Tutoring with Results for over 15 years!
ALL Academic Subjects
SAT/ACT/Study Skills Courses
College Planning from Start to Finish
AZ Certified Teachers
Helping over 1,300 Students Annually


10AM to 2PM
Last call for registration to our highly successful High School Placement Test Workshop for students applying to Notre Dame, Brophy or Xavier. The Comprehensive Review Class covers all five sections of the test and gives strategies, skills and techniques necessary to ace the HSPT private school entrance exam. 
Cost for the class is $295 and will be held Saturday, December 6 from 10 AM to 2 PM. 
 Bagels, juice and a notebook of materials will be provided. We have taught the class for approximately 15 years with a 100% success rate.
To register call Deana Aller at 480-538-0828

Elite High School Summer Programs


Many elite summer programs for high school students have application availability dates in December.  A few to consider:
USC  summer.usc.edu- 4 week and 2 week classes for Video Game Design, Engineering and Information Technology, Pre-Law, Science, Performing Arts.  College Credit available with some 4 week sessions.  
University of Pennsylvania:  www.sas.upenn.edu/summer/highschool

Leadership in the Business World, Wharton Sports Business Academy, Young Scholars, Research Academies in Bio-medical, Chemistry, Experimental Physics, OR Social Justice, TREES (Teen Research in Environmental Studies), GEMS - Girls in Engineering, Math & Science


Stanford University / Summer Institutes: summerinstitutes.stanford.edu

Biotechnology & Bio-science, Engineering, Computer Programming, Business, Mathematics, Physical & Earth Science, Social Science, Writing.  Great, interesting topic classes including Creative Writing, Anthropology, Cosmology, Entrepreneurship, Artificial Intelligence, etc.

Many other summer programs for high schoolers exist at elite colleges as well as ASU, U of A and NAU.  All programs are competitive and fill quickly. Winter break is a great time to choose a program.

Top Art and Writing Competition Awards
Grades 7-12.  Deadlines:  December 17
Scholarship opportunities
Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
National Student Poets Program
Opportunities for being published and / or exhibited.  National Award winners are celebrated at Carnegie Hall.  All levels of recognition. 

What is the BEST winter holiday present?

Buy your child a book!  
All ages appreciate a good book.  Check out some of this year's award winners at:

Children's Choice Award:
Teen Book- 
by Veronica Roth

Printz Award: Young Literature

by Marcus Sedgwick

Newbery Medal for Literature:
 Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
by Kate DiCamillo

Caldecott Medal for Illustration:  
by Brian Floca

Pulitzer: Non-Fiction- Adult: 
Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation
by Dan Fagin
A book that deftly combines investigative reporting and historical research to probe a New Jersey seashore town's cluster of childhood cancers linked to water and air pollution.

For students interested in the Medical Field -  
In Stitches
 by Elaine Scott
Some favorites from SEC tutors for middle and high schoolers include:
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (high school)
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch(high school)
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck....("If you don't cry at the end of this book....you may not be human.")
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (high school)
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (middle school/ high school)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (high school)
The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay, all three by Suzanne Collins (middle school)
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel ( a MUST read before you see the movie)
Other great books to read before seeing the movie this December are: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Also don't forget the possibility of a magazine Business Weeksubscription for an area of interest:  National Geographic,  Astronomy, Psychology Today, Business Week, Chemistry World, Poetry Magazine, etc.  If your child has a "hero" you can also think about a biography or autobiography on that individual.  There are some fabulous ones out now about several of the country's founding fathers.



Finals Week Approaches - Less than 2 Weeks to Go!- BOOK NOW!! 

Finals schedule for local high schools:

stressed girl in library 3


SUSD - December 17-19

Dec 17: Periods 1, 2

Dec 18: Periods 3, 4

Dec 19: Periods 5 or 6, 7


Notre Dame - December 17- 19

Dec 17: Social Studies, Science

Dec 18: World Language, Theology

Dec 19: Math, English

Scottsdale Prep - December 16 -18
Dec 16: Periods 1, 2
Dec 17: Periods 3, 4
Dec 18: Periods 5,6 

Pinnacle - December 17-18
Dec 17: Periods 1, 3, 5
Dec 18: Periods 4, 6

Friday, December 12                      2pm to 7pm
Saturday, December 13                  9am to 4pm
Sunday, December 14                    Noon to 4pm
For finals appointments you can e-mail Deana Aller, SEC Director of Operations, at admin@sectutoring.com
with a requested subject, time, day and tutor or call 
480-538-0828.  ACT NOW as times will fill fast.  

Don't wait until the day before your final to get help.  Start early.  Last day for regular SEC tutoring is Thursday, December 18, 2014. 


Dec Events

 December Payment Due

Sat 12/1


SEC Private High School Test Class
Sat 12/6


 Official SAT Test 
Sat 12/6
    SAT/ACT Practice Test 
Sat 12/6
9:00 am 

 Finals Review Schedule    
Fri  12/12  to Sun  12/14
(see info above)

         Winter Break 
   Fri 12/19/14 Through 
Sun 1/4/15

 (Scottsdale Education Center will be closed) 


happy holidays



As a reminder, Scottsdale Education Center will be closed from Friday, December 19, 2014 to Sunday, January 4, 2015.  We hope all SEC families will have a blessed, restful and peaceful holiday break.  May all the children be gifted with enriched curiosity and a thirst for knowledge in the coming year.  - Kim and David Duckworth

What does it take to get into Stanford University/Ivy League schools?

There is no pure magic formula....no valedictorian stripe, GPA, SAT/ACT score, or number of AP tests that guarantee you a spot at the most elite schools in the world. It is a special combination of things that earns one that admission letter. Stanford University in the last 5 years has rejected 69% of students that applied with perfect 2400 SAT scores. Having worked with numerous students that have gotten into Stanford and Ivy League schools I will say that although it is difficult to define in a few words.....perhaps like trying to explain quantum physics in three words or less........it is possible to identify it when you see it. Here are a few of the consistent qualities of students that I have seen admitted to the most elite schools in the nation:

1) Demonstrated passion - An almost obsessive ...megalomaniac....driving interest that takes up many hours a week outside of studies......the first thing that they think of in the morning and the last thing they think of at night.....and something that wakes them up in between. Students that I have helped get admitted to elite universities have been Olympic Trials qualifiers with 4.8 GPAs and SAT tests over 2000, another had multiple audiences with the Dali Lhama while espousing a love for salsa dancing, another played softball but had a passion for chemistry, another had perfect ACT scores and SAT Subject test scores while spending hours behind a telescope in their back yard, another was a valedictorian at a large public school who had an amazing sense of humor and was a Science Olympiad fanatic, another was by all accounts a tap dancing/math nerd who was getting her Equity card while reading Astro-physics magazines backstage, another was an international chess champion who also fenced, another had published an article in a national magazine but was struggling a bit with her Calc class, another had participated in an internship at T-Gen and had become one of the authors of a paper being published in a medical review, another.....as you can see.....passion motivated by a love for something not "required or recommended by school" but because they LOVED it.

2) Know who they are -
Without reservation students with Ivy League aspirations have direction......they may not know exactly what they are going to major in but they have shown that they know their own strengths and weaknesses and have not followed the pack, but rather their hearts. Not only do they know who they are.....they are not afraid or can not be intimidated away from being that core individual. It may not be cool in some places to be a Highlands Scottish dancer, especially if you are a boy......the kilt and all.....but if they love it and have become accomplished at it,...... they proclaim it.....they may teach it.....they become virtuosos at it. They may have a celtic knot bumper sticker on their car. They don't care what others think because they are set on being one of the best in the world at it.

Other key factors include:
3) Academic Vitality- #Curiosity-
4) Rigor of Study
5) Commitment to Excellence
7) Essay Voice
8) Leadership
9) Genuine Pursuit
10) Uniqueness
11) Sports and Legacy factor

In This Issue
Quick Links
SAT Sign Up
 ACT Sign Up
SEC Website
Stay Connected

SAT/ACT/HSPT Free Testing EVENT - 


December 6, 

9:00 am - 12:45 pm

To register 

call Deana 

at 480-538-0828

Testing starts at 9:00

Bring a calculator, water and snack.

(HSPT - 2 hours 45 mins. NO Calculator allowed)

The next SAT class starts Tues, Jan 6th 


The next ACT class starts Jan 12th.  

Call now for detailed schedule and to reserve a seat.


High School 

Placement Test - 


Review Class, 

Saturday, Dec 6th.


SEC is going green with paperless statements and invoices.  If you are not on automatic credit card payment, you will receive your monthly statements via email and not in the mail.  Make sure we have your preferred email on file.