SAT Prep classes – is it fair?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Having had two kids who’ve taken the SATs thrice, I can say that taking SAT prep classes before the actual SAT test do help boost your score – in a big way!

There are different SAT prep classes. The ones my kids have taken are Princeton Review and Kaplan Test. Before your 10th or 11th grader takes the test, he/she has already been exposed to standardized testing so you’ll have an idea whether your child gets test anxiety or not. There are a lot of pretty smart kids who don’t test well so preparation is key.

These SAT prep classes are expensive. It can costs from about $900 - $1200. With my 2nd child, I found out that Kaplan has discounted program with our high school. And it was also convenient location-wise. There are SAT prep elective courses given at the high school, too. However, I don’t know how effective those courses are.

In all of the three instances that my high-schoolers took the SAT tests, the one that was taken right after the end of the SAT prep class, got the highest SAT scores by a very high margin. Even when my child studied on her own diligently, taking those SAT prep classes prepared my child better and garnered a way higher score.

The classes given were usually 12 sessions. The first session is a practice test. There are 4 practice test and 2 review classes. The SAT Prep classes also gave out online homework or study guides.

But what if you can’t afford to pay for the SAT Prep classes? Some parents will argue that it’s just fair to invest that much money so that their child can get a heads-up with their college application. But is it really fair?

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