SAT prep seminar receives mixed views on its effectiveness

Students+focus+on+learning+new+techniques+they+can+use+for+the+SAT+and+ACT+at+the+test+prep+seminar+held+February+15.

Brett McCann

Students focus on learning new techniques they can use for the SAT and ACT at the test prep seminar held February 15.

Ethan Cottrell, Reporter

Sophomores and juniors who participated in the SAT prep class held February 15 have mixed opinions on how helpful the seminar truly was.

Junior Elena Lozano said the seminar significantly helped improve her original score of 900,  when she took the test in December, to 1,000 when she took it again in March. Lozano said it was well worth the $79 due to the drastic change in her score and she would recommend it to others.

When she took the SAT here at the school two weeks after the seminar, “I was a little nervous, but was more confident and felt less stressed,” Lozano said.

The seminar prepared her for the SAT by giving her little tips and tricks to save time on certain questions, she said, and what to do when she felt stressed out about the test.

Sophomore Mario Puleo also said he thought the prep seminar was well worth it because it “did give lots of very helpful insight into the inner workings of the test itself.”

Puleo recommended it to anyone who wanted a better understanding of the test itself and some strategies for taking it.

Junior Katie Martin had a different opinion on the effectiveness of the seminar when it comes to score improvement versus the cost.

“Most of the skills were just common sense stuff, like what we had been learning for so many years, like crossing out answers that are obviously not it, and just looking at what’s the best fit for the answer,” she said.

Martin said she would not recommend the seminar to others as participants sat in the same room all day and basically heard about strategies they had already learned. She also said it was not worth the money and did not improve her score as much as they made it seem it would.

Principal Brett McCann was the one who organized and brought the seminar to the school for the first time. 

“In a lot of ways, the seminar did meet expectations…,” he said. “The feedback I heard from students was that they wish it was a little more engaged as far having students able to engage with each other more, but there is no doubt that the students who participated received a lot of tips and ways to improve their score.”

He added that he does plan to bring the seminar back next year.

Other ways students can prepare include multiple different online prep courses listed below:

https://www.princetonreview.com/college/sat-selfguided-course

https://www.khanacademy.org/sat

https://sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/continuing_education/test_preparation/sat_prep/sat_live_online_course/index.php

http://novapress.net/sat/sat-prep-materials/sat-online-course/