Frequently Asked Questions
Courses

Because we provide each student with comprehensive and individualized instruction, we prefer to group students of different levels together. Over the years we have found that this reduces the self-consciousness of some students and the arrogance of others while stimulating natural, healthy competition. It also ensures that no assumptions are made about a student’s skill level and that all students can perform at their best of their ability. Moreover, we prefer to set up the teaching atmosphere in the same way as the testing atmosphere, in which students will not be sitting in skill level groups.

We create WhatsApp groups for each class, and both parents and students are welcome to join. We will post important announcements, links to resources, additional tips, and assignments on the group chat, so we highly recommend that you be a part of it. We also communicate individually with parents via email or phone as needed to assure that their student’s best interest is served.

Yes! Students (and adults) get bored if every assignment is a reading exercise, all classes are lectures, and every learning activity is the same. So, we regularly deliver information to our students in a “mix” that includes reading, lectures, discussions, and in-person consultations. We give immediate feedback to students on their performance on writing prompts and tests – this can occur in person or through email, phone calls, or WhatsApp messages.

All four-year universities accept both the SAT and the ACT. They are given a conversion table that allows them to compare applicant scores fairly. Nationwide, all institutions view PSAT National Merit scholar ratings as criteria for college acceptance and scholarship awards. Students cannot receive National Merit rankings without taking the PSAT and SAT. The SAT is unofficially “preferred” at schools in New York, Massachusetts, California, at Ivy Leagues, and at other high-caliber colleges. Meanwhile, the ACT is a required component of some states’ high school transcript records. 

In short, we recommend that every student prepare for and take both the SAT/PSAT and the ACT. Here are the two main reasons why:

New Skill Set: By taking ACT and SAT prep courses, students naturally develop a combined skill set that maximizes potential scores on both tests. Studies, including one that followed a group of students through the preparation and 2014 testing process, indicate that of the students who took only the ACT prep course, 35% scored in the top 3%. On the other hand, of the students that took prep courses for both the SAT and ACT, 65% achieved scores in the top 3%. The students who took courses to prepare for both tests were the ones who achieved the highest scores.

Scholarship Opportunities: The better test results achieved by taking both ACT and SAT prep courses increase scholarship opportunities (not just National Merit Scholarships!).

We keep our in-person classes at 12-15 students and our online classes at 8-10 students in order to give students the attention you are paying for and to assure them that they each get the opportunity to participate. We care about each student’s results —partly because their results are our reputation, and ultimately because our teaching hearts are rewarded when they succeed.

We use two workbooks—Book A and Book B—for every course. We cover a little material from both books during each class, and we assign some math, reading, and/or writing homework from the books OR a practice essay at the end of each session.* In the following class we review the previous session’s homework assignment before moving on to new material. 

* Look below to learn more about our practice essay assignments.

We deliver our courses in two formats: instruction and testing. All instruction is done through live in-class discussions and explanations of questions from our provided workbooks. Testing is done via practice exams extracted from previously administered tests. Below is a brief overview of the three steps which our SAT and ACT prep courses follow:

One Diagnostic Test: We use a diagnostic test as a tool to assess the student’s level of knowledge and test-taking abilities before our classes even begin. The diagnostic test score serves as a baseline measurement to analyze student progress through the course. That way, students can see how much they improved in just a matter of weeks!

Learning and Instruction: We spend the bulk of our course teaching students material that will be tested on the ACT and SAT, providing them with test-taking strategies, and practicing with sections of real exams. We teach math in every session and rotate all other topics. We also give around one hour worth of homework each week.

Practice, Practice, Practice: At the end of the ACT and SAT classes, students take practice tests each week so that they can compare their diagnostic test results to subsequent test scores and monitor their progress. The more times these tests are taken, the more comfortable students become with them and the better scores they achieve.

A lot! Classes are taught in a question and answer format and each student is called upon to participate. We are observant in class and watch as well as listen for indications that a student may be confused about or behind in a topic. In those cases, we initiate discussion and if needed, we offer to schedule a phone call outside of class to make a plan to help the student succeed. We also respond to student emails and text messages within 24 hours. After all, we want all of our students to shine!

Absolutely! We believe that all students should write the optional essay on both the ACT and the SAT. Thus, we teach students the tips and tricks needed to write the best essays possible. We frequently assign essays as homework and ask our students to send them to a renowned essay-grader, who provides students with scores and video feedback on where they can make changes. This way, students can fix their mistakes and track their improvement in their writing skills. As an added bonus, the writing skills that students learn in our classes also benefit them in English classes in school. It’s a win-win!

We highly recommend that students follow our comprehensive study plan, which includes everything from downloading SAT/ACT apps with daily practice questions to reading editorials to improve vocabulary and reading skills. Students will discover that doing these things regularly will benefit them immensely on test day.

Yes! We will guide you on the best way to write an essay that truly stands out in the eyes of college admissions staff.

Absolutely! No matter what university you wish to attend, we will teach you how to submit an exceptional application with strong recommendation letters, essays, and a resume chock-full of your activities.

Of course! We understand that applying to college is a tedious and oftentimes confusing process, and we will walk you through the variety of ways (and apps) that you can use to apply for college, including the Common App, the Coalition App and so much more. And don’t worry! Rather than simply giving you a list of apps or application methods, we will teach you exactly how to use them so that you have no doubts when applying. Sounds like a good deal!

No. However, we will guide you on the best ways to receive financial aid and scholarships from colleges (and even from your high school!). We will help you maximize your ability to gain money for college so that you can minimize the amount of money that leaves your pocket.

We deliver our courses in two formats: instruction and testing. All instruction is done through live in-class discussions and explanations of questions from our provided workbooks. Testing is done via practice exams extracted from previously administered tests. Below is a brief overview of the three steps which our SAT/PSAT prep courses follow:

One Diagnostic Test: We use a diagnostic test as a tool to assess the student’s level of knowledge and test-taking abilities before our classes even begin. The diagnostic test score serves as a baseline measurement to analyze student progress through the course. That way, students can see how much they improved in just a matter of weeks!

Learning and Instruction: We spend the bulk of our course teaching students material that will be tested on the SAT/PSAT, providing them with test-taking strategies, and practicing with sections of real exams. We teach math in every session and rotate all other topics. We also give around one hour worth of homework each week.

Practice, Practice, Practice: At the end of the SAT/PSAT classes, students take practice tests each week so that they can compare their diagnostic test results to subsequent test scores and monitor their progress. The more times these tests are taken, the more comfortable students become with them and the better scores they achieve.

Absolutely! We believe that all students should write the optional essay on the SAT. Thus, we teach students the tips and tricks needed to write the best essays possible. We frequently assign essays as homework and ask our students to send them to a renowned essay-grader, who provides students with scores and video feedback on where they can make changes. This way, students can fix their mistakes and track their improvement in their writing skills. As an added bonus, the writing skills that students learn in our classes also benefit them in English classes in school. It’s a win-win!

We highly recommend that students follow our comprehensive study plan, which includes everything from downloading apps with daily practice questions to reading editorials to improve vocabulary and reading skills. Students will discover that doing these things regularly will benefit them immensely on test day.

We deliver our courses in two formats: instruction and testing. All instruction is done through live in-class discussions and explanations of questions from our provided workbooks. Testing is done via practice exams extracted from previously administered tests. Below is a brief overview of the three steps which our ACT prep courses follow:

One Diagnostic Test: We use a diagnostic test as a tool to assess the student’s level of knowledge and test-taking abilities before our classes even begin. The diagnostic test score serves as a baseline measurement to analyze student progress through the course. That way, students can see how much they improved in just a matter of weeks!

Learning and Instruction: We spend the bulk of our course teaching students material that will be tested on the ACT, providing them with test-taking strategies, and practicing with sections of real exams. We teach math in every session and rotate all other topics. We also give around one hour worth of homework each week.

Practice, Practice, Practice: At the end of the ACT classes, students take practice tests each week so that they can compare their diagnostic test results to subsequent test scores and monitor their progress. The more times these tests are taken, the more comfortable students become with them and the better scores they achieve.

Absolutely! We believe that all students should write the optional essay on the ACT. Thus, we teach students the tips and tricks needed to write the best essays possible. We frequently assign essays as homework and ask our students to send them to a renowned essay-grader, who provides students with scores and video feedback on where they can make changes. This way, students can fix their mistakes and track their improvement in their writing skills. As an added bonus, the writing skills that students learn in our classes also benefit them in English classes in school. It’s a win-win!

We highly recommend that students follow our comprehensive study plan, which includes everything from downloading apps with daily practice questions to reading editorials to improve vocabulary and reading skills. Students will discover that doing these things regularly will benefit them immensely on test day.

Duke University’s 7th Grade Talent Search seeks high-achieving 7th graders (or 8th graders who skipped a grade) who outperform their peers in academic or aptitude exams. To be eligible for this program, students must first do one of the following:

  • Score at or above the 95th percentile on an accepted grade-level standardized test or aptitude test
  • Score at or above the 95th percentile on a state exam
  • Score a 125 or above (full scale or composite) on an accepted IQ test

If you want to know which tests qualify for eligibility into the Talent Search program, take a look at this link provided by Duke TIP.

Once one of the above criteria has been met, students are then required to take an ACT or SAT exam without the essay writing section.

Have no fear! The ACT or SAT that you take in 7th grade is just a diagnostic test, meaning that your score isn’t going to go on your transcript or on your college applications. Your test scores will simply show Duke University where you stand in comparison to both high schoolers and your seventh grade peers. Although it may be intimidating to take a college entrance exam while in a room full of high schoolers, don’t feel stressed about getting a perfect score. Just try your best! You have nothing to lose.

A few weeks after taking the ACT or SAT, you will receive a score report that will show you not only your scores in every subject area but also a comparison of your scores to those of high schoolers and other seventh graders who also took the test. Depending on how high your scores are, you may be eligible for Duke TIP’s state or national recognition ceremonies and summer programs.

You guessed it! Brilliant Prep is here to prepare 7th graders for the ACT or SAT so that they can achieve the best score possible.

Well, that’s really up to you! This nifty chart will tell you some of the basics of both exams. No matter which one you choose, Brilliant Prep will be here to help you achieve success.

ACT SAT
Test Format English: 45 minutes, 75 questionsMath With a Calculator: 60 minutes, 60 questions

Reading: 35 minutes, 40 questions

Science: 35 minutes, 40 questions

*Background knowledge is not required for the science section.

Reading: 65 minutes, 52 questionsMath Without a Calculator: 25 minutes, 20 questions

Math With a Calculator: 55 minutes, 38 questions

Writing and Language: 35 minutes, 44 questions

Question Types Multiple Choice Reading and Writing and Language: Multiple choiceMath: Multiple choice and grid-ins
Penalty for Wrong Answers?  None! So, remember to answer every question! None! So, remember to answer every question!
Scoring Section Scores: The English, Math, Reading, and Science scores range from 1-36.Composite Score: Your composite ACT score is the average of your scores on each section and will range from a 1-36. Section Scores: The Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing sections are each scored on a scale of 200-800.Composite Score: Your composite SAT score is the sum of the two section scores and will range from a 400-1600.
Want More Information? http://www.act.org The College Board

 

2020 Eligibility Criteria

CEREMONY TYPE ACT SCORE SAT SCORE
State Ceremony English ≥ 22 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing ≥ 550
Math ≥ 22
Reading ≥ 23 Math ≥ 540
Science ≥ 22
Grand Recognition Ceremony English ≥ 30 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing ≥ 650
Math ≥ 28
Reading ≥ 31 Math ≥ 650
Science ≥ 28

Brilliant Prep’s ACT and SAT Prep programs are catered for your wants and needs. This means that you have not one, but two choices for when to take Brilliant Prep classes:

 

  • If you prefer to take the December ACT or SAT, you should take the July through December classes.
  • If you prefer to take the March ACT or SAT, you should take the October through March classes.*

* Look at the timeline below to learn more about the benefits and disadvantages of taking the tests at certain times.

We advise that you first enroll in Duke TIP’s 7th Grade Talent Search program using this link. Remember, it’s better to enroll earlier than later! For information on the cost of enrollment and access to financial aid, check out this page.

As for taking the test itself, although you are free to choose whether to take the ACT/SAT in December or March, we recommend that you take the December exam for a few reasons:

 

  • You will receive your test scores in time to apply for Duke TIP’s summer courses or camps. If you take a test after February, you may have to wait until the next year to register for a summer program depending on how long it takes for your scores to arrive.
  • If you qualify for state or national recognition based on your scores, you will be invited to attend a spring awards ceremony. If you test in March or later and your scores don’t arrive early enough, you can still qualify for recognition but you will receive your award through the mail rather than at a ceremony.

We recommend that you check out the Duke TIP website for more information! By taking the ACT or SAT exam as a 7th grader, you may be eligible for many of Duke University’s online or at-school summer courses, scholarships, contests, Scholar Weekends, and so much more. If you have additional questions, feel free to email 7talentsearch@tip.duke.edu.

Sure, the SAT and ACT may seem far away right now, but they’ll be here before you know it. By starting test prep classes earlier, you will become better affiliated with the standardized testing process as well as the timing and question types associated with both the ACT and the SAT. The skills and strategies which you learn in our classes will give you an advantage when test day finally arrives. Below we have listed the three S’s—the three main reasons why jump starting preparation is the path to take.

Self-Confidence: The more familiar you are with the content and the contexts of the SAT and ACT, the higher you will score on test day. Although you may begin our classes with a diagnostic test score that you’re not proud of, you will build confidence every time you use our strategies and techniques. By the end of the ten weeks, you will feel less doubtful and more prepared.

Skills: Our classes will help you improve your exam scores, especially if you have been struggling with your test-taking skills. We will give you more practice using test taking strategies in order to make those skills second nature. That way, you will be able to complete both practice tests and actual tests efficiently yet accurately.

Speed: Although accuracy is certainly an important aspect of every college prep exam, so is speed. Standardized tests such as the ACT and SAT have a lot of questions but not a lot of time to answer them. Time-management can often be a big challenge for students who are having trouble finishing the tests. In the 8th and 9th grade Primer course, we will teach you how to make the most of every minute of every test. After all, it is just as important to be quick as it is to be correct!

Each class will be once a week for two hours. You will also receive weekly homework assignments that will take around an hour to complete. Along with this, we highly recommend that you take practice tests or review the material we cover on your own. Although the amount of time that you commit to this program will ultimately be up to you, it is in your best interest to practice a little every day. By doing so, you will be setting yourself up for future reward.

Yes! This course will go over the major topics found in both the ACT and the SAT. We will spend most of our sessions learning math, English grammar, and reading with an emphasis on vocabulary, as these three subjects are common in both exams. We will also introduce students to the science section of the ACT.

No. We will be combining the ACT and SAT curricula in one comprehensive ten-week course. Our lessons will largely apply to both exams, with the exception of ACT science lessons. At the end of the course, students will take ACT and SAT practice tests to assess their growth over the ten-week period.

Absolutely! Although this program is designed to prepare students for the SAT and ACT tests, it will also cover material that forms an essential portion of the PSAT 9/10. In other words, the math, grammar, and reading skills you learn in our classes will certainly be necessary for success on the PSAT!

We don’t run all our students through a cookie-cutter curriculum; instead, we design an individualized program based on their needs and goals. Therefore, we can’t give a blanket statement about how many hours of tutoring you might need until we get more information about your current score, score goals, and time available before the next test.  However, we generally recommend one of the following basic schedules:

Two sessions per week. This is the standard approach we advise for students who want an overview of the SAT or ACT in a reasonable time-frame (typically more than three months).

Three sessions per week. Students who have less time to prepare for their test (less than 2 months) or want a more intensive preparation schedule would benefit from more frequent sessions.

One session per week. This option is best suited for students who have plenty of time until their next test (greater than 6 months) or who need help on only one section of the test. This is also a great choice for younger students (8th, 9th, 10th graders) who want to get a head start on preparation but don’t want to commit to a full program just yet.

Extra help (on-demand). If you don’t want or need a comprehensive tutoring program but would benefit from occasional guidance, instruction, and review with us, then you can book sessions as often as you need. This option is best for students who are self-studying, students too busy for regular tutoring, or students on a budget.

We do offer other configurations of sessions and lengths of sessions in special circumstances, so contact us and we can discuss what works best for you.

You will be billed after each week of sessions. Payments can be made with credit card or Paypal. Note that you are NOT charged for prep work we do outside of session, including:

 

  • Crafting your weekly study plan.
  • Updating our shared folder (see below) so that everyone – tutor, student, parents, guardians – can keep track of progress.
  • Answering questions by email.
  • Creating worksheets, practice tests, and practice problems that we customize solely for our tutoring students.

You can modify or cancel our tutoring relationship at any time. You are not locked in to any contract.

Note: All sales are final. We do not offer any money-back guarantee or refunds for our tutoring services, but we will work with you to make things right if you are unsatisfied for any reason.

In most cases, we’ll meet online through Blackboard Collaborate or Skype. Not only will we interact by voice, but also the tutor will be able to share his or her computer screen in order to write on a “virtual blackboard” during the session. This audiovisual pairing will make our sessions feel like we’re in the same room.

For Blackboard Collaborate, you will not need any special software. We will provide you with a link to a private online teaching room. This is the option we use with most students.  For Skype, you will need to create a free account and send us your contact information.

Both! A solid grasp of the content (Math, Grammar, etc.) as well as specific strategies for beating your particular test are both critical to getting a high score. Some students might need more focus on content, while others might have the content down and thus need more strategy review, but we do cover both for all students.

Absolutely. The work we do in sessions is, of course, essential to learning the material, but reinforcing and practicing those lessons are perhaps even more important. The number of hours of homework per week depends on the student’s availability, current score, and goals.   

As described above, we design a weekly study plan with specific homework assignments to complete so that everyone (students, parents, tutor) understands exactly what needs to be completed. Assignments include watching lecture videos, worksheets, practice sections, and practice tests.

Student improvements depend on so many factors that a one-size-fits-all answer or a blanket score “guarantee” would be inappropriate. Check out a sample of feedback we’ve received from students, members, and parents. You can also get a sense of our teaching style and breadth of knowledge by viewing our free courses or browsing our Youtube channel. Many students have increased their scores just by using the video, textual, and practice resources offered in our courses; students who combine tutoring with our materials see the best results.

We prefer to set up a regular schedule, but we do have some flexibility week-to-week. We’ll work that out once we start working together. We have availability throughout the week and weekends.

Our tutors live in different time zones, so we will coordinate our schedules to ensure our meeting times work for both of us.

Depending on the subject taught, you’ll need

 

  • A webcam or built-in/external microphone, only for the audio (no video required on your side)
  • Access to Brilliant Prep’s courses (free as described above)
  • Official SAT/ACT/other prep guide (~$20)

Sure! Some students don’t want or need a comprehensive tutoring program for the SAT, ACT, or academic subjects, but they would benefit from occasional guidance, instruction, and review with us. You might benefit from extra help if you

 

  • are self-studying for the SAT or ACT and need some help reviewing tests and practice problems that are giving you trouble.
  • want a custom Study Plan for the SAT, ACT, or other tests.
  • would like to “check in” with a tutor occasionally to review your progress and suggest next steps.
  • are too busy with academics, sports, and extracurriculars for regular tutoring sessions but could benefit from intermittent coaching.
  • need help completing your school homework, or studying for an upcoming test, but don’t need a full-time tutor.
  • would like feedback on an essay you’re writing or a project you’re working on.
  • have questions about the college admissions process or need advice on college essays.

Self-motivated students, student-athletes, homeschoolers, students on a budget — we’ve worked with all kinds of students who need extra support, and we’d love to help you out too! Contact us and we can discuss options.

Although there is no limit to how many times you can take the SAT or ACT, we advise that you take each of them around three or fewer times. After all, if you can achieve your target score within your first three tries, then you’re done! Also, keep in mind that several colleges practice superscoring, meaning that rather than looking at one test as a whole, admissions officers look at how you performed on each section of exams you took on different dates. If your dream school offers superscoring, then you may consider taking the SAT or ACT fewer times. 

When it comes to test prep, earlier is better than later! Despite that every student is different, we generally believe that beginning test prep at the start of your tenth grade year is the best way to go. That way, you can benefit from a full year of learning and practice tests and still have plenty of time to take the real deal. 

Some students feel more comfortable starting test prep during their freshman year, while others start at the inception of their junior year. In the end, what matters most is that you create a schedule that works best for you.

Despite that many people assume that colleges prefer the SAT over the ACT, different colleges have different requirements when it comes to standardized tests. While most colleges are indifferent to which scores you submit, a few schools may ask for one test over the other. So, do your research, and pay close attention to what your target schools are looking for!

If you have enough time to prepare for both the SAT and the ACT, then we suggest that you take both. This way, you have more options when deciding which score(s) to send to colleges. Furthermore, as both tests are fundamentally different in their form and structure, you may find that you are significantly better at one over the other. You won’t find out unless you give both tests a shot!

The SAT subject tests are one-hour content-based tests over a variety of subjects that you usually take in school. These tests are different from an ordinary SAT exam because rather than being forced into taking each one, you get to choose which tests to take. Let’s say you love biology, but physics just isn’t your thing. Not a problem! You can go ahead and take the biology SAT Subject Test and not the physics one. This way, you will be able to showcase to colleges what you can do and what you are strong at, rather than stress over subjects that make you squirm with anxiety.

While some colleges require a certain number of SAT Subject Tests, others categorize them as optional. Some don’t ask for them at all! Be sure to do your research so that you know if your dream school looks for Subject Test scores in your application. 

If you want to learn more about SAT Subject Tests, take a look at this article.

The answer – it depends. It depends on where you want to go to college, what you plan to study in college, how much time you can commit to test prep in high school, and so much more. If you want to get college credits while you’re still in high school, you may wish to consider taking AP classes. Although there is a heavy time commitment that comes with these classes, you will discover that the benefits outweigh the pitfalls. 

As for the SAT Subject Tests, not all colleges require them (and others don’t even ask for them!), but we still recommend that you take at least three tests over the course of high school. This way, you can further highlight your academic strengths on your college applications. A huge plus point to taking these tests is that even if you are taking an AP exam for the same course, you only have to study once because the Subject Test covers the same content. Pretty neat, right?

In short, if you think that you can commit to taking AP courses and SAT Subject Tests, then we would advise that you take them. You will not only gain valuable skills needed in a collegiate environment, but you will also significantly enhance your applications for future endeavors.

The PSAT/NMSQT®, also known as the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, is taken by most students during October of their junior year of high school. Like the SAT, it has four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math – No Calculator, and Math – Calculator. However, unlike the SAT, the PSAT not only has fewer questions in almost every section, but it also is mainly important for aspiring National Merit scholars. In other words, while the majority of high school students take the SAT, far fewer students take the PSAT because PSAT scores are not required on college applications.

We recommend that you take the PSAT if you want to qualify to become a National Merit Semifinalist and receive a National Merit Scholarship. Even if you don’t become a National Merit Semifinalist, you still have the opportunity to become Commended, and that itself is a huge feat! Taking the PSAT will only help you, so we strongly encourage you to give it a try. And who knows? In the end, you may get a substantial college scholarship!

If you want to learn more about the PSAT/NMSQT®, check out the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s official website.

Yes! All options are available online — classes, small group sessions, and one-on-one tutoring.

No! You can attend live classes from the comfort of any location, and with any device! Mobile phones, tablets, or laptops are all acceptable, but we recommend the latter. 

We are currently using Blackboard Collaborate for our virtual classes. This platform allows us to share our screens and cameras with our students, and it also features a chat box, a hand-raising option, and much more. 

For our tutoring program, we use either Blackboard Collaborate or Skype, as we have found that they both work seamlessly in a one-on-one setting.

The test prep process can certainly be overwhelming, and you may be wondering when and how to begin. Here’s what we have to say:

The When:  When it comes to test prep, earlier is better than later! Despite that every student is different, we generally believe that beginning test prep at the start of your tenth grade year is the best way to go. That way, you can benefit from a full year of learning and practice tests and still have plenty of time to take the real deal. However, some students feel more comfortable starting test prep during their freshman year, while others start at the inception of their junior year. In the end, what matters most is that you create a schedule that works best for you.

The How: The best thing that you can do when starting test prep is do your research. At Brilliant Prep, we offer a variety of programs (as well as video courses!) that are catered toward different students’ needs. We advise that you and your parents work together to decide which type of test prep program is best suited for your schedule. Then, you can proceed to signing up for a class. Once you do that, we will communicate with you regularly to help you ease your way into the test prep process.

This is a difficult question to answer because when it comes to test prep, one size doesn’t fit all. Because all students start off with a distinct knowledge base and diagnostic test score, some experience a more significant score increase than do their peers. For instance, we have had students begin our courses with an SAT test score of 1100 and improve by nearly 300 points, while others have started with a 1400 and have improved by around 100 to 200 points. What we can guarantee, however, is that if your child makes a conscious effort to learn our material, ask questions, and practice daily, her or she will be able to succeed.

We believe that all our students are capable of growing and improving every day. If they follow our advice and work both hard and smart, they can achieve their target scores.

Absolutely! You can contact us through email, WhatsApp, or even Facebook, and we will try our best to respond as soon as possible. We also have a Q&A form in which you can ask us questions about (almost!) anything, and we will respond with a personalized video explanation. From specific queries about practice test problems to general ones about college admissions, all questions are welcome.

We understand that the test prep and college prep processes are two very complex (and oftentimes confusing!) tasks, and we are here to help you every step of the way!

If possible, we prefer that students avoid missing class. Although we do offer makeup classes — students can attend a different session after notifying their instructor — this can result in uneven class sizes and less time spent per student. However, we do understand that students may occasionally experience schedule conflicts, and we will be able to discuss this with them on an individual basis if need be. 

As for practice tests, we do not offer a makeup option. For this reason, we highly recommend that your students plan their time with our weekly practice test schedule in mind.

It all depends on which class you are taking! For our ACT & SAT Prep + College Admissions Guidance program, for example, we have course options starting in both July and August. On the contrary, our 9th Grade Program begins in June before students enter ninth grade. Furthermore, our tutoring sessions and video courses begin whenever you register for them – your starting date is entirely up to you! Thus, remember to pay attention to course-specific dates so that you know not only when to register for classes, but also when our classes begin.

Unlike our competitors, we support students through every stage of their test prep journey. Students who complete our courses gain access to hundreds of our content-based and strategy-based videos as well as detailed answer explanations from our online library. In our classes, we frequently give pop quizzes and tests to assess student progress, and we teach using material from our handcrafted, comprehensive workbooks. In addition, we provide our students with a multitude of practice tests, weekly workshops, and additional resources to alleviate their stresses and maximize their confidence. Through not only our test prep classes but also our college admissions guidance, we help each and every one of our students achieve their goals.

Click on specific program links for course-specific costs and payment information. For our in-person classes we accept payment through checks ONLY, whereas for our video courses and one-one-one tutoring sessions we accept payment through credit card or Paypal. If you have concerns regarding course pricing or payment, contact us and we will work with you.

It depends on the course offering that you choose. For our video courses, for example, we ask that you make a one-time payment, whereas for our tutoring sessions we offer a little more flexibility. On the contrary, for our in-person courses parents are required to pay in two installments: one just before the program starts and one during the second cycle of the program (ie. the SAT part of the Combined ACT & SAT Prep program). If you have any questions about course payment, contact us and we will work with you. 

As a matter of fact, we do! From the SAT Chemistry Subject test to an ACT English Bootcamp, we have several (free!) playlists to assist you throughout high school. Our channel is constantly growing with new webinars, practice problems, Q&A sessions, and more!

Both! A solid grasp of the content (Math, Grammar, etc.) as well as specific strategies for beating your particular test are both critical to scoring high on the SAT and the ACT. Some students might need more focus on content, while others might have the content down and thus need more strategy review. Either way, we do cover both for all students! 

Yes! No matter the class, we assign some kind of Math, Reading, and/or Grammar homework to keep our students in touch with core concepts. We always review assignments during the following session and allow for student questions and collaboration. We believe that at-home study is just as important as in-class instruction because it allows students to reinforce their knowledge of commonly tested topics.

Do… Don’t…
Arrive to class five to ten minutes before it starts. Arrive late to class. Punctuality is key!
Avoid missing class. We offer makeup classes, but we strongly prefer that you attend the session time that you signed up for! Inform instructors well in advance if you will be attending a makeup class.
Complete your homework assignments before class starts. Work on your homework while class is going on. You are responsible for completing your assignments on time!

No. However, students who would like private tutoring can pay an additional fee for one-on-one tutoring sessions with us. 

Currently, we do not offer SAT or ACT prep classes for seventh or eighth graders. However, we do offer a Duke TIP prep program for middle schoolers who aspire to earn state or national recognition by taking the SAT or ACT. To learn more about this program and whether your child is eligible, check out this link.

Yes! We offer a Combined ACT & SAT program as well as an ACT & SAT + College Admissions Guidance program. Both programs are designed for high school sophomores who are serious about preparing for the ACT and SAT. However, students starting later in the test prep process may choose to focus on one test rather than both, so we offer SAT or ACT only options as well.

Of course! We offer a College Admissions Guidance webinar series and an in-person bootcamp to work with students on their essay-writing skills, financial aid opportunities, resume building, and more! Students are free to choose which option works best with their schedule and personal preferences. If students are looking to explore our ACT and SAT prep offerings as well, then we would recommend that they sign up for our ACT & SAT + College Admissions Guidance package, which merges test prep with college advice to create one comprehensive, all-inclusive program. In short, we have a variety of college admissions programs designed to accommodate all kinds of students. After all, our dedication is for your higher education!

We do not give refunds.