Bergen County SAT Prep Programs: Our Picks

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Taking the SAT or ACT is kind of like giving birth: months of preparation and buildup to that last push at the end when you thank your lucky stars you took all the help you could get.

Now’s not the time to go it alone. Bring in the big guns to help your kid soar.

Advantage Testing

51 JFK Parkway, Suite 1st Floor West, Short Hills, NJ, (973) 652-6250,

With more than 10 locations throughout the U.S. and a belief that there are no short-cuts, this center takes a long-term approach to conquering the exam (some programs span over a year), and lessons break down each test area systematically, so students are completely prepared come test time. Advantage Testing’s five-step approach: long-term, rigorous, comprehensive, practical and creative tutoring individualizes the tutoring process. Bonus: Kids are left with key skills they can use for college too.  

Format: One-on-one, in-home tutoring is the most popular option, plus on-location tutoring is available at their Franklin Lakes office. Sessions usually run 1 hour and 40 minutes with various formats available. Tutoring is offered for the SAT and ACT as well as SAT II subject tests and other standardized tests.

Tutors: All tutoring in Northern N.J. is covered by a small team of three, including Director Barry Kramer, an Ivy League grad with a love for teaching kids. All tutors are screened vigorously and are high honors graduates of leading colleges. Combined with their academic success, many of the teachers hold degrees in teaching, which helps personalize each student’s test-taking strategies. Out of 900 applicants this year, Advantage Testing hired five tutors (impressive!).

Pricing: Prices are based on an initial assessment and the customized program they design for you.

Brainstorm Tutoring

808 High Mountain Road, Franklin Lakes, (201) 84-STORM, 

Founders Scott and Ashley Doty are Ramsey natives and Tufts grads who strive to inspire “exuberant learning” and take a unique approach to radically customize each student’s test-prep based on the individual's skill sets and strengths. Brainstorm Tutoring focuses more on longer-term success by designing strategies for taking the test (since it sure can be stressful!), in addition to essential knowledge. Plus, they make it (dare we say) fun for the students.  

Format: Small-group tutoring as well as in-home tutoring is available for the SAT, ACT and any subject or standardized test around. The also offer one week SAT/ACT “Conquer Camps” taught by founder Scott Doty. The SAT and ACT prep classes can be taken in full (one class covering all sections), or specific verbal, math and/or science classes may be taken one at a time (with the price varying). Prep classes offer both SAT and ACT practice tests, in addition to a consultation with a test prep professional to kickstart your child’s testing journey.

Tutors: Tutors have at least a Bachelor’s degree and often a Master’s, and go through Brainstorm’s unique “GroundSwell” hiring and training process that includes three tiers of interviews and testing.

Price: Two simulation tests and consultation with Test Prep Professional for $150. For small-group tutoring (including one simulation test), see prices below. Private tutoring pricing varies.

Ivy Global:

Holiday Express Paramus, 50 US Highway 17 North, Paramus NJ, (888) 588-7955,

If you’ve got a big budget, and you want an elite service, Ivy Global hires 99th percentile test-takers, mostly from Ivy League schools. Yes, the program is pricey, but their staff of expert test-takers with robust communication skills can get students an average 200-point improvement in test scores. With a 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio, Ivy Global creates a “roadmap” for their students to ensure success from standardized testing—we all know scheduling is key!

Format: Ivy global offers SAT and ACT classes held in NYC and Northern N.J. in three formats: extensive, regular and crash courses; however, private in-home tutoring is available in Northern N.J. The three classes range from 20 to 60 hours of tutoring, with diagnostic tests to identify the student’s strengths and weaknesses. The company also provides tutoring services in the SAT II subject tests.

Tutors: Are 99th percentile test-takers with strong communication skills from top colleges and universities.

Price: SAT/ACT courses range from $650 to $1600, depending on the course chosen. Private Tutoring is $280 for two hours or $3,000 for the full program. One-on-ones with an “Elite” tutor are $420 per two-hour session.

Academic Achievement: 246 Fairmount Ave, Glen Rock, NJ, (201) 445-2616,

Irwin Dolgoff and Jerry Silverstein have been teaching SAT prep since 1975. With multiple locations throughout Bergen and a proven format, their 7 class/24 hours program will get your kid up to speed on the SAT or PSAT by increasing their scores by at least 150 points without messing up their soccer schedule.  

Format: Most clients enroll in one of Academic Achievement’s weekend group programs taught at central locations in Bergen, but one-on-one tutoring is available on a limited basis. They offer SAT/PSAT programs, ranging from SAT tutoring exclusively to a combined tutoring/college counseling package.

Tutors: All classes and tutoring is done by Irwin Dolgoff and Jerry Silverstein, both of whom have been life-long educators and have been teaching test-taking skills for over 20 years.

Price: SAT/ACT courses: $925-$1300; Private tutoring starts at $95/hour.

MEK Review: 40 Homans Ave, Closter, NJ, (855) 346-1410,

By breaking down tutoring into a three-tier support system, MEK Review offers an intensive SAT prep course that prepares students beyond test day. Founder Gunn Ahn believes in a systemic approach to conquering standardized testing: learning, applying and reinforcing. And if you have a large family, MEK will be sure to provide you with their sibling discount!

Format: The MEK tutoring process begins with a consultation where an academic advisor reviews your child’s academic history in order to determine the right path for tutoring. MEK starts students off with the SAT, and based on the individual student’s performance, will continue with the SAT or switch to the ACT. An academic counseling service is also available to help gear students towards accomplishing their academic goals.

Tutors: Teaching experience is encouraged for all prospective tutors at MEK in order to help students learn the material more effectively. All tutors have graduated from top colleges in the United States and are prepared by MEK administrators before instructing begins.

Price: $50 registration fee with a $300 non-refundable deposit, with prices ranging based on the selected program. The consultation fee of $100 is waived if the student enrolls in MEK’s tutoring program. Private one-on-one tutoring is also available if requested.

Veritas Prep: 10 Mckinley St. Ste 7, Closter NJ, (201)-750-8510,

A program based heavily on group classes, Veritas Learning Center places students in classes based on their performance on a diagnostic standardized test. However, private sessions are also offered for individuals who prefer one-on-one tutoring. Both the summer and fall programs have yielded impressive results, with a large number of students scoring over 1500 on the new SAT.

Format: Once registered for Veritas’ program, a diagnostic test is provided to the student in order to determine proper placing within the program. By grouping classes based on students' scores, Veritas instructors are able to create classes that are targeted towards each student’s needs.

Tutors: All tutors are highly qualified and many of the instructors have obtained a master's degree or higher. Tutors are found by online recruiting websites and word of the mouth. Each tutor is reviewed carefully to guarantee that students succeed in learning the proper material.

Price: Contact for pricing.


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