Test Preparation
Tutoring Lessons / Sessions / Classes / Courses in Honolulu, Hawaii
    Since 2006, over 90% of my students' scores improved from the PSAT / initial SAT to the current SAT with combined Reading / Math / Writing scaled score increases ranging from 40 to 570 points. 

    PSAT / SAT Test Information
    ACT Test Information
    Can college-bound sophomores, juniors and seniors really improve their SAT/ACT performance? 

    Students who learn how to effectively recognize and eliminate obvious incorrect answer choices have a chance to improve their combined SAT score by 200-500+ scaled points and their combined ACT score by 8-15+ scaled points.
    SAT Critical Reading Problem:

    It can be most reasonably inferred from the passage that 
    • (A) similar folk beliefs are based on identical logic and reasoning
    • (B) modern cephalopods will one day be believed to have been caused by lightning
    • (C) all modern cephalopods have bullet-shaped inner shells
    • (D) belemnites are considerably larger than ordinary pieces of gravel
    In the above example: 
    • “identical” makes (A) too extreme.  
    • “will one day be believed” makes (B) too speculative.  
    • “all” makes (C) too extreme.
    Even if the test-taker is unsure of (D), elimination strategies have rendered the other choices invalid.
    During individualized SAT / ACT prep sessions, I use my 10+ years of teaching / test prep experience to:

    1. Help students solve evidence-based Writing & Language questions by purging erroneous choices through a systematic process of deduction.

    2. Help students distinguish from among the 6 or 7 recurrent types of evidence-based Reading questions, and quickly identify key words that expose well-disguised inaccurate answer choices.

    3. Help students "pick numbers" (Math questions with variables) and "work backwards" (great for multiple-choice tests) to decipher questions that would ordinarily require long forgotten algebraic formulae.

    Though it is advantageous to have taken Algebra II and writing/reading-intensive secondary Language Arts and Social Studies classes, the SAT/ACT is more about commitment, hyper-focusing, and, well, how good you are at taking the SAT/ACT. In other words, the SAT/ACT is 50% what you’ve learned (over the past 10 years), and 50% what you’ve practiced (over the past 10 weeks)!

    SAT / ACT Scaled Score General Admission Ranges for Popular College Destinations for Hawaii Graduates

    • SAT Reading / Writing 530 - 650
    • SAT Math 520 - 640
    • ACT Composite 21 - 27
    Arizona State
    • SAT Reading / Writing 550 - 670
    • SAT Math 550 - 660
    • ACT Composite 22 - 28
    Claremont McKenna 
    • SAT Reading / Writing 700 - 760
    • SAT Math 700 - 780
    • ACT Composite 29 - 33
    • SAT Reading / Writing 560 - 680
    • SAT Math 570 - 690
    • ACT Composite 24 - 29
    • SAT Reading / Writing 580 - 680
    • SAT Math 580 - 670
    • ACT Composite 25 - 29
    Harvard (East Coast) 
    • SAT Reading / Writing 740 - 800
    • SAT Math 740 - 800
    • ACT Composite 32 -35
    Harvey Mudd
    • SAT Reading / Writing 720 - 780
    • SAT Math 740 - 800
    • ACT Composite 33 - 35
    • SAT Reading / Writing 530 - 630
    • SAT Math 530 - 640
    • ACT Composite 20 - 26
    • SAT Reading / Writing 550 - 660
    • SAT Math 530 - 640
    • ACT Composite 22 - 28
    Oregon State
    • SAT Reading / Writing 530 - 650
    • SAT Math 520 - 640
    • ACT Composite 21 - 27
    Pacific, Univ. of (Stockton, CA)
    • SAT Reading / Writing 550 - 690
    • SAT Math 560 - 710
    • ACT Composite 22 - 29
    Pacific (Oregon)
    • SAT Reading / Writing 530 - 630
    • SAT Math 540 - 640
    • ACT Composite 21 - 27
    • SAT Reading / Writing 590 - 710
    • SAT Math 620 - 710
    • ACT Composite 24 - 30
    San Diego
    • SAT Reading / Writing 590 - 700
    • SAT Math 600 - 700
    • ACT Composite 25 - 30
    San Diego State
    • SAT Reading / Writing 550 - 650
    • SAT Math 540 - 630
    • ACT Composite 22 - 26
    Santa Clara
    • SAT Reading / Writing 620 - 720
    • SAT Math 630 - 730
    • ACT Composite 27 - 31
    Seattle Pacific 
    • SAT Reading / Writing 540 - 640
    • SAT Math 560 - 680
    • ACT Composite 23 - 28
    • SAT Reading / Writing 720 - 800
    • SAT Math 730 - 800
    • ACT Composite 31 - 34
    • SAT Reading / Writing 660 - 760
    • SAT Math 670 - 780
    • ACT Composite 27 - 33
    • SAT Reading / Writing 580 - 690
    • SAT Math 590 - 730
    • ACT Composite 24 - 30
    • SAT Reading / Writing 630 - 740
    • SAT Math 620 - 770
    • ACT Composite 25 - 33
    • SAT Reading / Writing 680 - 760
    • SAT Math 690 - 780
    • ACT Composite 29 - 33
    • SAT Reading / Writing 580 - 700
    • SAT Math 600 - 740
    • ACT Composite 25 - 30
    Washington State
    • SAT Reading / Writing 510 - 620
    • SAT Math 510 - 620
    • ACT Composite 20 - 26
    “I just saw my PSAT 2 scores and here are my results (240-scaled point increase from previous PSAT)! I did better than I thought on my math (USC / Claremont McKenna range) but reading was a little low (UCLA / Washington range). If only these scores were my real SAT scores haha.”
    “These are my SAT scores! They weren’t as bad as I thought it would be especially my math (UC-Berkeley range). Reading (Washington range) was so so and I think my essay was so so too. Is this a pretty good start?”
    “The January SAT scores came out today! My math was really good (Stanford range) and reading was not bad :) (UCLA / Washington range). Thank you so much for all your help! All my hard work definitely showed in this SAT. Here are my scores: Yes, I just checked the ACT site and my results (USC / Claremont McKenna range) are out. I think it wasn’t as good as my SAT because I ran out of time for my math section and reading section. If I solved and answered the questions more quickly I think I would’ve done better than the SAT.” – Kelly Yoshida

    “Are you free to resume tutoring on Sundays? What times are you free? My PSAT scores came back. I got a ___ reading/writing (USC / Claremont McKenna range) and a ___ on math (UC-Berkeley range). Cumulative 1___ (100-scaled point increase from previous PSAT).”
    “Yes, I got (the March SAT scores)! Your Total Score 1___ Your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score ___ (Stanford range) Your Math Score ___ (UC-Berkeley range)” – Isabella Chang 

    “Emma just received her scores for the March SAT test. She got a 1___ (130-scaled point increase from recent SAT) – ___ Math (UCLA / Santa Clara range) and ___ Reading/Writing (UCLA / Santa Clara range). A definite improvement – due to your test prep. She/we are pretty happy with her scores but we are not sure if she will take it again. If she does, we will contact you for help again. Emma will likely take the ACT in June. We are not sure if she will do some sort of prep beforehand but if she does, we will call on you for help. Thank you for all of your work with Emma and helping her to improve her scores.” – Beth Gusman

    “Here are Rilen’s PSAT scores (UCLA / Washington range, 220-scaled point increase from previous PSAT). It’s partly because of your tutoring that he did so well! I hope his SATs (Reading/Writing: UCLA range and Math: Washington range) come back in this range too! We’ll let you know when he gets them. Happy Holidays!” – Donna Loo

    “Yes, (Jenna’s) scores increased (70 scaled points from recent SAT), was hoping reading would go up more, but know that’s her goal. Math ___ to ___ (UC-Berkeley range) Reading ___ to ___ (Washington range).” – Sueanne Morikuni

    “Erika did get scores… Math ___…(Washington / Gonzaga / UC-Davis range) Reading ___…(Arizona State range)” – Sunny Hur, daughter is Punahou sophomore

    “Evidence Based Reading and Writing ___ (Oregon / Arizona range) Reading Test ___ Writing Test ___ Mathematics ___ (SDSU / Seattle Pacific range) Math Test ___” – Minh Tran, Punahou sophomore

    “We are back home! Could you please tell me your schedule for Wednesday and Friday and Sunday? Ethan’s PSAT results: (Oregon / Arizona range).” – Connie Lung, son is Punahou sophomore

    “Liv got 1___ (100-scaled point increase from previous PSAT), but I don’t know the breakdown. She will get this to you on Friday, I’m sure (Reading/Writing: USC / Claremont McKenna range and Math: Washington range). She just finished finals today, and the plan is to take a few days off and then use some time during Christmas break to gear up for the SAT and ACT in January and February, respectively.” 
    “…she did very well on the ACT—composite of ___ (Stanford range), see below—thanks to your help. She’s registered for the ACT on April 8, only about six weeks away. The thought is to help her focus a lot on science and math between here and there and see if she can get a composite of 32 or 33 if she is lucky. She wasn’t able to finish the math section of the ACT before time ran out, suggest getting her timing down maybe enough to boost that score. Anyhow, she is thrilled. She’s really motivated to work hard for the next ACT to see how high she can get.” – Tarquin Collis

    “This is his PSAT result. Your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score ___ (Creighton / Arizona State range) Your Math Score ___ (SDSU / Seattle Pacific / Oregon range). Joshua still says he is going to a mainland college.”
    “This is SAT result (UCLA / Washington range, 180-scaled point increase from PSAT). What do you think?” – Junko Oshima

    “Promise? Don’t tell Steff I let you know it. We’ll keep moving forward for the SAT. English ___ (USC range) Math ___ (Stanford range) Reading ___ Science ___. Compared to the National, she is ___% above other students taking the same test, same day. Do you think she has a chance to apply to Stanford with these scores? Her GPA so far is about ___ at Punahou. Pls advise. Forgot…her composite score is ___ (UC-Berkeley range).”
    “PSAT Scores will be ready online on Monday Dec 12, 2016. Here you go…(Math: Stanford range and Reading/Writing: UC-Berkeley range) What do you think? (120-scaled point increase from previous PSAT) Give us advice.”
    “She is sad now but to me that’s a good try and anyway she must take SAT test one more time on May 3, 2017 as required. Here are the scores: ___% national percentile ___ – RW ___R & ___W ___% percentile (UCLA range) ___ – M ___% percentile (Stanford range). What do u think? Pls give us advice.”  – Thu Nguyen

    “Here are Sunny’s prelim ACT scores Sept. (UCLA range) – some scores not out yet. I’ve also attached her April scores for ease of comparison (15-point total and 4-point composite scaled score increase from previous ACTs). She improved a lot on her math (UCLA range), as well as her reading (USC range)! Awesome!” 
    “We were happy to see the improvement in (redesigned SAT) math and that she maintained the r/w score. She was shooting for a ___ in math, but we’re all very happy to see the ___! Mahalo again for your help and time that you spent with her. We’ll keep you posted with her college admissions. Right now, she’s being considered for soccer by (6 California colleges).” – Joelle Kane (daughter received collegiate athletic scholarship offers)

    “They got their (May 2016) scores (for the redesigned SAT)!! They did much better... Tina got a 1___ (UC-Berkeley range) and Cryssa got a 1___ (UCLA range). I’ll send you the breakdown in a separate email.” – Christina Desamito

    “Ian got a ___ for Writing, a ___ for Math and a ___ for Reading (280-point increase from his PSAT score). You said it; he’s in the ___s. Now we have to starting working on the ACT and the new SAT.”
    “My scores are English: ___ (UC-Berkeley range) Reading: ___ (USC range) Science: ___ Math: ___; Composite score: ___ (UCLA range). And I will take the 1 o’clock time slot if it is still available.”
    “Evidence based R and W-___ (UC-Berkeley range) Math-___ (Washington range) Once again thank you so much for all your help over the past year. Really couldn’t have achieved my scores if it weren’t for your help and patience. I’m almost done with my applications so I will let you know the results once I get an answer back from my schools.” – Ian and Theresa Santiago

    “Rachel’s at work and I can’t remember or find her College Board username and password, but she told me yesterday that she scored in the ___s. If I remember correctly, that’s about a 200 point increase! I’m thrilled for her and cannot thank you enough for all your help. I have no doubt she’ll do great with her application process. Her top pick is still UW so we are very hopeful! We will definitely recommend you to others and again, thank you! And I’ll have Rachel let you know her exact score!”
    “Rachel’s Reading/Writing was ___ (USC / Claremont McKenna range) and her Math was ___ (Stanford range). Total score of 1___. She said something about it being equivalent to the low 2100s? Maybe I’m wrong, but those are her scores. I was happy she did so well in math!” – Jennifer Ah Nee

    “I took the GRE yesterday. The mean scores for gre scores for clinical psychology test takers are 153 for verbal, 149 for quantitative. I got ___ for verbal and ___ for quantitative. Thanks for all your help, you are an awesome tutor!!! I will be sure to give you a stellar rating. What's your website?” – Sophia Spadacino, U.S. Armed Forces, doctoral candidate for an East Coast university

    “Nalu (an ILH varsity basketball player) had (a redesigned SAT score of) 1___  ___/___ which was 120 points better from the previous test. We may have him take the December test. If so, we will most likely have him see you.” – Jon Coito

    “Blake’s scores: Reading ___ Math ___ Writing ___ (Multiple Choice __ and Essay __) Change from his first attempt: Math +100, Reading +70, Writing -20. That’s really great improvement in Reading and Math; he’s not sure what happened in the Writing section. I understand that Writing is something that probably takes practice over a longer period of time. And it looks like not all schools weigh the writing section too heavily too. I’m crossing my fingers that he can get into the schools he’s considering (for collegiate soccer) which are at the ‘selective’ level. But, we’re pleased with his improvements!” – Rae Tom, Aiea mother of an OIA soccer/football player

    “No, I got a 2,____ (Stanford range) on my last SAT (230-point improvement). I’m going to the University of San Diego (on a substantial academic scholarship). Just before the test, my friend took me to this tutoring place at a church for a few weeks. They gave me vocabulary practice.” – Anna Delay, Punahou graduate and pre-med major

    “Leka (a first-team ILH all-star) got a composite score of ___ (on the ACT). She did commit to University of North Texas (for D1 collegiate volleyball). Not sure if she needs to take the SAT or ACT again. Will let you know and keep you posted if we need more help with tutoring.” – Kim K–F

    “I wanted to call you to let you know that I got, I didn’t get the formal copy, but I got the original or first round of results from Emi’s SATs and she got a ___ on the Math and Reading portion, so improved by 160 points. Some of that is your help and I just wanted to call and say thank you. They’re still in Orlando. They don’t get back until July 1st and then they leave from July 7th to the 25th. So I was hoping to just get in couple of sessions with you before we leave ‘cause then she could maybe study a little bit while we’re gone.” – Kalei C–P (daughter has received D1 athletic scholarship offers)

    “Morning Kevin. Just wanted to let you know Tiyana (a first-team all-state athlete) did well on her ACT. Composite score ___ (UCLA range)...last one was ___ (5 scaled-point improvement!) English __ Math __ Reading __ Science __ I’m sure she’ll feel better hearing she did well. ___ admission to nursing program is crazy. They want a 28 score. I hope they will give her a chance! Also you have any openings on Saturday? Thanks again.” – Annette Hallums (daughter accepted a D1 athletic scholarship offer)

    “Happy New Year! Just wanted to let you know that Kacie got a ___ on the math section of the SAT (hitting her college target). Her writing score went up, but the other English section score went down a little. KC has a test on Monday on verifying Trig identities, she missed several classes and needs help with this. Would you be available to tutor her on Sunday?” – Karen Mau

    “R just received the results of the SAT exam she recently took and it wasn’t too bad for her first try. She had a total of ___. As expected, she did well in math with a 680, and actually scored higher in critical reading than writing. She’s planning to take the SAT again since most of the colleges use a “super score.” She’s also planning to take some subject specific SATs like math to strengthen her college application prospects. We appreciate all the work you did with her over the summer. It really did help with her reading and writing skills. (As you know, she doesn’t like to read so we’re glad she was able to score at least in the ___s for critical reading and writing).” – father of Punahou junior 

    “Brandon got in to the Engineering School (Mechanical Engineering). He's so happy!! Thank you for your assistance and wishing you a wonderful Christmas and even MORE wonderful (is that proper English?) New Year!!” – Donna Nakamura

    “Chambri’s ACT scores went up (4 points) from ___ to ___. She has an interview set up at Columbia University, so she’ll be taking the ACT again to see if she can score even higher. Do you have any openings next Sat, earlier is better, for my nephew who is taking Trigonometry?” – Scott Swartz

    “Hi, Kevin, my name is Diane. You tutored my daughter Hannah, helping her to prepare for her ACT exam, which she wrote on Dec 14th and I thought you might like to know her score, because she just got her score this weekend. Her composite score was ___ and she’s quite pleased with this. I just thought you’d like to know.” – Diane Stoddard

    “Christina’s Reading and Writing (scaled) scores went up 110 points and 60 points (and her SAT Math was 680). I’m happy and surprised!” Later message: “Christina got in to the University of ___. We got the acceptance letter back so fast. It was so easy. Thank you so much!” – Sunny Hur

    “I just want to say thanks so much for all the help you’ve done for Dean in helping him prepare for the SAT. He’s already accepted by one of the universities (on the West Coast)—well, there was one university where he really wanted to go. It’s good for media, business and technology and he already met with administration. I just wanted to share that with you. I just want to say thank you so much for everything. And I wish you a merry Christmas and, maybe, one day, we may need your help again. But, anyway, I hope everything is good with you. Take care and thank you again.” - Cynthia Young

    “Just thought I’d let you know that Tem got his SAT results, and he got 680 in math. We think this is a pretty good score, considering he was very untutored before you took him on. We want to thank you very much for helping Tem to get better in math over such a short time. Thanks again for your expert teaching and your good cheer. You probably are already over-busy, but before we left Honolulu (we’re in Auckland now), I was recommending you to everyone!” - Anne Kennedy, University Instructor

    “Hope all is well with you. We’re doing fine. My son just got his SAT scores back. He did good. He did great on Math, there was an improvement on Critical Reading and his Writing remained the same. All in all, his scores were great. I can’t thank you enough for helping him on his SATs. He now knows what he is capable of and this has given him confidence. He said he will work harder in college. Again, thanks for everything. We couldn’t have done it without you. Give all glory to God.” - Gwen S. (son was accepted to a Pac-12 university)

    “His Writing was 600-something and his combined score was 2040 (for the October SAT). His G.P.A. is not the highest so I want him to take it again so he can get into one of the U.C. schools. He says he doesn’t want to take it again, and I don’t want to push him, but I think he should take it one more time. He took the ACT today so I might call you next week.” – M. Ito

    “Kevin has worked with me on the SAT (all sections), SAT-2 math subject test and Calculus. My last combined SAT score was 2180. This helps because I’m trying to get a scholarship to USC.” - Graham Haas

    “Isiah (an all-state shortstop on the MPI baseball team) got his ACT scores back. His composite score qualifies him for most D-1 colleges. We need to skip tomorrow night for the ILH playoffs but we’ll continue on Wednesday and Thursday to prepare for the SAT this Saturday.” – Kimberly K. (son received collegiate scholarship offers and interest from MLB scouts for baseball)

    “My son’s math score on the SAT was hampered due to a school block schedule which left him with math instruction for only three months per academic year. Kevin has taught my son how to address the SAT math problems through repetitive practice, deliberate and detailed explanation and specific test-taking techniques acquired through years of SAT experience.” - Gail Nowicki, Secondary Language Arts Teacher

    “Kevin is an excellent math tutor, and has done a great job preparing the Hughes girls for the SAT. I would highly recommend him.” - Shelby Hughes (mother of four)
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