Today I am going to help you decide if you should sign up for an SAT math prep course, or if you should continue preparing on your own. Taking a course can be quite costly, so it is best to be as informed as possible before making a decision.
The main reason to sign up for a course is for motivation. A prep course can keep you focused and on the correct path. If you are a student that can motivate yourself successfully, then there is no need to take an expensive course.
Now I don’t want to give the impression that I am against SAT prep courses. I think that they can be great. In fact, I have been running them for more than fifteen years.
If you do decide to take a course, here are some things that you should find out about the person or company that you will be dealing with.
Their results: what is the average score increase that students get from their PSAT to their SAT after taking this course? Would you really want to pay for a service that does not produce results?
Group size: I always prefer groups of about 3 to 8 students. This is small enough to give individualized attention, and large enough to have a nice group dynamic.
Grouping method: Do they group students by their PSAT scores? If you scored a 650 in math on your PSAT, you do not want to be in the same group as someone who scored a 400. You will most likely be wasting time practicing problems that you do not need help with, and the 400 student will be struggling with problems that he or she will not even get up to on the actual exam.
Hiring practices: Does the company or person you may deal with hire people just based upon their SAT scores, or do they make sure that they have exceptional teachers? Do they have separate instructors for Verbal and Math? What are the credentials of these instructors?
Instructor salaries: In general, you get what you pay for, and in the case of a prep course, you get what the company is paying for. Make sure that their tutors are paid well.
Feedback: What are other people saying about them? Remember, the best recommendation is from friends who have already used them and have gotten an exceptional result. If you cannot get this kind of recommendation, it is EVEN MORE important that you check credentials using the other suggestions mentioned in this list.
To summarize, first you should decide if you have the motivation to prepare for the SAT on your own. If so, make sure you stick to a study plan using the suggestions here: The Correct Way to Prepare for SAT Math
If you decide you would like to sign up for a course, make sure you get the appropriate information before deciding whom to use.
Get 800 Test Prep is now officially offering SAT prep courses. Use the following link for details: Get 800 Test Prep Classes
How to prepare if you decide to study on your own: If you do decide to study on your own, I suggest you take a look at my
“28 SAT Math Lessons” series. Each book in this series is targeted for students in a specific score range. Get the book for your score range and you will learn all the strategies you need to get to the next score level. In addition you will be provided with hundreds of practice problems all targeted specifically for you. Click on the pictures below for links to the books’ Amazon pages.
Best of luck,
p.s.: Here is a special offer on all of my SAT math prep books: SAT Math Prep 8 Book Bundle