SAT 'Prep Matters' course with Dr. Mary Smyth begins Sept. 9 at UMaine Hutchinson Center

Courtesy of: Mary Smyth

Belfast, Maine — Preparation for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) will be the focus of 8 weekly classes at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center beginning Sept. 9.

The class, taught by Dr. Mary Smyth, will be held each Sunday, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The course, called Prep Matters, is designed for high school sophomores and juniors who plan to retake the SAT in the fall of 2018.

The recently redesigned SAT now has two scores — verbal skills and math. According to the College Board, to be able to attain at least a C in a non-remedial college math class, a student must score 530 out of 800 on the math section of the SAT, but only about 40 percent of high school students can do so.

“It is important that students understand that they need to work for a semester, not just cram at the last minute for one test,” says Smyth. Smyth, who trained under Kaplan Test Prep, the original SAT prep program, has been teaching algebra through calculus at Watershed School in Camden for over a decade and has coached SAT prep for 13 years. She is a retired pediatrician who became interested in the math curriculum when her sons were in elementary school. Smyth also is a local expert on college admission testing, and has tutored students for the SAT, ACT, SAT subject tests and AP Calculus exams, many of whom went on to earn scores of 800.

“The life lessons of the SAT go far beyond the test.  It really is a deciding moment for students because they can choose to take charge of their future or they can ignore and procrastinate and then claim they just aren’t good with tests.” says Smyth. “Anyone can get better at tests. Anyone can learn to problem solve. Anyone can practice and improve.”

Course fee is $375 per student for an 8-week course in preparation for the verbal, math and essay portions of the test; $275 for an 8-week course in preparation for either the math or verbal portions of the test. Scholarships are available through the Hutchinson Center.

For more information, to request a scholarship application or a disability accommodation, contact Diana McSorley, 338.8093,

About the University of Maine:

The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state's land grant and sea grant university. As Maine's flagship public university, UMaine has a statewide mission of teaching, research and economic development, and community service. UMaine is among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast and attracts students from Maine and 49 other states, and 67 countries. It currently enrolls 11,240 total undergraduate and graduate students who can directly participate in groundbreaking research working with world-class scholars. The University of Maine offers 35 doctoral programs and master's degrees in 85 fields; more than 90 undergraduate majors and academic programs; and one of the oldest and most prestigious honors programs in the U.S. The university promotes environmental stewardship, with substantial efforts campuswide aimed at conserving energy, recycling and adhering to green building standards in new construction. For more information about UMaine, visit


Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.