BY ARIELLE KRAUS
One of the most stressful parts of an individual’s junior year of high school is the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). For most of one’s entire high school experience, they hear about the SAT and worry about how they will do when their time to take it comes.
The SAT is one of the many determining factors that colleges use when accepting or rejecting applicants. This fact alone stresses students out and leaves them determined to score highly in order to get into their desired university.
Preparing for the SAT is a difficult process. There are many tutoring services available, such as Broward Tutorial Services and The Princeton Review’s SAT course, which help students improve their scores. However, services like these are very expensive, and there are many individuals who can not afford them.
Students who can’t afford to pay for SAT tutoring are at a disadvantage compared to those who are able to take these courses. This is unfair, as these students still deserve the same opportunity to succeed.
Individuals who invest a lot of money into preparing and taking the SAT often score higher, not necessarily because they are smarter than those who do not invest in testing, but because they could afford the resources needed to succeed.
“I think the school board should provide free SAT tutoring because the majority of the students in the school don’t have enough preparation to take the test.”
CCHS students recently met with the Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Superintendent Robert Runcie to discuss their concerns about CCHS or BCPS in general. Senior Veronica Martinez expressed her opinion that schools should offer free SAT preparation classes for students.
“I think the school board should provide free SAT tutoring because the majority of the students in the school don’t have enough preparation to take the test,” Martinez said. “If [students] are not able to pay [for tutoring] services, they are not [able] to do as good on the SAT as other students that have the privilege to afford a tutor.”
Martinez’s suggestion is not a bad idea as free tutoring offered at school allows students to obtain the preparation they need for success. Additionally, if CCHS offered these courses, students would not have to worry about transportation because they would be located right on campus.
Although BCPS does offer a free SAT preparation course through the online resource of Khan Academy, many students either do not use it or do not find it useful.
Although Khan Academy is a free option, it is not the same as the instruction one would receive in the setting of an SAT class.
Khan Academy requires students to remain self-motivated. Students have the ability to set a schedule of SAT practice to prepare for their upcoming exams. With this schedule, students are responsible for completing their practices each day.
Some high school students do not have the self-motivation to commit to a program like Khan Academy because this program can be seen as impersonal and it is often preferable to work with a mentor or tutor, rather than a screen. Although Khan Academy is a free option, it is not the same as the instruction one would receive in the setting of an SAT class.
Broward County libraries also offer free SAT tutoring for students. However, this may not be accessible to all students as the location may be inconvenient or out of their way.
Another way students prepare for the SAT is by using review books. These books contain practice problems, mock exams and tips that one can use while studying. However, review books are not cheap and are an additional cost one must consider when preparing for the SAT.
Preparing for an exam that has the ability to determine one’s future is already intimidating enough, but adding the component of being at a financial disadvantage only makes things worse. Students need to be offered free SAT preparatory courses—whether on or off campus—to help them prepare for this exam.
Photo by Anabella Garcia