The acceptance rates to colleges continue to decrease, and students need to stay ahead of the competition in order to gain admission to the top colleges. Studies show that SAT test prep is now vital for any student attempting to apply to college. As the following article states, SAT test prep is now mainstream, and without it students are at a definite disadvantage.
Getting into the right college has set up a fierce competition among high school students to have the best possible grades, array of activities, and — of course — the highest SAT score they can get.
It has become fiercely competitive with many parties involved: Colleges want students with better scores than last year’s freshman class; a broader group of teens is applying to college; parents want the best for their children; and teens are trying to live up to dreams and expectations.
This fervor has helped fuel growth in the SAT preparation industry. A quick Google search turns up a huge volume of books, scores of classes and countless tutors available for one-on-one attention.
High-school students trying to get into their college of choice face more difficult odds than a generation ago, and every advantage counts. As a result, some parents are willing to pay hundreds, even thousands, of dollars for an SAT or ACT preparation class with the hope of raising their child’s score.
Most everyone agrees that preparing for the SAT or ACT has benefits. Some tutors in Connecticut say they have seen their students’ scores rise by hundreds of points.
“It is by no means an IQ test,” Anestis said. “It’s a test of skill. It’s just like anything else you try to get better at. If you want to get better at tennis, you have to practice. If you want to get better at golf, you have to practice. Your natural ability does limit you to some respect.”
People are using tutors partly because it’s normal to do so now, Freeman said.”There is no stigma attached to having a tutor any more,” he said. “When you grew up, maybe only the dumber kids got tutored. It wasn’t something you were proud of. Now, kids routinely refer to their math tutor. … It’s just something that kids do.”
“We do have a test-score arms race in the nation’s high schools, SAT and increasingly ACT, which almost as many kids take nationally,” said Robert Schaeffer, public education director of FairTest. “Like all arms races, part of it is psychology. If you believe your competitor is secretly equipping themselves with the best possible tools to do well on the test, you feel that you or your kid needs to do the same.”