What is the right SAT Prep?

Have you started looking for SAT Prep classes for your son or daughter?  The earlier you start the better and the reasons are plentiful.  Here is a quick article that I found that says what I believe in and why they feel the same way.

As mentioned my oldest son is going into Junior Year this Fall.  I was actually slow in looking for SAT Preparation for him.  I thought it was more than adequate to take classes this summer and have him take the test sometime in Winter or Spring.  I was wrong.  

The more research I did this past spring, the more I realized he should have been at least practicing for the SAT last summer.  My Tiger wife was talking to other Tiger Moms and there were quite a few that had their kids taking a Prep course after Freshman year.  There were even a few that had their kids taking classes in Middle School.  That I find a bit too much.  I feel sorry for the kids.

Why earlier is better but too early is bad

First, you need exposure to the test to see what the test is about.  Second, you must take the test to see what your child’s baseline is for future reference.  You need to know what your good at and where you need help. That’s why too early is bad.  Unless your child is done with Algebra I and Algebra II, I wouldn’t recommend taking the test.  The child’s vocabulary should be extensive at the age that the child will take the test as well.  SAT Reading is the equivalent of to I’d say, The Wall Street Journal and at most The Economist.

If you can honestly say that your child is up to snuff in both areas go ahead.  However, please don’t rush your child to take the test especially if they’re only in Middle School.  I’m all for pushing kids to their max potential but you will be making your kids needlessly miserable.  

Preliminary Preparation

Have your child sign up for an account on the official College Board website.  Here you will get valuable information regarding The SAT, The PSAT, and Advanced Placement tests.  Here is the link for the ACT.  You will need an account starting off with your child taking the PSAT and all the way through SAT II Subject Tests.  Get this done so you get this out of the way.  

The next step I would recommend is to go to the library and see if there are any SAT Prep Books available.  I don’t recommend buying them.  Keep it as cheap as possible in the beginning.  Have your child go through a book or two.  Have them get a feel of the test. If your child is a Freshman or a Sophomore they will probably take the PSAT.  This will give them an understanding about both tests.  The similarities and the differences.  

Next Step Boldly going to Khan

That is a little reference to Star Trek.  Anyway, go to Youtube and find the Khan Academy Channel for SAT Prep. There you find videos on all the different sections of the New SAT.  If you aren’t using Khan Academy for your kids right now for all their subjects, you are seriously missing out.  It is a great FREE resource for your kids to find answers and learn about any subject that they are taking.  Highly recommended.  As a matter of fact, Khan Academy, and The College Board have partnered up to provide free SAT Prep and AP Prep to the masses. (I will make a separate article of free or low-cost resources soon.)

So Many Choices – Which one do I pick?

There are three options for SAT Prep; In Person Classes, Private tutoring and online courses.

  • In Person classes are the traditional route that most kids go through.  The biggest options being Kaplan and the Princeton Review. There should be other options as well locally in your area.  Just do a quick search for your area + SAT or ACT Prep.
  • Private Tutoring is the most expensive option and is best for those who have the money to pay for the tutors. There are options as well for this that are pretty numerous.  Kaplan and the Princeton Review offer private tutoring as well as finding online tutors through Wyzant or Prep Scholar.  This can very expensive depending on the quality of the instructor.  The tutors can run from $100 to $1000 per hour!!!  Do your research!
  • Online Prep Courses are the most flexible and cost effective options available.  All the big players offer this option as well as smaller prep schools.  The classes are offered at different times of the year and are given usually a few times a week.  There are two types of offerings depending on the Prep course.  
    • Live classes – Classes are held live each session by an instructor and recordings are made so the student can watch for review.  There is real-time interaction between student/teacher.
    • Pre-recorded classes – All lessons are recorded in advance and there is no interaction between the instructor and students

After much research I chose…

Doing research all over the internet and talking to other parents and my son’s friends we ended picking Prep Expert.  I was actually leaning towards Prep Scholar until I found Prep Expert.  Prep Scholar has great articles on their website.  Real first-hand information from their founder.  I actually learned a lot about Ivy League admissions and college essays.  However, when I was going to put the money down to pay for the course I did a little more digging.  The course itself was $399, which was dirt cheap and I thought that was great!  But, the whole course was just recorded lessons.  That I didn’t like.  There was a live tutoring option but that was too expensive.  It doesn’t say on the website the cost for that option but looking around I saw it was in the multiple thousands.  

Why I picked Prep Expert

I love the show Shark Tank and I watch it whenever I get a chance.  One day I was watching the show and there was a guy on the show that was pitching his business.  I don’t remember what he was calling it at the time but it wasn’t Prep Expert.  He had a great story about how he was in the worst school district in the US and how he bombed on the SAT.  However, through pure determination and hard work on his own, he unlocked how to ace the SAT.  He ended getting a perfect score of 2400 and receiving a full scholarship to USC.  Even today he is going for his Medical Degree and an MBA from Yale.  All from getting a great score on the SAT.  I was more than intrigued and when Mark Cuban partnered with him I was hooked.  

The Course Details

Prep Expert has three options; Pre-recorded course, Live online course and In Person Classes.  I wasn’t interested in the pre-recorded class.  It was taught by Shaan Patel the founder of the Prep School but I wanted a real live teacher.  The In Person class was an option but it was about an hour away by train.  I chose the online class because it was held on Saturdays and Sundays for three hours per day.  My son wouldn’t have to leave the house and travel back and forth to the class.  The teacher had great credentials.  The classes would be recorded so he could watch them over and over.  Lastly, the price was great.  

More Details

 

This is how the Prep Expert is setup.  Once you are signed up and you log in.  You are on your dashboard. There is a panel on the left with the following categories.  

1.You are given E-books – Link will be sent to you so you can download them prior to taking the class.  Make sure you don’t sign up right before the class starts.  There is usually a two-day delay in receiving the link.  I think it’s because they want to make sure your credit card goes through.  

2.SAT Homework – You are given homework that you are required to have done before the next class begins. 

3.SAT Tests – There are a total six tests that you must take before each Friday night at 11:00 PM West Coast Time.  There are instructions on how to submit the tests and have them graded.

4. Recorded Classes – If you missed a class or just want to watch them again just go this tab.

How it went

My son took the course over this summer.  It was really convenient for him because he just took it right from his computer.  No traveling and no waste of time.  The class was thorough and taught him lots of new ways to approach problems in both sections.  There was great interaction between the teacher and the students.   The teacher was more than just knowledgeable.  He was funny, engaging and very personable.  My son looked forward to class every weekend.  That’s saying a lot when each class is three hours long and it was on the weekends.  

His Scores

The scores that he got on all the tests ranged from a low of 1480 to a high of 1570.  He exceeded even my lofty expectations.  By the end of the class he was also scoring perfect marks on the essays,  All of the practice exams were real tests that were given by the College Board.  We are hoping that he can replicate the scores on the real test.  He will be taking the SAT this October.  (We will update this when he receives his scores.)

His results on the practice “real” tests were outstanding.  I think it was a combination of proper studying while in school that built a strong foundation.  As well as strong teaching techniques from Prep Expert.  When you are looking for a great Test Prep school you want one that will add as much value to your child as possible.  Each child is different but each child needs the best possible array of techniques to succeed.  You never want to go into a fight without enough firepower.  That’s why I believe Prep Expert is so good.  My son now has all the firepower he needs and is ready to go to war with the SAT.

Why do you even need high scores?

The founder of Prep Expert is a perfect example of what a high score on the SAT mean for your future.  Shaan Patel after receiving his perfect score was able to get a full scholarship to USC.  He was able to get into their medical school and since he has spare time attended Yale for their MBA program.  The point is the higher your scores are directly equates to more opportunities opened to your child.  More opportunities such as scholarships, better school selections and a better chance at succeeding in their future.  That is why Tiger Dad gives Prep Expert our full stamp of Approval!

If your child is looking to take the October or November SAT follow this link and sign up today.  Put in the following coupon for $200 OFF!!! Copy and Paste Sharktank in the promo code area when checking out to pay.  

Please comment on our Facebook page if you have any questions.


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