The SAT-prep industry isn’t going anywhere

By James S. Murphy David Coleman, the president of College Board, thinks companies that offer SAT prep services are “predators who prey on the anxieties of parents and children and provide no real educational benefit.” When he presented the redesigned SAT last week and announced that the Khan Academy would provide free test preparation online, he declared it a “bad day” for test prep companies. The problem, though, is not test prep but the test. It is not teachers and tutors who make students anxious; it is the SAT. I have been an SAT teacher and tutor for over a decade for the Princeton Review (the views I present here are entirely my own; I do not represent the Princeton Review) and I will admit that test prep has no educational benefit as soon as Coleman admits the same about the SAT. Until then, the test prep industry is not going anywhere. Although more schools than ever are making SAT scores optional for application, good test prep will remain important as long as high-stakes, time-constrained, multiple-choice exams are being used to determine who gets admitted to the most selective colleges and universities. Since most of the metrics these colleges use to determine who to accept are based on indelible aspects of a person’s identity or long-term accomplishments like GPA and extracurricular activities, it would be foolish for a student not to try to improve the one thing that can be improved in a relatively short amount of time. Read the full article here:

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