Recently, the College Board, which administers the SAT and the Advanced Placement (AP) exams, announced two significant changes to the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests. First, the SAT will no longer have an essay writing section. The current version with the essay contained a writing prompt that would require…
ST. LOUIS TUTORING & TEST PREP SERVICES
A private and locally owned firm, we work with students from fifth grade to graduate school with one single mission – to improve educational performance. Whether attending public or private schools, our students become achievers & see results – higher school grades, stronger standardized test scores, admission to their college or graduate school of choice. Our unique teaching method helps students find the right path to higher skills and a brighter future.Schedule Your Free Half-Hour Consultation
90% of Mackler students earn up to 10x the cost of our services in merit-based scholarships from colleges and universities
ACT & SAT Prep
Mackler Associates offers proven test prep for the ACT and SAT. We also help students prepare for AP tests, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, and more.
At Mackler Associates, we offer resources for…
We hope you will take the time to learn more about the unique services we offer students, parents, and teachers in West County and throughout the metropolitan St. Louis area. Being in the midwest, ACT test prep is especially important. Try our Question of the Week. Join in the discussion in our Moving Minds forum. Learn about our educational team. We hope you decide to contact us about your situation and give us an opportunity to help you or your child succeed. Students and parents both want academic success, high grades, and the pride that comes with achievement. Our St. Louis tutors believe any student, regardless of ability, can become a high achiever.
As parents, my husband and I are delighted with the return on the investment we made at Mackler Associates. Both of our children benefitted from their individual test preparatory tutoring and college guidance counseling. We credit Mackler Associates for helping each child find the best college fit for themselves where each are happy and thriving. We highly recommend Mackler Associates.Alicia Cammon
I have been a customer of Mackler Associates since their inception. I personally utilized their services as a high school student, and then enrolled my own children when they were in high school themselves. Each excelled under their fine tutelage and now continue to work with Mr. Marks as college students. The expertise afforded by Mackler Associates is unparalleled. They are not only able to help with a wide range of coursework and topics, but are also skilled at standardized test preparation for both undergraduate and graduate school entrance. The level of personalized service is exceptional and their availability is outstanding. I recommend them highly and without reservation, and have referred colleagues and friends in the past.Michael L.
Mackler Associates is an excellent resource for all things academic. I worked with both Jason Marks and Dr. Mackler for preparation for both the ACT and the LSAT. Their test preparation programs have tremendous value. The best part about their services is the one-on-one test preparation. Both Jason and Dr. Mackler are masters in helping you prepare for college and post-graduate studies. Their methods are fantastic and provide you not only with knowledge of the subject areas tested but also approach and time management techniques. The one-on-one approach is what sets Mackler apart!Alex Ledbetter
Jason Marks of Mackler Associates assisted my daughter prepare for the ACT test. Jason was very easy for her to work with and allowed her to have flexibility because of her ever changing schedule. The first time she took the test she improved her score considerably. Jason then helped her focus on areas that could improve and the second time she took the test she again improved dramatically. She has now received significant scholarship offers from multiple universities. Jason has also helped her think about different schools and has been an advisor on the process including proofread her essays and providing suggestions on how to approach the essays. He has been invaluable in assisting with the college admissions process. We highly recommend Mackler Associates.Ken Buren
Tutoring & Test Prep News
In any other year not marked by a global pandemic of the novel coronavirus, high school juniors would be in high gear preparing for and scheduling test dates for the ACT and SAT to best position themselves for college choices. As we all know, this year has been anything…
Many students are currently attending school either entirely online, in a “remote” or “distance” environment, or through some form of “hybrid” experience where they attend one or two days a week, with the remainder online. This form of education poses challenges. First, the very nature of remote learning minimizes contact…
St. Louis ACT and SAT Test Prep
Admission to a highly competitive college has never been more difficult. Inundated with thousands of applications, top universities accept less than one in five applicants and elite universities around one in ten applicants. Given the high academic record of their applicant pool, colleges rely on the ACT and SAT to filter out the students most likely to succeed on their campus. Not only is admission an important reason to score well on the ACT and SAT, but scholarships and financial aid are also dependent on it as well. The higher a student scores, the more likely the student is to get into a good school, and the more likely it is for that student to get offered a decent amount of money off of tuition. This means that there is an incredibly high amount of performance pressure placed on students. How does someone perform well on something? Preparation, and a lot of it. It is an “open secret” that students need to prepare for the ACT in order to score high. This should come as little surprise – students spend time studying for chapter tests and finals at school, and the ACT is a big test. The real question is how to prepare.
Best ACT and SAT Test Prep Methods
We find that the least successful method of ACT and SAT Test preparation is a short series of large classes. Students learn too differently to design a class that can address the individual testing needs of a diverse group of teenagers. Another method that students sometimes turn to is simply taking practices test alone. While these tests are useful, a student usually cannot fully grasp what it is they are doing wrong. They might learn a bit more about certain science or math concepts, but maybe the root of the issue is that they do not know the best way to read a graph. This is when having someone sitting by their side would be really important because that person can notice and help teach them the tricks of the trade. The best method of ACT test preparation is in one-on-one settings with an instructor who has the ability and experience to identify different learning styles and translate years of test analysis into straightforward lessons customized to the strengths and needs of the individual student. To put it plainly, when it comes to learning everyone is different and individualized attention can make a world of difference.
Students and parents alike mistakenly believe anyone can prepare for the ACT in a short period of time with minimal effort. But real success on the ACT requires sustained commitment to preparation. Students will retain more information, gain more confidence and comfort and deliver higher scores if they work on preparation on a regular basis over an extended stretch of time.
The ACT is a backward-looking test. It is designed to measure how well students have mastered basic skills in reading comprehension, mathematics, grammar, and science. It builds time as a necessary component of the test. Preparing for the SAT requires a different mindset and discipline than the ACT. And yet, we encourage students to take both tests because students tend to favor one test over another, and also colleges prefer to see a student show initiative in sitting for both tests.
Our ACT and SAT Test Prep Approach
Here at Mackler Associates, we understand exactly what the ACT entails and have the tools and resources to help students understand it as well. First of all, we want to see your student succeed, and students can tell this, which makes them want to succeed too. Second, we cater the individual to a standardized test, something that is essential to success but can be an incredibly difficult task. We have worked with hundreds of students with vastly different abilities and profiles, and yet at the end of the program, these students see success and real results. Visit the College Prep Case Studies to see how very different types of students worked with us to meet their ACT test goals.
In our performance-based world, we try to measure success objectively, and that means testing. Starting in elementary school and extending to graduate school, students face an alphabet soup of tests – ISEE, SSAT, SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT. Consequently, many students feel a general, continuing and growing sense of unease about testing. Some feel anxious. Some express outright panic. That’s where we come in. Anxiety and feelings of panic can cause test scores to plummet. No matter how much someone prepares for a test if all they can think about is how they have to perform well or else they won’t succeed at their goals, they aren’t going to do well. So not only will we help students with actual test material, we will help to boost their confidence in the process. This way, with our St. Louis tutoring, these students have the highest chance of success.
The Art of the Multiple Choice Question
Why do so many tests have multiple choice questions? Is there something magical about that format? And can we use that structure to our advantage? Standardized tests favor multiple choice questions for a variety of reasons. First, they are quick to grade – using a Scantron sheet, a test administrator can grade every test in just a few minutes! Second, they bolster the idea that the test is objective because there exists a clear correct answer for each question. If the test had more than one plausible answer for a given question, it would have to be discarded. Third, they have enough flexibility that they can measure a wide variety of skills at varying levels of difficulty.
Why do so many students fear multiple choice tests? The very aspects that make a multiple choice test efficient can lead a student to “overthink” or “underthink” the test. Some students look at a multiple choice question and immediately think it’s a trick question! They plant the seed of doubt in their own mind, undermining overall confidence in not just the question but the entire test—“Am I sure this is the right choice? That other option does look reasonable, maybe I am wrong.” These doubts can easily lead a student to overthink their answers. On the flip side, other students might underthink the test the test. They might think the test looks too easy, move too quickly through the questions, and miss keywords that lead to the right answer.
To properly prep for the ACT, it helps to keep some general strategies in mind. First, always use common sense reasoning to your advantage. Suppose you are working a math problem and you are not sure you used the right formula. You get a certain answer that is not one of the choices but is close to two of them. You start to panic. Instead of giving up or randomly guessing, look at the measurements involved. Do some answers just seem too far-fetched by size (either too large or too small) to be right? If so, eliminate those choices. If your answer was close to one of them, you know you did something wrong. In this way, the choices give you feedback as to how to find the correct answer when you are unsure. Second, have a proactive strategy for answering questions; trust your gut. First impressions often are the right answers for a variety of psychological reasons. Do not linger on questions because the ACT is a tightly-timed test, so the more you linger, the less you complete. Feel free to skip questions you can’t answer immediately to keep a good rhythm and a positive sense of confidence. Know your approach for each section of the test, and notice patterns you may see in question types within a section. Third, you beat a multiple choice test through careful reading, general knowledge and deductive reasoning, or know what you just read, know what you know, logically work through what you don’t know. Every multiple choice question has clearly wrong answers, “sucker” answers and close or correct answers. Learn how to distinguish between these types. In this way, you begin to take the test on winning terms rather than passively letting the test rule you and lure you into mental wrong turns and traps.
The bottom line is a multiple choice design by nature has to have an inarguably right answer and using that fact to your advantage is the key to ACT prep. At Mackler Associates, we help students by teaching key strategies and approaches that are proactive and based on the design of the ACT itself. Mastering strategies is at least as important as mastering content, if not more so.