You probably have a lot of questions. Most parents and students do—that makes you normal. Below are some typical questions and my typical answers.

Most frequently asked questions

Can I call you and ask you all of my questions about what you do? This website will answer the questions you have—and it will answer a lot of questions you didn’t even know you had. For 99% of my clients, this website will tell you everything you need to know. And, if you don’t find the answers you need after reading all the pages on this website, then feel free to email me (there’s a link to email me at the bottom of this page).

When is your ACT Crash Course? Check out the dates on the Sign up now page. Dates for 2017 have been posted. When can I sign up? Registrations open one month prior to an ACT Crash Course. But I want to sign up now. Registrations open one month prior to an ACT Crash Course. Did you just repeat yourself? Yes. Why? Because repetition is an effective teaching technique (you may see it again below).

I’ve signed up and I can’t find my ticket. What does my student need to bring to the ACT Crash Course? Your ticket was emailed to the email address you used to register. A list of items to bring is on the ticket. If you cannot find your ticket, email meDo I need to buy a calculator for the ACT or for the ACT Crash Course? No—have your student bring the calculator he or she uses in school. My student does not use a calculator in school. You should reconsider (high school is hard enough—don’t make it harder—let the kid use a calculator).

What if all the seats fill up for an ACT Crash Course? Then I am full. Do you have a waiting list? No—check out the Sign up now page for openings. Signing up early is the best option since my ACT Crash Courses typically sell out within 48 hours of registration beginning. But I want to be on a waiting list. Please do not email me asking to be put on a waiting list. I do not keep a waiting list. I will gently encourage you to check out the Sign up now page for openings. But the world will end if my student does not get into your ACT Crash Course. No, the world will end when God wants it to end—and the Bible says nothing about my ACT Crash Courses precipitating that event.

Do you tutor anything outside of the ACT Crash Courses (i.e., one-on-one, other subjects, etc.)? No. Why? Time—my wife and kids are awesome and I love spending time with them—and I have church and work commitments. I also use an unhealthy volume of dashes in sentences, but that’s another matter entirely. Can you recommend a tutor for ______ subject? Probably not, but studies show if you shoot me an email it will make you feel better about reading the same answer here.

Do you travel to other locations to teach the ACT Crash Course? Yes. What is required for you to consider traveling? More money (it costs money to travel)—and assuming the ACT Crash Course is held at a school, I would need all the following guaranteed one month (no exceptions) in advance:

  1. Express written permission from the principal to me allowing me to teach the ACT Crash Course
  2. A minimum of 12 paying students (the rate will be based on the distance I travel—Hong Kong will be more than Knoxville)
  3. A distraction-free room with tables comfortably and quietly seating 25 students plus myself (there’s a lot of paper involved in this ACT Crash Course and everyone needs plenty of space)
  4. A projection screen
  5. A single point-of-contact to communicate with (note: this point-of-contact coordinates with the school administration, parents, and students)
  6. A proposed date for the ACT Crash Course (note: if you choose a date other than the dates already posted, a fee will apply on top of the per student fee)

Not as frequently asked questions

Where do I start with college preparation/planning/selection? Start by developing a list of potential schools with your high school student. By the end of the 10th grade, your list should be no longer than 10 schools. By the end of the 11th grade, your list should be no longer than five schools. Managing a list longer than five schools is difficult and places undue stress on you and your student. Keeping this list small also enables you and your student to get to know the admissions staff at each school.

Why do we even take the ACT? There is a correlation between ACT scores and the level of success a freshman will have in college. What about the SAT? Same thing. Which one does my student need to take? That depends on the college(s) you and your student are looking at. Do you tutor for the SAT? Not anymore. Why not? It’s harder to coach than the ACT.

How long does the ACT Crash Course last? Four hours of instruction (with some breaks built in for lunch and non-classroom learning) all on one day. Lunch? There are a wide variety of restaurants in the area for lunch. Is lunch provided? No. Why not? It’s a hassle and I don’t like hassles—I do like dashes though (even when I should use semicolons). Do you start on time? Yes. What happens if my student is late? Your student should not be late. What does that mean? It means I start on time and your student will not be allowed to enter the ACT Crash Course after it has begun.

Will there be any materials provided? Yes. Each student receives a binder with ample space for notes and several real ACTs. That sounds like an opportunity to practice what my student will learn in the ACT Crash Course. Bingo—homework will be issued and those who complete the homework improve more than those who do not. Galatians 6:7 is true in ACT preparation as well.

Is the ACT Crash Course just for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors? Yes. But I have a 7th grader who’s been asked to take the ACT. Great! You have a very smart 7th grader, but my ACT Crash Course won’t help 7th graders. But he/she is a special 7th grader! All children are special, but please do not sign up a 7th grader. What about high school freshmen? Freshmen have not yet been taught the necessary content and would be at a significant disadvantage in my ACT Crash Course. Please do not sign them up. (If you do sign up a 7th grader or a freshman, I will cancel the reservation.)

Can you take the ACT for my student? No. Why is this question in the FAQ? Because it’s regularly asked. Really? Yes. How much money have you been offered to do this? Five figures—and the answer is always no. I love Jesus and I don’t think that would make Him happy.

How can a one-day ACT Crash Course be successful? I focus on strategies (how to correctly answer questions) and not on content (an adverb is this, the Pythagorean Theorem is that, etc.). Content courses take weeks and weeks and cost thousands of dollars and are typically wildly frustrating for students (just ask them—this is what most school ACT prep courses focus on). Strategy courses take content a student knows and focus on techniques to quickly and correctly answer questions. The ACT is an extremely consistent test and consistency helps to facilitate successful coaching. But my student doesn’t know a lot of content and/or makes poor grades. As long as your student has obtained at least a 15 composite score, that’s enough content for my ACT Crash Course to help. My average score increase is two to three points from a single one-day ACT Crash Course. What if my student scored below a 15 composite score? Then college may not be a viable option for your student at this time.

What if my student needs to improve by 6 points? Then you should consider setting aside over six months of study for your student. What about 7 or 8 points? Closer to nine months. Have you ever seen someone do this? Yes, a few times, but it takes a tremendous amount of work (and a lot of prayer) and I would love to help your student. It seems like you talk about spiritual things a lot. Yep.

My student already has a 30+ composite score. Will your ACT Crash Course help? Yes, but the higher the starting score a student has, the more difficult it is to improve (due to the limited amount of improvement available). Students scoring above a 30 sometimes benefit from the real ACTs more than the strategies. Have you ever helped someone get a 36? Yes—several times.

How much does the ACT Crash Course cost? $185 for courses offered in Hixson (less if you already own a hard copy of The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2016-2017)—courses offered at other locations cost more. What if my student wants to come and take the ACT Crash Course again? Repeats are free as long as you already own a hard copy of The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2016-2017 (just be sure to purchase a “Returning Student” ticket and have your student bring his or her original binder back). Really? Yes. That’s cool. Yes, it is, but there are a limited number of “Returning Student” seats available for each ACT Crash Course. Can I sign my student up to take your ACT Crash Course two weekends in a row? No, and if you do, I will ask you which date you want to keep and I will remove the registration for the other date. Why? I teach the same thing in each ACT Crash Course and your student will need time to practice before taking the ACT Crash Course again (and really—two Saturdays in a row? Let the kid be a kid).

Do you offer scholarships/discounts? No, but I’m open to bartering—there is always plenty of work to be done for those who are willing to do it. What about refunds? I don’t offer refunds. What if . . . ? Doesn’t matter. I don’t offer refunds.

What if inclement weather (e.g., snow) is in the forecast? There are multiple hotels within 1/4 mile (easy walking distance) of the Hixson location, so it is highly unlikely that an ACT Crash Course would not be held as scheduled.

I don’t think my student(s) will enjoy your ACT Crash Course. Talk to a student who has taken one. They are enjoyable and effective and filled with sarcastic humor like you’ve been reading.

This ACT Crash Course sounds like it could help. Yep, and if you are ready to sign up your student, click Sign up now.

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