The SAT is a “power” test to see how students can respond creatively to abstract and challenging prompts in reading, writing, math, and grammar. On average, each problem will take more time and mental gymnastics to solve than its ACT counterpart. Thankfully, the SAT follows the high school curriculum and gaps in understanding can be filled by tutoring. Many test preparation programs rely on test strategies and endless practice tests without actually instructing their students on needed skills. Yet test strategies alone will not overcome gaps in knowledge. On the other hand, we at Lionheart Tutoring methodically take our students through each subject area of the test and identify key skills that will improve our students’ achievement. We teach these skills directly with repeated practice, rather than go through general mixtures of problems without instruction. Thus our students gain confidence in identifying and carrying out the needed operations to solve different problems on the exam. Furthermore, we guide students on how to approach the writing portion with ease using an intuitive approach that minimizes the danger of freezing on a difficult prompt.
Our self-designed SAT program combines direct instruction and self-teaching. With a quick initial assessment, we can identify the gaps in students’ understanding and skills in relation to the SAT subject matter. Students have regular homework and checklists to monitor their accomplishments. We select the best books for targeted practice and instruction as different texts serve unique purposes. We work with all levels of students, from those who are shooting for 500s to those who are aiming (and getting) 800s.
The ACT is a “speed” test to see how students can perform over a long test of a wide range of subject matter. Although the individual questions might be more straightforward than their SAT equivalents, they increase in difficulty and require a firm grasp of foundational skills. Moreover, the ACT incorporates science passages that require close attention to detail and patterns with unfamiliar topics. The ACT is well designed for students who like more direct questions, struggle with vocabulary and prefer simplified grammar exercises. Colleges and universities recognize that all students have different strengths and prefer different testing formats, so both tests are accepted equally. At Lionheart Tutoring, we strive to make the subject areas of the ACT understandable and automatic, so students have enough time to approach as many problems as possible. We work for speed and accuracy, so students can feel “in the zone” while taking each section of the exam. Students receive instruction in the most effective techniques and the practice problems to reinforce these skills.
Our novel ACT program combines direct instruction and self-teaching to get the most out of our sessions. With a quick initial assessment, we can first identify the gaps in students’ understanding and skills. Students have regular homework and checklists to monitor their accomplishments. In their work, our students complete worksheets and go over past exams to see actual problems from past years. We work with all levels of students, from those who are shooting for just under 20 to those who are aiming for a perfect 36.
ISEE® / SSAT®*
The ISEE and SSAT exams measure students’ academic abilities as candidates for acceptance at independent, private schools. There are variations in their subject matter and grading system, but students generally take whichever test is accepted by the schools that interest them. The ISEE and SSAT exams can be difficult for students because each version covers material from different grades. This format means that there will be completely new material for students that they have never seen before. Before these exams, most students have taken only exams from their classroom teachers or standardized tests designed solely for their current grade levels. Part of tutoring for these standardized tests is helping students know which types of problems to approach and which to leave. Another aspect of tutoring for either of these tests is to fill in the gaps in knowledge of the subjects and the format of the exam. With Lionheart Tutoring, your child will receive targeted instruction in the areas they need reinforced and worksheets to cement this understanding. We will guide them along the different question formats and illustrate how to make the most out of the process of elimination. Students have told us how our tutoring has reduced the stress of these private school entrance exams and turned what they dreaded into a thought-provoking challenge. We work with students from all backgrounds including home education, public schools, and private schools.
For certain grades in Pennsylvania, students are asked to take certain standardized tests to determine their abilities in certain subjects. These tests help teachers understand the academic strengths and weaknesses of their incoming classes. It also serves to provide data on the schools throughout the commonwealth. Keystones are a relatively new series of exams that test students in Algebra, literature, and biology. In order to graduate from public school in PA, students are now required to pass the Keystone exams. This can prove difficult to students who struggle with one of these subjects. Many parents are very concerned that their sons and daughters might not pass the exams in time for graduation or that they will have to take the exam multiple times. Having tutored middle school and high school students successfully in passing the Keystone Exams, Lionheart Tutoring can help students at all levels and needs. With clear instruction and targeted worksheets, students can recall and develop their skills. Also, study guides from Lionheart Tutoring can help students memorize key formulas or information to utilize on the exams.
PSSAs are exams in English, math, and science that are administered to students throughout third to eighth grade. These exams help teachers and administrators learn how students are performing and what skills might need reinforcement. These exams can be stressful for many students due to test-anxiety, knowledge gaps, or unfamiliarity with standardized tests. Although students can opt out of these exams, many parents would like their children to have the experience of standardized testing. Lionheart Tutoring can help ease students into the exam process with instruction on the skills they need. Moreover, students can learn crucial test taking strategies that they might not have considered before. We can help find problem areas and provide the needed practice for students to overcome initial difficulties.
Meet Our Tutors
Inspired by what he saw in South Korea as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow, Dan Chinburg began tutoring students on the Main Line in 2009. He graduated with a M.S.Ed. in Reading/Writing/Literacy from the University of Pennsylvania with a K-12 reading specialist certification and has a B.A. in English & World Literature from Pitzer College. Since his return to the states, he has taught over 110 students through word-of-mouth. He loves working with struggling students and advanced students alike. Always striving to get the best results, he has tutored Singapore Math at a charter school and has explored many different approaches to higher mathematics. Over the years, he has designed his own grammar, writing, and standardized test program to meet the demands of his students. He particularly enjoys the challenge of giving crash-courses in subjects before last-minute finals for new students.
Yuanyuan (Elizabeth) Zhang
Chinese Director / Tutor
Fluent in English and a native-speaker of Mandarin Chinese, Yuanyuan brings an incredible breadth of language training and linguistic expertise to her Chinese and ESL sessions. She graduated with a M.S.Ed. in TESOL from the University of Pennsylvania and has a B.A. in Business English. While in China, she taught classes of Chinese students of all levels in English at the prestigious private tutoring firm in Shanghai. She has developed the Chinese program of Lionheart Tutoring through her self-designed learning programs for students in grades PreK-12. She brings an energetic approach to Chinese instruction while incorporating games, iPad apps, songs, poems, and multimedia with her students. Parents have been delighted to find her as many private schools have embraced Chinese as a foreign language across the Main Line. Always dear to her heart, she loves working and developing her toddler program for young Chinese learners who are training their ears for the novel tones of Chinese.
Yuanyuan (Elizabeth) Zhang
* SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board, ACT® is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc., ISEE® is a registered trademark of the Educational Records Bureau, SSAT® is a registered trademark of the Secondary School Admission Test Board; and none were involved in the production of, endorses, or is affiliated with this product.