Scores you want. Skills you need.

At Breakthrough, we are experts in teaching and testing. We are dedicated to providing students with learning solutions and techniques that will stay with them, not just through entrance exams but through their entire academic careers.

Students who have taken part in our courses have had proven success in boosting their scores and improving their study skills. We believe in nurturing each student, providing more than just academic support throughout the process. Let’s work together toward your next big achievement.

Success Stories

We have helped hundreds of students boost their scores and get accepted to top universities. Read on below to hear what parents and students had to say about their experience studying at Breakthrough.

Since going to Breakthrough for help, I’ve not only referred other students but also try and teach their techniques, such as, my favorite one, finding the thesis of a passage, to people who ask me for tips. While doing well on the SAT is not the only thing that will get a person into college, I have no doubt my performance helped me get into the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Much of my strong performance on the test can be attributed to Harriet and her teachings.

Avi G - Potomac

Harriet pushed me harder than any other teacher ever has, and it definitely proved worthwhile. I came into the program with one goal and achieved it. I will use my new flexible reading skills and strategies for deciphering vocabulary for many years to come.

Nitesh D - Rockville

My daughter Cathy is a strong student at a very competitive private school in WDC. That said, she was doing quite well on 3 out of 4 sections on the ACT. We had worked with another highly recognized tutorial test prep service in the area, but Cathy remained ‘stuck’ improving in the reading section. I went to the counselor at Cathy’s school and she said to call Harriet Broder as she’s the expert in improving students’ reading scores: She has a program that works. Even though I had spent a lot of money and time invested in this other program, I decided to call her and boy was it worth it! Cathy came home after the first lesson with a smile on her face. (She also loved working with the math/science tutor, but she only required some tweaking in those areas.) With Harriet’s guidance, she actually learned more efficient reading skills, not just strategies which were all that was previously addressed. Utlimately, she learned an amazing technique that helped her reduce the anxiety she had around being successful with the reading. Bottom line, she got her goal in just a few lessons: 21->25!

Mary A - Chevy Chase

Prior to working with Breakthrough, I was already an excellent test taker, but I wanted to push my SAT score up a notch. Standard SAT prep courses couldn't provide the specialized help necessary for me to do this. Working intensively with through a customized tutoring program, I achieved a perfect score on my SAT!

A Satisfied WJHS Student

I just want to say how much I appreciated your wonderful advice that helped me polish my college essays. I received acceptance from 7 out of the 14 colleges I applied to, including Johns Hopkins University, Rice University, Emory University, Georgetown University, NYU Stern and a full scholarship to UMD College Park.

Proven Strategies

Over 30 Years  of Experience

Our experience and dedication give us the flexibility to meet your needs

A Reputation for Excellence

We're proud to be a part of the community. Read some of the success stories from students and parents.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Breakthrough Test Prep Strategy System?

  • Teach students how to become efficient readers by developing a reading range between 300-1000 wpm depending on purpose and content.

  • Show students a way to learn and remember vocabulary by learning the most common prefixes and the most common roots – gaining a 'sense' of over 500,000 words!

  • Teach students techniques to reduce test-taking anxiety.

  • Provide students with a step-by-step approach to the critical reading beginning how to find the thesis as well as the “Post-it Note Technique” to provide clarity of focus. 

  • Cue in on the equations and concepts on every SAT or ACT.

  • Focus on an awareness of test format to maximize scores.

  • Learn the 20 most frequently tested grammar rules on both the SAT and ACT.

  • Learn the essence of the ACT math and science by learning - cut through the jargon and create a customized strategy based on efficient pacing techniques

Which test should my teen take (and when)?

We can help answer that for you using our proprietary assessments, developed to accurately determine which is the better test for your teen.

How do you know how many lessons are required?

The optimum number of lessons is determined by the information provided in the assessments and profiles, as well as the intended test date. Rather than a one-size-fits-all program, we call our approach Tuition Based on Potential Score Goal.

Do you guarantee that your students will improve?

We cannot guarantee performance, but we DO guarantee that the strategies and techniques taught use when applied. The majority of our students experience a minimum improvement of 40-120 points per section on the SAT (3-6 points on the ACT).

See the FAQ page for more information

Do you offer in-person lessons?

Yes - we will work with your schedule to provide one-on-one, in-person lessons at our office in Potomac.