Students utilize both free and private tutors to prepare for SAT


Students often turn to tutoring and prep classes to help score higher on the SAT or Act. Photo by Leni Steinhardt

Students often turn to tutoring and prep classes to help score higher on the SAT or Act. Photo by Leni Steinhardt

 Since it’s debut in 1926, the SAT has been used as a benchmark for judging an individual’s preparedness for college. A student’s test scores is one of the defining factors of their college application. The SAT’s status has a tendency to make some students stressed.

“There’s a lot of pressure on seniors to get a good score, if they don’t do well on tests they’ve taken previously,” senior Romy Mader said.

To increase their scores, some students utilize private tutors or tutoring companies.

“Tutoring one-on-one allows me to see my mistakes and correct them. In large groups I can’t be guaranteed the same attention,” senior Dakota Williams said. 

Score at the Top and Marty Feldman’s SAT Prep are two local options for SAT tutoring. Private SAT tutors can cost anywhere from $25-$100 per hour. Princeton Review, a study service which has services titled, “SAT 1400 Guaranteed,” charges .75 cents a minute for online tutoring. By comparison, the average American earns $23.99 an hour.

However, price may not prove to ensure quality. 

“The teacher that tutored me wasn’t very good, that’s why I stopped,” senior Nicole Ayal said. “I didn’t have a good experience with private tutoring, but I’ve also never done public. I feel like, in my case, it would’ve been worth it to try public.”

Private tutoring can seem like an exclusivity to those who can’t afford it.

“If parents can afford to individually, privately tutor their children, then those children have individualized instruction,” AP Language and Composition teacher Donna Amelkin said. “I mean, of course it’s a privilege, but there’s also free tutoring. We offer free tutoring.”

Every Saturday, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School offers on-campus SAT/ACT tutoring from 9:00 -10:30 a.m. Tutoring is available on the following dates: Oct. 5, Oct. 12, Oct. 26, Nov. 2, Nov. 9, Nov. 16, Nov. 23. All MSD students and Parkland residents with valid ID are able to attend. 

If you can’t get a tutor, Amelkin advises to spend time on free resources like Khan Academy, which can serve as a free online tutoring service. 

“I’ve been using it since middle school, but for SAT practice so far a month for English class. It’s been beneficial actually. I actually learned a lot of stuff that I wasn’t aware of, I learned a lot of new strategies,” junior Seema Alyoubi said. “ It helped me out with grammar, punctuation, and reading comprehension as well. We are required to do an English class [on Khan Academy] for homework but I tend to use it in my free time as well. If they understand my struggles, what my weaknesses and strengths are.”

Tutoring comes in many forms and is offered at a variety of price ranges. Though reputation may not ensure quality, many have found that trying multiple studying options can be helpful in understanding SAT material.