What exactly is the BreakThrough Test Prep™ System?

The BreakThrough Test Prep SystemTM is a step-by-step program that teaches students not only the critical breakthrough strategies for being a successful test-taker but the more important breakthrough skills and mindset to ensure that success on test day. As we like to say, Skills you need. Scores you want!

Key components of the Breakthough Strategy System:

  1. Teach students how to improve their reading speed and comprehension, hence developing a reading range between 300 -1200 wpm.  (These skills also translate into improved critical reading relevant their school work!)
  2. Reveal to students a way to learn and remember vocabulary by learning the 57 most common prefixes and 167 most common roots.  The end result is having a ‘sense’ of over 500,000 words!
  3. Show students accupressure techniques to help reduce test-taking anxiety.
  4. Provide students with a step by step approach to the critical reading beginning with learning how to read for the thesis and using the  Post-it Note Technique.
  5. Prove to students that the SAT math is more a logic test with numbers rather than a math test and consequently optimize their  approach and mindset.
  6. Share a skipping strategy for the SAT based on individualized score goals.
  7. Learn the fewer than 20 most frequent grammar errors tested.
  8. Write a first draft essay and brainstorm examples for the essay.
  9. Learn the true essence of the ACT science by learning how to cut through the jargon and create a customized strategy based on  efficient pacing.

These strategies and techniques are just some of what I have learned and honed through the many years I have been doing test preparation.

Who are your typical students?

The typical student comes in on the recommendation of their parent or a friend. Many have come in as they were unsuccessful with another test prep program. Much to their delight, they see what they are learning is nothing like they expected or experienced elsewhere. They, of course, are immediately attracted to the program as they see instant results beginning with lesson one – most double or even triple their reading speeds!

My students range from the already high scoring, highly motivated student who merely needs validation and tweaking, i.e. a former President’s daughter – to the unmotivated student who struggles with critical reading skills. I also see many students who do very well in school; however, there is a great dichotomy between their grades and their test scores. Though all of my students benefit from the Breakthrough Mindset training, such students will go a bit deeper in this area. (Which one of the five learners describes your teen?) Click here

How is BreakThrough Test Prep™ different from the many other test prep programs out there?

Unlike many of the test prep offerings out there, what BreakThrough Test PrepTM offers are step-by-step breakthrough strategies in critical reading, problem-solving, vocabulary development as well as the requisite mindset transformation.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results”? Unfortunately, most programs, whether group or even on-on-one, are primarily about rote memorization of words and taking practice test after practice test without teaching the mandatory FOUNDATION SKILLS: how to learn and remember vocabulary and how to read more efficiently and think more analytically.

Also not typically addressed are understanding how an author has developed his point, the steps to improve critical thinking and problem-solving, foods and supplements that help with attention and focus, and most importantly how to get into the confidence mindset of being the successful test-taker. Once this is all imparted, then the essential strategies are taught – ie, the Post-it Note and Reframing techniques for the critical reading, plugging in for the both the math and sentence completions, the Synonym Elimination technique on the sentence completions, and when to skip or guess based on a student’s score goal – just to name a few.

Yes. Rote, random memorization of vocabulary helps minimally and practice testing is essential as pacing is key on these exams – but if new ways of thinking and approach are not also taught, even minimal improvement is not likely to occur for too many students.

What is expected of each student?

Since the core of BreakThrough Test PrepTM is transforming the way students approach the exam as well as how they feel about the exam, daily practice is key. This usually translates into less than 40 minutes a day. Daily homework sheets are provided to make it easy to do and follow.

Unlike most programs, our core philosophy to transforming students into successful test-takers is realizing that it’s not about the right answer, it’s about the process. How can that be? If a student has practiced minutes a day for at least 5 days a week over several weeks, those strategies and ways of thinking are embedded in his consciousness. On test day it’s not about how to I do this and then doing it, it’s just about doing it! What an amazing confidence booster as well as time-saver.

Do these strategies really work?

Absolutely – especially when students are able to do the daily practice.

It is safe to say that 80% of my students go up an average of 40-110 points/section on the SAT; 3-8 points/section on the ACT.

BONUS: Most student will become much better readers overall. Some even become ‘readers’ once they learn how to read more rapidly.

What results can be expected with my teen?

Please go to the testimonial page to read what former students and parents have said about our programs and working with us. Then if you like, call me and I would be more than happy to give you a former client or two for you to personally contact.

Can I contact some of your former clients to see what it’s like to work with you?

Please go to the testimonial page to read what former students and parents have said about our programs and working with us. Then if you like, call me and I would be more than happy to give you a former client or two for you to personally contact.

How many hours are anticipated for my child’s test preparation?

Recognize the type of learner your child is:

  1. Accelerated Learner merely needing tweaking and validation.
  2. Hands-on Teen who requires more foundation skill-building.
  3. Overachiever who tests poorly yet gets very good grades in school.
  4. Unmotivated student who wants to do well but is uninterested and/or unchallenged.
  5. Maverick may overlap into 2 or more of the above but also prefers to define and find his own path.

Click here to see more information about types of learners

The number of hours is based on the type of learner your child is as well as GPA, prior scores, extracurriculars, and course load. Below are general range recommendations based on that criteria;

We typically schedule students to come to tutoring twice a week – once for the language and once for the math(science).

12-24 total hours

12-20 total hours

8-16 total hours

SUBECT TESTS: Literature, Math Level 1 or Math Level 2

4-8 hours per subject test

Schedule your BreakThrough Test Prep Strategy Session to get the appropriate recommendations for your teen.


What if I’m not sure what is the better exam for my teen, SAT or ACT?

Not to worry! Go to the home page and have your teen take the 60 Second Assessment: SAT or ACT? You will receive immediate results as to your teen’s better exam. Most of the time, this quick assessment will validate what you already know.

I think I want my teen to get started with you, but I have some more questions?

Wonderful! I look forward to speaking with you!

Schedule your BreakThrough Test Prep Strategy Session.