Are standardized test prep courses worth it?
Higher Scores Test Prep
As you might expect, as a test prep provider, my short answer to this question is an enthusiastic yes! Of course, I am certainly biased on this point; however, here are three student-centric reasons why I truly believe that test prep is a valuable part of the college admission process.
First, ACT and SAT scores are potentially worth thousands of dollars. Every point of improvement on these tests has an impact on the amount of money students might be given to attend college, and the best way to ensure that you improve as much as possible is to prepare for the exams with an expert. Besides, both the ACT and the SAT are the only tests in high school worth thousands of dollars. Why would they be the only tests that students don't study for?
Second, everybody's doing it. Yes, this is typically the worst reason to do something, but in this case, it's your competition who's preparing. Since most students who prepare for the ACT or SAT improve, you may not be as numerically competitive as you could be in comparison.
Third, there’s the confidence factor. My students generally come into my courses feeling lost and stressed. They know that the ACT and SAT are important to their future, but they have no idea how to handle them. They don't have a plan.
Test prep, when done right, isn't just about reviewing math or reading or grammar or science; it's about providing students with specific strategies that empower them to get the best scores they're capable of. When students prepare in a way that builds them up, it gives them the confidence to shine on test day.
There are some studies out that say that test prep does not work, but in my experience, that is simply not the case. However, test prep only works when students are willing to do the work necessary to improve and trust the manner in which they are preparing.
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