Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of this program?

The tuition is $899 per student. Some of our partner schools subsidize all or a portion of the tuition, so you may be eligible for a discount on this and other Playbook prep programs.

What are the qualifications of the instructor?

Our course instructor is renowned in test preparation and has sterling academic credentials: he is Ivy League-educated, earned a National Merit Scholarship in high school, and has earned dozens of perfect scores on the verbal portion of the SAT, GMAT, and GRE. But much more importantly, the instructor who will be leading the program is patient, funny, nurturing, and 100% dedicated to his students. Since 2006, he has coached thousands of students to reach their highest potential on the Reading and Writing and Language sections of the SAT.

How many students are in each session?

The course averages 15 students per session. Participants benefit not only from the expertise of our instructor, but also from each other. Unlike other courses, which combine students of varying aspirations and abilities, AIMING FOR 800 unites bright, ambitious young men and women into a cohesive group of students committed to maximizing their score. Students benefit from questions posed by other top students and from one-on-one feedback from our instructor.

What is the average score improvement?

The vast majority of participants begin with an SAT Verbal score in the 600s out of 800. Students whose starting scores range from 600 to 650 average 110 points improvement. Students whose starting scores range from 660 to 700 average 80 points improvement. Students whose starting scores range from 700 to 730 average 50 points improvement. And students whose starting scores range from 740 to 760 average 30 points improvement. Aiming for 800 is ideally suited for students aiming to improve from the 600s to the mid-700s (or higher) in SAT Verbal. We do not recommend our course for students who have already attained a score of 770 or higher. (The course is simply unnecessary for such students.)

What if I’m below 600? Will this course be too advanced or fast-paced for me?

Yes, quite possibly, but it depends on how many times you have already taken the SAT and on what coaching or test preparation you’ve already had. If you are concerned that this course may be too rigorous for you, please email us at and we will gladly address your questions and provide guidance. 

What if I haven’t taken the SAT yet?

That’s not an issue. Many course participants have yet to take an official SAT exam, though the majority have at least taken a practice test to gauge their current score levels in Math and Verbal.

What age group is this course intended for—rising juniors? Seniors? How about rising sophomores?

Historically, half of the participants are rising juniors. Rising sophomores and seniors evenly comprise the other half of the participants. The rising tenth graders who take this program tend to be academically precocious and are looking for a major head start on their test preparation.

Can SAT Reading even be “coached?” I know that the SAT’s Writing and Language Test is coachable—so many of the questions simply test students’ knowledge of proper written English—but what about SAT Reading? That section seems to be really hard to master if a student has not been much of a reader.

Our answer is an emphatic yes: SAT Reading is just as coachable as SAT Math and SAT Writing and Language—arguably more so than those other test sections. Admittedly, SAT Reading is easier to tackle if a student has been an avid reader his or her whole life. However, very few students—even ones who are voracious readers—spend their free time reading densely-worded passages on such fascinating topics as soil decomposition and geese migration in Southern New Zealand. In other words, very few students spend their time reading the kind of passages featured on the SAT’s Reading Test, which is why even A.P. English students who have Jane Austen posters in their room find the SAT’s verbal sections challenging. We have devised a proven system that teaches students how to tackle each type of passage they’re going to encounter (Literature, Social Science, Natural Science, and History); how to quickly identify the main idea in lengthy reading passages; and how to differentiate between tricky answer choices that seem to be the same.

Do you cover both the SAT’s Reading Test and Writing and Language Test? What about the optional Essay?

We cover all aspects of the SAT’s Reading Test and Writing and Language Test, but we do not address the optional SAT Essay, which is currently being phased out of college admissions.