Whenever I talk to parents about any recommendations for SAT/ACT prep I typically advocate for them to look for a quality private tutors. There are three key reasons for this highlighted below:
1. Personalized attention
Students typically think very differently than one another. Each student has different approaches to problems in addition to different ways of thinking through those problems. By having a one-on-one experience, a good tutor will hone in on each student’s quirks and idiosyncrasies in order to provide specific guidance to help a student improve quicker. A good tutor is very much like a coach or a personal trainer in that they provide a breakdown of strengths and weaknesses as well as a list of priorities for improvement.
2. Cheaper overall
While private tutors are much more expensive than a class tutoring setup, they are often much more efficient; it takes much less time for a student to improve their score and that score increase is usually much much greater than any kind of class prep. When you take into account the time savings in addition to likelihood of having a significantly improved score the cost of a private tutor is actually quite reasonable.
3. Group classes are rarely effective
In the research I’ve done regarding group SAT/ACT prep, classes are rarely effective for the majority of people. Group classes offer very generalized test prep help over classes that often last 3 to 4 hours in length once a week. If a student misses a class, there is no make up. The length of the class alone makes it almost impossible to pay attention for the whole time. For the students who find improvement from taking a large SAT class, chances are they would have improved if they had studied on their own.
Overall, it’s not that test prep classes can’t be effective, but most students will not see the level of increase that quality private tutoring can offer. Juniors in high school only have about a year/year and a half to prep and do well, and using half that time on a class that might not work only increases the student’s anxiety and stress level about getting into college.
information, then the class might work, but most students need more individualized attention.