What is my approach?
My system involves both strategy & practice. Strategy without practice is rarely of much benefit. It’s like a coach giving an athlete tips right before the big game without helping him master a technique through weeks of practice. Practice without studying the skills and strategy can simply reinforce ignorance and bad habits, wasting a student’s time and money and often leading to test burnout.
When should students take an ACT prep class?
Timed test-taking is a skill that can be studied, practiced, and mastered. A natural time to work on this skill is in the 10th through 12th grades of high school when students are setting their sights on college. If a student has worked faithfully to build a solid high school GPA, then raising ACT scores could be the gateway to college admissions and scholarships. The skills learned in an ACT prep class will not only help students do well on the ACT but will also help build competence and efficiency in taking timed multiple-choice and essay tests in college. I love seeing students work hard at ACT prep and reap the benefits – it’s very motivating and rewarding for them too!
What is required of students and parents?
This course requires a significant time investment of the student as well as accountability from the parents, so please read carefully the pretest and materials information as well as the student/parent responsibilities that follow & assess whether you and your student can commit the time required before you sign up.
The course combines strategy & practice. I give students the strategy in our time together, and they are responsible to implement it by taking a full ACT practice test in one sitting each week (about 3½ hrs usually early on a Sat morning). Then they must spend time studying the correct solution to every question they missed on the practice tests (often 1-2 hrs). Additionally, I assign targeted practice in the Five Pound Book of ACT Practice Problems for their weak areas – usually a minimum of 15 minutes of practice daily. So the time that must be devoted to ACT practice for those 5 weeks can be as much as 6½ hrs/wk.
I encourage parents & students to think carefully about their schedules during that time to be sure they have enough time to do the work – those who don’t do the daily work don’t really see much improvement. Both student & parent motivation are important. Sometimes parents help their students score their practice tests to give students a break after taking the full practice test – others commit to sitting down with their students to study together the answers to missed questions. I love seeing this kind of support & teamwork – it can make a huge difference in student performance on the ACT. Be aware that the most critical step for successful ACT Prep is carefully studying the book solutions to missed questions – that’s when your student individualizes ACT prep by reviewing forgotten concepts and learning how not to repeat mistakes over and over. Faithfully studying missed solutions leads to higher scores!
What guarantees do you offer?
A student only pays for my ACT class once. Raising ACT scores is a journey that typically takes place over a period of months – rarely do students reach their final goal in their first few weeks of practice. If students aren’t satisfied with their ACT score obtained after taking the class, they are welcome to register online for free as returning students. I continue to interact with them through our online ACT Access system as they persevere in practice and study at home. I also reserve a few seats in my classroom for returning students who may feel they need to refresh themselves on practice & strategy techniques in person.
Please contact me if you have any questions!