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"Everything I could have ever asked for in a SAT preparation service"
 -Dianne R.
Mother of 11th grader, CHS
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Raising Scores

When preparing for exams like the SAT and the ACT, it is important to realize that each student is unique.  Some learn best in a group setting, while others learn best one-on-one.  Some are willing to invest the time needed to produce significant score increases, while others may be seeking more modest improvements.

Since 2006, we have worked with tens-of-thousands of  students and families, helping them to achieve their goals.  From Practice Testing, to Consultation with our Expert Directors, to our crash course Boot Camps, to our longer Comprehensive Courses, to fully personalized In-Home and Online Tutoring, our complete range of test prep services includes the perfect options for you.

Modern Testing Landscape

The Modern Testing Landscape

In the wake of the pandemic, the world of SAT and the ACT testing is more complex than ever. These exams, which up until recently were widely required, have now become optional for admissions at many colleges.  This has led many families to ask. . .

  • Should we take one of the college entrance exams?

  • Should we prepare for these tests?

  • Should we submit our scores to colleges?


For more comprehensive answers to these nuanced questions we suggest you. . .


However, we can provide some brief general guidance to get you started.

The questions can be especially pertinent for homeschoolers.  Colleges may struggle to quantify the level of rigor represented by a given student’s transcript, and these exams can provide a standardized metric with which to evaluate that student.


Should you take the SAT or ACT?

Our answer is yes.  We believe that every student owes it to him or herself to give their best effort on at least one exam.  In the current admissions landscape, a good score can still be very valuable on a college application.


Should you prepare for the SAT or ACT?

Thoughtful preparation for these exams can, without a doubt, significantly increase your scores. 

If you are...

  • Applying to a range of more competitive colleges 

  • Applying to colleges that require SATs or ACTs

  • Applying for scholarships based on SAT or ACT scores 

  • Looking to make up for a few blemishes on your high school transcript


Then a strong test score could benefit you, and you might want to consider test preparation.


Should you submit scores to colleges that don’t require them?

We recommend that you Consult with one of our Expert Directors to best answer this questions, as it depends on many factors.  In general, you may want to consider submitting scores if. . .

  • Your scores are higher than the colleges average scores

  • Your score are relatively high in comparison to peers from your high school or community

  • You have a lower GPA, and you wish to offset some blemishes from your transcript with a stronger test score

You wish to apply for SAT or ACT based scholarships at the colleges you are applying to.

Practice Exams

Practice Exams

  • Should I take the SAT or the ACT?

  • Is my score good enough for the colleges I am interested in?

  • With preparation, what is a realistic score goals to set for myself?

To answer these and other questions, we recommend that most students begin their testing journey with Practice Exams.  These are full-length, SATs or ACTs, administered under real testing conditions


Why not just take official exams?

The advantages of taking practice exams are threefold:

  1. Practice exams are significantly less expensive than official exams.  In fact, we offer free diagnostic exams.

  2. Unlike official exams, there is no scenario in which practice exam scores will be reported to colleges.

  3. The score reports we provide offer more detail on your testing performance, than the simpler score reports provided with official exams. You, your family, your teacher, or your tutor can use these insights to more quickly and significantly increase your scores.

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How can I take a Practice Exam through Tried & True?

We offer two ways to take Practice Exams:

  • These tests are taken at a time and place (typically at home) of your choosing​

  • Our automated online system times and proctors the exam for you

  • Your detailed score report is available immediately

Take a Free Online Diagnostic Exam
Students Taking Exams

Proctored Exams
available at your high school

  • Tried & True partners with many schools and community organizations to offer live, proctored exams

  • If your school or organization doesn’t offer proctored exams, we may be able to register you for exams at other local schools.  Please call to find out: 818-530-4442

  • These proctored exams often involve a fee

  • Score reports from these exams may not be available immediately

  • ACT Exams may be proctored live, on-campus or online

  • 2023 SAT Exams may be proctored live, on-campus or online

  • 2024 and beyond Digital SAT Exams will be proctored online

SAT & ACT Preparation


Once students have taken Practice Exams and determined whether the SAT or ACT will best suit them, it comes time to consider which mode of preparation will work best.  We offer three modes of preparation:

  • One-on-One Tutoring

  • Boot Camp Courses

  • Comprehensive Courses

Classmates in the Library
One-on-one Tutoring

Tried & True’s individualized one-on-one tutoring program is the most positive and powerful way to help students strengthen the academic and test-taking skills necessary to impact scores.

Your student will be thoughtfully matched with a specialist tutor, providing a personalized experience to maximize your student's score.

Our Approach

Whether at your home or online, Tried & True’s one-on-one program is tailored to students’ needs.  Scheduled flexibly around busy calendars, our personal approach allows us to create a program that is on-target, engaging, and therefore most effective.

Identifying Needs & Customizing Solutions

The more we know, the more we can help.  At Tried & True, we start by gaining the insights that will make a difference in our understanding of your son’s or daughter’s needs.  Completing a practice SAT and/or ACT will provide us a detailed diagnostic report of your student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Our directors can then consult with you to answer many of your questions. How much preparation do we need?  When should we start?  Coupled with your insights, we can create and recommend the most focused and effective program.

Expert Tutors

A key element of that effective program is of course the tutor.  Our engaging and committed instructors are highly trained SAT and ACT specialists who we thoughtfully match to each student.  Their strong communication and teaching skills provide students with the motivation, confidence, and ability to improve. 

Oversight & Support

Throughout the program our directors oversee the instruction and progress every step of the way.  Working hand in hand with the tutors, our team guides and adjusts the tutoring to ensure students are at their best on test day.

We are proud of our one-on-one programs, and will do all we can to support your son or daughter.  Contact us if you are interested in learning how we can help meet your testing goals.

In Class
Boot Camps & Comprehensive Courses

We also offer boot camps and comprehensive courses in partnership with California high schools and parent and family organizations. If you would like to see us host a class at your school please email us at

Questions?  We'd love to talk!

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