SAT ‘Prep Matters’ course available for college-bound students at UMaine Hutchinson Center

Belfast, Maine — Preparation for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) will be the focus of 12 weekly classes at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center beginning Sept. 10. The class, taught by Mary Smyth, will be held each Sunday, 2-4 p.m.

The course, called Prep Matters, is designed for high school sophomores and juniors, as well as seniors who plan to retake the SAT in December.

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 has been teaching math at Watershed School in Camden for 10 years and has coached SAT prep for 12 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 course fee is $500 per student for a 12-week preparation in the verbal, math and essay portions of the test; $300 for a 12-week preparation in either the math or verbal portions of the test. Register online at

Need-based 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 university, with research and community engagement classifications awarded by the Carnegie Foundation. UMaine is among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast and attracts students from Maine and 49 other states, and 63 countries. It currently enrolls 11,219 total undergraduate and graduate students who can directly participate in groundbreaking research working with world-class scholars. The University of Maine offers 35 doctoral degrees, 85 master’s degrees, and 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. For more information about UMaine, visit