A Letter from the Founder
Dear Students and Parents,
When I offered my first SAT program in 2007, I had one singular goal: to offer the best quality, most deliberate, and most effective preparation. I had taken an SAT course as a junior in high school in 2001, but had walked away with a handful of strategies that I did not even feel comfortable using. I knew that there was a better way to prepare students than to simply hand out one-size fits all strategies.
I wanted our students to walk away from our programs feeling empowered. To that end, we developed a program that explains what the SAT and ACT test and why. The SAT and ACT are not pop quizzes; they're standardized. They test the same skills in the same sequence using the some concepts every single time. By teaching our students the rules of the game, then providing them with strategies and finally refining those strategies through practice, I knew we could offer the most deliberate preparation in the region. Furthermore, by providing students with the very best teachers and small class sizes, we could help them develop the number one key to success: confidence. See our Instructors page to learn more about our exceptional teaching staff.
Our students and their families have responded in kind. Almost entirely through word-of-mouth referrals, we have become the most sought after preparation program in the Pittsburgh region, working with nearly 400 students each year. Most of our new families come to us on the strong recommendation of former students. While we have grown, our mission and our commitment to each and every student remains the same. To offer the best, most deliberate, most empowering preparation from talented teachers that truly care about their students’ progress. Our students come to us from all different ability levels and we tailor our instruction to each individual one through differentiated instruction and small class sizes.
Please take some time to explore our website, course offerings, and upcoming programs. If you're considering taking the ACT, check out the SAT-ACT Comparison page to see which might be the better fit.
We look forward to helping you reach your potential and your goals. I and our staff are committed to putting you in the best position to succeed. We look forward to hearing from you!
Shady Side Academy ‘03
University of Pennsylvania ‘07
Founder of Goldstein Test Prep
Knowing the Test — Most students take the SAT without knowing what they are being tested on or why. The SAT tests students on a very narrow set of step-by-step thinking skills, and each section is designed to test that type of thinking. We show students how each question is constructed and only then do we go over strategies. Students leave our programs with a specific strategy for each question type, but more importantly, they know what they are being tested on.
Creating Deliberate Test-Takers — For many students, the number one factor keeping them from reaching their goals is deliberateness. Most of us take multiple choice tests by scanning the answers for whatever "sounds good" or whatever "seems right." The SAT test-makers know this and set traps. We teach students to be deliberate: to know why an answer is correct when choosing it. By teaching students to work through problems one step at a time, we help them to become much more deliberate test-takers.
Concept Review — There are a surprisingly small number of concepts that students need to know for the SAT. The Critical Reading requires no background knowledge aside from vocabulary. The Writing Multiple Choice requires that students know about 18 basic grammar concepts. The Math section requires about 30 basic math concepts drawn from arithmetic, algebra, geometry and statistics. Algebra 2 is the highest level on the SAT. We review each and every concept in depth, but more importantly, we show students how each concept is designed to test them on their ability to think one individual step at a time.
Differentiated Learning — Every student is different. Our students come to us with starting scores across the spectrum. To meet the needs of each and every individual student, we provide problem sets and practice questions targeted to each student’s specific needs. In this way we are able to teach to all backgrounds and ability levels in both the classroom and private tutoring settings.
Preaching Practice — In the end, it all comes down to practice. The SAT is a game, and like any other game, the more you practice, the better you perform. In addition to four full practice tests, we provide students with detailed day-by-day study plans so they know exactly what to do in the weeks leading up to test.