So, you're preparing to take the SAT, huh? Then, you definitely have SAT prep on your mind. Where should you begin? What SAT prep options are even out there? which are the best? I've scoured the globe to see what types of SAT prep I could find. Here are the options I've found:
If You Want SAT Prep Online
- SAT Practice Tests: With an SAT practice test, whether it's free like the SAT Practice Tests on my site or another free site like mine or even purchased from a test prep company, these can help you get a base-line score to determine where you most need to improve. Once you're finished studying, they can give you a general idea of what your real SAT score could be.
- Individual Study Courses: If you're a self-motivated person and you don't mind studying alone, then a personal study course might be the SAT prep option for you. Not only will you have SAT practice tests galore, but you'll get inside info about the test itself. Plus, most study courses come with individualized help from a live person who's just an email away.
- Private Tutoring: If self-study isn't your thing, but meeting up with someone in person sounds too impractical, live private tutoring online may be up your alley. You'll have full accountability to someone else, but you can schedule times to meet with your tutor at your convenience. Another big plus? Extremely individualized attention.
- Virtual Classrooms: Perhaps you thrive best in a group setting, but your schedule prevents you from attending a class in town. With a live, virtual classroom, you can save the driving time to and from the class, but still get the benefit of group dynamics and a teacher to guide you.
If You Want SAT Prep At Home
- SAT Prep Books: Buying an SAT prep book is one of the most cost-efficient, popular ways to prep for the SAT. The downside? No one but your mom is checking up on you to make sure you're doing the work. The upside? You get to move at your own pace, and many books offer help lines and email addresses if you get stuck. Plus, it's very, very inexpensive comparatively!
- Private Tutoring: Many test prep companies offer in-home private tutoring to help you wade through the plethora of SAT material you need to know for the test. This is a great option if you're determined to get a great SAT score, but you know that you'll let yourself off the hook if you have to study alone, and you have no intention of letting your friends see you at a test prep center.
- Mobile prep: Are you an app junkie? Does SAT prep bore the socks off of you? Then using your iPhone, iPad or any other device that welcomes apps may be your perfect SAT prep medium. Several test prep companies offer SAT apps for mobile devices, and there will be many more to come, too, I'm sure. Some are even free or very inexpensive.
If You Want SAT Prep At a Center or School
- Large Group Classes: This is what you'll come to know and love as a "lecture" in college, and personally, I don't find these very effective SAT prep conduits. It's one thing to be lectured about the History of Civilization as a freshman in college because there are dates and facts and experiences the professor has about which you'll benefit from hearing. For the SAT, though, memorization plays a minute role in the test, so the benefits of sitting and listening to a teacher talk are almost nil.
- Small Group Classes: In a small group class, you'll be bunched into a classroom with a group of 8-15 or so, and you'll have the opportunity to practice the types of SAT skills you'll need for the test. This is perfect for the student who loves interacting with others, and needs the SAT skills. Some test prep companies are offering SAT prep classes right in nearby high schools, and others meet in their own centers or libraries across the country.
- Group Tutoring: This is a bit smaller than the small group classes. Here, you'll meet with 3-6 people and a tutor to go over the details of SAT prep. You will get more personalized attention than you would in a small group class, but the sessions are less intense than private tutoring because the focus isn't just on you.
- Private Tutoring: If you need one-on-one attention, but don’t want anyone at your house, you can meet up in a library, test prep center, or school with a private tutor. This is the epitome of personalization; you need help with any of the questions, and your tutor will guide you. Warning! Do not meet up with someone at his or her house, no matter the credentials. A real private tutor will happily meet you in a public location.
If You Want SAT Prep You Design
- Hybrid Courses: Maybe none of the options above will work for you by themselves. Perhaps you need some individualized attention, but you don't want to pay for a tutor. Or, you'd like to take a class on-line, but also meet up with a tutor to discuss if you're struggling. Many test prep companies offer hybrid courses that pair a little of one and a little of another option. They're perfect for meeting the needs of a diverse range of SAT prep students.