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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

We've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions. If you still have questions or need more information about our services please contact us

  • Where are you located?
    We have two offices in the Northern and NW Chicago suburbs, located in Lincolnshire, IL and Barrington, IL. We also work remotely via ZOOM with students in Chicago, other areas of Illinois, across the US, and internationally as well as with those in our local area who prefer Zoom. Here’s a link with our location information: Office Locations
  • What are your office hours?
    Our tutors, coaches, and consultants each maintain different office hours, but we do have afternoon and evening weekday availability Monday–Thursday, as well as weekend availability for all services. We also have morning weekday availability in the summer. Our Parent Liaisons return emails and calls as quickly as possible, almost always within 24 hours.
  • What is a Parent Liaison?
    Every family that works with us will be partnered with a dedicated Parent Liaison who guides them through the tutoring process and is available as a resource during the college planning process. Parent Liaisons are knowledgeable about the ACT, the SAT, high school and college planning, and the college application and essay writing process. They also have strong backgrounds in education, having worked with students and families in high school settings. To learn more, please read our Parent Liaison Profiles.
  • What services do you offer?
    At Laura George Consulting, we provide ACT/SAT Tutoring, High School and College Planning Guidance, and College Application/Essay Coaching. Please see our Services page for more info.
  • What do I do if I’d like more information about your services?
    We will be happy to help you learn more about our services. You can speak to our Office Manager right away, receive information by email, or arrange a free 20-min consult call with a Parent Liaison. Please visit our Contact page for more information.
  • How does LGC stand out from other ACT prep companies?
    We offer only one-on-one tutoring with subject matter specialists who are highly educated and thoroughly trained using the original methodology Laura George developed and utilized successfully for over a decade with hundreds of students. We provide a personalized tutoring timeline with a consistent schedule for each student. Our goal is to cover all content and strategy with each student, and lessons are customized and adjusted as needed to meet each student’s needs. We emphasize the importance of the “two-way street” in this process as well as the student’s role in practicing and mastering the lesson content in between lessons. As such, our lessons are content and strategy rich, with only a small fraction of the time spent simply asking students to engage in practice problems during the lesson. We assign homework and provide students with a Daily Study Plan that empowers them to practice what they have learned in between lessons, verify that they have mastered it, and/or identify which concept or problem types require further attention with their tutor(s) in subsequent lessons. Thus students require fewer lessons with us than with other more “cookie-cutter” companies that often recommend 50- or 100-lesson packages. We also strongly recommend that students take full practice tests during their time with us to practice the content and strategies they have learned in a realistic setting. All practice tests come with a full-color test report as well as lesson plan adjustments, if warranted. Every family also benefits from the support of a dedicated Parent Liaison to guide them through the process.
  • Is the SAT or ACT better? When is the best time to take the exams?
    On a general level, students often find the SAT to be more generous with time per question, but the ACT to be more straightforward in terms of content. Several factors contribute to choosing a test, however, and Laura George and our Parent Liaisons work together to help each student determine which test is the better fit. All US colleges and universities accept either test with no preference. Contrary to popular belief, there is no “easier” test at a certain time of year. All tests are normed appropriately so that scoring is consistent across all exams. Many factors contribute to determining the best time of year to take exams, including math class level at school, student schedules and obligations at different times of the year, and college application deadlines. Our Parent Liaisons assist each family with determining an appropriate testing timeline for each student.
  • What is diagnostic testing? Is there a fee?
    At LGC, we use an actual, retired ACT or SAT for diagnostic testing. All families are provided with a full color test report of their student’s performance, along with Laura George’s analysis and tutoring recommendation. The diagnostic test results help our tutors understand not only a student’s scoring level, but also the types of problems a student tends to miss. This insight assists our tutors as they individualize tutoring and lesson plans. The $50 test administration fee is waived if the student moves forward with lessons with us.
  • What services are included with ACT/SAT prep?
    All of our packages include: Diagnostic testing and full-color test report/results analysis Development of a customized tutoring plan One-on-one lessons with subject matter specialists Practice testing with full-color test reports/results analysis Practice test reviews with subject matter specialists Optional subject-level practice tests All coursebooks and materials Dedicated guidance from your family’s Parent Liaison
  • How does scheduling work?
    At LGC, we believe that a consistent, logical schedule is important for students so that they can properly focus on the content and strategy, adequately plan to incorporate study/practice into their weekly schedules, and complete lessons prior to their target test. For these reasons, we schedule all lessons, practice tests, and test reviews up front.
  • What if I need to cancel/reschedule?
    We understand that lessons need to be rescheduled on occasion. We will be happy to accommodate schedule changes with a minimum of 24 hours notice. We do encourage families to reschedule infrequently, however, as changes can affect the continuity of a student’s tutoring timeline.
  • What are your tutors’ qualifications?
    The majority of our tutors have advanced degrees, and all of them have educational background and/or professional experience in their subjects. All of our tutors complete a rigorous training program, which includes testing, and each one participates in continued training. Learn more about our tutors’ qualifications: Tutor Profiles
  • Does my son/daughter get the same tutor each time?
    Each student has either two or three tutors – Verbal and Math for SAT students, Verbal, Math, and Science for ACT students. After your son/daughter is assigned a tutor for a subject, he/she will remain with that tutor for that subject. This ensures continuity between lessons and the best use of lesson time. All of our tutors are trained to work with students with all types of learning styles. In the very rare instance that a tutor/student match isn’t ideal, your Parent Liaison will assist you with any needed changes.
  • How long are the sessions?
    Each lesson is one hour and is very content and strategy heavy. Students will be given homework each week to practice what they have learned (average of 1-3 hours per week).
  • Will my student’s scores increase?
    The vast majority of our students achieve higher scores after completing the recommended tutoring package with us and engaging in our Daily Study Plan, with scores increasing by an average of 40-50% of points available to the student. Our protocols have been proven to be highly effective, and we have earned a strong reputation in the community. Many factors contribute to success, the most important of which is the student’s engagement. Our students who are actively engaged in their lessons, do the assigned homework, and regularly study/practice what they’ve learned via the Daily Study Plan tend to achieve the best results. Our tutors and Parent Liaisons are quick to work with families to make adjustments when students are struggling, empowering students to achieve their highest scores.
  • What high school/college planning services do you provide?
    While we are happy to help families with a wide array of high school and college planning topics, we have packages designed to assist families with the most commonly requested services: Maximizing the High School Experience (with focus on identifying and encouraging appropriate academic and extracurricular engagement and building a strong resume) Exploring Major and Career Options College Search and Selection Scholarship Guidance
  • When should we start working with LGC on high school/college planning?
    We work with families from 8th grade through 12th grade. Starting sooner helps alleviate stress and provides a framework for accomplishing tasks in a more manageable timeframe.
  • Which high school/college planning services are right for my student/family?
    Each student has different goals, interests, and needs. Our Parent Liaisons are happy to assist you with understanding the options and determining which services will be of most benefit.
  • How important is the Common Application essay?
    Each college weighs many factors in a college application; some consider the essay to be very important, while others give it lower priority. In all cases, however, the Common Application essay is each student’s opportunity to personalize his or her application and share who he or she is with admissions committees.
  • What college application and college essay services do you offer?
    At LGC, we provide comprehensive essay/application coaching from the planning stage through to a finished product. We work with students on the Common Application main essay, supplemental college essays, and honors, scholarship, and special program essays. We also assist with the completion of the Common Application itself, as well as offer interview prep. We assist students with graduate school essays as well. Laura George is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC), the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), and the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA). LGC Educational Consultants Kate Pedigo and Lavinia Sorano are members of IACAC, IECA, and HECA. Our team members adhere to the strict ethical guidelines outlined by these organizations.
  • What does essay coaching entail and how would my son/daughter benefit?
    Our essay coaches guide each student through various exercises and assignments to ensure the development of a personalized main essay, written in the student’s authentic voice, that reveals a genuine, introspective perspective on the student and provides meaningful insights into the student beyond test scores, grades, and activities. The process includes Zoom meetings as needed and online work through Google Docs or a similar platform. Students often don’t understand the intent of the main essay and thus, even if they are strong writers, they can “miss the mark” in terms of the content they choose to convey. Moreover, in school-specific supplemental essays, a great deal of strategy with respect to choosing from available prompts (when applicable), selecting content that reveals the most in-depth insights, and conveying a genuine desire to attend a particular school is required. The student’s coach will work through all of these decisions and help students to make well-informed choices and develop the strongest possible body of essays for each individual school.
  • Who are your College Essay Coaches?
    Laura George works with a limited number of students each year, and she has trained three additional Essay Coaches in her methods: Beth Corelli, Karen Ecanow, and Jane Hoffmann. Visit our Staff Profiles page for more information about our coaches.
  • When should we get started?
    Most students begin working on the college application process during the summer after their junior year. Registration is open year-round, and we recommend reserving a spot as soon as you are sure you are interested in services, as we do have a waitlist every year.
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