Are SAT Prep Courses Worth The Time and Money?
Some people balk at the expense and also the time required to truly invest in SAT courses. While some courses are cheap and don’t take much time, the more comprehensive courses often require months of assiduous practice and a significant sum invested in order to complete the recommend course. Naturally, some wonder if SAT courses are worth the time and money.
Any Advantage Helps And SAT Prep Gives That Advantage
The fact is that any SAT courses or prep work is better than none, though quality SAT courses and prep are even better than that. Students that use the minimum amount of SAT prep – such as the prep books one can get from most libraries or bookstores – often won’t achieve a bump on their total SAT score. Aside from the hyper-motivated, high school juniors and seniors often can’t sustain a consistent SAT practice regimen without a tutor’s guidance.
On the other hand, students that undertake SAT courses involving coaching, individually-tailored learning plans and a preparatory period long enough for sufficient repetition to gain actual skills tend to perform much better. Comprehensive SAT test prep by Testive has produced increases on the order of 100 or more points compared to no preparation.
After all, what’s better than “just good enough?” Definitely good enough.
What’s better than a good score? A great
Why Do SAT Courses Take So Long?
Studies show that SAT prep is better if done over a longer period. There are no meaningful skills a person can learn overnight; competence in anything requires repetition in order for the lessons to sink in.
For a student to adequately prepare, they should be prepared to put in 100 hours of preparation leading up to the test, and over a sufficient period of time so that the student can proceed at a relaxed but not unfocused pace. A period of 3 to 4 months of preparation should be undertaken in order to adequately absorb the information and coaching required to improve performance to the utmost degree.
Furthermore, a student should be prepared to take the test multiple times. That way, they can focus on improving performance every time out; the pressure of possibly having to retake it is removed because the student KNOWS they can retake it.
The more stressors can be removed, the better.
So the investment of time and money is certainly a consideration. However, the potential payoff – meaning a better score, more choices of college, and lower tuition – is too great to ignore. There are few investments that will pay off as well.
Tom Rose is the co-founder and CEO of Testive, an online SAT and ACT prep company. Tom started Testive at MIT, after spending years as a highly paid private SAT and ACT tutor, to provide students with personalized, efficient, and affordable test prep.