Image from Flickr.

Image from Flickr.

The pressure to do well on standardized testing is huge, and it can feel overwhelming when all of your peers are paying for classes or buying giant training books. Maybe you are doing these prep methods too, or maybe you aren’t for whatever reason. Either way you’re over looking the biggest, easiest resource literally waiting to help you.

Teachers. Most of them have been in the business a long time, they know what these test are like and every year they watch and help their students prepare for test like the ACT and SAT. My senior year, after I had already been accepted to the college I would eventually attend, my AP English teacher worked with me for weeks to help get my ACT score up by just one more point so I could qualify for a higher scholarship. At one point I wasn’t sure who wanted my score to increase more, her or me. Her guarantee that she could increase everyone’s score by at least one point was fulfilled, and I’m gratefully indebted to her for the time she spent working with me after school.

My teacher normally tutored students for standardized test for a fee, but she always cut her own students a generous discount. The help I received from her was much less costly than giant prep books or one-time classes.

Even if your teacher doesn’t normally offer tutoring services, don’t be afraid to approach them. Teachers want to help their students as much as they possibly can. Their job is to help you succeed academically. They also love to brag and take credit for all of their students’ success. If a teacher turns down your request for help they either are a good excuse or aren’t a good teacher.
Now don’t go to your freshman biology teacher for help. Be smart about it. Go for the AP English or Advanced Math teachers.

Like I said in the beginning, teachers have watched and helped their students with standardized test for years. Most, especially those who normally tutor students, will have test banks dating years back consisting of different sections for whatever test. They’ll have essay prompts, math sections, and know the best practices to prepare for what you will see on the test.

Albeit my own AP English teacher was phenomenally smart and had a passion for helping students on standardized test, there is bound to be a capable teacher willing to help somewhere at your school. Don’t be afraid to ask them even if you don’t really know the teacher. They’ll be excited a student is coming to them for help. If you can’t afford the huge prep books and expensive classes, teachers always understand and will offer you what they can. If you can afford these resources a teacher can offer you personal and personalized help these other ones can’t as well as provide accountability while you st

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