Frequently Asked Questions

In-Person Test Prep

How many sessions are in each class?

The In-Person ACT Test Prep class consists of six 2-hour sessions.  The In-Person SAT Test Prep class consists of five 2-hour sessions.

What is covered in each session of the In-Person classes?

Generally the ACT class is taught in this order: Session 1: English and Reading; Session 2: English, Reading and Intro to Math; Session 3: Math and Intro to Science; Session 4: Math and Science; Session 5: Review of all four sections and Writing.

What is the cancellation policy for the In-Person Class?

Cancellations must be made prior to the first session of your registered class. In the event of a cancellation, registration may be applied to a future class. Refunds are not available.

What if I have to miss a class?

Students cannot make up a missed class online.  If a student must miss a class session, he/she should please make it up by attending the same session at one of our other OnToCollege ACT or SAT/PSAT Prep classes (click here for schedule). No need to notify us—please just show up. If this is not an option for your student, a class session can be made up with one of our master tutors, subject to limited availability, with an additional $100 fee. Click here to ask about this option if needed.

What if I missed the registration date for the ACT or SAT?
The ACT offers a Standby Request Period for approximately two weeks after the late fee deadline. Additional fees apply.  Standby Requests for the ACT do not guarantee a seat or test booklet. Click here for more details. 

The SAT offers a Waitlist Status for approximately one week after late registration deadline has closed. Additional fees apply. Waitlist Status Requests for the SAT do not guarantee a seat or test booklet. Click here for more details.

What if I've completed the In-Person class, but still want to improve my score?

Many of our In-Person students have retaken our class and achieved even better results (see our testimonials) on their next test. If you’re an OTC alum, please contact us for a discount code to retake the class for only $98.

Some students prefer to work One-on-One with a tutor on specific subject areas, at a reduced alumni rate. To discuss scheduling and arrangements, please email Jamie@OnToCollege.com. Tutoring also includes online access to Additional Prep materials.

 

What if I am unable to input my credit card information?

Some places of business and networks block purchases. Try again later from a different network. Or call us at 402-475-7737 for assistance.

What did John Baylor score on his ACT test?

In high school, John only took the SAT and scored the equivalent of a 31-32. Not bad—he was admitted to Yale, Rice, and Stanford—but sadly not a 36.

Online Test Prep

Does the Online Test Prep course include sample tests/exercises in addition to the videos?

The ACT Course has three practice tests, four online subject tests, and one quiz after each of the 12 sessions. The SAT Course has four practice tests and one quiz after each of the 10 sessions.

What is the difference between the online ACT Prep course and the online ACT Fundamentals course?
Our ACT Fundamentals course is designed for students who have scored a 20 or lower on a previous ACT.  The course goes at a bit slower pace, and John does not cover the most advanced material.
How long can I access the course content?

Our full-year plans include access for one year from date of purchase. Boot Camp plans provide access through the purchased test date.

What is your refund policy for an online course?

The Online Test Prep class provides immediate access. Therefore, we are unable to cancel or refund your purchase.

Are test-taking strategies covered in the videos?

About 80% of the content is subject specific, and 20% is test-taking strategies and college counseling.

What is the expected score increase?

On average, our students see a 2 point increase in their ACT score, and a 70-200 point increase in their SAT score.

What if I am unable to input my credit card information?

Some places of business and networks block purchases. Try again later from a different network. Or call us at 402-475-7737 for assistance.

What courses are available for homeschool students?

Special pricing is available for homeschool coops and homeschool groups of six or more students. See https://www.ontocollege.com/homeschoolers/ for details.

Is tutoring available for a single subject?

Students who have previously taken our course may sign up for tutoring on a hourly basis. The cost is $70 per hour, and can focus on one particular subject or multiple subjects. Students who have not completed an OTC test prep course may purchase five 2-hour tutoring sessions for $850, and choose to cover one or more subjects.

One-on-One Tutoring

What type of tutoring do you offer?

 We offer tutoring for the ACT, SAT, PSAT, LSAT, GRE, and GMAT.

Is tutoring available for a single subject?
Students who have previously taken our course may sign up for tutoring on a hourly basis. The cost is $70 per hour, and can focus on one particular subject or multiple subjects. Students who have not completed an OTC test prep course may purchase five 2-hour tutoring sessions for $850, and choose to cover one or more subjects.
Who are your tutors?

Our tutors are a combination of college students, teachers, and professional tutors. All of our tutors have personally achieved high ACT and/or SAT scores. Our tutors are all fully trained and tested on the material and strategies.

College Counseling System for Families

What different packages are available for the OTC College Counseling System?

We offer families four different options:

  1. College Counseling System  | Includes one year of online access to the OTC College Counseling System video collection, planning materials, financial resources, family action plans, parent checklists, and student timelines, PLUS two proprietary books mailed to your home: America’s Most Affordable Colleges and our Platinum Guide for College: Finding Your Best Fit College at the Lowest Cost.
  2. College Counseling System + Planning Session | Includes everything above PLUS a two-hour one-on-one planning session with John Baylor to provide a personalized road map for your college planning journey.
  3. Comprehensive College Counseling System | Includes everything above PLUS ongoing College Counseling support and guidance through college selection and admission with an OTC College Counselor.
  4. Comprehensive College Counseling System with John Baylor Himself | Includes everything above PLUS ongoing College Counseling support and guidance through college selection and admission with John Baylor himself, up to five meetings per year.
How long will I have access to the OTC College Counseling System?

All College Counseling options provide unlimited access from purchase date until July 31 of the student’s graduation year.

Test Prep for Schools

What can we expect for score increases?
On average, our schools will see a 1-3 point increase in their schoolwide composite ACT scores, and a 75-200 point increase in schoolwide composite SAT scores.  Schoolwide implementation is key to success.
How is a school licensed to use OnToCollege?
A purchased license is active for one year and provides unlimited access to OTC.  Our contract dates run from August 1 through July 31 (school year), or January 1 through December 31 (calendar year).
How does a school implement OnToCollege?
We will work with you on a strategy to meet the unique needs of your school.  A schoolwide implementation showing the videos in the classroom is key to your success. OTC is turnkey, making it easy to implement, and your teachers and staff do not need to develop a curriculum.
OTC's Privacy Policy for Schools

Click here to see OTC’s Privacy Policy for schools.

What is included with OnToCollege Test Prep? Or OnToCollege Suite?

OnToCollege Test Prep includes At-Home Access for students, ACT Prep, ACT Fundamentals Prep (for students expected to score below 20),  ACT Refresher Course (for students who have previously completed an ACT course), Aspire For Early High School Prep, PreACT Prep, PSAT Quick Power Prep, SAT Prep, SAT Fundamentals Prep (for students expected to score below 1000), SAT Refresher Course (for students who have previously completed an SAT course), and Study Skills & Test-Taking Strategies.

OnToCollege Suite includes all of the above, plus the College Counseling System: video collection, planning materials, financial resources, family action plans, parent checklists, and student timelines, PLUS three proprietary books: College Counselor’s ManualAmerica’s Most Affordable Colleges and our Platinum Guide for College: Finding Your Best Fit College at the Lowest Cost.

Our newest course, Middle School Matters, was created at the request of one of our partner school districts. MSM is a 12-video course to help 6th-8th grade students with ALL standardized tests, and covers three subjects: Grammar, Reading & Data Interpretation, and Math. 

What does "Study Skills & Test-Taking Strategies" include?

OTC is committed to helping all students learn more effectively. The 22-minute Study Skills session gives students an action plan for improved studying and note-taking so that school is more valued, enjoyable, and successful. John covers note taking, general study skills and habits, test preparation, etc. It is appropriate for middle school-12th grade. We’ve heard from seniors who wished they had taken the course earlier, but know it will help them in college.

So often we hear from students, “I’m just not a good test taker.” In this 23-minute video John gives students strategies to do better on ALL tests.

What are the system requirements to run OnToCollege?
OnToCollege requires access to a browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Explore) and a strong broadband internet connection.
How many schools use OnToCollege?

As of October 2019, we work with more than 480 partner schools and districts in 28 states, plus the country of Armenia.

Are flyers available to share at parent-teacher conferences?

Within the For Educators Only course, a Family Communication Letter (Word format) can be personalized and even printed on school letterhead. The letter gives a good explanation of the program and why students are taking it.

What is the National Clearing House?

The National Clearing House provides reporting on high schools’ two and four-year college matriculation and graduation rates.  These reports are comprehensive and can be received quickly.  All services are compliant with FERPA. Full Student Tracker services cost $425 per year per high school. Here is the link to register and to see sample reports. StudentTracker for High Schools

How Can OTC Test Prep Be Adapted for Special Education Students or Students with Accommodations?

Here are some suggestions to help special education/special needs students, and/or those with ACT-approved accommodations or SAT-approved accommodations maximize their test prep:

  • use closed captioning option (turn on/off with CC icon in lower right corner of video)
  • slow video play speed (click Gear icon in lower right corner of video, then the Racing Clock icon, and select desired speed)
  • enroll in ACT Fundamentals Prep (or consider starting with PreACT Prep) which has slower pacing and does not cover higher math skills
  • turn off Time Tracking when taking online quizzes
  • use paper/pencil rather than online testing (quizzes and section tests can be printed)
  • Bubbletime (tactic explained in course)

College Counseling System for Schools

How much time will counselors need to use the OTC College Counseling System?

The OTC College Counseling System is designed to SAVE your counselors time.  We provide them with the tools to streamline and improve the process they are currently using with students.  We realize counselors are responsible for hundreds of students and do much more than just college counseling.  

General ACT & SAT Questions

When should I take my first ACT or SAT test? When should I begin to prep?

Beginning test prep in the summer of your sophomore year can be a great jumpstart use of your time, and help alleviate stress in your junior year. This also allows you to spend the summer between your junior and senior year preparing college essays and applications. While waiting to take the test means you’ll have taken more math courses, most ACT/SAT Math questions can be solved if you’ve completed Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry. For tougher questions, test prep courses can help fill the gaps. Take the test at least four times, to maximize your score, including the mandated test date if applicable in your state. Many colleges start accepting applications August 1 of your senior year, so fitting in multiple tests is difficult if your first test isn’t until April of your junior year. Consider your academic load, activities and personal commitments, unforeseen illness or injury, and make sure to give yourself a cushion in case you have to postpone a test. 

How many times can I take the ACT or SAT test?

The ACT allows you to test 12 times, including tests cancelled by you or by ACT. Exceptions can be granted by the ACT if necessary.

The SAT has no restrictions on how many times you can take the test.

Generally, ACT or SAT test results are considered valid for five years.

Why should I take the ACT or SAT again, if I've already gotten a score high enough for college admission?

Each ACT section is scored up to 36 points. Generally, answering only 2-3 more questions correctly will jump your section score a full point. For example: answer 50 of 75 questions correctly on the English section for a section score of 23, but answer 6 more right and score a 25, taking you from the 70th percentile to the 70th percentile on the section. The SAT is scored up to 1600 points, with Reading and Writing & Language accounting for 800 points and Math for 800 points. Again, a few more correct answers can significantly affect your overall SAT score, and how you rank compared to your peers. Those score jumps, and the scholarship money they can potentially create, are why test prep can be the best-paying high school job you can have!

Why should I take the ACT or SAT if I plan to go to community college, or not go to college at all?
  • Improves Core Skills. ACT/SAT prep provides further practice and boosts performance in Grammar, Math, Reasoning, Writing and basic knowledge valued by employers. Some schools/states require minimum test scores as graduation requirements. Some employers ask about ACT/SAT scores.
  • Uncertain/Change of Plans. Students who aren’t sure or aren’t interested in college at graduation may discover later, after working for a year or two, that they are ready. ACT/SAT scores remain valid for five years from the test date. Students will likely find the ACT/SAT much more difficult to take several years post-high school than while actively enrolled in core high school courses.
  • Community College. Though not usually required for general admission, ACT/SAT scores can exempt students from placement tests in Math and English and prevent the need for remedial classes. Your scholars want to avoid remedial classes!  Also, some specific programs (health sciences, nursing, engineering) may still require test scores. ACT/SAT scores may also be required if transferring to a four-year university. Plus, many community colleges offer scholarships based on ACT/SAT test scores.
  • Technical and Trade Schools. Many schools will accept satisfactory ACT/SAT scores in place of an admissions test. Some will offer scholarships based on ACT/SAT test scores.
  • Military ROTC. To enlist in ROTC programs, minimum ACT/SAT test scores are required; these may vary by branch.
  • Enlisted Military. Students enlisting in the military will need to take the ASVAB exam. Preparing for the ACT/SAT will help students prepare for the ASVAB.
  • Scholarships. Most post-high school programs that don’t require ACT/SAT scores for admittance/placement still use test scores as criteria for awarding scholarship money.
  • Free Career Planning. Taking the ACT/SAT includes access to online tools to help assess strengths/weaknesses, abilities, and interests when planning occupations.
Where and when do I register for the ACT? Where and when do I register for the SAT?

Go to the ACT website for registration information. For the SAT, register at the College Board website.

What if I missed the registration date for the ACT or SAT?
The ACT offers a Standby Request Period for approximately two weeks after the late fee deadline. Additional fees apply.  Standby Requests for the ACT do not guarantee a seat or test booklet. Click here for more details. 

The SAT offers a Waitlist Status for approximately one week after late registration deadline has closed. Additional fees apply. Waitlist Status Requests for the SAT do not guarantee a seat or test booklet. Click here for more details.

What if I will have to miss my ACT or SAT scheduled test date?

For ACT, log in to your account and select “Make changes to your registration” or call ACT at 319.337.1270 by the late registration deadline

For SAT, click here for details on how to change your registration date.

What accommodations are available if I have an IEP or documented learning disability?

Available accommodations may include extended time, extra or extended breaks, reading or visual accommodations. Work with your school officials for best results. Find more information from ACT or from SAT.

Which calculators are allowed on the ACT? Which calculators are allowed on the SAT/PSAT?

Click here for the rules for calculators allowed during the ACT. Click here for the rules for calculators allowed during the SAT/PSAT.

How can I get a copy of the questions after taking the test?

ACT | For the national June and December test dates only, you can receive a copy of the multiple-choice questions, your answers, and an answer key. If you took the writing test, you can also receive the prompt, your scores, and the rubric. Additional fees required. More details about Test Information Release

SAT | You can order answer verification services when you register, or up to 5 months after your test date. Question-and-Answer Service includes a copy of the questions and a report with your answers for October, March and May test dates. Student Answer Service provides a report with your answers and information about the questions, but not the actual test.

Why was there a fifth section on the recent ACT?
Several times a year the ACT will have a fifth section on the test to ‘test’ new material.  This section is not counted towards a student’s score.
What is the average composite score on the ACT and SAT?

The national average ACT score in 2018 was 20.8, and is also shown for each state at this link.

The national average SAT score for 2019 was 1059. Additional results by state and other filters are also available in this report.

What are the best ways to improve your ACT or SAT composite score?

The answer depends on how large the point range is between section scores, and how much one could feasibly improve in each. Generally, a Composite score is more likely to improve with gains to the areas of strength. Score increases in any section can help boost a Composite score, but one is more likely to increase the Composite score with score jumps in 2 or 3 sections of the test, rather than a single subject score increase.

How can I improve my Reading score?
  1. Practice with many ACT reading passages. Many are available in Additional Prep in our courses. Your counselor will have some practice tests, and more can be found on the ACT website.  You can also purchase old tests on Amazon or similar websites.
  2. Be sure to time yourelf: 8:45 for each passage and circle/mark any question that you guess on.
  3. Review those guesses and wrong answers before doing the next passage in 8:45.
  4. Read, read, read at least two books a month—a “classic” and one you choose.  Here’s a few of John’s suggestions. While reading, circle/highlight any unknown words or any phrasing you like, then once finished, review all those circles.
Should I send my ACT or SAT test score to colleges before I know how well I did (or not)?

Waiting isn’t always the best answer. Sending scores to schools before taking the test (four for ACT or SAT) is included in your test registration, while sending after will cost (ACT: $13/school; SAT: first four schools free up to 9 days after test; then $12/school), and adds up quickly. But, if you don’t think you did well (sick, not prepared, etc.), you have the right to cancel ACT or SAT scores by completing a form before you leave the test center, or downloading and mailing a cancel request within five days of your test date. Both tests allow you to send just your best scores rather than all your scores, although some colleges prefer/require all your test scores be shared, so visit SAT’s College Search or the college website to check their test score policy. For other score reporting questions, try ACT Score FAQs or SAT Score FAQs.

What do colleges think when they see several ACT or SAT test scores?

Some colleges require submission of all scores, while others care only about your highest score. Generally, college admissions officers appreciate the grit and determination displayed by retaking the test, especially if you have taken additional math or other courses, test preparation, or made other efforts to jump your scores. Most students take the test/s multiple times.

Many colleges (but not all!) also consider superscores, which use the best score on your record for each section to create a maximized composite score. In September 2020, ACT plans to add superscoring, and in 2021, to allow section retesting.

What high school classes can I take to help prepare for the ACT or SAT?

Both the ACT and SAT are academic exams, so students who do well in school tend to do well on the tests. Many high school subjects (history, economics, civics, calculus) are not tested at all. Check with your high school counselor to select appropriate yet challenging courses–they are your best source for advice on specific coursework available to match and stretch your academic abilities. Course rigor and GPA are also important parts of college applications. Even students who do well on classroom tests will benefit from practice ACT or SAT tests to learn pacing and other techniques specific to each test.

At OnToCollege, our mission is to help schools and families create two- and four-year college graduates with minimal debt. We believe every student deserves the right college at the right price.

ACT® and PreACT® are registered trademarks of ACT, Inc., which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product. SAT® exam is a trademark registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product. The use or dissemination of any of the information contained in this website without the express written permission of OnToCollege is strictly prohibited. OnToCollege is not associated or affiliated with Baylor University, nor are any OnToCollege goods or services.

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