Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good ACT/SAT score?
There is no exact answer to this question. It depends on which colleges you are interested in attending. We can help determine the average score range for your chosen universities in order to set a goal. Additionally, some universities have scholarship money available for certain ACT/SAT scores. The national average in 2019 was 21 for ACT and 1059 for SAT.
How many ACT/SAT prep sessions will my student need?
The answer depends on a student’s starting score and desired goal. Students have the option to take a full diagnostic test to determine their starting score (some students may choose to use their pre-ACT/SAT scores taken at school). Tests will be analyzed by our tutors and a scheduling plan will be determined. On average, our students require eight to ten sessions with one of our language arts tutors (covering English and reading) and six to eight with one of our math and science tutors, but this varies depending on the individual needs of the student. You are not required to sign up for a minimum number of sessions and will pay on a weekly basis. Our tutors will keep you up to date on students’ progress and the time needed.
Do you guarantee an ACT/SAT score increase?
Many factors impact a student’s score. While we have had great success in helping students raise their scores, we cannot control every aspect of the test-taking environment. We have taken every ACT test released over the past 19 years and understand that test difficulty levels vary from test to test. This is why we recommend students take a test more than once. Additionally, time is a significant factor for many students, and while we work on effective time management strategies, some students require significant time to process the information presented. Test-taking anxiety, learning style, learning challenges and the ability to understand complex material all have an impact on scores. We will work closely with families to help them understand student's progress.
What is the average ACT score increase?
Since every student is unique, averages do not always illustrate the full picture. Some learners will see significant gains, some up to ten points! Other students have struggled with standardized tests throughout their schooling and may see strong gains in some test areas, but struggle with others. On average, our students will see a three to five-point overall score improvement. However, beginning in September 2020, students will be able to retake individual sections of the tests separately, and since student subtest scores often improve by five to eight points or more, we anticipate this will significantly enhance a student’s overall score. Additionally, we pride ourselves on not only raising scores but enhancing a student’s academic skills and confidence. All of our strategies are designed to help students excel on the test and enhance academic achievement.
My student is taking the SAT at school. Should he/she take the ACT or SAT?
We can help determine which test is the best fit. Both tests cover similar skills; however, strategies and timing will vary. Students scoring in the average ranges tend to find the ACT is a more manageable test. Though time can be tight on the ACT, the difficulty of the material on the SAT is a challenge for some learners. SAT uses more complex language and questions to assess a deeper level of understanding. A higher level of problem-solving is necessary to determine what the question is asking and determine correct responses, requiring students to think in a more flexible and open-ended way. ACT is more straightforward and easier to decipher for many students. However, many students will excel on SAT, and all Illinois public school students are required to take the SAT in April, so we work with students to help them understand the different strategies required to enable them to succeed on both formats.
How much work is required outside of the tutoring sessions for test prep?
The tutoring process is a staircase, not an escalator. Raising a score takes consistent practice and effort. We provide the steps to get to the top of the staircase, but the student needs to provide the energy and effort to climb the stairs. We will provide the homework practice, strategies for timing, and individualized practice activities; we depend on the students to do the weekly homework in order to see an increase in their scores. Our strategies and focused practice, when completed, have helped hundreds of students increase their scores. You can anticipate 40-60 minutes each for language arts/science and math practice tests per week and additional practice activities may also be assigned.
My child is not a good test taker and struggles with test anxiety. What do I do?
Building confidence in each student’s own abilities is a huge part of our business. Let’s face it. These timed tests are stressful! We will help the students understand where their strengths lie, practice strategies to strengthen weaker areas, and help manage stress during the test. We discuss strategies to help students cope with the stress before and during the test. We also offer full, group-administered practice tests to replicate the testing environment before a student takes an official test to help build familiarity with the process and work out any roadblocks.
How much does this cost?
Our one-on-one tutoring rates are $80 per hour for ACT/SAT prep. High school classroom support starts at $80 per hour. Our elementary and junior high classroom support is $65 per hour. Full practice ACT and SAT tests are $80 and include a complete error analysis report. We accept credit cards, checks and cash, and payment is due at the time of the session. We do require a 24-hour notice on cancellations, although we understand there may be exceptions for illness or emergencies. No-show or last-minute cancellations will be charged $30.
Where are you located?
Unlike other tutors who may work in group settings or at the public library, we have quiet, private offices at 1155 South Washington in Naperville. It is a brick building just south of Gartner and the Washington shopping center containing Trader Joe’s and Colonial Cafe. It is ideal for focused, distraction-free tutoring sessions. We are also available for virtual tutoring sessions using Facetime or Zoom applications.
How do we get started?
You can call us at (331)213-9911 or email email@example.com. We will set up a weekly time with a tutor. For ACT/SAT prep, your student will be given a diagnostic test to take home to complete for homework. This test will be scored and a plan for sessions needed will be determined. Students have the choice to meet twice weekly- once with a language arts tutor and once with a math tutor or once a week with a language arts or math tutor, then switch subjects after a certain period of time. This depends on how long we have to prepare before the scheduled test.
How do I know if this is the right choice for my child?
We have many testimonials from our previous clients. We have never had to advertise our business, as our happy clients provide us a multitude of referrals! We look forward to answering any questions you may have about our programs. As there is no “one size fits all” approach, you will not be asked to sign up and pay for a huge initial package. Since our program is unique for every student, options are flexible to your budgetary and scheduling needs. We are excited to partner with you and your child!