if you’re reading this sentence

…there’s a pretty good chance you or a teenager whose cell phone bill you pay will be taking the SAT or ACT and applying to college sometime soon. You may be feeling a little stressed by the whole process, or (more likely) you may be feeling very stressed by the whole process. After all, when did college admissions become so, well, insane?

At The Playbook, we can’t do anything about the tests themselves, but we can change the way that students approach preparing for exams and applying to college. Whether you’re looking to ace the verbal sections of the SAT, learn shortcuts for ACT challenging math problems, or craft a college application essay that will linger in the minds of admissions officers, we have a proven playbook to help you achieve your goal.

Oh, and one more thing:

We’re not boring! We realize most high school students, even ones in seventeen A.P. classes, would rather do pretty much anything other than study for the SAT or ACT. In fact, we’ve even compiled a list of 1,000 Things Most Teenagers Would Rather Do Than Prep for the SAT or ACT right here. That’s why we strive to make our courses not only comprehensive but also engaging and fun. (Well, fun for a prep class.) The SAT and ACT may be boring, but learning to ace them doesn’t have to be.

weekend boot camps

Efficient, effective and engaging. Our weekend Boot Camps are the most popular way to learn how to ace the SAT or ACT or perfect your college applications essays.


SAT Boot Camp

Shortcuts for tricky Math questions. Strategies for uncovering hidden clues in Reading passages. Techniques for avoiding sneaky trap answers. March into the SAT with confidence, momentum, and every key strategy fresh in your mind.

Learn More

ACT Boot Camp

Strategies for Reading faster without sacrificing comprehension. Techniques for deciphering confusing Science passages and graphs. Shortcuts for math problems that stump 95% of test-takers. March into the ACT with confidence, momentum, and every key strategy fresh in your mind.


College Admissions Boot Camp

Learn a proven system for crafting truly riveting application essays, from the brainstorming process all the way to the finishing touches of the final draft. Write a personal statement that will leave admissions yearning to learn more about you – and determined to vote “admit.”


elite courses

Specialized programs for highly-ambitious students targeting perfect or near-perfect scores.


Future National Merit Scholars PSAT Prep

Each year, the National Merit Scholarship Program honors students whose PSAT scores place them in the highest category of test-takers in their state: the top one-half of one percent. Our Future National Merit Scholars program maximizes students’ potential to be among the chosen.

Coming Soon

Aiming for 800

The ultimate course for ambitious students who wish to go from a very good SAT Reading and Writing score to a truly elite score. Ideal for A.P. students who are gifted in STEM and capable of earning a top score in SAT Math but have yet to achieve an SAT Reading and Writing score of 750 or higher.

Coming Soon


Michael Leung
Lowell High School
San Francisco, CA

“Before, I could never figure out how to tell right answers from the wrong ones. I could usually get Reading question down to two choices, but then I would sit there, unsure which one to pick. I used to lose so much time in SAT Reading, going back-and-forth between answer choices. Now I know how to spot when an answer seems to be right but is really a ‘trap.’ Thank you. I feel much more confident for October.”

Arushi Varadkar
J. P. Stevens High School
Edison, NJ

“Up from 620 to 760—thank you, this course was amazing!”

Jennie Park
Whitney Young Magnet High School
Chicago, IL

“I was able to raise my SAT score from a 1370 to a 1540. That’s a 170-point increase, something that may seem daunting but becomes easier with great guidance.”

Nicholas C.
Somers High School
Somers, NY

Thank you for helping me earn a 1550 on the SAT! I was a bit nervous the day of, but as I was going through the test, I felt very prepared. The course taught me how to read and analyze passages as well as the questions, which really helped me narrow down the choices and choose the correct answer each time.”

Justine Lao
The Mary Louis Academy
Jamaica Estates, NY

locally sourced. eco-friendly.
and 100% non-gmo.

From an engineer who plays the banjo to a linguist who leads mission trips to Haiti, our instructors are creative, conscientious, intellectually-feisty, and—above all—committed to you.
Meet the mighty minds who call The Playbook home.


University of Michigan-educated. Handsomely bespectacled. And gifted with any instrument capable of being strummed.


Duke-educated. Super into skiing. And head over wheels for roller derby.


Northwestern-educated. Devoted to data. And keen on anything relating to writing, performing, and live music.

actual student textimonials

“Ivy League Tutors is awesome! I love studying SAT algebra every Saturday morning!”
– Billy B., Hamilton High School

Oh, come on. Do you think any teenager in the history of Teenage-Americans has ever said anything that glowing about an SAT prep class – even one of ours? At The Playbook, we don’t fabricate reviews or pay people to proclaim their love for us. The following messages are all real, all recent, and all from students just like you.

latest articles & advice

We can’t tell you how to achieve a flatter tummy or the 11 secret superfoods you should be eating (though we at The Playbook are pretty fond of Goji berries, for what it’s worth).

However, we can tell you all about college admissions and testing, so check out our latest articles for up-to-date information and advice, from the questionable value of being well-rounded to COVID’s impact on the SAT and ACT.

COVID’s Impact on the SAT

The pandemic has affected the role of standardized tests in college admissions, but don’t throw away your No. 2 pencils just yet.

Read More

The SAT vs. the ACT Settled Once and for All (Well, Kind of)

The SAT and ACT—bitter archenemies since the dawn of No. 2 pencils—are far more alike than they’ve ever been before, but there are still important differences students need to consider.

Read More

The PSAT: A Very Important Test That Doesn’t Really Matter (Except When It Does)

Does the PSAT actually count for anything or is it simply practice?

Read More

The Highest-Rated

We're proud to have the highest rating of every test prep and admissions firm on TrustPilot. Here are recent reviews from students, parents, and schools.

4 days ago

We had an excellent experience

We had an excellent expeirence. My son found his instructor to be engaged and helpful…


4 days ago

The review class helped a lot a…

The review class helped a lot and was a great experience.

Emily Trujilo

4 days ago

We had an excellent experience

We had an excellent expeirence. My son found his instructor to be engaged and helpful…


4 days ago

The review class helped a lot a…

The review class helped a lot and was a great experience.

Emily Trujilo