As competition at top colleges and private schools has increased, it has become more important than ever to prepare for the SAT and ACT. Christa has years of experience helping students get the scores they need to reach their goals. Her students have improved their scores dramatically and gained admission to schools including Brown University, Middlebury College, University of Virginia, and other competitive schools.

Her keys to success include:
  • Test-taking strategies individualized for each student, including those with learning disabilities and ADD/ADHD
  • Content instruction using research-based methods that make the most of each student's preparation time
Questions and Answers
Q: Can Christa help determine which test is most appropriate for my student, the ACT or SAT?
A: Yes! For most students, their performance on the SAT or ACT is very similar. However, for some students there is a real difference in their scores. Christa has worked with so many students that she has developed excellent radar for identifying these students. This allows her to steer students in an appropriate direction relatively early in the process, rather than arduously preparing for both tests.

Q: Does Christa have experience dealing with special needs students?
A: About half of Christa’s students receive extended time on standardized testing due to various diagnoses. Christa plans instruction around each student’s individual learning needs. For example, when working with dyslexic students, she teaches them how to analyze the different answer choices in order to choose answers using basic rules for the type of language that test writers prefer. She had one dyslexic student who came in with a reading score that barely broke 400. They spent a summer together intensively studying vocabulary and analyzing correct answer choices. The student retook the SAT that fall and scored over a 600 on the reading section. Christa also works with students who have executive functioning issues, such as ADD and ADHD. While time management is clearly an issue, there is more to appropriate instruction for these students. Executive function allows us to organize and categorize the world around us. With standardized testing, students with executive functioning weaknesses often have trouble categorizing various problem types and therefore struggle with applying previous learning to current questions. With these students, Christa emphasizes the importance of first identifying the problem type and then relating that problem type back to what a student has learned before. Once these students are given this very concrete framework to think about standardized tests, they thrive and see a marked improvement in their scores.

Q: Does Christa give homework?
A: Yes. She does work with students to ensure that an appropriate amount is given, however. There is more to life than the SAT, and Christa appreciates that if a student develops a strong aversion to the test then his or her score will suffer. As in life, quality is much more important than quantity. A student can do an entire practice test, but it won’t be an effective learning tool unless he or she takes the time to really analyze errors and what could have been differently. Christa assigns real test sections so that students get plenty of practice and experience with the real test.

Q: How do we get started?
A: By filling out a contact form on this website. Christa will then contact you to see if your family’s needs match up with her areas of expertise. Since her schedule often fills quickly, she recommends contacting her early in the process.