Outlier's Advantage: ACT Prep Academy

Outlier’s Advantage:

Who we are:

We are a human development organization.

Primary objective:

To be a world-class life success and leadership program for students.

The problem we solve:

Students are rarely trained on how to be successful in school and life.

How we currently solve this problem:

We train students in skills and success principles to be successful in college and beyond. We use the ACT as our primary means to teach and practice these skills and principles.

Though higher ACT scores are a great immediate result, we are most interested in how students must grow to achieve these results.


About the 13-Week ACT Prep Academy

This is a rigorous 13-week program designed to help students achieve a five-point increase or greater on the ACT. The program is designed around the idea that we are training for the ACT in a way that an elite athlete trains for an event. Students will be able to take the skills, methodologies, and success principals they learn in the program to achieve challenging goals in all areas of their lives.

In our program, students learn advanced techniques for goal setting, top-performance mental game, performing under pressure, focusing on mastery before moving to the next step, overcoming self-limiting beliefs, embracing failure and embarrassment as a part of learning, time management, memorization, teaching themselves anything, thinking bigger, self-talk, and planning for success. We also rebuild grammar and math foundations, improve reading speed and comprehension, and simplify reasoning skills.

The program is structured for maximum engagement. Each class is broken up into teams. Each team has a team leader and at least two assistant coaches. We maintain a 10 to 1 student to coach ratio in each of our classes. Each student gets a dedicated coach who is in contact with their students almost every day of the three months of the program via texting and Facetime. The teams are competing every week to win prizes for their team by having the most students on that team go above and beyond on their personal goals for that week. This way, everyone is encouraged to do his or her part during the weekly prep because it benefits the whole team.

The program only works if the students do, but the results speak for themselves. In 2019, 42% of students who completed our program achieved between a 5 to 10-point composite increase. Our largest increase in 2019 was a 12-point composite increase from a 21 to a 33. One out of every four students who completed our program in 2019 achieved at least a 10-point improvement on the English section. Almost all of these increases are based on official ACT tests students took before and after the program. Bold claims require bold evidence, check out our Wall of Greats.

Though we are headquartered in Knoxville, our live-online program allows participation from students from all over the nation. The live-online program works the same way as our in-class program. Both live-online and in-class students are in the same class. Both online and in-class students engage in the program to the same degree. There is no other program in the nation that consistently helps students achieve the types of increases that students get every class in our program. We see almost an identical percentage of students who achieve 5, 6, 7, and greater composite point increases in the online program as in the physical class. If students put in the work, they will achieve the same results.

We have a program that starts almost every month. Students will have 1.5 to 2 hours per day of homework for the three months of the program (with one day off each week). Therefore, students should do the program when their schedule allows them the necessary time to devote to the program. We recommend students start the program as soon as they can after they complete or while they are enrolled in Algebra 2 and Geometry.

Things to know before signing up:

  • We require that all students take the ACT before they start our program. We need to have these results at least one week before the start of the class. If you learn about our program too late to take an official ACT before the beginning of the program, we can use the results from one of our FREE Mock ACTs. You can sign up for these on our website. If the Mock ACT does not work, we will need you to self-administer a practice test. Please contact our office so that we can email you one of these.
  • This program requires a lot of homework time. Most students will do 1.5 to 2 hours per day of ACT prep throughout the three months of the program with one day off each week. If it is not realistic for your student to do this, we recommend doing the program at a different time or doing a one-on-one option where students can set their own pace.
  • Please do not make your student do our program if they do not want to do it. We have students in every class where their parents are forcing them to do it, and it rarely ends up well. It is easy to do tons of hours of work and not increase hardly at all because you are just going through the motions. These students often also end up having a bad experience. They have to want this for themselves for this to work. For students who want to beat the ACT, a lot of them end up loving the program. It is incredible to be surrounded by motivated students with common goals all pushing each other to reach those goals.

Different Packages:

13-Week ACT Prep Program (physical class or live-online): $897

This is our standard program. This includes a physical seat in our class, all supplies, access to our online materials, a 30-minute phone orientation before the start of the program, 13 classes, and daily coaching via texting for the 13 weeks of the program.

Hybrid Program (physical class or live-online): $1,415

This is the best of everything we offer. The Hybrid Program includes everything from the typical 13-week program, but it also comes with four 1.75 hour one-on-one sessions, additional daily coaching via texting from the Lead Coach of the class, and the highest level of customization. This way, students get most of the material from the class but get to focus on their problem areas with one-on-one coaching. This is recommended for students who are starting with a 26 or lower on the ACT or who have weaknesses in the math or English sections. Students are in the exact same class as the non-Hybrid 13-week program students. They simply get the extra support of the four one-on-one sessions and extra daily coaching.

One-Month Single-Subject Option (live-online only): $500

For students who are only wanting to do one subject, we now offer month-long single-subject sections. It is usually best to call our offices before signing up for these so we can discuss the specifics of the situation and talk about the start date for that subject.

Full One-on-One Program:

For students who are not able to meet on Sundays from 4-6 for the class, this is the option for you. Students meet with their tutor once per week for a 1.75-hour session. Lessons and homework are tailored to the student’s needs but still follow the same general pattern as the class. One-on-one students get all of the same accommodations as classroom students, but the program can more easily be tailored to the student’s exact needs. Students are still expected to maintain 1.5 to 2 hours of homework per night between sessions with one day off each week.

We charge a one-time, non-refundable fee of $220 for admission in the one-on-one program to hold your weekly time slot. Then, it is simply pay-as-you-go, charged after each session. There are no contracts or commitments. You can do as few or as many sessions as you want. Most students starting with a composite score below 28 will do 13 sessions. Tutors range from $150 to $200 per session, depending on the tutor you choose. You will need to call in to be paired with your tutor and to ensure we have a weekly time slot available that works with your schedule. Our number is 865-643-6030.


31+ Guaranteed! Program (This is a one-year long program): $1,800

We are excited to announce that we are now offering a one-year-long program named 31+ Guaranteed! This program guarantees at least a 31 score for students starting with a 25 or above or at least a 6-point composite increase for students starting with below a 25. This is a full money-back guarantee.

The 31+ Guaranteed! program is an opportunity for students to change the trajectory of their lives. For most students, there is simply too much information for them to learn in 13-weeks to achieve the types of increases they are working towards achieving. This program is an opportunity for them to completely rebuild their academic prowess from the ground up regardless of what level they are on.

We have structured the 31+ Guaranteed! program to help students reach their ultimate potential on the ACT. The program will be broken up into four different sections. Before every section of the program, students will get an hour-long one-on-one Zoom session with their Academic Coach. This will allow them to create a plan to customize each section to the student’s needs. In the first section of the program, students can expect to increase by 3-4 composite points. During the next two sections, students can expect to increase 2-3 more points each time. Almost every student who has completed this program has achieved at least an 8-point composite increase.

Students in the 31+ Guaranteed! program who keep their commitments during the first section of the program will get the opportunity to join the leadership team for the remainder of the program. This will give them a chance to play a leadership role in the program, gain extra levels of attention from the coaches, learn advanced test-taking strategies, and become an essential part of the fabric of the program over the course of the year.

If students are local, they can do their first section of the program in the physical class (as long as they sign up before the physical seats fill up). For the remainder of the program, they will join each week via our live-online platform.