If you’re planning to take the SAT sometime soon, you probably have a lot of questions: Do I have to take the SAT, or would taking the ACT be better? What if my SAT score is awful? What’s on the test? What does SAT even stand for? And one of the most common of all: Do I need to take SAT prep classes? We’ve broken it down to help you figure it out.
WHO Should Take Them?
Most students who will take the SAT could benefit from SAT prep classes. A good SAT prep tutor knows the ins and outs of the test and the strategies that help students boost scores. Many students score very well all on their own, but most see score increases with the help of an expert.
These symptoms suggest that you would benefit from a good SAT prep class:
- Your scores are really low
- Your scores were going up, but now they’ve plateaued
- Your scores are already really high, but you want them to be even higher
- You’re really struggling in a specific subject
- You’re missing key knowledge or skills
WHAT Should You Expect From a Good SAT Prep Class?
SAT prep classes come in a lot of shapes and sizes: online and in-person; one-on-one, small group, or big class; customized or one-size-fits-all. When you’re looking for an SAT prep class, your goals and your current scores will help determine what kind of class is best for you.
- Students who do very well in a self-paced environment and who are very self-motivated may excel in an online setting, but students who lack motivation or self-discipline often don’t get much out of online classes.
- Students with very low or very high scores tend to need a lot of one-on-one support, so big group classes or one-size-fits-all approaches usually won’t work. These types of classes tend to be designed for students with middling scores, somewhere in the 1000 to 1300 range.
The best SAT prep classes focus on building the knowledge and skills that help students succeed beyond test day. For example, rather than focusing on drilling specific question types, a good SAT prep class will develop broader skills in reading comprehension, English grammar fluency, and math reasoning.
WHEN Should You Start?
SAT prep is a marathon, not a sprint. Because the surest way to success is to build up a foundation of knowledge and skills, students should be prepared to dedicate months to SAT prep. If time is of the essence because college applications are approaching, an SAT prep class can still help boost scores, but students may not have enough time to reach their ultimate score goals.
WHERE Should You Take SAT Prep Classes?
Clearly we’re partial to your local C2 Education center, but there are a lot of options for SAT prep. Some students find great success with in-home tutors, and many schools and public libraries offer group SAT prep sessions.
No matter where you choose to take SAT prep classes, be strategic with where you study between sessions. Check out our post on the ideal study place to learn more.
WHY Should You Take SAT Prep Classes?
Annual surveys show that colleges consider SAT or ACT scores to be among the most important factors in admission decisions.
Your test scores count.
What’s more, SAT prep is one of the fastest ways to bolster your college applications. Your grades and your extracurricular resume are built over your entire four-year high school experience. Once you reach your junior year, there’s only so much you can do to see a big change in your overall GPA or to create a big shift in your extracurricular activities. But in mere months, with the right SAT prep classes and plenty of hard work, you could see major changes to your SAT scores.