FAQs About ZAPS Seminars and Webinars
A. If there's a ZAPS strategy-focused seminar offered for the ACT, PSAT, or SAT in your local area, and if you learn better in a room with an instructor, then live a seminar is recommended. But don't despair if there's not a local seminar near you; ZAPS ACT strategy webinars and SAT strategy webinars have exactly the same content and instruction as the in-person seminars. And, like the seminars, the webinars are live, so you can ask questions and get answers in real time.
Some students prefer the relative anonymity of a webinar. No one sees you, and none of your peers will know if you ask a question about something that's hard for you. It's a safe, supportive environment. Your parents are welcome to watch the webinar, too.
Just be sure you have the equipment you need for a webinar. That's explained in a question below.
A. Doorway to College Foundation managers work with schools to schedule local seminars anywhere from one to five weeks prior to the national test dates. If you want to get a head start by studying early, or if there's no seminar at your school, consider registering for a webinar. Strategy-focused webinars (the same content as the ZAPS seminars) are offered a week or two before every national test date.
A. The ZAPS seminar and webinar are both focused on strategies to help you do your best on the test. In the five-hour, strategy-focused seminars and webinars, you'll become familiar with all these features of the test:
- Test length
- Test structure
- Item types
- Traps to avoid
- Test difficulty
You'll also —
- Learn how to use your partial knowledge to eliminate incorrect answer choices
- Practice ZAPPING™ on real test items
- Gain time-management strategies to take control away from the test editors
- Get tips for improving your study plan at home
- Learn where to find the tips and strategies in your ZAPS materials
- Reduce your test anxiety so you can do your best on test day
A. You will receive a comprehensive study guide that covers everything taught in the seminar. You will receive shortened practice test workouts with detailed answer explanations (24 for ACT, 18 for SAT).
Each ZAPS Study Guide contains complete answer explanations for each practice-test Workout question. You won't just see whether you got the question right - you'll find out whether you were a lucky guesser or really knew your stuff. If you didn't know the answer, you'll understand why you made the mistakes you did. It's a great way to review (or learn) the skills you should have learned in school. Even if you don't have time to take all the practice-test workouts, you can learn a lot by studying the questions and the detailed answer explanations.
ZAPS Study Guides and practice-test workouts are provided at no additional cost to students who have paid for the seminar or webinar or received a scholarship. Students must attend the seminar to receive their materials. Students registered for a webinar will receive their materials in the mail.
A. Yes. Students taking a ZAPS ACT seminar or webinar will become familiar with all four subtests: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. They'll also learn how to write an effective essay. Whether or not you plan to take the Writing (essay) portion of the ACT, this is important instruction that will help you in high school, college, and the workplace.
Students taking the PSAT/SAT seminar or webinar will become familiar with all three subtests: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. You'll also learn how to write a high-scoring essay, which is currently offered on the SAT (but not on the PSAT).
In addition, students learn other essential information specific to managing their time, using partial knowledge to eliminate wrong answers (ZAPPING), reducing test anxiety, handling specific test-item styles, and more.
A. The base price of the webinars and seminars is $129.99 for a five-hour strategy class, including the materials (a $34.99 value). When a school works with Doorway to College Foundation to help us host and market an onsite seminar or webinar, however, we are able to reduce the price. That's why students who attend through a school pay less than the base price. (Say thank you to your principal and guidance counselor!)
A.The strategies that work best on the ACT are, for the most part, very different from the strategies that work best on the SAT.
There are differences in the question styles, test types, test directions, and how best to approach each subtest. Should you guess? Should you not guess? What’s the best way to use your time? The answers will be different for the two tests. You will learn all this and more by attending the ACT and SAT seminars.
But it's better to take one seminar than none — and your school may make the choice for you by offering only one or the other. But if you want to attend a seminar that your school doesn't offer, you may be able to sign up at a neighboring school. Check our website or give us a call at 877-927-8378 to learn more. Also consider registering for a ZAPS webinar. Students tell us they love logging on and participating from home.
Q. I am planning to take the PSAT and then the SAT; is there a ZAPS seminar or webinar for each of them?
A. When you take a ZAPS PSAT/SAT seminar, you actually prepare for both tests. That’s because the PSAT and SAT are very similar tests — in item style, difficulty, directions, and content. The biggest difference besides timing and scoring: The SAT has an essay section and the PSAT does not.
If your school offers a PSAT-only seminar, you can still apply all the tips and strategies to the SAT. The main difference will be that the PSAT-only seminar doesn’t cover the essay. That’s well represented in the Inside the SAT Study Guide, though, so you can learn the ZAPS essay technique by reading the book if you decide to take the SAT test later.
If your school offers an SAT-only seminar, no worries! It will prepare you well for the PSAT, too.
A. We suggest you bring a pencil or two. It won’t matter if you use a pen in the seminar or webinar, but you won’t be able to when you take the test, so why not get into the right habit now?
You’ll most likely want to bring a calculator. It’s not absolutely essential, but it’s helpful to have when you work through the math test. You’ll use the calculator in the second half of the seminar — either day two of the two-day class or the second half of the all-day class. You'll also use a calculator in the actual test, so it's a good idea to practice with it ahead of time.
Students may bring any calculator to the ZAPS seminar. It’s important to note, however, that some models are prohibited from being used on the actual tests. We will share this information with you in the seminar or webinar.
If you're signing up for a webinar, you'll also need special equipment. That's explained in a question below.
A. You will spend 5 hours attending the seminar — either on two consecutive afternoons or evenings or in a single day (Saturday, Sunday or during the school day).
Your test-score improvements are directly related to the attention you give the seminar/webinar, and the amount of effort and practice you put in on your own. We strongly encourage students to continue to study and practice with their ZAPS materials right up to the day before they take the test.
The seminar and materials provide ideas for you to study and practice on their own. If, in addition to the five-hour seminar or webinar, you put in as few as three or four hours per subtest, you'll be much better prepared than the majority of the competition. And competition is truly what you're up against. If a few extra hours of study helps you secure scholarship dollars, that's a pretty good return on your time investment!
A. In each 2.5-hour session, there will be a break about halfway through. In a 5-hour seminar or webinar, there will be a morning and an afternoon break, as well as a longer mid-seminar break. Be sure you bring your own lunch or snack, or make plans to get food nearby.
A. The test specialist understands that students are likely to be hungry and thirsty; we just ask that you respect school policy about bringing food and drinks into the seminar room.
A. You probably won’t need to, though you’re welcome to if you find it helpful. Because each Study Guide is written specifically to complement the ZAPS seminar, every strategy you learn in the presentation is also clearly stated in the book.
Q. I didn't sign up for the ACT Writing (Essay) test; why do I have to sit through it in the presentation?
A. Even if you aren't planning to write an essay for one of these tests, you won’t be excused from writing essays in college. The techniques we use to teach how to write an effective short essay will be useful throughout your school career. What’s more, you may well use this method in your work life in the years ahead. So, we encourage you to listen, even if you don’t need the information immediately. You will need it someday — you count on it.
A. You can estimate your potential score based on how well you do on the practice test workouts. We provide score conversion tables to make it easy.
A. Score increases are a direct reflection of the amount of time and effort you put forth in the seminar and on follow-up study and practice. Typically, when students focus during the seminar and then apply those strategies while working through all the practice-test Workouts at home, they experience average score increases of 2 to 4 points on the ACT and 50 to 150 points on the SAT, depending on which seminar(s) or webinar(s) they have taken. There is no guarantee of results, as each student is different. If you are unhappy with your results, however, you may attend another seminar or webinar at no cost, as long as you use the books you purchased. Contact our office to request a new registration.
There's no replacement for a positive attitude and a willingness to study and practice. View the seminar as an opportunity to help determine your own future by focusing on ways to earn the best test scores possible.
A. Please contact the ZAPS office well in advance of the seminar or webinar, and we will address your needs individually.
A. There's really very little needed, but those elements are essential. Before the webinar begins, be sure you have the following:
- A quiet work area, such as your home, library, or a low-traffic area at school
- High-speed internet connection
- A computer connected to the internet (PC or Mac). (Note: Recorded webinars are not accessible via a tablet or phone.)
- Headphones (preferred, but not mandatory if you're in a quiet area)
- A calculator (optional but helpful for the Math section)
- ZAPS Study Guide and Workout booklets (these will be shipped to you, so be sure to register by the deadline)
- Pencil or pen
A. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, call 877-927-8378 during business hours, from 7 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday. If you're calling after hours, or while we're on other calls, please leave a detailed message, and we'll get back to you no later than the next business day.