Frequently Asked Questions
SATs and ACTs
Which test should I take?
The best way to decide if taking the SAT, ACT, or both tests is right for you is to take a timed full-length practice test of each type. Since the content and style of the SAT and ACT are very similar, factors like how you handle time pressure and what types of questions you find most challenging can help you determine which test is a better fit. That's where Homework Helpers and our baseline assessments come in!
When do I take the test?
How do I register?
• SAT – http://sat.collegeboard.com/register/
• ACT – http://www.actstudent.org
Are their acommodations available for my child who has special needs?
Is the SAT or ACT easier on certain test dates?
No, this is a myth. Tests on all dates are of the same level of difficulty; there is no reason to take these tests on one date over another in the hopes that one will be easier. Your only consideration should be taking all necessary tests at the times that allow you to do your best – test preparation or no test preparation.
How many times can I take the SAT or ACT?
When will I get my scores?
Scores are mailed three to four weeks after the test is taken. However, scores are available online approximately 10 days after the ACT test administration and 19 days after the SAT test administration.
What is Super Scoring?
Superscoring is the process by which colleges consider your highest section scores across all the dates you took the SAT (and for most schools the ACT). Rather than confining your scores to one particular date, these schools will take your highest section scores, forming the highest possible composite score. The schools will only see the highest scores from each test date. Your child should send their scores from their top two to three highest scored tests.
What does a typical tutoring session look like?
My child has a learning disability. Can you help?
Do you offer tutoring in college courses?
What training and experience do your tutors have?
The tutors we work with are personally selected for their expertise in their subject matter. They include university and college professors, teachers, professionals with a degree in their tutored area, and college/university students with high academic standing.
Do I have to stay with the same tutor every time?
What platform do your tutors use for remote tutoring?
Homework Helpers does NOT operate on a one-size-fits-all model, and remote tutoring is no exception. We allow our tutors to use whichever remote video platform (e.g., Google Meet, Zoom, Skype, etc.) is most appropriate for their students' needs.
When can my child expect to receive their link?
It is often the case that tutors have many students back-to-back: as such, students may expect their link within five minutes of their scheudled lesson time. The office will reach out to you if the tutor is running behind for some reason. If you or your child has not recieved the link five to ten minutes after your scheduled lesson time, please call our office at (908) 876-1776.
Where will the link be sent?
When you schedule your remote learning session, our office staff will ask you for the best email address to send a link to. Many parents of younger elementary and middle school students will request the link to be sent to both them and their child so that they might assist in the case of any technical difficulties.
When should I start the college planning process?
It depends on how much personalized guidance you are getting at your school. A lot of our clients will begin this process as early as freshman year. Typically, students will schedule a session every six months to discuss class options, extracurricular opportunities, etc. If you want to be an engineer, do you know which classes most college programs require? Are you familiar with the testing and academic course requirements at your dream school(s)? Are you visiting enough colleges to explore your options and determine what you really want? If not, it would be wise to schedule an initial consultation to meet with one of our college planning advisers…it’s never too soon to understand what path you need to be on to achieve your academic and collegiate goals. However, if you feel your school counselor is answering your questions, you can wait until the summer before junior year, at which point you should meet with a college adviser to discuss your college search, examine potential majors/careers that interest you, and review your academic and extra-curricular resume.
What sort of help will I need during the college application process?
Simply figuring out where to apply can be overwhelming. After helping you settle on a list of schools and discussing the merits of early vs. regular decision, we will start outlining your college essays and creating realistic timelines/deadlines to keep you on track throughout the process.
How will my counselor know who I am or what I want out of college?
During the initial consultation, our college adviser will ask every new client to fill out a comprehensive questionnaire about their personality, interests, and goals in order to get a holistic overview of each student. Additionally, our college adviser is trained specifically to work with students moving into higher education. Whether it’s a school in New Jersey or a small college in Iowa, we will provide you with valuable insights and guidance throughout your college selection process, helping you differentiate between what you truly want (or don’t want) and what is simply the fear of the unknown.
I have no idea what to write my essays about. There’s nothing unique about me.
There is something unique about everyone! Our college advisers will help you discover your powerful story and help you showcase your talents and special qualities to admissions officers. You don’t have to do extraordinary things to catch a college’s attention…you need to know who you are, who you want to be, and show a commitment to becoming the best version of yourself.
I’m a good writer. Why do I need help with my application essays?
I’m a senior and it’s Thanksgiving. Is it too late to start?
Is Community College the best route for me?
The most simple, honest answer is “perhaps.” There are a lot of pros and cons to consider when making this decision.
How many schools should I apply to?
The answer to this question is a little different for each student, but we generally recommend using the 1-2-1 approach — in other words, applying to roughly 1 safety, 2 targets, and 1 reach for every 4 schools you apply to.
My high school already has a college counselor, an essay bootcamp, and/or other college informational activities. Won’t I get most of my questions answered at school?
Your school counselor and school activities are a great place to start, but you have to share your counselor’s time, or share the floor at college information nights, with dozens (if not hundreds) of other students. Our college advisers have much more time to focus on YOU! We can be as involved as you’d like — proofreading every essay, reviewing every college or financial application, confirming colleges’ receipt of every official document you’ve sent, etc.
How many sessions will I need?
The answer to this, of course, depends entirely on what you hope to accomplish and in which area(s) you are seeking guidance. Do you simply want help polishing essays, or are you looking for guidance in your college search, navigating various requirements and deadlines, prepping for college interviews, fine tuning your academic and extra curricular resume, etc.? Note that some colleges require NO essays, whereas other schools require more than ten — so, simply put, the biggest variable in this equation is WHICH SCHOOLS you are applying to. Once that is determined and you have a sense of what parts of the process you feel in control of and which you don’t, we can help you come up with a game plan to tackle the massive to-do list in the most organized way possible.
How long is the GRE?
The full test is 3 hours and 45 minutes long. There are six sections, with a 10-minute break following the second section.
How many times can I take the GRE?
Students can take the GRE up to 5 times in a year, with a minimum of 21 days between tests. You must retake the entire test, not just a section. Because the most competitive graduate programs require top scores, you should leave room in your schedule for at least one retake.
Where/when can I take the test?
What is a "good" GRE Score?
A “good” score varies depending on the program, but applicants should try to score at least in the middle range of accepted students. Many schools have minimum GRE scores. Of course, the minimum score is just a starting point, and most students need to score much higher to gain admission.
When should I start studying for the GRE?
As soon as you’ve decided to apply for a competitive graduate program, preferably several months in advance, take a diagnostic test to get an idea of your starting point and how far you are from your goal. If you require a score increase of more than a few points on each section, you should plan at least a few months to prepare.
How long is a tutoring session?
Any tutoring session that is not for standardized test prep is typically scheduled for one-hour, one-on-one sessions. However, there are circumstances where the depth or bredth of an assignment warrats sessions to be scheduled in half-hour, or even fifteen minute increments. As long as it is done in advance, scheduling can be highly flexible!
Are sessions one-on-one, or group-style?
While the vast majority of our sessions are scheduled as one-on-ones, we are happy to offer partner and group rates for those looking for a more social learning experience! Give us a call to discuss options and availability.
Who will be tutoring my child?
If you haven't taken a look at our staff page yet, we would love for you to check it out. When you do, you'll be sure to see that Homework Helpers has no shortage of professional, passionate, and SUPERB quality tutors on staff. We do our utmost to pair your child with a tutor who we believe will be a good match for your child by asking you (and them!) how they like to learn bests, where their biggest difficulties lie, and any other information you and your child think would help us make a match.
What is the pollicy for same-day cancellations?
In order to allow employees ample time to prepare, we alert tutors of their schedules the evening before your child's session. As such, same-day cancellations will incur a $30 charge to compensate the tutor for the consequently unfilled block of time. You will not be deducted a session from your package.
How often do students schedule sessions?
The beauty of our customizable and flexible tutoring packages is that they allow for individual students to schedule tutoring at their own rate anf schedule. Come as frequent or as sparse as you need for academic assistance. Are you just not getting Calc no matter what you do? Come once or twice a week! Got a history paper due in a few days and need an extra push? We're here for emergencies just like that!
Will homework be assigned?
Let's say it again: FLEXIBILITY! If you and your child's tutor feel that more frequent upkeep of skills is necessary to achieve mastery level, then our tutors are happy to customize homework specific to their needs.
Can a tutor communicate with my child's teacher?
Double check with your child's school's administration, but in most cases, yes! You as a parent have the right to give your child's teacher written permission to speak with whomever you choose.