Even with the extension of test-optional policies, students can benefit from taking standardized tests. Earning high scores on tests such as the PSAT/NMSQT®, SAT®, or ACT® could help students fund their education. This could minimize the need to rely on student loans, which must be repaid.
Many students use standardized test tutoring as a resource to help improve their final test scores. Standardized test tutoring helps students monitor their progress, implement test-taking strategies, receive customized feedback, and more. To better understand the benefits of standardized test tutoring, we need to understand how standardized testing works.
What are Standardized Tests and What Do They Measure?
Standardized tests require each test taker to answer a selection of questions from a common question bank. They are scored in a consistent manner to measure and compare the performance of students across the country. These exams can offer a mix of true-false questions, short-answer questions, essay questions, and multiple-choice questions.
Common types of standardized tests include AP® exams, PSAT/NSMQT, the SAT, and the ACT.
AP exams measure how well high school students have mastered introductory level college material for a specific course. The PSAT/NMSQT measures how prepared students are for the SAT. It may also identify students qualified for the National Merit Scholarship and an additional $300 million in scholarships.
The SAT and ACT measure how well students have retained material covered throughout high school. They also gauge each student’s ability to adapt to and solve unfamiliar, complex topics. Traditionally, this served as an indicator of how prepared students are for higher education.
As test-optional and test-blind policies extend to more colleges, many students and parents wonder…
Why are Standardized Tests So Important?
Earning high scores on standardized tests could minimize or eliminate the need for student loans. They could also help students save time and money by earning college credits prior to high school graduation. High test scores may also help a student’s college application stand out from the competition.
Taking and passing an AP exam can strengthen a student’s college application by showcasing their mastery of college content. It exposes students to an introductory level college course and helps them develop skills to be successful in college. While these courses are free, students pay a small fee to take the corresponding exam.
Passing an AP exam benefits students by:
- Earning college credits at a fraction of the cost of a standard college class
- Helping students develop the critical thinking, research, and writing skills to be successful in college
- Strengthening a college application by showcasing a student’s ability to adapt to more complex content
PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, and ACT
In 2023, the average college student graduated with $35,000 in student loan debt. Earning high scores on the PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, and ACT may qualify students for a wide range of scholarships. Having access to a wider range of scholarships can benefit students applying to test-optional or test-blind schools.
As students qualify for more scholarships, they have more avenues to fund their education. Whether the scholarship is a full-ride or partial, these funds serve as free money for students.
Earning high scores on standardized tests is beneficial when applying to competitive schools with test-optional policies. These scores can help an applicant stand out from the competition and increase their chances of being accepted. For the class of 2026:
- 67% of the students accepted into Boston College submitted an SAT or ACT score.
- 90% of Georgetown’s admitted students submitted an SAT or ACT result.
Why is it Important to Prep for Standardized Tests?
Standardized tests primarily focus on the collective. These tests do not account for individual strengths, weaknesses, or other factors which may negatively impact performance. They take a one-size-fits-all approach to education which inaccurately reflects each student’s capabilities.
Standardized test tutoring can…
Provide an Individualized Approach to Test Prep
Standardized test tutoring offers a customized approach to standardized content. Tutors can tailor the pace of their sessions to match the student’s strengths and weaknesses. This helps students progress through the material at a comfortable pace without compromising their progress.
With a tutor, students can receive individualized feedback to assess their current performance and measure their progress. Tutors help students develop test taking strategies to increase their final score. Tutors teach students narrow answers using the process of elimination, prioritizing questions based on difficulty, and effectively managing their time.
Create an Immersive, Low-Stress Learning Environment
Tutors can create a pressure-free environment for students to ask questions and work through the content. Tutors can also create immersive learning environments, so students can experience test-day simulations. Undergoing test-day simulations can reduce test day anxiety and optimize student performance.
Teach Students Transferable Skills
Tutors help students enhance their critical thinking, analytic reasoning, and reading comprehension to dig deeper into test material. Working with a tutor can help high school students create healthy study habits. These strategies and habits can be refined in college to improve a student’s academic performance and productivity.
The tips and tricks students learn during standardized test tutoring can help students optimize time spent studying in college.
Standardized test tutoring can play a vital role in a student’s academic pursuits and save students time and money. Test tutoring can help students optimize their test scores, increase their eligibility for various scholarships, and improve their confidence. It creates a safe space for students to progress through the content at a steady pace without compromising their comprehension.
Working with a tutor helps students monitor their progress and implement customized feedback into their test taking strategy. This individualized attention combined with an immersive learning environment can build a student’s confidence and improve their overall performance. This can minimize test day anxiety and optimize their performance.
Standardized test tutoring can help students develop healthy study habits as well as develop valuable transferable skills such as:
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Analytical reasoning
- Reading comprehension
The benefits of test tutoring can impact students in high school, college, and beyond. Standardized test tutoring can serve as a vital stepping stone for academic success and minimal financial burdens. It can empower students to take an active approach toward their education and unlock a world of opportunities.