Taking the SAT or ACT is never as simple as registering for the test and showing up.  There is so much at stake and so many decisions at play that it is very important to be clear about details and what course of action to follow.  Here are some questions students have asked us about our services and making testing plans:

Is there a charge for our initial consultation with Can-Am Test Prep Academy? No, our initial meeting is complimentary (at no charge), will be 1-2 hours in length, and serves two purposes.  One is to see if we are a good fit together. Next, we want to demonstrate our instruction style and make sure you understand the commitment and effort you will have to put in to do well on these difficult standardized tests.

What does success entail? To succeed in obtaining a high score on testing, students must commit to being part of Our Team as well as the following:

  • Ideally, begin test preparation in grade 10.
  • Attend 28+ hours of instruction to learn strategies to do well on the test.
  • Complement your tutorials through practice and self-study.
  • Take mock tests to gauge readiness for the different components of each test.
  • Establish your base score through mock tests and feedback from your instructor.
  • Schedule testing early, allowing for retests with additional preparation in areas of weakness.
  • Be aware that collaboration between Can-Am, your school counselor, and your independent educational consultant will give you the best outcome.

What is the difference between The SAT and the ACT? The ACT and SAT are two different tests.  To compare the tests, see our table comparing the two: SAT vs. ACT. Both tests require practice and preparation. Please consult with us regarding the preparation and timing of your particular tests.  We recommend that you put all of your time and effort into preparing for one test rather than attempting both the SAT and ACT. To determine which test is more suitable for you, take a timed practice test for each.

Are the SAT and the ACT equally accepted by all US universities? Yes, all U.S. universities treat the tests equally. We will meet with each student to determine their strengths and weaknesses to make a recommendation as to which test to choose.

What is the timing you recommend for test-taking? Timing is everything.  For the majority of students, the ideal time to begin preparation is the start of grade 10 in order to be done with all testing (SAT or ACT as well as SAT Subject tests before the end of grade 11).  It is certainly a good idea for athletes to begin preparation in grade 9.  Coaches recruiting athletes for their teams usually assess an athlete based on their athletic ability and on whether they will pass the standards set by the university for admissions.  Athletic commitments are often made early so there is an advantage to showing good SAT or ACT scores to the coach at the end of grade 10 or early in grade 11.  This allows sufficient time for students to focus on SAT Subject Test preparation during grade 11 if required.

What is the PSAT and do I need to take it? The PSAT serves as a practice test to show students what the SAT is like. For most students, the PSAT serves as a good wake-up call to start thinking about the university application process. The PSAT is administered in October at some Canadian schools. While students can request to take the PSAT in grade 10 or 11, students in the US should definitely take it in grade 11 as their PSAT score could qualify them to enter National Merit Scholarship programs.  Here in Canada, students take the PSAT to get an idea of their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the components of the test. It is not required to take the PSAT unless your school uses the test as an internal assessment.

What are SAT Subject Tests? SAT Subject tests are one-hour tests of achievement in a particular subject matter of your choice.  Keep in mind that, in addition to either the SAT or the ACT, some universities require 2 SAT Subject Tests (options: English Literature, History, Mathematics I or II, Biology Molecular, Biology Ecological, Chemistry, Physics, or one of 9 languages). SAT Subject Tests cannot be taken on the same day as the SAT.  A maximum of 3 Subject Tests is allowed per sitting. Some Subject Tests are offered only once or twice per year. For more details, click here: SAT Subject Tests

Does Can-Am Test Prep Academy offer tutoring for SAT Subject Tests? Yes, we offer tutorials and workshops for Math I, Math II, and Physics.

When is the ideal time to take SAT Subject Tests? SAT Subject Tests are typically written in May or June of grade 11 after students have finished preparing for school exams in those subjects. They can, however, be written earlier if you are prepared and ready for your chosen subject/s.  It is our goal for our students to be done with ACT, SAT, and SAT Subject Tests before beginning the application process in the fall of grade 12.

For SAT Subject Tests, should I take Math 1 or Math 2? Math 2 covers material through Pre-Calculus.  Generally, good math students do better on Math 2 than on Math 1.  Although the Math 2 questions are harder, the curve is easier, e.g. you can miss more questions and get a higher score.  After a few tutoring sessions, we will be able to determine which math level is best for you.  We offer one-day Math I & II crash courses approximately one week prior to a number of the SAT test dates.  During the spring and in August we offer 3 or 4-session math subject test intensives.

What are the differences between in-person tutoring and online tutoring? The online tutorials allow your instructor full access to his/her teaching material including multimedia and sharing documents. Another advantage is that you are in the comfort of your own home, saving busy students precious travel time to our location, avoiding traffic.

Is my internet connection good enough for online tutoring? A minimum of 30Mb/s download speed and a minimum of 5Mb/s upload speed is required.

What do I do after enrolling in an online tutoring package? Once you set a time for a tutorial, you turn on your computer, receive a link by email from your tutor, click on the link and you will be face-to-face with your tutor.  The program is completely interactive with high-quality two-way audio and video communication, collaborative document sharing as well as an interactive digital board for writing, drawing, and demonstrating teaching material.

How do I take a mock (practice) test if I cannot travel to any of your locations? With every 28-hour tutorial contract, we will provide free mock exams which you can take in the comfort of your own home, timing yourself with your cell phone. There is no substitute for taking a practice SAT or ACT under real test conditions to see where you stand and what you need to work on or to synthesize your ongoing test prep work.

How do students with learning differences fare on the SAT and ACT? Both the SAT and ACT have policies for extending the time allowed for tests for students with professionally diagnosed and documented learning differences. Students wishing to request testing accommodations should be aware that this is a complicated process and takes time. Allow at least 2 months for this process and see us for more details.  On the SAT, a student who receives an extended time accommodation must remain within the bounds of each discrete section until the time allocated for the section has expired. The ACT, by contrast, allows students with extended time to navigate sections at their discretion, self-pacing according to their needs.  Accommodations for the SAT are valid for multiple sittings while accommodations for the ACT must be requested for each individual sitting. Please note that accommodations are not approved for students on the basis of limited English language proficiency.

Can I pick my universities by the median SAT scores of their accepted students? Your very average SAT reading and math scores averages SAT might each individually fall within the range of acceptance for a particular university.  However, it would be an error to look at the given statistics to infer what the 75th percentile level is for composite scores, because often among admitted students at a given university, the low math scorers are high critical reading scorers, or the other way around.

How many times per year are the tests offered? The SAT or SAT Subject Tests are offered six times per year internationally: October, November, December, January, May, and June.  An additional March session is offered in the U.S. only. In August 2017, the SAT will be adding an August test date. Refer to the College Board website to see which tests (SAT or SAT Subject Tests and which subject test options) are offered during each test date. The ACT is offered six times per year: September, October, December, February, April, and June. Please note that not all test centers offer the ACT on all six dates.

How many times should I take the SAT or ACT? ACT and The College Board (which runs the SAT) do not limit the number of times a student can take the tests.  You should only take the SAT or ACT when you have prepared sufficiently and feel “test ready”. Most students take the test of their choice twice to ensure their scores represent the best they can do.  Students often make their first attempt at the SAT or ACT early in grade 11 and then rewrite, if necessary. You should only retake tests after first identifying and addressing any knowledge gaps, followed by rigorous test preparation and taking a few mock tests. It is not a good idea to take a test 4 or 5 times.

Do all universities Superscore the SAT and ACT? Many, but not all, universities accept SAT Superscores, meaning they will take the highest section scores (ex: your highest Math score, best Critical Reading score, best Writing score) and create a composite to give you a higher overall score. Make sure you take the time between attempts at the SAT to analyze your score report and see where you need to make improvements to boost your next score. The ACT is generally not Superscored.  For the ACT, we advise our students not to take the test more than 2 times, because based on our experience, there is often insignificant improvement between a 2nd and 3rd ACT attempt.

Is there a deadline by which universities require SAT & ACT scores?  For students applying in the early round, the October dates are often the last dates recommended for SAT and ACT test-taking. Check the website for each university to review their policy.  Virtually all schools will accept scores from December of your grade 12 years for the Regular round of applications. After December, policies vary depending on the institution you are applying to.

Will Can-Am Test Prep Academy register students for the SAT exam or ACT exam? No. We offer test preparation courses but do not administer the actual SAT or ACT. All test preparation organizations are independent of the test makers and no test preparation company can administer an official examination.  Each student is responsible for registering and paying for the exams themselves.  You may register for the SAT exam at CollegeBoard. For the ACT, you may register at ACT

Can I delete my SAT or ACT scores permanently?

For canceling your SAT Scores, you have two options:

Option 1: At the Test Center
After the test, ask the test supervisor for a Request to Cancel Test Scores form.
Complete and sign the form.
Return the form to the test supervisor before leaving the center.

Option 2: After You Leave the Test Center
Your written, signed request must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on the Wednesday after the test date.

Exception: Students with disabilities who test in school-based testing have until the Monday one week after the published test date to cancel their scores, due to the extended school-testing window.

Download and Print the Form
Complete the SAT request to cancel the test scores form (.pdf/496KB) or write your request. You must provide the following information to cancel your scores:

  1. Test date
  2. Test center number
  3. Name of test you are canceling—either the SAT or SAT Subject Test(s)
  4. Name, address, sex, birth date, and registration number
  5. Signature (required or the cancellation will not be processed)

You cannot submit cancellation requests by phone or e-mail because your signature is required.
Send the Form
Choose one of these options:

1. Fax: 610-290-8978
2. Overnight delivery via U.S. Postal Service Express Mail (the U.S. only)
                                     SAT Score Cancellation
                                     P.O. Box 6228
                                     Princeton, NJ 08541-6228
3. Other overnight mail service or courier (U.S. or international)
                                    SAT Score Cancellation
                                    1425 Lower Ferry Road
                                    Ewing, NJ 08618

The mailing or fax label should read: “Attention: SAT Score Cancellation.”
You can cancel your ACT scores anytime:
Students own their ACT test scores and may direct ACT to delete their scores for a particular test date from their records.  (Note: Students may not delete scores used to document participation in State and District Testing.)
To delete your scores for a particular test date, you must submit a written request. Provide them with your name and home address, and they will mail you a form to complete and return to them. They will then permanently remove your record and scores for that test date from their files.
Write to:
                                 ACT Institutional Services
                                 P.O. Box 168
                                 Iowa City, IA 52243-0168

Contact the ACT by phone:  1.319.337.1000   M-F 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM CST