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.


ONE WEEKEND. EVERY STRATEGY YOU NEED TO KNOW.

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
ONE WEEKEND. EVERY STRATEGY YOU NEED TO KNOW.

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.

Enroll
UNLOCK THE STORY THAT WILL GET YOU IN

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.”

Learn

elite courses

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


EXPERT PSAT PREP FOR TOP STUDENTS

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
ADVANCED VERBAL STRATEGIES FOR A.P. STUDENTS

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

“I got a 750!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!”


Samantha Burke
Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
Acton, MA

“It seems so easy now – I can’t believe I used to get confused by these questions. You guys did an awesome job explaining everything, especially word problems and trig. And it wasn’t boring!”


Jacob Gordon-Reed
Harriton High School
Rosemount, PA

“I feel like I finally understand math for the first time in my life. Thank you for being so patient with me and for the extra advice on Friday. I was still kind of nervous when I took the test, but I used all of the strategies we went over, and I didn’t feel like anything was a surprise. I actually finished the no-calculator section a few minutes early, which is amazing considering I used to run out of time. Thank you so much again. I’m really proud of my 690, especially considering I got a 550 the first time.”


Erika Lichtmann
New Tier High School
Winnetka, IL

“I got a 33 in Math and a 35 in Reading. Thank you!” 


Zoe Leistikow
Harriton Senior High School
Rosemont, PA

“Andrew spent last summer taking an ACT course and said he learned a thousand times more in one weekend with you than in two months of that course. I was worried he wouldn’t be able to focus for an online class, but he never complained and even laughed a few times. Kudos to whoever the teacher was. You kept him fully engaged.”


Michelle Berenson
Tenafly High School Parent
Tenafly, NJ

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.


Adam

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

Corrine

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

John

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

How to Get into Med School While You’re Still in High School

Aiming to be an Orthopedic Surgeon or a Cardiologist? Combined BS/MD programs offer high school students a streamlined path to med school, but the competition to get in is fierce.

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…

Josh

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…

Josh

4 days ago

The review class helped a lot a…

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

Emily Trujilo

DEC 18 - MAR 8 Schedule

Exam 1: Saturday, December 18, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET at TMLA.

Class 1: Tuesday, January 4, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET (Live-Online). 

Class 2: Tuesday, January 11, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET (Live-Online). 

Exam 2: Saturday, January 15, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET at TMLA.

Class 3: Tuesday, January 18, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET (Live-Online). 

Class 4: Tuesday, February 1, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET (Live-Online). 

Exam 3: Saturday, February 5, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET at TMLA.

Class 5: Tuesday, February 8, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET (Live-Online). 

Class 6: Tuesday, February 15, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET (Live-Online). 

Exam 4: Saturday, February 26, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET at TMLA.

Class 7: Tuesday, March 1, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET (Live-Online). 

Class 8: Tuesday, March 8, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET (Live-Online). 

Oct 27 – Nov 20 Schedule

Class 1: Wednesday, October 27, 2021, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET

Class 2: Saturday, October 30, 2021, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET

Class 3: Wednesday, November 3, 2021, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET

Class 4: Saturday, November 6, 2021, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET

Class 5: Wednesday, November 10, 2021, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET

Class 6: Saturday, November 13, 2021, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET

Class 7: Wednesday, November 17, 2021, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET

Class 8: Saturday, November 20, 2021, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET

100 THINGS MOST TEENAGERS WOULD RATHER DO THAN PREP FOR THE SAT OR ACT

1. Visit the orthodontist. 2. Watch PBS. 3. Go an entire week without rolling their eyes at their parents. 4. Watch C-SPAN. 5. Retake their AP Chem final. 6. Intern at a local CPA’s office. 7. Turn off their cell phone. 8. Mop the kitchen. 9. Clean their bathroom. 10. Renounce social media. 11. Write a 10-page history paper. 12. Get a bunch of allergy shots. 13. Wait in line at the post office. 14. Watch the Weather Channel. 15. Be abducted by aliens. 16. Attend a clarinet recital. 17. Tour a Soviet-era nuclear plant. 18. Eat a healthy and nutritious dinner. 19. Do calisthenics. 20. Bake snickerdoodle cookies for that guy who’s always loitering by his van. 21. Watch a black-and-white foreign film without subtitles. 22. Clean out the rain gutters. 23. Pretend they’re 42 and recently divorced. 24. Listen to NPR’s Weekend Edition. 25. Read a newspaper. 26. Visit the DMV. 27. Eat crispy fried tarantulas (considered a delicacy in Cambodia). 28. Serve as a “breath odor evaluator” for a toothpaste company. (Yes, this job actually exists.) 29. Go on a double date with their parents. 30. Undergo dental surgery. 31. Babysit their annoying stepbrother. 32. Empty Mr. Whisker’s litter box. 33. Take out the trash. 34. Clean the rain gutters. 35. Tell their parents they’d like to sit down to discuss the Birds n’ the Bees. 36. Stare at a blank television screen for several hours. 37. Be fitted for orthodontic headgear. 38. Organize their closet. 39. Vacuum their entire house. 40. Eat that substance their school cafeteria claims is Sloppy Joe. 41. Kiss Tucker Carlson. 42. Make origami turtles for the residents of a local nursing home. 43. Do a few hundred burpees. 44. Try Uncle Morris’s beef stew. 45. Watch Hillbilly Handfishin’ on Animal Planet. 46. Eat “bird’s nest” soup, which sounds kind of scrumptious unless you know the broth is made from bird SALIVA. 47. Set up an Facebook account for Grandma. 48. Start a backyard garden. 49. Dust home furnishings. 50. Do an exercise known as the “Bulgarian Split Squat.” 51. Help Dad trim his back hair. 52. Hunt for spare change between the sofa cushions. 53. Hunt for leftover Cheez-Its between the sofa cushions. 54. Mow the lawn. 55. Learn how to knit. 56. Research Wikipedia’s entry on the history of Q- tips. 57. Count how many times they can blink in one hour. 58. Compose a haiku. 59. Do one of the American Dental Association’s oral disease-themed jigsaw puzzles. 60. Watch televised bowling. 61. Give Grandpa a foot massage. 62. Give Grandma a foot massage. 63. Play tea party with their six-year-old stepsister. 64. Read The Red Badge of Courage. 65. Browse Burlington Coat Factory’s fall collection. 66. Floss. 67. Listen to The Scarlett Letter on audiobook. 68. Watch televised bowling. 69. Lie really, really still and pretend they’re deceased. 70. Join their twelve-year-old sister and all of her friends for a dance party!!! 71. Wash their parents’ minivan. 72. Journal about their feelings. 72. Give themselves a haircut. 73. Make homemade kombucha. 74. Learn to crochet. 75. Get a head start on their LinkedIn profile. 76. Watch a black- and-white movie marathon. 77. Visit the library. 78. Run a relay race. 79. Eat slimy san-nakji, which is considered a delicacy in Korea. 80. Eat khash, a traditional dish in Southeastern Europe that is so disgusting you’re just going to have to Google it to find out what it’s made of. 81. Eat the Swedish delicacy blodpättar, which kind of sounds like what it is. 81. Eat bat soup, a traditional dish in Micronesia. 82. Eat harkarl, rotten shark meat that is considered a delicacy in Iceland. 83. Eat the Scottish dish known as haggis. 84. Eat escamol, a Mexican dish that kind of looks like it’s made of rice but definitely isn’t. 85. Eat “Rocky Mountain Oysters,” which, despite the name, may not be from the Rocky Mountains and definitely are not oysters. 86. Wrestle an alligator. 87. Be a “professional apologizer,” a person whose actual full-time job is to apologize on behalf of other people. 88. Be an ostrich babysitter, which is apparently something people do in South Africa. 89. Ponder what life would have been like if they had been born in Kazakhstan. 90. Take a transatlantic flight on Biman Bangladesh Airlines, widely considered the worst airline in the entire world. 91. Eat fugu, a potentially lethal blowfish. 92. Do a form of running exercise known as “laps of misery.” 93. Walk the neighbor’s dog. 94. Clean their room. 95. Frolic naked through the mall. 96. Do a handstand on two fingers. 97. Do one-armed chin-ups. 98. Do a form of exercise known as a “flying human flag abdominal crunch.” 99. Watch the 2011 movie Tree of Life. (Trust us, it’s booooring.) 100. Use sock puppets to practice their future networking skills.