jenny, parent


I was very, very pleased with Ashwin and would recommend him wholeheartedly to anyone looking for personalized instruction. He was intelligent and interested in my daughter’s progress, and he tailored the course to fit my daughter’s needs, strengths, weaknesses and schedule. He kept us apprised of her progress and development, with lots of follow-ups. He worked out a very effective and manageable SAT/ACT schedule for my daughter and helped her achieve a 35 on the ACT. No matter where he was, including on vacation, he was always checking in on my daughter’s progress. I am now having Pinnacle assist my other child who will be taking the SAT/ACT this coming school year, and would be happy to speak to any interested parents/students!

– Parent


My son enjoyed working with Pinnacle Prep because he was able to focus on very specific material to review in preparation for SAT IIs; the tutors were specialists and the material was excellent. He led an incredibly busy high school life and his tutor was willing to meet with him on campus in between his co-curricular activities. Pinnacle Prep checked in with me regularly and followed up with my son. It always seemed to me that Pinnacle Prep sincerely cared about his skill base, mindset and outcome.

– Parent of Stanford student


When David Gordon met my son, he immediately knew that Mike would be the best fit. Mike provided more than just technical guidance; he also coached my son through the test-taking process by instilling confidence in his ability to do well and helped him improve over 400 points — achieving a superscore of 2400! Even though my son had the raw materials — a fundamental knowledge base, Mike was able to teach him how to have the right psychological mindset to approaching these tests. Because of Mike, my son was able to excel in a highly pressurized situation. Mike was truly amazing!

– Parent of Choate graduate


If it weren’t for the guidance and support of my tutor Leo and all the staff at Pinnacle Prep, I don’t think I would have gotten into NYU. Oh, and my scores went up almost 600 points!

– Eddie, Brooklyn high school graduate, accepted to NYU


All of my Pinnacle Prep tutors were outstanding! I really enjoyed working with them to reach my testing goals: my score improved over 400 points and I got a 2320 on the SAT!

– Marisa, Milburn, Yale


Without Pinnacle Prep’s help and support, it’s possible I would not be at Williams College today. I was ecstatic to go up hundreds of points from my PSAT and achieve a 2390 on the SAT! Before working with Pinnacle Prep, the SAT intimidated me. However, after meeting with David and my tutor, I began to realize that with proper preparation, the SAT was a manageable test. My tutor was able to focus our time on specific areas and help eliminate my weaknesses. When it was time for the actual test, I was confident I could handle anything it had in store for me.

– Will, Greenwich High School, Williams College


I felt very comfortable with the tutors at Pinnacle Prep, and they, in turn, were flexible in their approach with me. They designed a program that best fit my specific needs in order to achieve great results — my score jumped more than 400 points — I also really liked the people I worked with.

– Rebecca, Nightingale, Northwestern


When I saw the SAT for the first time, I didn’t think I’d be able to even finish a section, let alone do well on this important exam. But David and Kiran showed me how to solve every type of problem, and soon I became an expert test-taker — I went from a 1470 to a 1940. I honestly do not think I could have mastered the SAT had it not been for Pinnacle Prep. They are real professionals who take their jobs seriously and make sure every student succeeds. Without them, I wouldn’t even apply to the schools I am considering. Pinnacle Prep is frankly outstanding.

– Aaron, Yeshivah of Flatbush, University of Pennsylvania


I’d like to thank you [Sarah], David and everyone else at Pinnacle for all your help. I know that without everything that you did for me I would not have been able to qualify for this amazing program.

– Eddie, Yeshivah of Flatbush, NYU Stern


Alex is such a great guy, and it was all thanks to him that my score went up over 500 points and I got a 12 on the essay!

– Ian, Brunswick, Amherst


Jane was accepted to her first choice, Colgate, so I believe her 400-point gain paid off! Thank you!

– Anne, parent of Taft, Colgate student


At first, I thought working one-on-one with a SAT tutor would be awkward and boring, but my tutor Carl was so smart and down-to-earth that I found myself genuinely enjoying the sessions. The techniques and learning tools he provided me with made the SAT a conquerable, and almost fun, task. I could hardly believe how much I improved on a week-to-week basis. My score went up 450 points! Pinnacle Prep does an incredible job preparing its students for the SAT through individual care and attention. They truly helped me realize my full potential.

– Stephanie, Greenwich Academy, Georgetown


My daughter got a 730 on both Math Subject Tests. Your staff is truly great. I keep recommending Pinnacle Prep!

– Darby, parent of Greenwich Academy, Georgetown student


Stephanie applied early action to Georgetown and Boston College. She was accepted to both and to the honors program at Boston College. She’s decided to go to Georgetown — her top choice! As you can see, it was quite an easy process thanks to you and her tutor, Carl. Thanks for all your help getting her ready for it!

– Marta, parent of two Greenwich Academy, Georgetown students


Pinnacle Prep was a great find! David Gordon is very buttoned-up and his team of tutors are smart, professional and highly effective. My son’s SAT and ACT scores increased dramatically, and as they improved, so did his confidence. I’ve recommended Pinnacle to friends and the feedback has been great!

– parent of Cornell student


At Pinnacle Prep, it really comes down to the people. The tutors who worked with my triplets were such cool, fun, smart people, making the test preparation process much more interesting and enjoyable! The tutors motivated my kids to work hard to achieve their goals.

– Amy, parent of three graduates from Greenwich, CT


David, thank you for all your help. We also send a huge thank you to Peter’s tutor Danny, who is absolutely WONDERFUL!

– Elizabeth, parent of Brunswick, Yale student


David, I just want to thank you and Alex for helping Melissa prepare for the SAT. She just received her scores and was delighted to see she achieved a 2030! This is a tremendous jump for her — over 400 points. We feel that her sessions with Alex were extremely beneficial and instrumental in helping her achieve her goals. Thank you again for all your assistance throughout this college preparation process! Pinnacle Prep is by far the best test preparation service we have ever encountered.

– Rosemary, parent of Trinity Catholic graduate


I can’t express enough gratitude to Pinnacle Prep, in particular to David Gordon and his team of extraordinary tutors, for helping my daughter get into Barnard College. Without the caring, dedicated professionalism of you and your staff, she never would have had the confidence and poise to believe in her abilities to reach her fullest potential (she went up almost 400 points!). I am a huge fan of Pinnacle Prep’s wisdom and skills. Bravo and thanks a million!

– Rachel, parent of Packer, Barnard student


I knew that in order to improve my score, I had to meet with a tutor to sharpen my test-taking skills. My tutor Danny tirelessly worked with me on my essay, mathematical equations, and sentence structure. I committed myself entirely to Pinnacle Prep’s plan, which allowed me to develop the skills I needed in order to succeed — and I went up 400 points!

– Elizabeth, Deerfield, Wake Forest


I learned more in those first two hours with Stephanie than in the entire prep course I took before.

– Clayton, New Canaan High School graduate


I went from a 1400 to a 1990 after working with Pinnacle Prep — that’s up almost 600 points! I love my tutor Lauren. I actually looked forward to when she came because she was fun to be around while studying. She had a really good way of explaining things so that the solution was memorable.

– Claire, Blair Academy


I look forward to another child’s opportunity to work with Lauren. She was always prompt, cheerful, patient and encouraging. A truly lovely person from the inside out.

– Susan, parent of Blair Academy graduate


My Pinnacle Prep tutors were not only informative and helpful, they also truly cared about my progress on the SAT. I could not have achieved my goal without them, and my vast improvement on the SAT is proof of just how beneficial they truly were. I improved almost 600 points on my SAT score with a perfect 800 on the writing section! Thanks Pinnacle Prep!

– Molly, Taft, Wake Forest


The PSAT was awesome thanks to the help of Pinnacle Prep and my tutor Chris. Working with Chris was fantastic and I’m very grateful to Pinnacle Prep for giving me the opportunity to work with him! I learned new vocabulary words and read more books in order to improve my English comprehension skills. My sessions with Chris were terrific! Chris was always on time and fully prepared to answer all my questions. He was also a wonderful mentor, who made sure I understood all the concepts I encountered. I truly believe that because I reviewed the materials provided by my tutor Chris, the PSAT was much easier than it would have been if I had studied for it on my own.

– Erica, Frederick Douglass Academy graduate


Erin helped so much, she was absolutely superb. The prepping was useful not only for the SSAT but I have found it to be very helpful in my other related subjects. For example, I was taking a science test, and I had to define a few words. I had no idea what the specifics of “Oxidative Phosphorylation ” were. However, I pulled out my SSAT skills and broke the word down and got the question right. All of her knowledge was enormously helpful. She was incredible.

– Jack, Andover, Harvard

*Please note that some of these testimonials reference scores on the 2400-scale SAT.

Research & Development

Systematic test analysis is the cornerstone of our approach. We also bring that mindset to analyzing student performance. Over the years, our studies have yielded valuable information, some of which seems counterintuitive at first! Our analyses help to dispel common myths. We partnered with schools and college counselors to conduct our studies, and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to present our findings at schools and conferences. Below are summaries of some of our most interesting studies.

If you would like to arrange a Pinnacle Prep presentation at your school, or if you are an IEC and would like us to present a seminar with you, please let us know at 800-665-PREP (7737).

Pinnacle Prep at the 2017 IECA Conference

We were honored to be presenters of the following seminar on helping students find good tutors and test planning at the 2017 Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) Annual Conference:

It’s All in the Fit
Helping Students Find the Right Tutors, Tests, and Prep Strategies

How do I find a good SAT/ACT tutor for my students? Everyone claims to be an expert! And when should my students take these tests? Help!

In this fun, engaging workshop, we arm IECs, parents, and students with invaluable tools to help them evaluate test prep options and make referrals with confidence. Also, in an entertaining, humorous Socratic dialogue, we dispel test planning rumors. We answer many test planning questions, from whether to take the SAT or ACT or both to when and how many times to take them.

More is More:
The Case for Taking Multiple Tests, Including Both the SAT and ACT

In 2014 we conducted a study on the efficacy of diagnostic tests and the value of taking multiple tests. We analyzed the complete test records of four class years of students from two private high schools to answer two primary questions:

• Do diagnostic tests accurately predict whether a student would do better on the SAT or the ACT?
• When students take multiple tests, do they see continual score improvements?

We found that diagnostic tests were not reliable in predicting student performance on the SAT vs. the ACT. We also found that when students took multiple tests, their scores tended to improve through each test administration.

For these reasons, it is likely in a student’s best interests from a scoring perspective to take multiple tests (within reason) and to take both the SAT and the ACT. The good news is that the vast majority of the content of the two tests overlaps, so it isn’t a lot of extra work to take both.

The students in this recent study come from the general population of two prestigious private high schools, not specifically from Pinnacle Prep students. Across the study, the average score gains of students who took three tests was 238 points, while Pinnacle Prep’s students’ average gains are 360 points. Our students are able to achieve gains that exceed the averages of the students in the study because they follow optimal test plans, do substantive preparation before and between tests, and work with our tutors using our proven materials and techniques.

Pinnacle Prep at the 2012 IECA Conference

We were honored to have presented the following seminar on SAT / ACT test planning and myth busting at the 2012 Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) Annual Conference:

Do Green-Eyed Children Score Higher on the ACT?
Deconstructing Test Plan Myths and Strategies

Whether we like it or not, we are inundated with conflicting theories from newspapers, online discussions, friends and relatives about how to plan for the SAT and ACT. Sadly, much of this advice is based on second-hand anecdotes or even flat-out speculation.

In order to cut through the myths, we need to have answers to the big questions we all have. How many times should students take the SAT? Should students take both the SAT and ACT or just pick one? Is there a certain type of student who does better on the ACT? How big is the score boost from SAT superscoring?

In this workshop, we challenged some popular SAT/ACT assumptions, backing up our conclusions with case studies, in-depth analysis, and performance data from hundreds of test prep students. We also suggested evidence-based test planning strategies to optimize students’ chances of success on these crucial tests.