The Cost Of Test Preparation

Amit Dadon

With that time of the year starting up again, many Douglas upperclassmen have begun preparation for the SAT and ACT standardized tests that take place every month or so.

Many students, such as junior Evan Elias, have been studying through the use of a test-specific tutor.

“I have an SAT tutor that I go to every Sunday,” Elias said. “I feel much more confident for the tests now that I have a tutor versus not having one at all.”

But this confidence comes with a cost.

According to students, tutors cost anywhere from $20 to $300 an hour, and sometimes $2000 for relatively small multiple-session packages. While there are free online resources to use, they are obviously very limited, forcing students to convince their parents to pay hundreds and thousands of dollars for books and tutors; this doesn’t even include the fees required to take the test, nor the cost to submit them to multiple schools.

Because of the rising costs, many are turning to self-study, and have begun to oppose the use of tutoring and the standardized tests all together.

“I’m not going to ruin my life by obsessing over it, but feel confident because I’m a good test taker,” junior Felipe Linares said. “I see so many people going crazy over it, and I don’t understand it. Standardized testing is useless – it doesn’t show our ability to think, so why is it so important to colleges?”

Other students, such as senior Alex Kahn, have made sure that colleges will notice their scores and the effort they put in.

“I took the ACT four times, and my score ended up improving after each take,” he said. “I wanted colleges to see the best I could do.”

Colleges currently place a large emphasis on student statistics, which is why students hastily find ways to prepare, and take the tests multiple times in order to improve their chances.

Each test takes place roughly once a month, and the deadline to sign up is roughly three weeks before, so make sure to sign up if that’s what you’re into.