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Preparing for the SAT/ACT

Preparing for the SAT/ACT

By Mike Pugh

September 04, 2008

Traditional Prep Courses

Prep courses typically span a 10-week period, meeting once a week. The cost for these courses ranges from $500 to $1,000. There are a number of different prep course providers, including:

The Princeton Review
Sylvan Learning Centers
The World’s Best Prep Course, Inc.

Prep courses are typically led by highly trained individuals and consist of orientation sessions, class sessions and practice tests. Also included are home study materials such as books, flashcards and software. Prep courses are generally considered to be the most intensive form of SAT/ACT preparation.

When choosing a class, take into consideration class size (smaller classes = more personalized instruction), location, price and guarantees.

For example, the Princeton Review prep course guarantees a score increase. If you don’t achieve that increase, you’re entitled to additional free tutoring. The World’s Best Prep Course, Inc., offers a similar guarantee.

Online Prep Courses

New online test prep courses are springing up to accommodate students with increasingly busy schedules. Some companies currently provide SAT prep courses over the Web. A virtual mirror of traditional prep courses, features include lectures in RealVideo, practice tests, e-mail help, test-taking strategies and intensive practice exercises. Also included are physical study aids such as books and flashcards. As an added benefit, an online SAT course can cost significantly less than its offline counterpart.

In the end, it’s years of challenging courses and hard work that best prepare you for the SAT or ACT. But getting solid instruction and taking a number of practice tests can help. Choose the preparation materials that suit you best. Then go in there and give that test your best, most educated shot.

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