Many students are afraid to take the SAT and ACT because they think the tests are intelligence tests.

But they’re not. They’re really tests that measure your test-taking ability.


Certainly, the SAT and ACT measure basic, high school level math and verbal proficiency. But even more, the SAT and ACT measure your ability to think quickly and your ability to use a process of elimination to get the right answer.

In other words, in large measure, the tests test your ability to take the test.

That’s why prep is essential. You can be a straight A student, but if you don’t know how to take the SAT or ACT, your score will not represent the intellectual ability shown in your high school transcript. And that discrepancy is sure to arouse concern in college admissions offices.

In order to maximize your college admissions chances, Dr. Osborn starts by showing students how to take the test. She then shows you how to turn test-taking weakness into strengths, and how to use process of elimination to boost your score.



Professional evaluation of your test-taking strategies and your test-taking strengths and weaknesses. Identification of specific areas that need improvement in light of your college admissions goals and aspirations.

Because gender impacts students’ test-taking abilities, I also offer straight assessment of gender-coded behaviors that interfere with test performance.


Prep work focuses on building students’ ability to use process of elimination to quickly eliminate wrong answers and developing students’ ability to read rapidly and accurately. In addition, strategies for decoding unfamiliar vocabulary and for answering evidence-based questions are emphasized.

In addition, I teach students best practices for avoiding the tricks and traps built into the SAT and ACT. Time management techniques and strategies for avoiding second guessing are also covered.

Practice also aims to neutralize gender-coded behaviors that negatively impact test scores. For more information, see here.


Reassessment of test-taking strategies and test-taking behavior three weeks before the exam date. Remedial work includes improving process of elimination strategies, refining strategies for decoding unfamiliar vocabulary, and overcoming any residual gender-coded behaviors that are interfering with test performance.

In addition, a final three-week test prep plan is designed for you that works with your schedule and serves your college admissions goals and aspirations.

“ Susan is the real deal. Not only did she teach Maggie how to take the test; she taught her how to beat the test! She’s a real inspiration!”

Jody and Rich, parents of Montgomery, NJ high school junior 

WCP works with students and college applicants from all over the world via Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, phone, and Google docs.

Schedule your free 20-minute phone consultation with Dr. Osborn to learn how The Writing Center of Princeton can help optimize your child’s score.

What Makes Us Different from SAT, ACT, PSAT, and SSAT Test Prep Tutors?

1.  Experience 

Dr. Osborn is a veteran educator and college counselor who has worked in Admissions at Vassar College, in the Writing Program and English Department at Rutgers University, in the lab at The New Jersey Center for Research on Writing, and as a private tutor.

In addition to her degree work, she has completed graduate work at Columbia University’s Teachers College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Bank Street College of Education.

Dr. Osborn is also an acclaimed and award-winning fiction, popular, and academic writer.

2.  Personalized Service

Dr. Osborn helps you identify and clarify your test prep and college admission goals. At the same time, she nurtures and designs your tutoring and college application strategy and a plan of action based on what best fits your time frame, your personality, your schedule, and your college aspirations.

3.  Set Your Own Schedule

Dr. Osborn doesn’t like package plans and she knows you don’t either. WCP doesn’t offer them and never has. You are free to schedule as many or as few appointments as you wish.

4. Unlimited, 7-day a Week Text Support with Dr. Osborn

Once you sign on with Dr. Osborn, you are welcome to text her whenever you wish, about whatever questions and concerns you have related to your application strategy, plan, and essays.

5.  Emotional Support

Taking the SAT and ACT and applying to college can be emotionally difficult and often puts a strain on a family. One of Dr. Osborn’s most important responsibilities is to be here for you and your child and she takes that responsibility very seriously. Whether you need to vent or just need to talk things over, you can rely on her.

“After working with Susan, Brad scored 140 points higher on the SAT! Now, he finally has the score he needs to apply to all the top colleges on his list.”

Allison and Eric, Rumson, NJ parents of high school junior

What to Do Next?

Schedule a complimentary 20-minute consultation with Dr. Susan Osborn.

I look forward to speaking with you about the many ways we advance your child’s SAT and ACT scores and boost your child’s college admissions chances.

Susan Osborn, Ph.D.

All instruction is conducted in a private, distraction-free environment.

The Writing Center of Princeton works with students and college applicants from all over the world via Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, Google docs, and phone.


“Susan cares about her students and it shows. She went out of her way to make sure that our son felt confident and calm while teaching him strategic and time-efficient ways to optimize his score. Throughout the whole test prep process, she kept our son motivated and on target. We would recommend her to anyone.”
– Diane and Rob W., parent of 11th grader

“Meeting Susan was a real blessing. She’s a great motivator, and it only took a few lessons for our daughter to develop effective strategies for writing the SAT essay. What a celebration we had when Becca got the score that guaranteed her a scholarship!”
– Eddie and Doreen T., parents of 11th grader
“She is by far the best SAT prep tutor we have come across and we would recommend her to everyone. Throughout the whole test prep process, she kept my son motivated and on target.”
– Angela, parent of 11th grader
“Susan is thorough and methodical, but never overwhelming. After working with her just four times, I boosted my SAT score 270 points.”
– Ju, 10th grader
“After working with Susan three times, my son’s score moved from 31 to 34! She is a great test prep tutor.”
– Eui, parent of 11th grader