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ACT/SAT Test Preparation

When it comes to individualized ACT® and SAT® tutoring, Keller Clinic helps students achieve more with our proven strategies, master-level tutors, and online sessions.

  • Our tutors provide subject-specific help in all subtests of the ACT® and SAT®.

  • We strongly encourage students not to take the ACT® or SAT® blind for the first time.  Contact us to learn more about how tutoring with a Keller Clinic master-level tutor will help gauge a student’s strengths and weaknesses and focus on building skills in addition to providing useful strategies.

  • In our one-on-one sessions, our tutors will remediate for content, help with timing issues, and provide our proven strategies for achieving success on the ACT® and SAT®.

  • As each session is customized to the needs of the individual student, we are able to help students focus on gaps in knowledge while developing a plan that will help the student achieve more on the ACT®, SAT® and carry knowledge gained during tutoring forward into their college coursework.

  • Our master-level tutors can also provide recommendations for students who have a 504 Plan, an IEP, or students who may be candidates for testing accommodations.

  • We have a new program - Small Group SAT/ACT Test Prep! These sessions provide personalized support in test preparation with small group (five students or less) instruction. If your student is interested in participating, please fill out this Google form.

If you’re having a hard time determining whether you should take the ACT® or the SAT®, know that there are pros and cons to both; watch our video below to find out more!

Keller Clinic -  Tutoring, Educational and Psychological Services

Our successful one-to-one college entrance preparation program includes:


  • One-on-one instruction

  • Initial diagnostic exam to determine skill level

  • Reading, English, math and science instruction

  • Practice exams

  • Strategies for all sections

  • Skill building lessons

  • Sessions focus on each individual's unique needs for success

  • Test day recommendations

  • A full mock ACT/SAT practice test

What You Should Know About the ACT and SAT



In the Spring of 2016 the Michigan Department of Education transitioned to the SAT as part of the MME.  However, universities equally accept both the ACT and SAT.


Below are some of the differences between the ACT and SAT to help you decide which test is right for you.


Q. When should I take the test?


A. We recommend starting to prep for the exam early in your Junior year.  This will give you ample time to prepare for the test.  Students who wait until Fall of their Senior year find that it does allow enough time to retake the exam if needed.


Q. Can I retake the exam if I am not happy with my score?


A. Yes.  Both exams can be taken multiple times.  The average student takes the exam at least 2-3 times.


Q. Should I take the ACT or SAT?


A. All universities in the United States accept both the ACT and SAT.  You should check the admission requirements of the universities you plan to apply to before deciding on which test is right for you.


  • The SAT largely examines your reasoning ability, while the ACT is more knowledge-based.

  • If you excel in the sciences, you may want to consider the ACT.  The SAT does not have a science section.


Keller Clinic offers FREE ACT & SAT exams that may help you decide.




All universities accept ACT scores for admissions and merit scholarships.


There are 4 sections: English, Math, Reading & Science with an optional essay.


The ACT is a 2 hours, 55-minute exam; 3 hours, 40 minutes with the essay.


There are 4 reading passages, 5 English passages.


One science section is given testing your critical thinking skills.


Students are tested on Arithmetic, Algebra I & II, Geometry and Trigonometry.


The essay results are reported separately.  The essay is now given a scaled score between 1 to 36.


There is no penalty for guessing on questions you’re unsure of.


Use of a calculator is allowed on all math questions.


You are not allowed to use any of the following items as a calculator:


  • Laptop, tablet, or a portable/handheld computer

  • Calculator that has QWERTY (keyboard-like) keypad

  • Electronic writing pad or pen-input/stylus-driven device (Note: The Sharp EL 9600 IS permitted)

  • Cell phone calculator

  • Calculators with built-in computer algebra systems

  • Use of a TI-89 is not permitted and it is the most common reason students are dismissed during the test


The essay (optional) will evaluate your ability to analyze complex issues from three perspectives.


The allows you to specify which scores you want to send to a college for the ACT.




The ACT has four sections, sometimes called subject areas: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Each subject area is given a scaled score between 1 and 36. Those area scores are then averaged into your composite score, which also ranges between 1 and 36.

The scaled scores of between 1 and 36 are converted from your raw scores on each of the subject areas. Your raw score is simply the total number of questions you answer correctly in each section.

The ACT does not take off points for wrong answers.



All universities accept the SAT for admissions and merit-based scholarships.

There are 3 sections: Math, Evidence-based Reading, Writing & Language with an optional Essay.

The SAT is a 3-hour exam; 3 hours 50 minutes with the essay.

There are 5 reading passages.


Science is not a part of the SAT exam.


Students are tested on Arithmetic, Algebra I & II, Geometry, Trigonometry and Data Analysis.


Use of a calculator is allowed for some math questions.


You are not allowed to use any of the following items as a calculator:


  • Laptops or other computers, tablets, cell phones, or smartphones

  • Models that can access the Internet, have wireless, Bluetooth, cellular, audio/video recording and playing, camera, or any other smartphone type feature

  • Models that have a typewriter-like keypad, pen-input, or stylus

  • Models that use electrical outlets, make noise or have a paper tape

  • Calculator function on a mobile phone

  • In addition, the use of hardware peripherals such as a stylus with an approved calculator is not permitted. Some models with touch-screen capability are not permitted (e.g., Casio ClassPad). Check the list of acceptable calculators for models that are permitted The essay (optional) will evaluate your comprehension of a source text 


The essay (optional) will evaluate your comprehension of a source text.


The College Board always sends all of your SAT scores together; with Score Choice, you can decide with SAT scores go to colleges.




The total score is the best-known score for the SAT. Your total score can range from 400 to 1600 and will be based on the sum of your section scores.


You will receive two section scores:


  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score: 200-800

  • Math Score: 200-800


The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score is based on your performance in the first two sections of the test: (Section 1) Reading and (Section 2) Writing and Language.


The Math score is based on your performance in the last two sections of the test: (Section 3) math without calculator and (Section 4) math with a calculator.


If you take the SAT with Essay, you will also receive three scores for your essay:


  • Reading score

  • Analysis score

  • Writing score


Each essay score is reported on a scale of 2 to 8. These three scores are not combined with each other or with scores from any other part of the test.


The SAT no longer takes off points for incorrect answers.

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