Expert Test Prep

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Going Ivy Test Prep

Based in Phoenix, Going Ivy test prep starts with a simple proposition: students will never achieve maximum improvement unless they receive instruction that is focused on their unique learning style and needs. Unlike packed classes and online courses that teach to the lowest common denominator, Going Ivy offers a tailored approach to help students soar.


Higher Scores

Going Ivy's proven, research-based methodology helps students maximize test scores.

Tailored Approach

Going Ivy test prep tutors tailor their instruction to the unique needs of the student.

Mental Preparation

Going Ivy test prep tutors work to get clients mentally prepared and confident.

Test Prep

A student's standardized test scores are one of the biggest factors colleges consider when making admissions decisions. With the stakes being so high, many students experience performance anxiety that can limit their potential and lower scores. At Going Ivy, we use a research-based approach that tailors instruction to the unique needs of the student while at the same time implementing techniques that help students become psychologically prepared to perform at peak levels. The result is higher test scores and improved skills that will boost confidence, preparedness and motivation in other areas.

Test Prep in Phoenix, AZ

Because colleges do not care whether you choose to take the SAT or ACT, it is to your advantage to choose the one that fits you and your unique strengths and talents the best.

No matter which Phoenix-area high school you might be attending, you are likely very busy between studying for your classes and honoring your commitments to extracurricular activities and your job. Preparing for standardized tests often signals the first serious step toward gaining admission into college, and it may be quite overwhelming, especially when you are trying to squeeze in test prep time with all of your other tasks. If you want to get admitted into a highly exclusive school, you must take the time to prepare for the SAT or ACT so that you can get the highest score possible. Along with your grades, your standardized test score is one of the most heavily weighted parts of your application that will be considered by admissions committees when they are trying to decide whether to accept or deny your application. Adequate test preparation is vital for securing the highest score possible. When you have access to the results-driven test preparation approach used by the team at Going Ivy, you are likelier to see significant score improvements, putting your top-choice schools within your reach.

Test Preparation the Going Ivy Way

Going Ivy is a team of professional educational consultants, counselors and tutors who have graduated from Xavier and Brophy College Prep in Phoenix and the most elite institutions in the country, including Harvard. Our tutors have obtained the top scores on their own SATs and ACTs, and they understand the test-taking strategies that help students when they are studying and taking the tests. They are all subject-matter experts who have excellent teaching and communication skills to help you learn the information and retain it. They are able to help you conquer the ACT, SAT and SAT subject tests so that your possibility of getting admitted to the school of your dreams will be in reach.

Before you choose a test, it is important that you know which one might play more to your strengths. The ACT and SAT have some important differences that might guide your test selection. Beginning your preparation early is also important so that you have more time to see improvements.

Know What Your Target Schools Require

If you have a goal in mind to go to a certain school, it might be easier to stay motivated for your standardized tests when you know exactly what they expect. All schools publish the average scores of students they accept. It’s true that the schools of the Ivy League used to prefer the SAT over the ACT, but that is no longer the case. All colleges and universities in the U.S. now have no preference between the two tests. Some elite colleges will want you to take either the SAT or the ACT as well as some subject tests. Many will also want to see that you have taken multiple advanced placement classes and have scored well on them as well.

A few schools make news each year for deemphasizing the standardized tests or making them optional instead of required. For instance, Columbia University and Barnard College both dropped their SAT subject test and essay test requirements in 2016. Bard College and George Washington University are score-optional schools, meaning that they do not require that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. However, your scores will be considered by the school if you submit them with your application. Several other schools make the subject tests optional rather than mandatory. A good rule of thumb when you are considering trying to get into any of these highly selective schools, however, is to treat any optional choice as a requirement.


Because colleges do not care whether you choose to take the SAT or ACT, it is to your advantage to choose the test that fits you and your unique talents the best. This will help you to concentrate during your preparation and not divide your time trying to study for two different tests. Some students do better on the ACT while others do better on the SAT. One caveat is that an SAT score may have more room for improvements. The test that you choose will depend on you and the amount of time that you have to prepare.

The ACT tests more from the curriculum you have been taught in high school while the SAT tests the analytical and critical thinking skills that are needed for the subjects. The ACT has a science section, which the SAT does not have. As a starting point, if you are an excellent science student, the ACT might be a better choice for you. But it’s really more complicated than that. The science section in the ACT mostly tests your interpretation of graphs and charts, so even less-confidence science students can do well. And the SAT may have some reading passages that focus on science topics, so the difference in subjects are not as stark.

The math sections of the SAT and the ACT are also different. The ACT has a single 60-minute math test that covers more advanced topics, including geometry, trigonometry, logarithms and matrices. You have less time per question on the ACT in general. The SAT math section has two tests. On one, you will not be able to use a calculator. The SAT’s math section is more focused on algebra and critical thinking skills that you need to be able to solve the problems while the ACT math test is geared more toward knowing the technical steps that you must take in order to arrive at an answer.

In general, the ACT favors students who are better in science and math while the SAT favors students who are better at verbal reasoning and analytical thinking. If you are uncertain which might be a better fit for you, you might want to take the PSAT and the pre-ACT during your sophomore year, choosing to prepare for the test on which you obtain a better score. Your Going Ivy admissions consultant will also conduct an in-depth assessment and recommend a test based on your unique learning style and attributes. Some students may do best by only taking either the ACT or the SAT, and some do well by taking both, then selecting the highest scores to send.

Getting started early with your standardized test preparation is best. By allowing yourself more time, you may see greater score improvements. Being prepared to take the tests during your junior year is ideal so that you might be able to apply to your top-choice school during its early decision or early action application period, but there are tests scheduled for early in your senior year for those who want to prepare more or take either test a second or third time.

Help with SAT Subject and AP Tests

Our expert tutors are able to help you prepare for your SAT subject tests and your AP examinations in addition to your ACT and SAT. Many of the Ivy League schools have at least optional SAT subject test requirements while a few mandate a number of tests. Most highly selective colleges also prefer that you have taken a vigorous curriculum that includes AP classes, and the admissions committees will want to see that you have done well in both your class grades as well as on the AP exams. As subject-matter experts, our experienced and knowledgeable tutors are uniquely positioned to help you with all of your test preparation needs. With practice tests and strong preparation, your confidence level going into your tests may increase, and your scores may be much higher.

Why the Going Ivy Team is Better Than Others

If you choose a large test-preparation company for your standardized test preparation, you’ll likely find yourself in group sessions together with many other students. These classes are taught to the lowest common denominator, meaning that you may be forced to wait for some students to catch up on material for which you don’t need help. These group sessions can familiarize students with the material they’ll find on the tests, but they often do little to improve students’ scores in any significant way.

We have learned that students are able to see much higher score improvements when they receive one-on-one guidance from our expert tutors than they do if they meet in groups. We will work with your individual strengths and learning style to design the test preparation strategy that might offer you the best results. This may involve helping you to build on your strengths to obtain higher scores in your best subjects while also gaining large improvements in the areas that you are weaker, leading to a higher composite score. Our personalized approach helps you to make the most of your time during your tutoring and test preparation sessions, allowing you to obtain better scores.

Expert Tutors

The tutors at Going Ivy are simply the best in the industry. In addition to having deep levels of knowledge in their subject areas, they also have top-notch communication skills that allow them to explain even difficult topics in a way that is understandable. Their teaching skills help them to focus in on the areas in which you need more help while simultaneously building on your strengths in the areas in which you excel.

You can choose a tutor with whom you can meet with in person or one who you can meet via video conference. We have tutors who help with test preparation and other tutoring needs from the campuses of Princeton, Harvard and Stanford. If you choose one of these embedded tutors, you will also have the added benefit of seeing the reality of an elite college campus.

Available for You

Going Ivy does not believe that test preparation involves just meeting a couple of times. We understand that when you are studying your material, you may have questions that arise. Because of our personal investment in your success, we are available to take your calls, emails or texts 24 hours per day and seven days per week. We want to see you succeed and are happy to help you whenever help is needed.

Tapping into Your Personal Motivation

Some students are naturally driven and have motivation levels that are nearly irrepressible. We understand that most students need a little added push to tap into the motivation that they have inside of them. When students are preparing for their high-stakes tests, this is especially true. When you are trying to juggle your classes, extracurricular activities and test preparation, it is easy for you to slide preparing for your standardized exams to the back burner. With our help, you may find your motivation again and become excited at the prospect of conquering your standardized tests on your way to gaining admission to the school of your dreams. Keeping high levels of motivation can also benefit you going forward through high school and beyond. Some colleges will revoke acceptance offers if students allow their grades to fall during their senior years, so keeping that motivation level up is very important.

It is a good idea to look at the score ranges of the admitted classes at your target schools. This can give you a clear goal toward which you can work. It can be more motivating if you have an idea of what you are trying to achieve. Your score should fall within the range of the accepted students, and it preferably should be toward the upper end of the range.

Your Going Ivy team will also help you to maintain your levels of motivation by offering you the chance to meet with motivational coaches and to hear motivational speakers. With strong motivation, the work that will be involved with thorough test preparation may feel less like drudgery.

Our Holistic Approach to Test Preparation

Going Ivy believes that a holistic approach to test preparation works the best. We understand that each student is different and unique. We will assess your strengths and personality in order to determine the best strategy to use so that you can obtain the best scores. Your score alone is not the ultimate goal. Instead, its purpose is to help you get into the school of your choice. We help you to keep your focus on your ultimate goal rather than on the minutiae involved with getting there.

Your test preparation plan will be one that is tailored to your specific needs and strengths, and your tutor will use the approach that adheres most closely to your learning style. We will help you to decide which test you should take and then work to increase your scores. Our primary goal in everything that we do to help you is for you to grow and reach your potential. We want to give you the skills that you will need to be successful in college and beyond.

Get Help from Going Ivy

We recognize exactly how overwhelming preparing for your standardized tests can seem. We work with you hand-in-hand every step of the way, and we believe that our results-driven, holistic approach can help you to achieve substantial improvements in your SAT and ACT scores. Our initial consultations are free, and we use them to ask you a number of questions that are designed to elicit the type of information that helps us understand who you are and what you need. We will then develop a comprehensive and tailored plan to help you achieve your goals. To learn more about the help we can offer, call Going Ivy today.

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