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Should I Take an SAT Prep Course?

If you’re getting ready to take the SAT soon, you might be wondering whether or not you should enroll in an SAT prep course. The truth is, every student can benefit from a prep course, even those who already know how to study for exams. Prep courses provide you with all the tools and materials you need to study for the SAT and improve your scores. They also offer up expert test strategies and timelines to help you manage your time.

With these benefits in mind, let’s go over 5 reasons why you should consider taking an SAT prep course to reach your goals.

Reason #1: You’re Not Sure How to Study

Studying for the SAT is a daunting task for many students, especially those who already have other commitments to worry about like extracurricular activities and regular schoolwork. There is a lot of material to cover, and, depending on when you schedule your test date, you might feel like you don’t have nearly enough time to get through all of it.

SAT prep courses solve this problem by gathering all the materials you need to study for the SAT in one convenient place. They are an excellent resource for students who know they need to study but have no idea where to begin. Prep courses make it easy to work through your study materials at a manageable pace without overwhelming yourself or resorting to cram sessions.

A good SAT prep course also outlines studying methods that will be the most for the SAT and for different types of students. Not all students learn the same way, so it can be beneficial to have guidance, especially if you find that traditional studying methods don’t work well for you. Many courses (including Prep Expert) are taught by real instructors who can offer advice and tips to help you hone your study strategy into one that works best for you.

Reason #2: You Need to Bring Up Your Scores

This is probably the biggest reason most students enroll in SAT prep courses. They may have taken the exam once and performed lower than expected, or they might be aiming for high scores in order to get into the top colleges on their lists. Either way, prep courses are an extremely helpful resource when it comes to score improvement.

According to data compiled by the College Board, students who participated in SAT prep scored  an additional 18 to 33 points on the math portion of the SAT and 8 to 24 points on the verbal portion. The report goes on to recount that each hour of SAT tutoring could correspond to a score increase of about 2.34 points. That means that enrolling in a prep course that requires just an hour of your time each day could give you a significant score boost.

Bringing up your scores on your own is difficult because you might not know what went wrong with your studying the first time you took your exam. Or, if you’re in a time crunch and only have the ability to take the exam once before submitting your scores, you won’t have time for more studying and a retake. Prep courses are a useful avenue in both cases, giving you access to the right resources the first time or for a retake.

Reason #3: You Experience Test Anxiety

Test anxiety is a type of performance anxiety that many students struggle to overcome. It can cause both physical and emotional symptoms that make it difficult to perform to the best of your ability when you take an exam. Common symptoms associated with test anxiety include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath or rapid heartbeat
  • Racing or negative thoughts
  • Feelings of stress, fear, helplessness, or disappointment
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Procrastination

If you’ve ever felt a combination of these symptoms when taking or preparing for an exam, you may be experiencing test anxiety.

One of the best paths to overcome test anxiety is through preparation and familiarization. Taking the time to prepare for an exam in advance can give you the confidence boost you need to beat those test day nerves and perform well. Familiarizing yourself with the exam format and the types of questions you can expect to see is another great way to help yourself over the hurdle. It allows you to avoid surprises and the anxiety spike that often comes with them.

SAT prep courses are designed to prepare you for the SAT as much as possible. They provide you with both resources and skills that will boost your confidence in addition to your abilities. They can also help you understand the format and structure of the test through practice exams, sample questions, and more. Trust me, once you’ve done enough practice tests, the real thing will start to feel much less scary.

Reason #4: You Want to Know More About the Digital SAT

The College Board’s decision to transition to an entirely digital version of the SAT has left many students wondering about what to expect on test day. How has the test changed compared to the paper version? Are the format and subject matter still the same? How should you change your study habits to maximize your performance on the digital exam?

Your best guide to understanding all the ins and outs of the digital SAT will be an SAT prep course. Prep Expert’s SAT prep courses are uniquely designed to help students succeed on the new digital test by teaching them exactly what to expect on test day. My book, The Digital SAT Playbook, is also fully updated with explanations of the unique question types, adaptive testing structure, and new content that comes with the digital SAT. Both options give students full access to tips and strategies derived from more than 10,000 hours I’ve dedicated over the last decade to creating the most effective test preparation content.

Reason #5: You Want to Be Prepared for the Future

Unfortunately, high schools don’t always teach students how to study on their own. Knowing how to study efficiently is an extremely valuable skill that will come in handy not just for the SAT, but also throughout the rest of your academic career. SAT prep courses show you how to create a realistic study timeline that you can actually follow. They also provide tons of study strategies that you can apply to practically any exam, making them a great asset for all future college students.

Reach Your Goals with Prep Expert

I created Prep Expert to help students prepare for a more successful future. All Prep Expert courses are taught by certified instructors who, believe it or not, actually know how to make studying fun while helping students significantly raise their scores. In fact, students who take Prep Expert’s 6-Week Flagship SAT course can expect a 200 point score improvement. That’s more than enough to make a major difference on both college and scholarship applications!

Explore Prep Expert’s diverse catalog of SAT prep courses today to find the right one to help you boost your scores and take a big step towards a bright future.

Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Written by Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Prep Expert Founder & CEO

Shark Tank Winner, Perfect SAT Scorer, Dermatologist, & #1 Bestselling Author
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