OUR PROGRAM 


We like to begin with a conversation in person or by phone so we can learn about your student and you can learn about how our program might work for you.  We will want to discuss subjects like college interests, score goals, academic performance, learning style, schedule, personality - anything that will help us tailor our approach to meet your student's needs.

Then we have your student complete a practice test or bring in the question booklet and answer sheet from a previous SAT or ACT test or a recent PSAT test.  We usually spend the first session going over the test with your student, looking for things like gaps in knowledge and vocabulary, timing issues, careless errors, and poor testing strategies.  Then we will call or email you with a report and a recommendation for addressing weaknesses and building on strengths.

For the first round of test preparation, we generally advise 3-6 sessions for each test area, depending on your student’s ability, progress, and goals.  We also encourage one or two review sessions the week before the test.  Please let us know about any factors like schedule or budget that might influence the number and timing of sessions.  Please note that we do require a commitment of at least 4 sessions if we work with your student.

After the test results come back, we are available to discuss how to proceed.  Many of our students work with us for multiple tests, but even if you choose not to see us regularly, we strongly recommend a review session before the next test date.  We may also suggest that your student try a different test.  Often, students do better on the ACT than on the SAT or vice versa.



* APPOINTMENTS & CANCELLATIONS

You can schedule sessions with Glynnis O'Donoghue or Robin Pool by phone or email:
 
     Glynnis O'Donoghue (704-654-8627, glynnis@yourstepstocollege.com)

     Robin Pool (704-502-7989, robin@yourstepstocollege.com)

Please contact us early – at least four weeks before you want to start is ideal, eight weeks if you want appointments in August or September. We do have last-minute openings, but parents who expect to start the week after they call may end up on the waiting list.

We require 24 hours’ notice to move or cancel appointments.  Cancellations without 24 hour notice will be billed unless the cancellation is related to a health or family emergency.  We assume students who cancel appointments have parental permission to do so.  Please let us know if your student has a coach who announces practices at the last minute.

If you are delayed getting to a scheduled session or have a last-minute emergency or illness, please text Glynnis (704-654-8627) or Stephen (704-488-6752).


* COMMUNICATION
 

We often do not read emails until late evening and may not be able to answer the phone or check voicemail during the day. If you have a time-sensitive message, please text  Robin (704-502-7989) or Stephen (704-488-6752). We welcome feedback, suggestions, and questions from parents and students.

 

* INFORMATION & ADVICE
 
There is no charge for time spent talking on the phone, answering email, or reviewing test scores. As a service to our clients, we offer free comments on admissions essays via email. If you would like to schedule an appointment for a consultation on test prep, essay, or college admissions matters, we charge the test prep hourly rate. Note that many questions are answered in the website FAQs. Consider checking there before you email us – you’ll get an instant answer to your question and perhaps others you didn’t know you had. Let us know if you have suggestions for other questions to add.
 
 
* HOMEWORK & TIME COMMITMENT
 
We assign individual practice problems, supplemental materials like vocab and math formulas, and untimed and timed test sections.  We give students coordinated appointment calendars and homework schedules to help them stay abreast of the homework due for each session.


It is vital that students complete the homework, usually 1-2 hours per session.  While we can adjust the amount depending on a student’s other commitments, we must emphasize that students with very demanding schedules may be too busy to benefit from our sessions.  Students sometimes do not improve during basketball, lacrosse, volleyball, or football seasons.  We will, at our discretion, discontinue preparation for the upcoming test if a student has two incomplete homework assignments.



* RATES & PAYMENT OPTIONS

Payment is due at the beginning of each session.  Our rates are $120 per hour for tutoring services. We accept cash, checks, and Visa, MasterCard, or American Express credit cards. We use a password-protected, Triple-DES encrypted system for processing payments that is disconnected from external computer networks when not in use.


* PRACTICE TESTS

To determine a student’s aptitude, we encourage our students to take both the ACT and SAT practice tests which can be found on our website.  These mini tests take 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.  We do not require practice tests if students have recent ACT, PSAT, SAT or PLAN scores.  Also, if students are preparing for the SAT or ACT specifically, we only need a practice test or recent results for that test.  If you have not sent in a test to us ahead of time, please have your student bring it to the first appointment.
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PRACTICE TESTS

To determine a student’s aptitude, we encourage our students to take both the ACT and SAT practice tests which can be found on our website.  These mini tests take 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.  We do not require practice tests if students have recent ACT, PSAT, SAT or PLAN scores.  Also, if students are preparing for the SAT or ACT specifically, we only need a practice test or recent results for that test.  If you have not sent in a test to us ahead of time, please have your student bring it to the first appoint