Dr. Pace Test Prep/SAT Retreat

Dr. Pace's Updated Instructional Products

Last of the Dragon Slayers
Dr. Pace's Book:
The Last of the Dragon Slayers: The Ultimate Guides to Personal Best Performance

Dr. Pace's CD: Tests, Learning, Talent: Slaying Dragons
Dr. Pace's CD:
Tests, Learning, Talent: Slaying Dragons

vocabulary flashcards
Vocabulary Flash Cards

Math Flash Cards:
for High School Entrance and Scholarship Tests

SAT® Retreat

Improving SAT® scores by Promoting Health of
Body, Mind, Emotions, and Spirit

Many factors affect how students perform on the SAT® exam. These factors can be divided into two groups:

  1. academic factors: knowing the information
  2. non-academic factors: test anxiety, distractions, fatigue, bodily habits, mental blocks, and low confidence

Courses that deal with SAT® academics are common. However, programs that offer real help with the non-academic factors are not generally available, even though these factors significantly affect performance by robbing test takers of the clarity they need to access and use stored information. Popular test prep seminars and books at best only superficially mention non-academic factors. For example, “Don’t be nervous” is good but useless advice unless students are guided through the actual steps of “how” not to be nervous. 

In addition to introducing a remarkably powerful, sacred approach to academics, the SAT® Retreat workbook effectively treats the non-academic factors. Specifically, by incorporating lessons from the rich storehouse of spiritual tradition, the workbook teaches students “how” to deal with those non-academic factors that influence their performance on the high stakes SAT® test.


SAT Retreat:
Integrates Faith and Academics


"I really LOVED this program and recommend that everyone in the U.S. takes it."
Teron Dow, St. Joe's Prep, class of 2011

"The PSATs were not scary this year. All I remember from last year is the stomach ache I had because I so nervous about the test and how I was panicky and anxious the whole time. This year I wanted it to be a good day, so I made it one. I did all of the sleeping and eating tips for the week before and morning of the test, came to school early and after doing the some breathing exercises in chapel, pulled out a coloring book which helped relax me before the test. When the time came for the test I was calm, confident, ready, and I really felt a difference. It was so much easier when I thought about the strategies and realized that the knowledge is there, I just had to be calm to unlock it. I only left one blank on the whole test compared to the five from last year. I think I did really well and can't wait to get my scores back!" - Kristina Robold, Nazareth Academy, class of 2012 - PSAT score increase of 210 points and a National Merit Scholarship candidate

"Dr. Pace, your SAT Prep/Retreat experience not only raised my SAT score by a critical thirty points--placing me in Penn's SAT range--but also, the program--specifically the retreat component--helped me utilize my creative strengths and include them in my application. Through your guidance in the retreat and class I was able to identify my strengths and fully understand my positive academic qualities and characteristics. My essays reflected these characteristics and fortes, and I believe that this was a key component in obtaining an acceptance to my first choice college!

I greatly appreciate all of your help and guidance with the SAT program and also your continued support and prayers. Your guidance not only helped to raise my SAT scores, but helped me remain focused throughout the year in school, with my athletics and extracurricular activities, and college applications. Thank you so much for all you have done for me and I wish you a most Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"             - Eric Skoritowski, Saint Joseph's Prep, 2010

"Pat's SAT Retreat program assures uncertain students that they have what it takes for the grueling SAT exam. The program encourages them to reach the peak of their potential by teaching them traditional spiritual techniques not only to reduce anxiety but also to engage the positive energies that are gifts from their Creator. Students learn, moreover, how to prepare in the weeks leading up to the SAT, just as an athlete might prepare for competition, making use of proper diet, exercise and rest. Their interest in achievement on the SAT encourages students to learn important spiritual skills that will be with them for life." - George W. Bur, S.J., President of St. Joseph's Preparatory School, Philadelphia, and founder of the Ignatian College Connection Program:

"Dr. Pace exudes a genuine love for the students which is palpable. This love, I believe, breaks down barriers and encourages the students to trust the instructor and to trust the material. Beyond this human experience of love and trust, Dr. Pace invites the students to trust their knowledge and abilities.”   - Mimi Limbach, Community Partners Coordinator at the Faith-Justice Institute, St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia

"I have worked with the SAT Retreat for more than four years. I continue to be amazed at the increase in scores earned by the students. My experience with the retreat has been in two different schools, one urban, the other suburban; yet the results were comparable. In both schools the SAT Retreat helped increase the number of students recognized by National Merit. However, the greatest benefit of the SAT Retreat is that it puts this high pressure test in the proper perspective. Students are reminded of the gifts they have been given and that they are not approaching the test alone but with God's help. I am so grateful to Dr. Pace. Her SAT Retreat has enabled me to put a Catholic perspective on this high pressure test." - Mary Harkins, Principal of Archbishop Wood High School, Philadelphia, PA

"My daughter Meghan took Dr. Pace's SAT Prep Course and SAT Retreat to increase her PSAT scores. Her goal was to qualify for National Merit recognition. Meghan found the SAT Retreat very innovative and interesting and really enjoyed learning the different strategies and approaches Dr. Pace introduced to the class. I think these courses provided her with the confidence and focus to do her personal best, and, yes, she did reach her National Merit goal." - Mrs. Check, Nazareth Academy Parent

"This past year I participated in Dr. Pace's SAT Seminar, the SAT Retreat, and Essay Prep Class in preparation for the PSAT and SAT. I feel that these courses were valuable tools in achieving my goal of National Merit recognition and subsequently increasing my SAT scores. Dr. Pace's classes were very enjoyable and benefited each person individually. I left the class more confident in my ability to succeed, and recommend this course highly." - Meghan Check, Nazareth Academy '08

"Dr. Pace's SAT classes and SAT Retreat were honestly some of the best classes that I've taken in high school. Not only were her SAT classes extremely enlightening and helpful, but they were also very enjoyable and something that I always looked forward to. Her SAT Retreat was also a vital class that helped me not only on the SATs, but also in school in general. She helped me recognize that God is there with me, by my side, as I take the daunting test, and therefore should not be as anxious and apprehensive. This allowed me to take the test with an unperturbed mind that allowed me to do the best that I could. I definitely could not have gotten a 630 point increase without her classes." - James Won, Cardinal Dougherty High School class of 2007, University of Pennsylvania

"Dr. Pace's SAT program was a Godsend! Knowing that my SAT scores did not reflect my capabilities, Dr. Pace worked with me over the school year in the SAT Retreat portion of her program. During the retreat sessions, Dr. Pace really helped me focus on attaining the best possible SAT score and she also played a vital role in giving me the confidence I needed to attack every SAT question. During the summer of my Sophomore year, we met again to review test taking strategies and the results speak for themselves. I scored a 720 in critical reading and a 730 in writing, my two weakest subjects. Over all, I had a 300 point increase from my PSATs. In addition to this great point increase, I was accepted to all of my top choices, including Penn, Princeton, Yale, and Harvard. I can't imagine how this could all be possible without Dr. Pace's guidance within the classroom, and her inspiring words and support following the seminars." - Tam Nguyen, Cardinal Dougherty High School class of 2007, Yale University

"Dr. Pace's classes not only prepared me academically for the SATs, but they also prepared me mentally and emotionally.  I gained a strong background from her courses in both the content of the test and study/relaxation techniques that enabled me to enter the test confidently." - Eva Liggett, Harvard University, Mt. Saint Joseph Academy Class of 2005

High Schools that have offered the SAT® Retreat include:


By emphasizing physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual preparedness, the SAT® Retreat perfectly complements an academic seminar.

"As a Catholic educator, I have always believed that it is my privilege and responsibility to educate the whole person. Dr. Pace’s SAT Retreat enables me to do just that. As part of my academic SAT Prep instruction, the SAT Retreat is an invaluable component, inspiring students to gather their energies and focus them in a powerful yet relaxed manner. Subsequently, the students awaken within themselves a wide realm of possibilities and personal potential. Hence, by harnessing their energies and creating a balance in their lives, they open themselves to success on three levels: spiritual, intellectual, and physical." - Sister Ingrid Schweikart, SSJ, Archbishop Wood High School

"Last year's group said that the program was very beneficial. Many were nervous. Some were so bad I received calls to do the relaxation exercises over the phone to help them. The students all said that if nothing else it helped them calm down and do their best work. I loved how some said they never thought about bringing God into the equation. Some felt it was good to remember that God was with them. All except one said they used what they had learned during the test. I had one student who is usually a very hard sell say that he could not believe how good he felt after the program. He has diabetes and this helped him tremendously. When he gets anxious his legs stiffen up and he is in excruciating pain. He did well during the test. As a facilitator for this program I have found it enriching. I had test anxiety for one of my courses recently and used the methods in the book to calm myself down...It worked. I am not a good test taker so I see the benefits of this program. I personally felt spiritually enriched." - Bernadette Kapps, Religion Teacher for grades 7-12, Rome Catholic, Rome, NY

"Seeing the SAT in the way it is presented in the SAT Retreat is amazing. You really learn about yourself. The test is so much more than those three scores. It is about learning who you are, accepting yourself, and working toward your personal best. I feel at ease with the SAT now and how I view my life and how I want to live. I will always be grateful to Dr. Pace and this retreat for opening my eyes." - Mary Kate Kaminski, 11th grade, St. Basil Academy