Costs for SAT tutorials run into the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, depending on who the teachers are and the type of tutoring for SAT you want; one on one, class room or online course. And in most cases, businesses tout sessions with them as an investment in your future. Are they though? Let’s dig in…
How Much Better Will Your Score Improve?
You hear sat companies boasting that they can increase your score by 100 points or more. Which is cool if it were nothing more than marketing. Studies after studies show that tutoring for sat only improves your score by about 30 points – on average. Is hundred dollars worth 30 more points on your SAT? It depends.If your current practice test shows you’re at 1530, paying a few hundred dollars to get into 1560 would be worth it. Basically, if going a few points higher will put you in a better percentile, it’s definitely worth it.
If your preparatory test scores are consistently averaging in the low 700’s, spending thousands of dollars to get 30 more points might not do you any favors. In the grand scheme of things.
How Important is Test Prep?
The Ivy leagues pay particular attention to SAT scores for obvious reasons; it’s the most objective way to see how well you perform, compared to your peers, nationally and globally. Your high school results don’t really count because different schools have different grading criteria, essays and interviews are highly subjective. The most consistent way to measure your academic performance, for them, is with your SAT score. If you’re aiming for a top tier school, you can’t afford to take half baked scores. Whatever your current score is, 30 more will put you in a better position.
There are other schools that don’t value SAT scores as much. They believe that standardized tests put a lot of pressure on test takers, and some really outstanding students may not perform at there best while under such pressure. Hence SAT scores don’t carry as much weight, but rather essays, interviews and consistently excellent academic records. For schools like this, tutoring for SAT might not be worth it. Plus, if you’re already in the 75th percentile, there’s really not much an sat tutor can do for you.
So are sat tutors worth it? It’ll depends on how much you expect your scores to improve (be realistic), and how important SAT scores are for the school you’re applying to.