Frequently Asked Questions

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, with many students joining the Five-Point Jump Club. Our SAT schools can expect a 50-150-point increase in schoolwide composite SAT scores, with many students increasing their score by 200 or more points!  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. Courses can be completed in as little as five weeks leading up to the test date (40-minute sessions per day) or 10 weeks (20-minute sessions per day). OTC includes enough resources to fill a semester-long course when combined with our College & Career Readiness course.

OTC's Privacy Policy for Schools

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

What is included with OnToCollege Test Prep? Or the OnToCollege College and Career Readiness Course?

OnToCollege Test Prep includes At-Home Access for students, ACT Prep,  ACT Refresher (for students who have previously completed the ACT course), Grade 8/9 Test Prep, PreACT Prep, PSAT Prep, SAT Prep, SAT Refresher Course (for students who have previously completed the SAT course), and Study Skills & Test-Taking Strategies. An add-on course, Middle School Matters, is also available.

The OnToCollege College & Career Readiness Course includes: video collection, planning materials, financial resources, family action plans, parent checklists, and student timelines, PLUS three proprietary ebooks: College Counselor’s ManualAmerica’s Most Affordable Colleges and our Platinum Guide for College: Finding Your Best Fit College at the Lowest Cost.

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.

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

In the 6-minute video John Baylor Addresses Test Anxiety, deliberate practice is a strong antidote for anxiety. Even those who are well prepared can feel the butterflies on test day. Here’s John’s message to quiet those nerves.

We’ve heard from seniors who wished they had watched these three videos earlier, but know it will help them in college.

What are the system requirements to run OnToCollege?

OnToCollege requires access to a browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Explorer, Edge) and a strong internet connection.

How many schools use OnToCollege?

As of August 2023, we work with nearly 830 partner schools and districts in 26 states.

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 printed on school letterhead.  Within College and Career Readiness, you will find additional documents for scholarships, financial aid, recommendation letters, and many other family resources.

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 $795 per year per high school. Click here to register and to see sample reports: StudentTracker for High Schools

Where can I find the test answer keys if not included with the test?

Answer keys are located in the For Educators Only course.

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

Here are 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)
  • consider starting with PreACT Prep or PSAT Prep which has slower pacing and does not cover higher math skills
  • turn off the Timer when taking online assessments
  • use Additional Prep and Bell Ringers
  • use paper/pencil rather than online testing (quizzes and section tests can be printed)
  • Bubbletime (tactic explained in the course)

In-Person Test Prep

How many sessions are in each class?

The In-Person ACT Test Prep class consists of five 2.5-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 Science; Session 3: Math and 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?

If cancellation occurs prior to the first session of your registered class, your registration may be applied to a future class. 

What if I have to miss a class?

Please do not miss a session! If you must miss a session, make it up with one of these options:
1. All students have access to online recordings. If you miss a session, watch the video, then do the homework before your next class (no cost).
2. In-person students may attend the same session (Lincoln or Omaha) (no cost):  No need to notify us—just show up!

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 no longer offers a waitlist option.

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 Anne@OnToCollege.com

 

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 and SAT Prep Courses each have full practice tests, plus multiple assessments to measure progress. Kahoot!, Quizlets, and additional prep materials for each subject are also included.

How long can I access the course content?

Our full-year courses include access for one year from the date of purchase. Boot Camp courses provide access through the next national test date. Once enrolled in an ACT or SAT Boot Camp, the cost of the course can be applied to extend access for a full year of test prep from the original purchase date.

Can I extend a Boot Camp course?

Once enrolled in an ACT or SAT Boot Camp (access to the next national test date), the cost of the course can be applied to extend access for a full year of test prep from the original registration date.

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 will see a 1-3-point increase in their composite ACT scores, with many students joining the Five-Point-Jump-Club. Our SAT Prep students can expect a 50-150-point increase in their composite SAT score, with many increasing their score by 200 or more points.

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.

I am unable to open/print the Course Material documents?
You may be using an outdated version of Adobe Reader.  Click here (https://get.adobe.com/reader/ ) to get the most current version.
What software and hardware is required to run OTC?

OTC can be run on any of the four major browsers, Android and IOS.  If you are able to play YouTube and Netflix videos, you will have no problem with the OTC videos hosted on JW Player.

Do you support Adaptive Streaming?

Yes, this means that the rate of transfer will automatically change in response to the transfer conditions. If the receiver isn't able to keep up with a higher data rate, the sender will drop to a lower data rate and quality.

What is your refund policy for an online course?

You receive immediate access once you purchase an online prep class. Unfortunately, we are unable to cancel or refund your purchase.

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.

College & Career Readiness for Families

What different packages are available for OTC's College & Career Readiness?

We offer families three levels of College Counseling:

  1. College & Career Readiness | Includes one year of online access to OTC’s College & Career Readiness video collection, planning materials, financial resources, family action plans, and parent and student timelines.
  2. College & Career Readiness + Planning Session | Includes everything above PLUS two proprietary ebooks, and a two-hour one-on-one planning session with John Baylor for a personalized road map to guide your college planning journey.
  3. Comprehensive College & Career Readiness 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 OTC's College & Career Readiness?

College & Career Readiness On-Demand provides one year of access. Other college counseling options provide unlimited access for one year from the date of purchase.

College & Career Readiness for Schools

How much time will counselors need to use the OTC College & Career Readiness course?

The OTC College & Career Readiness course is designed to SAVE your counselor’s 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 July or 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 & Writing 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 (not currently an option for 2022-23) 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 and PSAT/NMSQT?

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

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 are 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 2022 was 20.3.

The national average SAT score for 2022 was 1050 with additional results by state and other filters also available at this link.

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 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 or SAT websites. You can also purchase old tests on Amazon or similar websites.
  2. Be sure to time yourself for each passage and circle/mark any question that you guess on.
  3. Review those guesses and wrong answers before doing the next passage.
  4. Those who read – both on their own, as well as the reading assigned by teachers – will do much better on the reading section. Read, read, read at least two books a month—a “classic” and one you choose. Here are 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: $18/school; SAT: first four schools free up to 9 days after test; then there is an aditional fee/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.  

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.

We strengthen scores, confidence, and culture so all students reach their best-fit post-high school destination with minimal debt.

ACT® and PreACT® are registered trademarks of ACT, Inc., which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.
SAT® and PSAT/NMSQT® are registered trademarks of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.