I hope you were able to find value in what I shared last week. Let’s look at the final 4 myths again:
- colleges will favor the SAT scores from the current SAT or ACT over the redesigned SAT
- don’t take the redesigned SAT as students are unfamiliar with it. This is one of the silliest myths!
- all prep courses will review the same strategies and techniques
- preparation in a group is the same as one-on-one preparation
In addressing these myths, I will provide you with important information about the redesigned SAT as well as the often misunderstood aspects about test preparation.
I believe the rationale for the myth that colleges will favor the current SAT and ACT is rooted in the idea that since they are not as familiar with the redesigned SAT, they prefer the known to the unknown. I heard this same rumor in 2005. Bottom line, not true. It’s all about the scores.
That said, the myth that students should take the current SAT and/or the ACT because they are more familiar with them makes no sense: Students are unfamiliar with ALL of these exams – old or new! I believe this myth comes from prep companies who are not as comfortable or familiar with the redesigned SAT – more work to develop new strategies and practice; consequently, it’s clearly less effort to teach what they’ve been teaching for years.
Parents should make sure that they enroll their teen in a prep program that is able to serve their teen’s strengths and weaknesses. If your teen is a rising junior, make sure that company or tutor has a diagnostic tool to ascertain which is the better test – the current SAT, redesigned SAT or the ACT.
As I stated earlier, many programs and coaches will push the current SAT and/or ACT because it’s suits THEIR comfort level. Coaching companies and tutors should be hard at work studying the sample questions and tests the College Board has already released to create the appropriate teaching materials and practice for the new (P)SAT.
NOTE: The redesigned SAT and the ACT will be very much alike – way more so than before – so preparing students for the new SAT will be similar to preparing them for the ACT.
Presently, there are dozens of test prep companies, programs and tutors. When I started there were fewer than a dozen! Most rely solely on having students do practice test after practice test, usually avoiding teaching the mandatory mindset and critical reading and problem solving skills. Successful coaches have sorted though hundreds of practice questions to develop an understanding of the nuance of the tests as well as predictable patterns. This enables them to tune into the skill sets tested and develop proprietary strategies and techniques to improve those skill sets.
There is a huge difference between taking a prep program in a group vs. one-on-one. Years ago, when I owned a company that offered both group and tutorial prep, I learned that in the group situation, a third will improve their scores regardless of the learning environment, another third are there because their best friend is attending with little or no motivation, and the final third’s attentiveness is dependent all on their mood. Bottom line, a group program is usually a crap shoot. I came to realize that in a tutorial learning environment ALL students will benefit.
So . . . now that you have clarity about the test, what test prep should offer and be about as well as what colleges really want are you ready to move forward? BreakThrough Test Prep has the experience and expertise to offer your student a program that will provide him with exactly what he needs to be successful in this process.
What are you waiting for? I’m ready to answer your questions! Schedule your complimentary Test Prep Strategy Session so you can begin to map a personalized game plan for your teen!