StudentSharp Podcast Episode 1 – CurveBreakers Test Prep Interview

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In this episode, we interview Nick LaPoma from Curvebreakers Test Prep. He has a perfect SAT score and has been teaching the SAT and other tests for over 10 years.

Resources Mentioned:

CurveBreakers Test Prep

3 Key Points:

  1. Diagnose what you need to improve. Every student has individual needs.
  2. Prepare using timed practice tests to simulate real conditions.
  3. Any student can improve. Give yourself enough time to prepare.


1:00- About CurveBreakers and Nick LaPoma. Nick formulated CurveBreakers about 3 years ago with the philosophy that every student has individual needs

1:45- Go to SAT Prep books. LaPoma likes using the official test prep books. CurveBreakers is coming out with their own book as well.

2:50- Number one thing student preparing for SAT needs to watch out for is being in a class that teaches to the lowest common denominator if you’re already doing well and need to improve slightly. Also, lack of timing when doing test prep is bad.

4:00- Best way to study for the SAT is to formulate a study plan by looking at score reports to come up with individual strengths and weaknesses. Continually test yourself with practice tests under timed conditions for best results.

5:10- Most efficient way to study is private tutoring in LaPoma’s opinion. A tutor can pinpoint different areas that need to be specifically addressed. Also, taking practice exams. Least efficient way is test prep courses that make you sit there for four or five hours.

6:10-Differences between SAT and ACT: ACT has much less time per question than SAT. More math on SAT. ACT- SuperScoring not universally accepted, scores are averaged, not added, and scaling is different than SAT.

7:40- Biggest influence on score increase is going to be the amount of preparation you do. If you are taking SAT in March, start preparing in August.

9:00- If you have a lower score, work on fundamentals and methodology. Someone with a higher score needs to have more diagnostic data to determine what they need to work on.

10:02-Any student can improve. Give yourself enough time to prepare.

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