Are SAT prep courses worth it?

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SAT importance has changed dramatically over the past few years. Many students strive to score as high as possible, because a high SAT score may translate into acceptance, and in some cases, scholarship money.

The basics of testing can be learnt quite easily; however the focus of this article is whether spending several thousand dollars for a prep course is ideal. At some private schools, more than half the students don’t think twice about spending thousands on a good coaching company.

Do you need a prep course? It depends on how you learn best, and what is your motive for taking up such a course. Most of the techniques in prep courses are already mentioned in prep books that are sold in bookstores for thirty dollars.

Top students seldom gain much from coaching. The effortless insight that marks the best standardized test-takers cannot be taught. On the other hand, a student who lacks motivation may not benefit from a SAT prep course either. For diligent students, the benefits from a prep course will vary. If you are the type who is well-organized and initiative, you’d probably do as well with self-coaching software and books.

If you are enthusiastic about a prep course, by all means, take up one. If you believe that a prep course will raise your score, chances are that it will. Other types of students who may benefit from a prep course include students who learn best with adult direction. They often need help in staying focused, so a prep course will be a good idea. It depends on how you learn.

Before you sign up for a test prep course, be sure you research thoroughly what exactly you will be taught. Meet the instructor firsthand. Don’t pay too much attention to guarantees; they are not reliable indicator of how effective a particular course is. It’s always a good idea to try to take up a prep course BEFORE the first time you take the SAT. That way you’ll avoid a sudden spike in your score – an event likely to raise suspicions in the admissions offices – which is the result of a cram course.