BATEMAN: Outside SAT prep classes not worth cost
April 3, 2017
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Taking an SAT prep class offered by Kaplan or your high school is something that is almost universally recommended. Recently, I took my second SAT after completing a Kaplan course that took six hours every weekend to complete.
After the class, I was only able to improve my score by 20 points overall, which made me wonder if the classes even help.
Obviously doing more review problems and looking at review material is helpful. But unlike any standard Kaplan course, looking up review material doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars.
Most of my teachers have said that they offer SAT review workbooks themselves free of charge. But, people will say that with Kaplan you get more than just the questions: you get strategies on how to succeed.
I’ve completed the course and I can positively say that the only tool I gained from this class is that you should pick one letter and guess it every time you have to guess. Which doesn’t quite equate almost $300 in expenses.
The expenses aren’t the only thing that get you with the Kaplan class. With the course that I took, I was mandated to sit at my computer from 10 o’clock to 1 o’clock every Saturday and Sunday from November till January.
If you were out doing something and weren’t home for those hours, there was a review video that you could watch to catch up on the things you missed. If everything done in the three-hour video can be covered in the 20 minute video, why not just make the original class 20 minutes? Even if you throw in 30 minutes, which is being generous, for people to ask questions in the live class, the class would still be almost two hours shorter.
Overall, from what I learned and took away from the class, I don’t feel that you need it to do well on the SAT. Even though I improved my score, the teacher and Kaplan website made it sound as if you were guaranteed to improve your score by at least 50.
This class may have been more influential had I not just finished my math course, but if you time your classes and SAT correctly you can easily succeed without this class.
As much as the classes are supposed to help you, when it really comes down to it, the test changes every time, and there really is no way to consistently study for a test that is always changing.