Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Great question! Most of our students will meet roughly twice per week, and each meeting averages about 90 minutes in length. When considered in the context of our method of billing (see “Efficient Prep Promise”), this means you should probably plan for ~2.5 hours per week. That said, if you are more self-sufficient and would like to save some money, you’re welcome to plan for 3 meetings every 2 weeks. We’ve also seen students succeed on 1 and even <1 meeting per week. All said, every student is different, and we’d be happy to help you figure this number out prior to purchasing. Please feel free to message us in the chat or to schedule a consultation using this link.
Most tutoring companies thrive on scenarios in which students purchase too many hours. Afterall, what could be better than revenue without the associated expenses? At 1SM, we think this philosophy is sleazy and perhaps deserving of vandalism on shareholders’ lawns. To avoid such sentiments aimed in our direction, we’ve come up with a few options for reconciling these scenarios:
Convert your tutoring hours to credits toward other 1SM services: This is relatively straightforward, but we’ll outline the process anyway. Take the example of a student who purchased the 40-hour plan for $5100 and finished their test prep with 4.9 hours remaining. In this scenario, we would calculate the student’s hourly rate by subtracting the cost of UWorld ($209) and then dividing the total by the 40-hrs: $(5100 - 209)/40 = $122.28/hr (we always round in the student’s favor). Then, we would multiply that hourly rate by the remaining hours: $122.28/hr x 4.9hrs = $599.15. We would then add this amount to the $400 credit toward additional services which came attached with the original plan to net a total of $999.15 available to the student for Admissions Advising, medical student coaching, Step 1 or Step 2 prep later in their careers.
Receive a 75% refund on unused time: Due to processing and administrative fees, plus the economy of scale that makes the hourly rate drop for larger packages, we can’t offer a 100% refund on unused time. Nevertheless, we will always offer the ability to get 75% back, no strings attached.
If you purchase fewer hours than you need, we’ll let you add more time at the hourly rate of your updated cumulative hour total! This is a policy best illustrated by example:
Say you purchase the 30-hour plan for $4200, but later decide you want 10 more hours. Since you’re already a student with us and there isn’t much additional administrative work required, we don’t need to charge you the full $1800 for the 10-hour plan. Since the 10 additional hours puts you at a grand total of 40 hours, we’ll bill you at the hourly rate of the 40-hour plan. The calculation would play out as follows: $5100 (40-hr plan price)/40hrs = $127.5/hr x 10 hrs = $1275. While your overall cost would be decreased by having purchased 40 hours up front, this is a substantially better deal than if we were to pretend we’d never met before (total savings = $525).
As far as we know, we’re the only company in our industry with this policy.
Within 24 hours of signing up for any of our services, you’ll receive a message from your tutor with their email address and cell phone number. You can use either of these means of contact to reach out to schedule meetings as frequently as you’d like, provided it works with your tutor’s schedule. Most students will have two standing meetings in the calendar each week; however, we’re also aware that life happens and schedules change, and we’re happy to communicate with you on a weekly basis to modify meeting days and times as needed.
As stated above, we completely understand that life happens and that you might need to reschedule from time to time, which is why we want to offer as much flexibility as possible. To that end, our rescheduling policy is as follows:
Rescheduling >48 hrs in advance: We’ll never penalize you for rescheduling more than 48 hours in advance. Period, end of story.
Rescheduling <48 hrs in advance: All students start with one free last-minute cancellation/reschedule per 10 hrs purchased, and also receive an additional last minute cancellation credit for situations in which the tutor needs to cancel or reschedule last minute. After these credits have been used, students will be billed for 30 minutes of tutoring for meetings rescheduled 24-48 hours prior to meeting start time, and 60 minutes of tutoring for meetings rescheduled <24 hours prior to meeting start time.
Note: We hate billing for things we didn’t actually do; however, we also need to recognize our tutors are busy people too, and that they need to be compensated for time wasted when situations like this arise.
Most of our students meet with their tutors between 1 and 3 times per week. If you’re wanting as much of a hands-on approach as possible or if you’re nearing your test date, we’ll generally recommend 2-3 meetings per week. More than that usually comes with diminishing returns; however, we have had students benefit from as many as 6 meetings per week (these are the exception rather than the rule). On the other hand, if you’re operating on a tighter budget or are seeking more of an as-needed advising/Q&A relationship, you’re welcome to purchase a plan and simply reach out to your tutor via email or text message (whichever you prefer) as questions arise. Our goal is to adapt to YOUR needs- not the other way around.
In keeping with our theme of personalization, we recognize that each student is unique and that there are many factors at play in determining outcomes on the MCAT which are outside of our control. For that reason, it is our opinion that offers of specific score guarantees, complete with all the requisite asterisks, are disingenuous. In lieu of these false securities, we prefer to channel our investments of time, money, and effort to ensure our students’ experiences with our program are of the highest quality possible. We guarantee only that which is completely within our control and, in doing so, empower you with the tools necessary to take care of your end of the bargain.
Too bad. You have to pay us for a second one. Same questions, same explanations.
Only kidding! We’re NOT going to make you pay for UWorld twice. When you go to check out, there should be an option to select whether you already have access to UWorld. If you accidentally opt in, just let us know and we’ll refund you the appropriate amount. As of writing this, UWorld is currently charging us $209 per subscription. So, by having you opt out, we save that amount, and it is only fair we pass those savings on to you!
As of January 1, 2023, our average score throughout the history of this company was 516.1. We will update this data again if we see substantial changes, or on January 1, 2024, whichever comes first.
Note this does NOT mean every student we’ve ever worked with has scored a 516+. Averages are averages and while the majority of our students have seen significant improvements, there will always be circumstances in which an individual is not able to get their expected return on investment.
We agree that this isn’t fair, but we believe it’s more fair if you are apprised of these facts from the jump.
Yes, absolutely. Since the company was founded on October 11, 2021, we have worked with over 250 students. While the vast majority have seen the expected, significant improvements, we’ve had outliers on both the excessively awesome and the confusingly underwhelming ends of the spectrum. In the case of the former, we once had a retaker jump from a 482 to a 519. Unbelievable, we know. However, on the opposite side of the coin, we have observed that a small percentage of students (around 1%) have a tendency to underperform on the official exam in comparison to their final AAMC FLEs. Admittedly, we haven’t yet completely accounted for these rare discrepancies; however, we are quite certain of their multifactorial nature. Testing anxiety, poorly simulated testing conditions, and random chance bad luck are among the most feasible culprits, and while we’re constantly implementing additional measures to minimize the probability of our students falling prey to these insidious monsters, we all have to tip our caps to the chaos of entropy at some point.