As students become more competitive each year while applying for colleges, the pressure to do well in college entrance exams like the SAT is growing. Offered across the country, SAT prep courses are becoming increasingly popular among students who aim to attend elite universities.
Widely popular in the west coast, the SAT, a standardized test used for college admission decisions and scholarships, has become more important to students than ever, pressuring parents to spend thousands of dollars in enrolling their students in prep courses to ensure their success in the exam.
Schools like USC and UCLA are reported to have average SAT scores between 1,340 to 1,400, the perfect score being 1,600. The average SAT score continues to improve each year throughout the country. Most prep classes “guarantee” an increase of at least 100 points, charging thousands of dollars and advertising opportunity of a perfect score.
As someone who has taken an eight week long SAT course over the summer, I can say that taking a prep class may not be worth the time or money. Most SAT classes charge drastically high prices including mine which cost more than $1,000. As much as it helped me increase my score, I realized I could have studied by myself. It truly is up to how much students give to their studying, so simply taking extensive classes does not guarantee improvement if no effort is put in. Much of the advice and tips I received from my teachers as well as the material our class went over were also provided by the many review books I had at home. For some, prep classes may be beneficial if they lack the discipline to consistently self study, but for many, practice makes progress. SAT scores do not measure a student’s value. Although they are used to measure students’ ability to do well in college, they simply serve as indicators of which college may be best for them. College test scores should never be used to measure one’s self value. Success in life is never determined by the college students attend, but the hard work they put into it.