test-prepSo your not sure about test preparation at all – but you have friends whose teens have been preparing since 10th grade! Should you have done the same? Now that your student is a junior, where do you begin? Are all test programs the same? (See previous blog,10 Truths You Must Know Before Selecting a Test Prep Company”.) The most important question, however is, does my teen REALLY need one-on-one test preparation?

Here are the 5 major reasons a student should prepare for the SAT/ACT in a tutorial program:

  1. You have a VERY strong student who is looking to get into one of the top tiered schools. Key strategies and mindset training will give that strong student the edge she needs to typically break 30 on the ACT and 2100 on the the SAT. (Most students in this category need very few hours of tutoring.)
  1. You would love for you teen to be the recipient of grant money. The best way to insure that happening is to to make sure your student gets scores that are higher than the range of the majority of applicants. (This is public information.) For example, if a particular university’s high end of ACT scores is 27 or 1950 on the SAT, and your teen scores are a 31 (ACT) or 2100 (SAT), your student will most likely be offered thousands in scholarship money.
  1. You have a student who has anxiety or ‘just doesn’t test well’; however, he is a good student and gets excellent grades. Such students need not only to learn proven test-taking strategies, but even more important, learn techniques to boost confidence and quell anxiety.
  1. Your student is totally clueless about the exam and realizes that going it alone is not enough. Groups are too distracting and squeezing in test prep without someone to answer to is difficult and unrealistic.
  1. Your teen has been taking weekly practice tests for the past month or two and the scores have plateaued. This is where one-on-one coaching can provide the necessary edge to ultimately boost those scores.

Ideally, now that your student is a sophomore or junior what should you be doing?

For parents of sophomores:

  1. Make sure your student keeps his/her grades up. It’s still the most important piece! Preparing for these exams during the sophomore year is typically a crap shoot in terms of return on investment – both in time and money.
  2. The summer before sophomore or junior year is the ideal time to take an efficient reading training course. This is where students hone in on improving their reading speed, comprehension and focus. Types of reading addressed are newspaper, fiction and non-fiction books. Call me for more information.
  3. Read, read, read! If your student is not a ‘reader’ have him read movie or concert reviews. Then have your student write the author’s take in a complete sentence.

For parents of juniors:

  1. Do your research and find out what program is best for your teen. Recommendations from friends are a good place to start, but make sure the program will satisfy YOUR teen’s needs. (See above mentioned blog post.)
  2. If BreakThrough is your choice – and we hope it is – your teen will take the first step with our 60 Second Better Test Assessment: ACT or SAT as well as complete the Student Profile Questionnaire. Then in the scheduled BreakThrough Test Prep Strategy session, a personalized game plan will be formulated based on the information gleaned from the two assessments. This game plan will ultimately determine the better exam, when it should be taken and how many hours of test prep will be required based on students needs and level.

I also invite you to schedule your complimentary 45 minute Test Prep Strategy Session at our center.


photo credit Stock Images via Free Digital Photos


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