No, test prep is not required. In fact it shouldn’t even be needed.
The SAT and ACT are designed to test the level of a high school student’s readiness to perform in a college classroom; they’re not designed to see who has the money to spend on expensive test prep courses. Then why do so many students attend test prep classes? And why do these test prep classes claim success in raising scores?
The answer can be found at the gym. No one needs a personal trainer – we know how to exercise and lose weight. Run here, do push up there, it’s natural. But why are there so many personal trainers? 2 reasons: (1) to show you the best way to do it and (2) to make sure you do it. The same reasons applies to SAT/ACT test prep.
Does anyone have a child just begging for their parents to purchase them the SAT practice book so that he or she can sit down on weekends and read it cover to cover? I didn’t think so. That’s why you need test prep. To make sure your student practices the tests – and practices them the “right” way – in order to maximize his or her score. I cannot tell you how many students I’ve come across who do not score up to their intellectual and academic level on their first practice test simply because they don’t like tests. Test prep helps students get past that mental block and achieve the score they deserve. [Read more…]