Prep Class FAQs
How many students per class?
Some classes are smaller than others, but we never take more than 20 students per class. We have a six student minimum for all SAT and ACT classes.
When does registration open?
We open registration about a month before classes begin.
We are going to miss a class. How can we make it up?
Students who are unable to attend a class, may come early or stay after the following session to ask questions and discuss key concepts with their instructor. Additionally, we have video lessons for key topics.
What is your average score improvement?
Score improvement depends primarily on student effort. You wouldn’t expect the student who misses class or never does homework to get results.
Typically students who attend all the classes, take the practice tests, complete all the homework, and put effort into their work improve by 3-4 points total (composite score) on the ACT and 100 points per section (200 points total) on the SAT. Of course, that is an average—some students do even better and others may not improve as much.
My son/daughter needs to work on one or two sections; can he/she just attend that part of the course?
We strongly encourage students to attend ALL class meetings.
However, your child’s attendance is up to you. We don’t encourage students to skip classes. Often it is easier for students to improve in their strongest subjects. For example, a student who is already scoring well in English may come to ACT class to focus on math. By learning additional techniques she may improve her English score by 5 points and only improve by 2 points in math where she struggles.
Do you offer a guarantee?
We know a lot of the “big box” test prep companies offer a score improvement guarantee. Start reading some of these “guarantees” and you will find a lot of fine print. We don’t want to mislead you with sales gimmicks and fine print.
We are confident enough in the program to offer a money back guarantee. Start the program. Take a close look at the materials. If you don’t like what you see after the first lesson, you can request a refund on the remaining classes.
Keep in mind the ACT and SAT are performance based activities. It is almost impossible to guarantee how someone will perform on a given day. No one can guarantee test results. Think of test prep like working with a trainer at the gym. Part of the client’s success comes from the information and inspiration provided by the trainer, but the client still has to do the work.
Will College Prep’s SAT course prepare me for the PSAT?
Yes! The PSAT is a shorter version of the SAT and doesn’t have a written essay component. The rest of the questions on the PSAT are just like those on the SAT, so our SAT programs will help you address the subject matter, test strategies, question types, and overall approach.
How are your classes different from other test prep companies?
The short answer is
- Our class structure mirrors the test. Our class is structured just like the ACT / SAT. Students learn to focus on one subject for an extended time, but are also required to switch topics in class (just as they will switch section on the exam.)
- All our instructors are test prep professionals with years of educational experience. We will never have a college kid trained on a workbook teaching for us.
- You get one instructor for the entire class. Yes, our instructors are experts in the entire test: Math, Reading, grammar, date interpretation, and the essay. We don’t ask you to switch teachers each time, so you can ask questions anytime; you don’t have to wait for math day!
- Our program was designed by a nationally recognized expert. Megan Dorsey’s test prep advice has been featured on CBS, NBC, Wall Street Journal, Education Weekly and many other sources. Megan even teaches some of the classes (mostly Sundays). You won’t get that with other test prep companies.
- We are a locally owned and operated business. We offer expert instructors and proven materials at a competitive price because we aren’t paying franchise fees or high overhead. We do a lot to give back to educational efforts in the community.
What are the available locations?
Greatwood Rec Center (Sunday afternoons) near the intersection of 59 & Grand Parkway.
General SAT / ACT FAQs
When should I take the ACT or SAT?
You should take the ACT and/or SAT at least once during your junior year of high school. Most students take their choice of test two or three times their junior year and try to have all testing done by August of their senior year.
When should I prepare for the ACT or SAT?
Any time after your sophomore year of high school. It is best to prepare right before you take the test because the material will be fresh and your test taking skills will be at their peak.
Do all colleges accept the ACT?
Yes! In fact some schools will take the ACT in place of the SAT + SAT Subject Tests, so the ACT might save you from two separate College Board tests.
Parents might remember a time years ago where certain universities only accepted the SAT, but for over 10 years any college that requires standardized admissions tests will take either the ACT or SAT with no preference given to either one.
Which Test: SAT or ACT?
For a detailed analysis, read the full article on our blog: ACT or SAT: Which Test is Better?
There is no simple answer. Any college or university asking for standardized test scores will accept EITHER exam– no preference is given to one or the other. (You will find Texas historically was an SAT state while the ACT was more popular in the mid-west, but those are old divisions.)
Some students will do better on one test than the other, but neither is easy. Most student have similar scores on the SAT and ACT.
Other Considerations (ACT vs. SAT):
Ignore the old rumors that say one test is more like school or the other test is better for students applying to highly-selective universities. These rumors are NOT true. Both tests are challenging. Both tests are equally weighed by any college asking for standardized test scores.
The difference comes down to personal preference. Here are some practical considerations to guide your decision:
- Compare scores from previous or practice tests. Make sure you are using NEW SAT scores not old ones. You can use this concordance table from College Board.
- If you haven’t taken either test, obtain an official full-length practice test at no cost from your guidance counseling office at school.
- Does one test offer a better format? Some students like the predictability of the ACT. Others prefer the shorter sections of the SAT. This is a personal preference.
- Does one test / class better meet your schedule? Check for conflicts with school holidays, sports or extracurricular, and family activities.
Unless your previous scores say otherwise, go with your gut. Take the test that feels most comfortable to you.
I have a learning difference. Can I get accommodations on the ACT/SAT?
Yes, students with documented needs (physical or mental) can receive accommodations on the ACT and/or SAT, but you need to contact ACT and College Board directly and present appropriate documentation. The process can take weeks and not every student is approved. For additional details see the ACT’s information for Requesting Accommodations and College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities page.
What is the PSAT and do I need to take it?
The PSAT is given each year in October and it serves two purposes: to qualify students for National Merit Scholarships (junior year only) & to offer students and parents feedback on potential SAT scores, strengths, and weaknesses. For more information on who needs to take the PSAT see Frequently Asked Questions about the PSAT and National Merit Scholarships.
How do colleges look at my scores when I take the ACT or SAT more than once?
Colleges expect students to take the ACT or SAT more than once. Don’t panic that schools may see your lower scores; they are looking for and focus on your best score. Colleges will determine your best score in one of two ways:
- Best total score from a single test date, or
- Best reading, math, and writing scores even if individual scores are taken from different test dates. (This method is called “superscoring.”)
Can I keep taking the SAT / ACT until I get the score I want?
Taking the test over and over will not increase your score. Before you take the ACT or SAT for a third or fourth time you should change your preparation strategy — take a prep course or refresher, study new material, or implement a new approach. With proper preparation, it may be a good idea to re-take the SAT if you were unhappy with your previous scores.
When I sign up to take the test they ask for four college or scholarship codes. I’m not sure where I will apply; should I send scores?
When registering for the SAT or ACT students are given four score reports which can be sent to any college or scholarship program. These reports must be requested when registering for the test. Additional score reports requested later at an additional cost.
Unless you are a high school senior who knows every school to which you will apply AND you need the scores sent immediately, most students choose not to use the four reports included with their exam registration. This allows you the freedom to see your results and decide when or if you want to send that score to the schools on your list.
I’m on reduced lunch at school. Is there a discount on SAT/ ACT registration fees?
Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch can receive a fee waiver to cover the cost of testing. Students who use a fee waiver to take the SAT/ Act qualify for three waivers of college application fees. See your high school guidance counselor for more information.
What are the SAT Subject Tests and do I need to take them?
SAT Subject Tests are exams designed to test knowledge in a specific subject area such as math, biology, US history, or Spanish. The SAT Subject Tests are required/ recommended by a few highly selective schools.
Often the best time to take the Subject Test is sophomore or junior year, before any decisions have been made about where to apply to college. To be on the safe side, any student even considering these highly selective schools should take the Subject Tests.
The best time to take a subject test is immediately upon completion of that specific course. For example, a sophomore who has just completed AP World History and AP Biology, might take those two Subject Tests in May or June of sophomore year, because that is when he/ she will know the material the best. (NOTE: prep for an AP exam is NOT the same as prep for a SAT Subject Test; you should know the format and tested content of EACH.) Juniors should take math and any other subjects they are completing in May or June of the junior year.