4 Reasons to take ACT / SAT Prep Classes and 5 Really Great Ones

When SAT and ACT day arrives, students will line up by the masses clutching sharpened #2 pencils and bottles of water. Not only that, they will all most likely enter the testing area experiencing some form of anxiety or mental roadblock that they will need to overcome to be successful. Thankfully, there are some ways to combat nerves before the actual testing day. One great option is to take SAT or ACT prep classes. 

During test prep courses, professional tutors go over strategies and test questions. This process helps prepare students both mentally and academically ahead of the exam. Here are a few more reasons why a test prep class is beneficial.

A student holding a textbook open.

Benefits of SAT and ACT Prep Classes

1. Improved Scores

According to a study conducted by the International Journal of Social Welfare, students who are enrolled in preparatory SAT classes score (on average) 56 points higher on their exams than their peers who did not take the prep course. 

Simply by statistics, the extra points may be the deciding factor for a student’s acceptance to their top choice school. SAT prep classes are astonishingly efficient and effective in providing students with an upper hand.

2. You can go in with a Strategy

It’s often said that learning how to take the SAT or ACT is almost more valuable than studying the sections themselves. These are not garden-variety tests; college admission exams weed out a student’s strengths and weaknesses.

ACT and SAT prep classes and tutoring offer the student a safe, comfortable environment to practice everything that the exams cover. That includes bubbling in the right letters, outlining an essay in a readable format, and finishing within the allotted time—all with experts coaching them every step of the way.

3. You Understand how to Use the Calculator Properly

In addition to practicing answering questions, students will also learn how to use one of the great tools of mankind—the calculator—to its fullest potential. While it is technically possible to take the exam without one, most high school classes require expensive graphing calculators with a variety of features. Unfortunately, most go unused by students.

In SAT and ACT prep classes, the instructor helps students uncover the many ways their calculator can help them with the math section of the exam.

During the test, some students will be staring at the wall with a blank look on their faces. Their peers, however, will hammer away at their calculators, putting into practice the functions learned in class to draw parabolas, solve algebra equations and make graphs, helping them efficiently answer tough questions.

4. You get to the Root Of The Problem

Many students overlook the verbal portion of the SAT and ACT. Most spend more time independently preparing for the mathematics section. However, in ACT and SAT prep classes, both portions get equal time and respect.

Instructors will often test their students by writing an “SAT word” on a chalkboard. They go around the room, challenging each student to guess what it means. If the students are unsuccessful, the instructor will break the word down, diagramming it to reveal its meaning. 

For instance, take the word “abrade,” uncommon in modern use. The tutor will reveal its meaning through Latin roots: ab, meaning “away;” rad: “to scrape or shave.” The students will quickly discern the word’s meaning: To scrape or shave away.

In modern curriculums, the Latin roots of words are not emphasized. But, in a test prep class, instructors go through the words one by one. They break words down by their roots to define them for the students.

After taking a verbal class, students will gain more confidence going into the test. They’re prepared to take on the world through their newfound knowledge of Latin roots. If a word appears on the test that they’re not prepared for, they can use the strategy learned in preparatory classes.

So what are the best SAT and ACT Prep Classes?

Depending on what you need to focus on for your SAT and ACT prep, there are a few classes and courses you can find online and in person! We’ve gathered a few of our favorite SAT and ACT prep classes available. 

1. The Princeton Review

The renowned Princetown Review has great tutoring services and amazing SAT and ACT prep classes to help students get higher scores. With multiple options, there is something for every student. 

  • SAT 1400+. This is Princeton Review’s most popular SAT prep course and costs almost $2,200. We know that may not be doable for a lot of students. But they guarantee you score 1400+ or 150 points more than your original score or your money back! It offers 26 hours of live instruction, 24/7 on-demand tutoring, in-person/online options, four proctored tests, one year of online access, and more!
  • Essentials Course. Similar to the previous course, this one includes 18 hours of live instruction, in-person/online options, three proctored tests, and other resources. This one is significantly cheaper at $949. 
  • SAT and ACT Self-Paced. For $500, you can use the Princeton Review resources to study at your own pace anytime and anywhere.
  • Summer Camp. Available online and in person, this $1099 two-week summer camp is for students who want to study hard and study fast. 

2. Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a phenomenal resource when it comes to education. And the best part? It’s free! Khan Academy will create tailored practice plans for you based on a diagnostic test. 

Plus, there are eight full-length practice tests with content from the official College Board. The questions, videos, and lessons are interactive, and you’ll get instant feedback while you’re doing the SAT and ACT prep classes. 

3. Kaplan

Kaplan is known for their great test prep materials. Whether you’re taking the SAT or ACT, they have options for you. The Kaplan SAT prep course range from $119 up to $749 depending on your personal needs. 

If you’re wondering if Kaplan is the right ACT and SAT test prep resource for you, there is a free class you can try to see if you like the style.

4. Prep Scholar

Prep Scholar guarantees that you’ll get at least four points more on your ACT after you use their resources, or you get your money back. 

The Complete Online ACT Prep offers a customized weekly prep plan and over 60 hours of online prep content for just under $400. Their Instructor Led Classes and Complete Online ACT Prep offer those same benefits plus small interactive classes with a live instructor for $895. If you want one-on-one tutoring options with Prep Scholar, you can add them to your Complete Online ACT Prep for $995 total.

Still undecided? Try their free 5-day trial. 

5. Private Prep

Sometimes private tutoring is the best option. At Private Prep, you’ll receive a clear plan using modern test-taking techniques and methodology to increase your score. They also provide proctored tests to simulate the testing environment. This allows you to get used to it before the real test date arrives. 

Book a consultation to see which options are best for your needs. 

Taking SAT and ACT prep classes can help high school students significantly increase their scores and help them to better understand how the test works. 

And don’t forget, once you’ve taken your SAT or ACT tests, you can use College Raptor to find personalized college matches!

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