Congratulations on your decision to prepare formally for the ACT! Like the SAT, the ACT is a highly coachable test. This means you can benefit directly from the experience and advice of others who have taken it, and more so from those who have studied the ACT and mastered it.
We have spent 20 years researching the ACT along with other standardized tests. We have used the knowledge and experience we gained over the years to evolve a prep program that optimizes scores by empowering students to exploit the test's inherent weaknesses and limitations – something all standardized tests have. For example, the ACT is a faster test than the SAT, meaning that the test taker must answer more questions per hour. However, this also means that the questions on the ACT are less involved, so that speedy or readily apparent solutions are always possible. A student who has practiced these kind of "high velocity" responses is therefore in a better position to score higher on all parts of the ACT. Also the ACT requires you to know a little about a lot (in contrast to the SAT) which means a concentration on the basics, or fundamental principles, best prepares you for responding successfully to a greater number of questions.
We are confident we can make your ACT experience more positive and successful – even more enjoyable. Our prep course combines lecture, concept exploration, guided practice, and computerized score projection, all of which enables you to measure your progress hour by hour. To succeed in raising your ACT scores, all you need is 24 hours and a desire for excellence. We'll supply the rest! Click on any of the programs below to see the dates and times our ACT prep courses are running. Tuition includes all books and other training materials. If you need more information about the course and would like to talk to an instructor directly, please call us at 540-313-4344. Also, we ask that you please keep in mind that our small classes of 4-5 students fill up quickly, so enrolling early is recommended – you can always cancel later if you decide not to attend.
24-hour ACT Prep Course - 12 weeks, 1 day per week, $1,400. Unlike the SAT, the ACT is a fast-paced, skill-oriented standardized test, where the emphasis is on speed and proper execution rather than on interpretation and reasoning. This course will familiarize you with all four areas of the ACT (math, science, reading, and English) and present techniques for controlling errors as you learn to manage both the test and the clock.
Note: If you decide to take the SAT instead (or wish to take both) you can click here to learn more about our SAT prep options!
Q: Why should I take your prep course instead of someone else's?
A: We are a family owned and operated, neighborhood prep service, with full-time, dedicated instructors and a long history of helping students out-perform their peers on standardized tests. Typically our ACT prep students add 6 to 8 points to their scores in each of at least 3 of the four test areas, some more. We succeed where others don't because we micro-manage our student's preparation using a team of instructors to assess strengths and weaknesses from multiple perspectives and then formulate appropriate action plans. Our goal is not to make everyone perfect but to optimize everyone's potential. We would say the most critical difference between us and everyone else, however, is that we care more than everyone else--at times even more than our students!
Q: Do you offer one-on-one test prep?
A: Yes, we offer both one-on-one and group sessions. It is important to note, however, that many years of experience have taught us that students benefit more from preparing for tests as part of a group rather than through one-on-one instruction. The reason for this is that standardized tests are designed to elicit a common response, one that the majority of test takers are likely to give. In contrast, one-on-one tutoring tends to focus on the individual, whose understanding or test approaches may or may not conform to general thinking. That's why we offer both one-on-one tutorials to those who desire more personalized coaching, and small group tutorials for those want to benefit from the responses of others but still have access to one-to-one instruction as needed.
Q: Why don't you guarantee a minimum score increase like some of the other prep services?
A: Typically such guarantees promise you a free second prep if you don't improve your score by some minimum number of points. Generally our students won't need a second prep because we do everything we can to prepare them optimally the first time. While it is true that any number of factors may contribute to a bad test day (illness, a bad break-up, calculator failure, someone coughing beside you, and so on), the quality of the student's prep course should never be one of them. Moreover, since all of your test scores could become a permanent part of your college admission record, we won't recommend you even sit for your test at the conclusion of your prep unless your practice scores are consistently higher than when you started. And if not, we will invite you to continue practicing testing with us at no charge until you are completely ready...and we won't rest until you are. That's our guarantee.
Q: What can I reasonably expect from this prep?
A: As a result of taking our ACT prep, you will experience greater facility with interpreting test questions, more efficiency in managing time, a reduced rate of error, and an overall increase in confidence, all of which will translate to higher test scores. Students also report a heightened awareness in the classroom and greater focus academically after taking our prep. The latter comes about as a result of learning how to generalize concepts and to anticipate what information will most likely feature on tests and quizzes. Frequently our students (and their parents) tell us their grades have improved noticeably since taking our prep course – not our primary goal but it certainly doesn't hurt.
Q: What if I want to retake the test to score even higher?
A: Then you're welcome to continue practicing with us; however, we recommend you retake the test only if your practice scores indicate a moderate to significant increase, as all of your test scores may potentially have to be reported to each of your prospective colleges. This may happen because your math score on one test might be higher than another and vice versa with your English score, or because your school may require all scores from all tests. What's more, if your scores with repeated testing actually show little to no change in an area, it may lead admission committees to see your test performance as a definite average rather than a sample score from a broader range of possible scores. Therefore, a good rule of thumb with standardized testing is: prepare maximally, test minimally
Q: What is the format of the class?
A: The class is a combination of three main activities: lecture, which involves the instructor presenting a topic and giving examples; guided practice, which means students practice techniques or skills under the auspices of the instructor; and computer assisted testing, in which students take practice tests under realistic conditions, whose results are then scored, projected, and scaled by computer.
Q: Is the Writing portion of the ACT covered in this prep?
A: Actually, the writing portion of the ACT is optional (check with your school to see if they require a Writing subtest) and the prep for this is not part of our course. However, for those students who want to take the Writing subtest as well, we offer hourly block
Q: Do I need to bring anything to class?
A: Only your calculator if you intend to use one for the math portion of your prep. Otherwise, everything is provided, including your textbook and supplemental training materials. Of course, if you want you are welcome to bring your own pencils, pens, paper, etc.
Q: What if I have a specific difficulty with reading or math?
A: Usually we address specific problems as you progress through your prep. If, however, we determine that you have deficiencies in any area that may take too much time to address comfortably within the dates of your prep, we may recommend you sign up with us for concurrent tutoring. This is done on an prepaid, hourly basis, and we will indicate at the time how many tutoring hours we think you'll need--typically only a few are necessary for any particular deficiency. In the meantime you can continue with your prep since it is customized in the first place to match your specific needs. In cases where the deficiency is more extensive, we may recommend postponing your prep until it is resolved. In such cases we will transfer your registration and tuition to the next available prep session at no additional charge.
Q:What if I miss a class?
A:The prep classes are designed for continuity, but occasionally students miss class due to illness, traffic, or other unexpected occurrences. Whenever this happens, we do our best to see that these students catch up quickly, which may involve attending class at another time, communicating with the instructor via email, or staying longer for several remaining classes. While will do our best to accommodate such special circumstances, it is wise to keep in mind that prep outcomes are highly dependent on consistent attendance, so that you should be certain and realistic when committing to a prep schedule at the outset – and strive accordingly to minimize absences.
Q:What if I take your prep course and my scores don't improve, or even go down?
A:That would be a very unusual event, and one likely related to illness or fatigue on the day of the exam, but it doesn't mean you need to repeat the prep course before retaking the test. Nevertheless, you should continue to practice concepts and test strategies up to the time you do retake. In such cases we will invite you to continue practice testing with us, so that we can stand by to offer reinforcement and guidance as needed. Usually there will be no fee for this unless additional tutoring or postponement of the test was part of our earlier recommendation.