Achieving the Greatest Success with Academic Approach

Welcome to Academic Approach! We are delighted that you will be working with us in preparing for your college entrance exam! It is our mission to raise students’ scores through our engaging, skills-based curriculum and positive coaching and mentoring. Our greatest successes always rely on a student’s hard work, so we like to set healthy expectations and guidelines from the beginning.

Students who complete an Academic Approach ACT class can achieve ACT score increases from 1- 4 points, with some of our hardest working students achieving increases of 5 or more points; those who complete an SAT course can achieve SAT score increases of 20-100 points, with some of our hardest working students seeing increases of over 100 points. 

For your student to enjoy the greatest possible success, we want to emphasize the following characteristics of our most successful learners:

Successful Work Habits

Students should attend every class and contact the instructor for missed material in the case of an absence

Students should attend every practice test, as these application opportunities are an essential component of the class

Students should complete all homework assignments carefully and thoughtfully

Our experience has shown that students who do not adhere to the above do risk results that may be disappointing. Our tutors and directing team will carefully monitor student progress throughout the class, and parents are always welcome to email or call our office to inquire about a student’s attendance record, ask for an electronic copy of a score report, or schedule a meeting to review a student’s progress.

What to Expect

  • Classes require a minimum enrollment in order to run. If the minimum for a class is not met by the enrollment deadline (1 week in advance of the class’s first session), families will be notified of the cancellation at will be contacted to discuss alternate arrangements.
  • Schedules are created together with your student’s school. Every effort is made to create a class schedule that does not coincide with planned school breaks or major school events.
  • If a day of the class is cancelled due to snow days, school events, or other scheduling considerations, then an Academic Approach Director will make a reasonable effort to coordinate with the instructor and students to schedule a make-up day. In those cases, every effort will be made to communicate the change to families and to reschedule the missed time, and refunds will not be offered.
  • No refunds are offered for absences during the class, though we encourage students to reach out to their instructor for any missed material.
  • Students will take 1-3 practice tests during the classroom course. Diagnostic and practice exams will enable Academic Approach to tailor the teaching to the most common and immediate test preparation needs of the entire class as revealed by a score-report analysis. These exams are a combination of retired content from the ACT or SAT and proprietary content from Academic Approach designed to provide the best possible approximation of how students will perform on test day.
  • Practice tests are not official exams and are not reportable to colleges.
  • Students will receive paper copies of practice test score reports in class following a practice test; parents may request a paper or digital copy of a student’s scores at any time by emailing the instructor or calling the Academic Approach office.
  • We do not register students for official tests; please visit www.actstudent.org or www.collegeboard.org to register for official ACT or SAT tests.
  • Students will receive 2 course manuals: Math/Science and English/Reading.
  • Our classroom courses typically include twenty-four hours of total instruction, which are customized to introduce reading annotation, math problem solving, data analysis, grammar, and rhetorical skills, all with a rigorous emphasis on SAT/ACT standards and practices.
  • In addition to the classroom instructional hours, students can expect to receive homework assignments geared toward deepening their understanding of a skill, completing timed practice sections, or working on a skill directly related to their needs.
  • Payment is due in full by the first day of class. Without payment, students may not participate.
  • If you and your student decide after the first day of class that the program is not a good fit, you may return your materials and withdraw from the course to receive a full refund. You must call the office before the next class in order to withdraw.
  • A student may withdraw from the class at any point after the first day and receive a prorated refund for classes that have not yet occurred less a $50 materials fee. You must call the office before the next class in order to withdraw.
  • Please alert an Academic Approach team member if your student tests with accommodations. We will make every reasonable effort to offer practice tests with your student’s accommodations.
  • We love working with students who have lofty goals for the highest scores! Our experience has shown that students who are striving to move a high score even higher are often better served by a targeted one-on-one tutoring program instead of a classroom course. Please let us know if you would like to discuss this option for your student scoring in a very high percentile on the ACT or SAT.

One-on-One Tutoring

Students are welcome to supplement their work in the class with personalized one-on-one tutoring. If you are interested in tutoring before, during, or after the class, please visit com/one-on-one-tutoring/contact/ and fill out a short form to get in contact with a 1-on-1 program director.

Classroom Course FAQs

  • After each practice test, the course instructor will hand back score reports to students in the next class. If for some reason your student does not receive their scores, or you would like an additional copy of the score report for yourself, please email the instructor.
  • Academic Approach does not have access to official scores. You should receive those directly from ACT or CollegeBoard.
  • Unfortunately, it is not possible to make up a missed class. Please email the instructor to find out what your student missed/will miss in class that day.
  • Make-up practice tests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. The 1-on-1 Tutoring department of Academic Approach holds practice test events every Saturday and Sunday morning in Lincoln Park. Space is limited, especially in the weeks leading up to an official test, so please email the instructor ASAP to see if we can accommodate your student to make up their missed practice test during a 1-on-1 test event.
  • Academic Approach is not able to register students for the official test. Please visit the ACT website for information on registration for the official ACT, or the College Board official website for information on registration for the official SAT.
  • Most college admissions officers will not penalize students for taking the official test multiple times. Many schools will only use a student’s highest composite if they have taken multiple tests. Some schools will even automatically “superscore” multiple tests by pulling a student’s best subscores across all tests and making a new composite score. Colleges and universities all have their own individual policies regarding how they look at ACT and SAT scores, so students and parents should look into those policies of their schools of interest before deciding to test multiple times.
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  • While the essay portion of the ACT or SAT is technically optional, colleges will typically want to see a score that includes the essay portion, if possible. The essay score does not factor into the composite score; it is its own separate score. While some colleges don’t require the essay portion of the ACT or SAT, even the ones that do will only see the score, not the actual essay. Your student will likely submit at least one actual writing sample as part of their application to the school, which will be a much better indicator to college admissions officers of your student’s writing abilities.
  • There are several things your student can do to continue preparing for the ACT or SAT outside of our class:
    • Classes may involve required and/or optional homework assignments, so students should make sure to complete all of those by their due dates.
    • There will certainly be material in the manuals that isn’t used in class, including full length practice sections. Please email the instructor for specifics on what material will be left over after the class and for answer keys.
    • In addition to our classroom programs, Academic Approach offers 1-on-1 tutoring, which would provide an opportunity for more personalized instruction, tailored to your student’s specific needs. For more information on 1-on-1 tutoring, you can visit com/one-on-one-tutoring/contact/ and fill out a short form to get in contact with a 1-on-1 program director.
  • We ask for consistent attendance from our students and cannot offer discounted rates for partial attendance.
  • In addition to our classroom programs, Academic Approach offers 1-on-1 tutoring, which would provide an opportunity for more personalized instruction, tailored to your student’s specific needs. For more information on 1-on-1 tutoring, you can visit com/one-on-one-tutoring/contact/ and fill out a short form to get in contact with a 1-on-1 program director.

Contact Information

  • For questions regarding the schedule, syllabus, and structure of the classroom course, please email your student’s instructor. (This information will be given to your child at their first class.)
  • For information about 1-on-1 tutoring, please visit com/one-on-one-tutoring/contact/ and fill out a short form to get in contact with a 1-on-1 program director.
  • For other questions, please email schoolprograms@academicapproach.com

Thank you for working with Academic Approach, and we look forward to a successful course that raises scores and builds skills and confidence!

Every Student is Different

We know our students; each one is unique. That is why our ACT, SAT, and Middle School test prep is customized to each student and school partner.

We improve your students’ standardized testing by tailoring our research-based, expert instruction and curriculum to your needs.

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