SAT and ACT Essay Workshops

SAT and ACT Essay Workshops 2018-03-21T05:36:48+00:00

Essay Workshops

Are you dreading the SAT or ACT’s optional essay?  Are you nervous about approaching the task?  Dr. Aimee Weinstein is ready to help!

First Session

At the first session, Dr. Weinstein will teach you how to analyze a writing assignment, organize thoughts, and compose a coherent and engaging response that will hit all the marks SAT and ACT readers look for in students’ essays. First she will explain the challenge clearly, then she will administer a prompt so you can write a timed response.

Second Session

The next session, you will meet to receive and review comments on the essay. Then you  will be given a second, different prompt and write a response according to the lessons gleaned from the critique of the first essay.  Dr. Weinstein will email comments about the 2nd essay within one or two days of that second meeting.

Cost is $190 for the two sessions and the two essay critiques.  Critiques of subsequent essays are $50 each.

The New SAT Essay

This essay is radically different from the old SAT essay.  The assignment is 100% longer (50 minutes versus 25 minutes) and requires much more analysis.  The student will be given source material, and evaluate the argument.  The prompt is essentially the same:

As you read the next passage, consider how so and so uses

  • evidence, such as facts or examples, to support claims.
  • reasoning to develop ideas and to connect claims and evidence.
  • stylistic or persuasive elements, such as word choice or appeals to emotion, to add power to the ideas expressed.

However the passage, which is extensive, and the assignment that goes with it, changes from test-to-test and requires a solid approach to writing the response.

Here is an excerpt from the College Board’s SAT website.

The Topic

You can count on seeing the same prompt no matter when you take the new SAT with Essay, but the passage will be different every time.

All passages have these things in common:

  • Written for a broad audience
  • Argue a point
  • Express subtle views on complex subjects
  • Use logical reasoning and evidence to support claims
  • Examine ideas, debates, or trends in the arts and sciences, or civic, cultural, or political life
  • Always taken from published works

All the information you need to write your essay will be included in the passage or in notes about it.

The New ACT Essay

The ACT Essay is different in that it guides the students toward perspectives on a given topic.  The prompt will state a certain ethical or moral dilemma and give three ideas of a given response.  The students’ job is to then write an essay elaborating their own thoughts about the problem, while bringing in, using and considering the perspectives given.

Students should:

  • Agree or disagree with one or more of the perspectives
  • Give very specific examples and then develop the ideas to show how and why the examples prove their points
  • Have a clear thesis statement that elucidates the problem
  • Use a paragraph of counter-argument
  • Conclude leaving the reader with a clear idea about the right way to resolve the particular problem

While the students will have the information about the question and perspectives available, they should add their own ideas as well.


Contact Dr. Aimee Weinstein at 571.275.6521 or

Please note that there are no SAT and ACT Essay Workshops being offered at this time. Please contact Dr. Weinstein for Private Essay Writing Tutoring.


Hey Ms. Kate,

I just wanted to let you know that I made the first cut for the TJ Admission! Thank you all so very much for your help and support, because without it, I would have most definitely been lost while taking the test.

On to phase 2!

Thanks again,



Yay! I’m a semifinalist!!!now I just have to fill out another application :(thanks for all your help!



I made the TJ first cut!!!



Dear Kate,

I just got a letter from TJ that I passed the first cut for my TJ test! Thank you so much for all of your help! I will let you know the results of the second stage of screening, which I know is very hard.



I just wanted to send my sincere thanks for sending this explanation to us.  It was extremely helpful.   This is exactly the sort of work Noah needs to spend more time on.  Thank you again for taking the time to explain the problem in a very straight forward manner.  Have a wonderful weekend!
Kind regards,

Thank you so much Caroline!  You’re both a great team…you definitely motivated him to work hard!
Hope you have a wonderful holiday and new year!
It’s a very happy Christmas gift!  Thank you again for helping him focus and prepare!  We’ll see you again in 4 years when it’s his brothers turn.
Parent of Langley HS 2018 Student
Dear Ms. Kate,
Just want to let you know that I got semi-finalist letter today. I made it!!
Thank you so much for everything you did to help me. i will let you know how I make out.
Thanks Again,
Thanks so much for helping me get that 33.
S. made it to the next phase of TJ admissions and would like to say thanks for all your help.


Hello Kate,

We just wanted you all to be the first to know that our son, JC, is a TJ semifinalist!! He received his letter today!
Thank you so much for your tutoring, preparation and guidance through this process! Now he’s off to begin the second phase of the TJ Admissions process (i.e seeking teacher recommendations, completing student information sheet, etc.) Any helpful tips regarding this second phase is most welcome:)
Thank you again for teaching and preparing him!


He got into:
UVA, Boston College,Northeastern, Colgate, Colby [and] Davidson (was nominated for the Belk Scholarship,…he is one of two alternates).
Parent of J
So far, he’s been accepted to the Engineering school at ILLINOIS, as well as RIT and the Colorado School of Mines. (Raised score from 31 to 35 composite.)
I got a 35!!!!! Could not have done it without you!!!! Thanks so much! 32 English, 35 Math, 36 Reading, 35 Science.

Student Profiles

Langley HS Student, Class of 2018 ACT class & math tutoring with Caroline Hesse 27 to 32 ACT Composite
Langley HS Student, Class of 2019 Accelerated ACT/SAT class 1300 PSAT (2016) to 1490 PSAT (2017)
30 to 34 ACT Composite
McLean HS Student, Class of 2018
10 hours of tutoring

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