How many tests should I take?! (2020)
We dove into the data from the classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020 to see just how much it matters to take that one extra test. Read more
We analyzed the performance of over 400 of our students from the graduating classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020 to see what effect taking multiple tests had on total improvement.
In the study, we found that students gain points with every test they take, and that students taking three or more tests did dramatically better than those taking just one or two tests. Of course, many students stop — and we encourage them to stop — if they get a great score on their first or second test; that’s always the goal! But even with those students included in the study, the pool of students who took at least 3 tests saw on average nearly 80 points more improvement than students taking 1 or 2 tests and over 50 points more improvement than those taking just 2 tests.
We of course accounted for the hours of tutoring difference between each group. When we did this, we found something really interesting: the average points per hour of tutoring stayed steady among students taking 2, 3, 4, or 5 tests! Which means that continuing to train and prepare remains critical as you take additional tests.
We also looked at the overall performance of students by the amount of tutoring they had. We saw that students who did over 30 hours of tutoring did dramatically better (by over 30% points improvement) than those with under 30 hours. We saw another bump in performance at 50+ hours, with that group improving nearly 20% more than the group of students with 40-49 hours.
As you know, we’re very systematic and always like to quantify and verify our experience. It’s always good to affirm our test planning recommendations and confirm how much our tutoring is helping our students. Please feel free to call or email us if you’d like talk about this or any of our studies.
Do Green Eyed Children Score Higher on the ACT? (2012)
Pinnacle Prep was honored to present this seminar on SAT and ACT test planning and myth busting at the 2012 Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) Annual Conference. Read more 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.
It’s All In The Fit (2017)
Pinnacle Prep was honored to present alongside IECA President Ann Rossbach and Edvice’ Steve LeMenager this seminar on test planning and helping students find great tutors at the 2017 Independent Educational Consultants Association Annual Conference. Read more 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 (2014)
In 2014, Pinnacle Prep conducted a study on the efficacy of diagnostic tests, the benefits of taking both the SAT and ACT, and the value of taking multiple tests. Read more
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.