Archive for the ‘SAT test prep’ Category

What Parents Should Know about Test-Prep Courses

January 5, 2016

Since the SAT and ACT are important criteria for college admissions, you should not assume that your student can take these tests with no preparation. Test scores can make or break a student’s chances for college acceptance and scholarships. Most experts believe that a good test prep course can help to improve students’ SAT and ACT scores. Here are 5 tips to find a good SAT and ACT test prep course near you:

 

  1. The teaching is most important. Most test prep courses offer similar information, but a good course will have a teacher who can motivate the students. The course should be taught by an experienced test prep coach, not a high school teacher or someone who has only scored high on the SAT and ACT.

 

  1. The test prep course should be affordable. There is no reason why parents need to spend $1000 for a test prep course. Paying more does not make a course better nor does a big name make it more effective. Parents should contact local, small test prep companies and inquire about what they offer before they sign up for another SAT or ACT course.

 

  1. Students should practice and take real tests. Students should only take test prep courses that utilize tests that are published by the College Board and the ACT. Practice should also be done on real tests. This helps students to know exactly what to expect and makes for a less stressful experience. What good is practice if you are not using the real thing?

 

  1. The test prep course should focus on content and strategies. Parents should inquire about whether a test prep course focuses on test-taking strategies or also includes practice materials with review and explanations. Students need to understand the content of the test, but they also need to know how to approach each part of the test and some test-taking techniques that will help them improve their scores.

 

  1. A test prep course should fit the needs of your child. Is the test prep course small enough to be beneficial? A course should include no more than 8-10 students. Does it take too much time away from homework and other activities? Students should spend only as much time as they need and once a week classes should be sufficient. Will your student learn how to handle anxiety and gain confidence? Stress relieving practices should be introduced and practiced.

 

Parents should always read the fine print of any test prep course. There are no score guarantees in spite of what you may be told. Students are usually given the opportunity to retake the course, but parents do not receive their money back.

 

Small improvements in test scores can make a difference in college admissions. That’s why test prep can contribute to the overall success of a student’s chances for college acceptance.

 

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