I tutor all aspects of the ACT and therefore apply the same kind of “total approach” to preparing people for the exam as I do with the SAT. Additionally, since the ACT and SAT are much more similar than most people understand and since both exams are at their core reasoning tests, my methodology for tutoring the ACT is nearly the same as it is for the SAT. For a more detailed breakdown of the specifics of that methodology, please see the Approach Page.
To summarize briefly, the main focus of my ACT tutoring, especially in our sessions, is on the reasoning aspects of the questions since as with the SAT that is the most important factor determining a person’s score. But I place a slightly greater emphasis on the content that is tested on the ACT, especially on the Math section. And because time is so much tighter on the ACT, I spend a bit more time coaching students on proper time management strategies. At a more general level, though, the process is essentially the same and the cornerstone of my approach is still to probe the mind of a student to appreciate how they are conceptualizing and thinking through questions so that I can, in turn, understand the gaps in their knowledge and thought processes and guide them toward methods that will work well for them.
For students who have already taken the SAT, and especially for the ones that I have tutored, the transition to the ACT is fairly easy. Since the SAT has a slightly greater emphasis on reasoning and on drawing inferences, applying the proper kind of reasoning and critical thinking skills to the ACT is pretty intuitive once you’ve already applied those skills on the SAT. There are really only a few things that need to be supplemented when switching over to the ACT. On a content level there are a few grammar concepts that are not tested on the SAT and fair number of math rules and formulas that need to be learned since the level of Math on the ACT goes beyond that on the SAT. Of course there is also the Science section, but that is a relatively easy thing to tackle since it involves no content mastery and is more akin to reading comprehension. The biggest transition for most students is really just time management, particularly with regard to the Reading and Science sections since again time is so much tighter on the ACT. So for students who have taken the SAT, this small handful of issues is what I usually focus on with them and usually one can transition from the SAT to the ACT in one or two months without any problem.