Doing anything to prepare for the SAT is a good idea. Working with experienced coaches either through private lessons or in a class is a better idea that has proven results. When SAT scores have big consequences; don’t make the mistake of struggling through preparing alone. Here is some advice from College Counseling Services of Pennsylvania’s senior SAT advisor:
Should your child take a group SAT prep course?
As a private SAT tutor, I receive many phone calls & emails asking me to tutor. I often tutor one-on-one, but sometimes I tutor larger classes throughout the year. I am often asked by parents, “what are the benefits of my child taking your class as opposed to private tutoring?” The following is a list of benefits to taking a group SAT prep course.
- Price – A private SAT tutor can be pricey. As I mentioned earlier, I usually tutor students one at a time. A weekly visit from a private tutor can add up. Depending on where you live, you can expect to pay a private SAT tutor between $50-$100 per hour.
In a group setting or SAT prep class, the price would be significantly lower, and you get the benefit of the same instruction.
- Solidarity- We have all heard of the old saying “two heads are better than one.” Well, it turns out that it’s kind of true. When your child takes a group prep class, he/she may have questions but are too afraid to ask. It turns out that many students often have the same question. When a child asks a question, that question was usually on the minds of many students.
In addition, group instruction lends itself well to peer instruction. The larger the group, the more the instructor has to divide his/her time among the students. I often use peer teaching to help one another out until I can personally speak with each student. Many times even if a student is correct, it’s nice to confirm an answer with a peer.
- Practice – I cannot stress enough how important it is to practice for the SAT exam. Although I hate calling it homework, I often assign extra work to complete for the following week.
A group prep class can “guilt” a child to into practice. After all, you don’t want to be the one who doesn’t have their homework completed!
- Structure – As I just mentioned, I often assign extra work to be completed for the following class. Of course some students groan and complain about have to complete “homework”.
The extra work I assign not only provides more practice, but structure as well. Students are used to being in “school mode”. If structure is provided, a group prep class is a lot like school.
Why is this so important? Children tend to accomplish more when structure is provided. In addition, structure provides stability. The routine is familiar to them and they tend to put more time and effort into the class.
As always, good luck! Let me know if I’ve missed anything in the comments section.
Lou Blair has been a public school teacher and private SAT tutor for twenty-one years.