It’s that time of year again. You may be thinking spring but what I really mean is standardized test prep season. The SAT, ACT, and AP tests are all coming up in the next few months and instead of waiting until the night before to consider starting your review, why not start now? There are a variety of offline books and Youtube video resources, but for those who need a more hands on instructor type setting there are a variety of institutions that offer tutoring*.
Offering test prep for the SAT, PSAT, ACT, AP Tests, and even a variety of graduate level exams such as the GRE and LSAT, they have a variety of course sessions from private to small classrooms (as in 5 people small) and even online courses. The drawback about this company is that their courses tend to cost an arm and a leg ranging from approximately $600-$1000 dollars.
Kaplan is another popular tutoring company. They offer courses mainly focusing on SAT and ACT prep. Their standard option is an online course which starts at 300 dollars. Other courses start from $700 and range up to $7000. Although they are expensive, Reviews.com gives them a five star rating.
If you are living in the Atlanta Georgia area a great alternative to Kaplan and the Princeton Review is Edison prep. They offer SAT Classes, ACT Classes, AP History Bootcamps as well as Calculator Bootcamps. Their classes are slightly under $600 for SAT prep and under $300 for ACT prep. These are significantly more affordable than some of the other options above. Although there are not many reviews online according to their testimonials they are very personal and motivational for preparing for the tests.
As seen above, if you do research for local standardized testing companies you’re more likely to find affordable prices. For example another more affordable company based in California is Be SAT Wise. Their prices range from $150 to $325 though there are far less expensive options as far as private tutoring goes.
The Flip Side
After browsing these websites I have noticed that these test prep services are extremely expensive in comparison to any books or online sources available. It would be in your best interest to first look locally before going to the larger scale companies. There may be tutors at your school who are available for help at a more affordable rate. For example at the high school of a friend of mine, they had high school seniors who received over a 2100 on the SAT tutor other students. They would work through the school for approximately $10/hour and the student themselves would pay $15/hour. This was not only more affordable but it was beneficial because the tutors had themselves recently taken and scored phenomenally on the tests.
Another alternative available to students is asking your core teachers if they would be able to assist you in preparing for the test. Most teachers stick around after class for at least 15 minutes everyday, come in early, or have free periods where you may be able to go to them for help. For example, my English class during junior year had SAT word prep as well as grammar drills. These were very beneficial because I did not have a good background in grammatical concepts and rules. Similarly, if you do SAT word prep and grammar drills but don’t understand a concept, bring the book to your teacher for help. This will not only add to your learning, but also help with the idea of getting help from teachers separately which is needed a lot in pursuing higher education. As such, though there are great test preparatory companies, it may be in your best interest to self study.
*This article was not endorsed by any of the companies mentioned.