DB Academics is a professional test preparation and tutoring company located in Rolling Hills Estates. DB Academics partners with many schools in Southern California to offer SAT and ACT Prep Programs on high school campuses. Led by Dave Berger, a credentialed educator with over 25 years of teaching experience, DB Academics has worked with thousands of students to help them improve their test scores, build their confidence, and open more doors to college.

See some common questions & answers below:

As a general rule, if a student is stronger in math and science than English, the ACT may be the better test. Otherwise, it’s more of a personal preference. The scoring is more stringent on the ACT. However, the questions on the SAT are more in-depth. All that said, we’re seeing more and more students take both tests to cover all of their bases.
Changes to UC Entrance Requirements
The UC Board of Regents recently passed a new set of admission requirements that will phase out the SAT and the ACT as criteria for admission to an individual UC school.
How It Impacts the SAT and ACT
The SAT and ACT will still be used for scholarship consideration and for course placement.
2020, 2021, and 2022
The SAT and ACT will be optional.
2023 and 2024
The SAT and ACT will not be considered as a part of the admission process.
*Well, sort of!
The UC is planning to have their own entrance exam in place to replace the SAT and ACT.
If they don't, then the admission process from 2023 and 2024 will be permanent going forward.

*Well, Sort Of
This is where it gets complicated and confusing! There is a little-known admissions path that's been in place for a while that guarantees an applicant admission into the UC system.
Top 9% in California
If a student is in the top 9% of all high school students in California, he/she automatically qualifies for admission into the UC system but not necessarily for the campus of choice.
How to Qualify for the Top 9%?
Qualification is based on a student's UC GPA as well as his/her performance on the SAT or ACT. So going forward, an individual UC school will not be able to consider a student's SAT or ACT score, but his/her score will be in the UC system if that student took one of these tests in order to qualify for guaranteed admission.
When Should a Student Start to Prep?
The typical student takes the PSAT in the fall of his/her junior year, gets the score back in December, and starts to prep after that for either the March SAT or one of the spring SATs. If a student is taking the ACT, he/she will prep late fall of his/her junior year for either the April or the June ACT. Another excellent time to prep is the summer between sophomore and junior year. Students seem to have more time then than they do during the school year. There is an SAT at the end of August and an ACT at the beginning of September. There’s certainly not a one size fits all. There are a lot of different ways to play it, but coming up with a game plan is an integral part of the process.
How Much of a Score Improvement Can a Student Expect?
If a student thoroughly preps (at least 25 hours), he/she can expect a score increase of 120-130 points on the SAT and 3-4 points on the ACT. Prep and practice are key!
How Many Times Should a Student Take the SAT or ACT?
Two times per test is the norm. Sometimes we see students take one of the tests a third time, but at some point a student’s score will start to level off and then it doesn’t make sense to continue testing.
Does a Student Need to Take the Optional SAT or ACT Essay?
It all depends on the schools that the student is applying to. UC schools and many of the private schools require it.
The CSUs don’t.

Get to know some of the Instructors

Kristen Bartholomew

Thank you for your excellent test preparation course. It was extremely useful in preparing our daughter for her PSAT and SAT test this past fall. She scored a 219 on her PSAT and 2160 on her SAT.

Kristen Bartholomew

MVHS Student 1

Thank you so much for class today. The game was fun!

Student, Mission Vista High School

Mary Miao

Thank you so much for your guidance and unbound knowledge of SAT test taking strategy. I scored a 2260 on my October 2010 SAT. Thank you again. I could not have done it without you.

Mary Miao

Charlene Kim

Thank you so much for everything you have done for me. I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate your hard work. Honestly, this has been the best SAT prep ever! I will most definitely recommend DB Academics to most of the underclassmen at my school.

Charlene Kim

DHHS Student 1

Thank you so much for all your time and knowledge these two weekends for both the SAT and ACT, I have learned so much!

Student, Dana Hills High School

Eileen, PTSA rep. at Dana Hills High.

You are such a class act! I was going to send you a similar email, but you beat me to it! You are wonderful to work with and passionate about helping the kids. We so appreciate you. It was so easy to find a replacement for myself because you are so easy to work with. Michelle will do a great job.

PTSA rep. at Dana Hills High.

Bonnie, PTSA President at Dana Hills High.

Thank YOU Dave for offering such a great program to our students. I will absolutely recommend you to everyone I talk to!

PTSA President at Dana Hills High

MVHS Student 3

I learned a lot in the SAT Camp!

Student, Mission Vista High School

Rachel H. Chung

When I was in the fifth grade I was in accelerated pre-algebra. Dave Berger set up a strong foundation for the years ahead. I still apply his methods to my math.

Rachel H. Chung
student, Stanford University

SCHS Student 1

Thanks for a great class today!

Student, San Clemente High School

Mary Carr

Thank you, Dave Berger. Your expert tutoring of our son enabled him to score an 800 on the Math Level II exam. Your in-depth tutoring was very well paced and kept stress to a minimum. We really appreciate your work with our son.

Mary Carr

Kathy Campbell

DB Academics was highly recommended by other parents. We began working with them and my daughter’s grades in math improved quickly and dramatically. I found them to be very good at building rapport with the students and identifying their strengths and weaknesses.

Kathy Campbell

MVHS Student 2

Thank you so much for today’s boot camp. It helped a lot and I feel a lot more prepared!

Student, Mission Vista High School

Glenda Reiger

I just want to let you know that Daniel did really well on the SAT. He scored 2150. We are really happy with his scores. Thank you for working with him!

Glenda Reiger

Kathy Campbell

DB Academics provides SAT preparation classes at Peninsula as a fund-raising venture for the PTSA. We receive consistent positive feedback from both parents and students. We are able to provide this resource to our students at a very reasonable cost.

Kathy Campbell
former vice president of Peninsula PTSA

Patricia A. Ix

DB Academics is an outstanding tutorial service. My son could not be happier with his experience with D.B. Academics. He raised his scores by 400 points, giving him a great deal of confidence when applying to colleges.

Patricia A. Ix

THHS Student 1

This session has helped me a lot in my math memory since I am only a sophomore.

Student, Trabuco Hills High School

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