Is Test Prep Really Necessary For Your College Admission?
There have been different opinions regarding to test prep. Some people think it is necessary in order to help students more prepared with the standardized tests they will have to face. Meanwhile, some others think it is not worth all the money and efforts. Which one is true then?
Well, it all depends. You can just show up to the test day with your no.2 pencil and take a test you have never seen before. Or, you can do all preparations by planning a study schedule, hiring SAT/ACT tutors, studying test prep materials online and offline, and practice the tests constantly for months in advance.
Different student has different needs
For most students, they feel more at ease if they see the test format in advance. However, test prep is not always about buying expensive test prep materials or hiring tutors. Some students are self-motivated that they are able to have test prep with practice tests they take on their own or take practice tests provided by College Board on its official website for free. The point of test prep is to help students calm their nerves before the real test.
Your test taking ability
You may perform well at school but for some reasons, you do poorly on standardized tests. If you fall into this category, consider getting yourself some extra help through a test prep class, one-on-one tutoring, etc. Learn more tips about how to move through test more quickly and how to evaluate possible answer.
Application requirements of the school you want to apply to
Hundreds of colleges and universities are now going test-optional or test flexible. If the school you want to attend doesn’t require SAT or ACT scores, you have a choice for not taking them. Or, you can take SAT or ACT but not submitting if the scores are not high. This way, you can just forego extra test prep.
What kind of test prep you should take if you want it?
You can also take test prep regardless the money and effort you have to spend. However, make sure to choose the right kind of test prep that works for you to study more effectively so you have more chance to ace the tests.
First, take a look at your scores from both SAT and ACT practice tests. Choose test that you are better in and focus on test prep for either SAT or ACT. This way, you can save money, time, and effort for the test prep.
Second, look for the right type of tutoring you need. If you tend to be busy, one-on-one tutoring might be the right one for you. However, you may choose self-study by studying from test prep materials if you are self-motivated learner.
When to start the test prep
If you decide to take a test prep, start as early as freshman year in high school. Or, you can choose to start sometime in your junior year. Consider setting a study schedule to avoid overwhelming your test prep with schoolwork and activities.