The SAT – Can it be learned?

The Challenge

One of parents’ and students’ biggest concerns come junior year of high school is the SAT.  Required by most colleges as part of the admissions process, the SAT is a comprehensive math, reading and writing test designed to assess your student’s academic potential.  However, more and more students are discovering that SAT prep classes can teach them test-taking techniques that are specific to this test.  In many ways, the SAT is a test that can be learned.

My Experiences

When I was in high school, my parents couldn’t afford the close to $1,000 that a prep class cost.  As a Suncoast student I saw my friends’ scores increase by 100 points after taking a class, and I felt at a real disadvantage.  To keep pace with other students its almost necessary to get your student help with the SAT these days.

Our Recommendations

What are our recommendations?

1.  Start early.  Have your student take the test at the beginning of his or her junior year of high school so that s/he has a good idea of strengths and weaknesses.

2.  Do look into prep classes. Inquire about the credentials and success of the tutors.  Most importantly, inquire about class size.  As an SAT prep tutor myself, I’ve seen how difficult it is to give each individual student what he needs when a class is larger than 5.  The above and below average students both suffer in such a setting because tutors must teach to the middle of the class.

3.  Look for a tutor who is going to challenge your student. I’ve consistently found that when I give my students difficult homework and classwork, their scores increase.  Why?  To grow academically the students must reach beyond their comfort zone into unknown territory.  They must practice the hard stuff.

4.  More expensive isn’t necessarily better when choosing a tutor. We offer much lower rates because we don’t have the overhead of renting an office space or paying managerial staff.

5.  Inquire as to how the tutor is going to tailor the prep to your student’s needs. An individualized approach is necessary with SAT prep.  One-size-fits-all simply doesn’t work here.  You want a tutor who will focus on writing if your student’s math scores are already very high.

Start early, do look into getting your student help with preparing, and best of luck on the upcoming SAT.  Contact us with any questions or if we can be of assistance to you.

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