Can test prep significantly raise a student's scores? Yes it can! According to Ivybound.net, students can raise their scores by 100 or 200 points. In an article from Inside Higher Ed, Mark Greenstein, president and founder, said that this increase is based on "diligent students," whom he defined as doing at least 90 percent of assignments and calling the help line at least once a week. "If you do that, you are good for 150 points at least," he said. While test prep can raise a student's scores, a student that already is scoring in high ranges (1800 or above) might have difficulty making the jump over 2000. But a student that is in the 1500 range could see a big improvement. Most students don't see the 200 point jump and see more gains of 10-20 points on average, but that can still make a difference in the college admissions decision.
Test prep and the advantages it gives students are at the heart of the controversy, see the entire article here. Wealthier students have access to test prep classes and can receive personalized instruction while lower income students have fewer test prep options. Evidence indicates that test preparation results in higher scores so having access to test prep is key. To level the playing field, Khan Academy is offering free SAT test prep for personalized learning based on the student's academic level. Khan's SAT program is divided into the same sections as the test, allowing students to study the Reading, Writing or Math portions at different sittings. Offering energy points, students are encouraged with smiley faces and ring tones to get 5 answers in a row correct. The feeback gives students insight into areas they need to continue to study. A complete SAT test can be downloaded and taken for a student to become comfortable taking the test in one sitting. Other great test prep options are apps. I am sampling various apps now including SAT/ACTUP, Play2Prep and ACE the SAT. Currently, I prefer the ACT test as College Board is making changes to the SAT for 2015 and beyond test takers. Both ACTUP and Play2Prep provide ACT test questions in a daily format. Either test you choose to take and anyway you choose to prep, the answer is obvious...test prep pays off!