Will my scores improve?

This depends entirely on the student.  We have seen students increase their scores by over 300-400 points (SAT), 10 points (ACT), or 30 points (GRE).  We have also seen students who have experienced little improvement.  Typically, if students finish the homework we assign and attend approximately 1 lesson per week, scores improve by at least 100 points (SAT), 2 points (ACT), 10 points (GRE).  Most achieve higher increases.  See “success stories” on our website for more.


How high does my score need to be?

That depends entirely on the college(s) to which you are applying.  Dr. Sissung can help you find the scores if you need help, but most target scores are available online.


Should I prep for the SAT or the ACT?

Yes to both options!  The SAT and the ACT have become so similar, that we prep students for both tests simultaneously.  Therefore, the teaching lessons are the same for both tests, and we base which practice tests to start with on students’ decision to take the SAT or the ACT first.  Almost everyone we work with takes both tests at least once.


Do you offer practice tests?

No.  We only use “official” practice tests that are published by the testing company.  If students use up all of the official tests, Dr. Sissung will advise on which testing guides we will use.


How much homework is expected?

Between 1-3.5 hours.  For the first 4 weeks, only ~ 1 hour of homework is assigned per week (sometimes less).  Following the “teaching lessons,” students are expected to complete a full practice test prior to the next lesson.  These typically take approximately 3 hours and are best completed in one sitting.  However, we recognize this is not always possible, and students often take the 3-hour test piecemeal when they have time throughout the week.


How do I enroll?

Please see the “contact us” page in the menu above.  Please provide an email and/or phone number.  We typically contact prospective students’ family within one day following a request.


Will you meet with me and/or my student prior to enrollment?

Yes!  Dr. Sissung is happy to meet prospective students and answer their questions prior to any enrollment.  These meetings are conducted for 30 minutes, and they must take place over Skype or in a convenient meeting place near Vienna VA.


How do I pay?

Cash or check.  Lessons are pre-paid and ½ of the total cost is due at the outset of the first lesson and ½ is due after the middle lesson.  For example, if a student is taking 10 weeks of “Full Test Preparation”, ½ of the cost is due at the start of the first lesson, and ½ is due after the 5th lesson.


How do we schedule lessons?

Dr. Sissung will provide a set of open lesson timeslots via email, and after we establish a schedule of lesson times BEFORE tutoring starts.


What happens if I have to miss or reschedule a lesson?

Students are allowed to reschedule or cancel up to 1 of 5 of the pre-scheduled lessons for any reason.  No refunds are offered for students who need to reschedule or cancel more than 1 of 5 lessons.


How does Skype tutoring work?

Skype tutoring is identical to in-home tutoring.  Dr. Sissung will send you his Skype name to establish a connection, and we will meet at prescheduled times.


Which subjects do you tutor?

The SAT, ACT, and GRE tests are the primary subjects.  However, as a professional molecular biologist and geneticist, Dr. Sissung will tutor students in biology, chemistry, and their respective subject tests.  However, these lessons are not available throughout the year and are agreed to on a case-by-case basis.


Do you help with college and grad school advising?

Yes!  Dr. Sissung has helped many students with their common application essays and knows several people who are involved in college admissions – some who even literally wrote the book on getting into professional schools.  We can bring these people in for an extra fee and on a case-by-case basis.


Do you help with anything else?

Yes!  Dr. Sissung is a professional editor who can help you edit your college essay, thesis, or term paper.