payton breck

How I went up 250 points on the SAT

payton breck

Payton Breck is a junior at Radnor High School. In her free time, Payton enjoys sewing clothing, cooking, and watching movies (especially, and unapologetically, the Twilight series.)

payton breck

Payton Breck is a junior at Radnor High School. In her free time, Payton enjoys sewing clothing, cooking, and watching movies (especially, and unapologetically, the Twilight series.)

On my very first practice SAT, I scored an 1160. Now I have a 1410. 

In just around three months, my score improved drastically, and yours can too. Here are my tips to increase your SAT score.

Identify Your Weaknesses

Before I started test prep, I was convinced I couldn’t improve— I didn’t know where to begin. I quickly realized that I needed to pinpoint my areas of specific weaknesses. The diagnostic test my tutor provided me with told me exactly what these weaknesses were.

On the reading section, I found myself struggling to understand the overall themes of the passages. To improve my score, I committed myself to reading more. Whether you choose short stories, opinion editorials, or entire books, reading more will help increase your reading score.

For the writing section, I realized that my knowledge of sentence structures was limited. With math, my same advice with the grammar section applies. I focused on practicing questions that I continually got wrong. My tutor also provided me with math packets specifically focusing on questions I got wrong, which was extremely helpful.

In order to overcome your weak spots, it’s important to be honest with yourself and ask for help. Admitting that you need help is difficult and it took me a while to really be honest with myself. However, asking for help was the best thing I could’ve done for my score.

Simulate the SAT Environment

After taking more than ten practice tests and two real tests, I recognize the importance of creating a home testing environment that mirrors that of a real testing environment. It may seem grueling, but the more that you decrease distractions and focus on the test, the more your score will improve.

To simulate a true testing environment, put your phone in another room and eliminate all distractions. My tutor provided me with a testing watch, which is one of the most useful tools to help you time your test and keep you on track.

Critical Point Test Prep additionally offers proctored tests at their office, which I took a couple of times. These were extremely useful and exactly mirrored what an actual test was like.

Directly mirroring the testing environment during your practice tests will prepare you for the real test by making you more comfortable and focused.

Be Patient with Yourself

There was a period during my test prep when my score wasn’t improving. This was extremely frustrating and I felt as though I would never improve. Sometimes, my score would even fall, making me discouraged and unmotivated. Little did I know that it was this exact frustration that was causing my score to go down.

I went into tests with the expectation that I would not improve, and this caused my mindset to be negatively fixated on failure. To increase your score, you have to be patient with yourself and understand that your score will not be a perfect upwards trajectory.

If you continue to practice and even attempt to keep an open mindset on the matter, then improvement will naturally follow.

Does your child need expert guidance to master the SAT or ACT? Any student enrolled before May 1st will receive a $200 discount off any regularly priced program.

I can’t say enough terrific things about Critical Point Test Prep! They helped my daughter with valuable test taking skills and time management. Her SAT test scores improved after working with them. They are professional and timely. The tutors are friendly and approachable. I will be using them again for my other student.

Kathy Henderson

Mother of Radnor HS Student

The highest rated SAT tutoring service on the Main Line

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Nick Scoville at Critical Point did a fantastic job preparing my son for the SAT. My son’s content knowledge, test taking skills, and confidence increased consistently throughout the program. I highly recommend you give owner Andre Kiss a call. When he described the program to me, I knew it was the best place for my son. Money well spent.
Lori Marx
Lori Marx
January 3, 2021.
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Great experience with Critical Point Test Prep! Jason Getchell was an excellent tutor for my daughter's ACT. He has a wonderful rapport with students and provides outstanding guidance.
Merrilee Johnstone
Merrilee Johnstone
November 23, 2020.
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I had a great experience! The practice tests and one-on-one tutoring significantly improved my test scores. My tutor Jason was incredibly helpful and answered all my questions and gave me tons of helpful tips!
Katie Johnstone
Katie Johnstone
November 17, 2020.
Verified
I can't thank all the qualified people at Critical Point Test Prep enough. The techniques and strategies taught were extremely helpful. My son was able to score 200 points higher, which gave him the opportunity to apply to many more colleges. They really do want their students to succeed.
Anne Storz
Anne Storz
November 14, 2020.
Verified
I have twins at Radnor high school applying to college this year. They had tried another local test prep service over the summer before their junior year which frankly was expensive and not helpful at all. Fortunately a friend told us about their experience with Critical Point and we tried them out. Both girls had a great experience with their tutor, raising their ACT score and, more importantly, learning much better study habits. Their tutor had a great attitude and adjusted his style to each girl addressing their specific needs. I highly recommend critical point test prep. Especially in this time of corona where everything is so uncertain, you need a strong calming presence for the testing portion!
Ainlay Dixon
Ainlay Dixon
November 11, 2020.
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Andre helped me a lot and I was able to improve my score by almost 200 points! Highly recommend for anyone who is trying to improve apon a previous SAT or PSAT score.
Ben Storz
Ben Storz
October 19, 2020.
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Critical Point is absolutely FANTASTIC! This is not just a "tutoring center". They have a very sophisticated process to provide one on one guidance and feedback specific to your student. I was so impressed to see the metrics they use to determine areas that need improvement. Then they provide additional homework and coaching. My student was a terrible test taker, and they gave her the confidence and skills to ace her SAT the very first time. I HIGHLY recommend them!!
Lisa Breck
Lisa Breck
October 9, 2020.
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I was tutored by this amazing team and they really helped me drastically improve my SAT score! I would recommend Critical Point Test Prep to anyone! All of the tutors are extremely nice and very helpful! 11/10 would recommend!
Payton Breck
Payton Breck
October 9, 2020.
Verified
Fantastic tutoring center! They push their students to do better, and kept me on track during quarantine. I would not be where I'm at if it wasn't for Critical Point Test Prep! I would definitely recommend to any students interested in increasing their scores!
Navi Singh
Navi Singh
September 24, 2020.
Verified
Andre does a great job of keeping the student focused on what areas you are lacking in, and helps you identify a genre for all your flaws to practice them. Additionally, his way of simplifying things with extremely simple examples of complicated questions helps the student really focus on the process of solving the problem. I did Andre for a year as a student and my SAT improved over 100 points between just my PSAT and my first SAT.
Charlie Bernicker
Charlie Bernicker
September 23, 2020.

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