OVERVIEW: Achieving "Math 2" success

Here’s the process by which you reach Math 2 SAT Subject Test (SST) success.
Questions? Email me at [email protected]. –Wes



Ready to max out the Math 2 SAT Subject Test?  Here’s the road map for making it happen. Let’s:

  • Clarify our goals and process together
  • Set up your meeting schedule
  • Understand the student’s ongoing homework

*** To do right now ***

Register for the online course

Click this link to register for our SAT Math 2 online course. This is the “backbone” of our work together.

Schedule some personal help

All else equal, I also recommend that you book eight weekly sessions with my teammate James Reischutz now, leading up to the target test date.

If the online course is like a gym membership, then James is your personal trainer.  His guidance keeps work smart and targeted, keeps student enthusiasm and accountability high, and keeps tests scores on track.

This is also a good time for the student to make explicit time in his or her schedule for this work.  Typically, each week should consist of three hours spent with the online course, followed by one 85-minute session with James.

We hope and expect students to reach their goal after about six weeks. We build a two-week buffer into the schedule just in case, and ask families to cancel any unneeded sessions once we reach the goal together.

Skim the "homework mini-course"

Both student and parent should please sign up for the online mini-course “What’s my homework?” 

It will take five or ten minutes in total, and will save you hours by making the student’s work much more efficient.

I ask parents to join as well as students, because my homework expectations are different from that of most teachers. Parental support can make the difference between a student who thinks she or he is following my instructions, and a student who actually gets it and therefore succeeds quickly.


Bookmark the Score Log

As part of our initial setup, we have set up a special Google spreadsheet for the student.

Here we’ll track:

  • All practice, mock, and official scores
  • All errors, categorized by appropriate intervention
  • All recommended interventions

If you don’t have that link already, please let me know.

The nitty-gritty details

The real goal

The real goal

There is a huge difference between “might get an 800 if she/he has a good day” and “is likely to get an 800 no matter what.” 

Most people stop training when they reach the first category, but that’s not good enough. There are too many things that can go wrong on test day.  

The real goal is to get to the second category.

How do we know when we’re there?

We should consider our goal reached when the student scores one or more question higher than the goal score on a mock test, twice in a row. In my experience so far, this is the indicator that correlates best with having a great test day.

The schedule

When should we start?

This process should start eight weeks before the target test date.

What’s our cadence?

I recommend that the student set a consistent weekly schedule, because this is most efficient and effective.

I recommend that the student dedicate at least six hours per week to Math 2 prep, counting each private session with one of us as “three hours.” (This is because we guide practice to be more efficient.)

Note: we do not aim to do this for every week between now and the test.  Instead, we aim to do this until we reach the goal. By front-loading the schedule, we make success more likely.

Ending when?

We aim to have it end about two weeks before the test itself. But, if something goes wrong, we have that extra time in the schedule to address whatever comes up.

What we provide

Who does what?

We aim to balance two vital mandates:

  1. The student needs to own this work himself or herself
  2. Most students are under-resourced to handle their max workloads, and so need structure and support

What structure do we provide?

Our online course “SAT Math 2: From 600+ to 800” provides, guides, and supports the best practices for success among high scorers.  It’s the framework for success, day by day and week by week. It includes not only scads of test-specific information, but also perspective-shifting exercises on smarter ways to work in general.

What support do we provide?

We recommend kicking off the course with an Intake meeting.  By beginning with expert guidance, the student gets to experience the main ideas of the course applied to his or her work right from the start.  This is also an opportunity to trouble-shoot unanticipated logistical or educational hurdles well in advance.

We also recommend scheduling weekly sessions with James or Michael throughout the course. This empowers us to actively clear away barriers to success throughout the process, as well as providing increased accountability and motivation for the student.


What you can expect

What expectations should the student have?

  • We recommend that the student dedicate at least six hours per week to Math 2 prep, counting each private session with one of us as “three hours.” (This is because we guide practice to be more efficient.)
  • Each week of dedicated work as part of a consistent schedule should translate to 20 to 40 points’ gain on a mock test.  In addition, some students gain some “bonus points” at the beginning, as part of “learning the ropes” of this test.
  • We should expect to finish early. We have timed the course so that we will only need the full eight weeks if we hit an unexpected snag.

Preparation for each session

If you know nothing else, know that each week the student is to do both of the following before each session:

  • Untimed, focused drills intended to build new habits. (These habits, identified by us together, will shore up the weaknesses found in last week’s work.)
  • A timed practice test meant to uncover any remaining weaknesses.

This unusual homework methodology is covered in more detail in the online mini-course included within the main SAT Math 2 course.


Once we reach the goal

Congratulations! and…

I consider our goal reached when the student has exceeded his or her target score by at least one question, on two mock tests in a row.

This is a natural time to consider declaring victory, and cancelling all future sessions.

I will appreciate your please setting aside ten minutes of your time for an “exit interview” at this juncture.  We’ll be in touch about scheduling this.


Get in touch with me (415.937.1729 /[email protected]) or my assistant Owen Latham (925.818.7081 /[email protected]) if you have any questions along the way.

Together, we’ll stay on the path to success at every turn.