The Test Preparation Advantage: Dominated by the Upper-Class?

The College Board released a 2013 report on the average SAT scores by family income which left many unsurprised by the correlation between greater income and higher SAT scores. It is a controversy that has shadowed the Exam Preparation business from its inception. As the necessity for higher test scores rises steadily, the demand for test preparation programs has skyrocketed. This leads many parents to consider how an investment in a test prep tutor and personal student coach may be worth it in the long run.


In America, college is generally funded by parents. The cost of university attendance rises every year, and for many parents, it is an expense that is far beyond the restrictions of their income. Students are, then, increasingly dependent on scholarships and government financial aid to cover the costs of a higher education. In this context, the cost of an Test Preparation Course or Test Prep Tutoring is actually comparable to a short-term return on an investment.

Consider a family who spends $3,000 on a program that increases their student’s score from a 20 to a 27 on the ACT or a 1410 to an 1820  on the SAT. The student then receives $5,000 in grants and scholarships. This would be a return of 140% in a period of one to two years maximum.

Another factor that is rarely mentioned in discourse is the function of the ACT and/or SAT in college class placement. Students who test at or above the College Board mandated benchmarks are placed in freshman level courses. Students who do not test at benchmark, however, are required to take remedial classes before they can enroll in undergraduate prerequisite classes. Although the cost of remedial credits is the same as regular credits, students taking lower level courses do not receive any credits towards graduation. The total spent on instructing a student to succeed in freshman level courses has the potential to easily match or even surpass the amount that could have been spent on exam preparation.

Something relatively unknown to parents is that test prep tutoring companies such as SAT Preparation Group offer payment programs.  Whether a student needs to prepare for the SAT or ACT, the SSAT, or the GRE, SAT Preparation Group will work with students and their parents by offerring cost savings and payment plans.  To learn more about SAT Preparation Group’s test preparation courses (available online anywhere in the world or in-home throughout South Florida) request a free consultation here.

Some might argue that, regardless of test preparation availability, students who are more affluent are able to attend expensive private schools that will provide foundational skills superior to those that are taught in public schools. This is all the more reason to do everything possible to facilitate success and excellent scores for a student who may be starting at a deficit. Still, many test preparation programs offered by both public and private schools teach nothing more than the process of memorization/regurgitation.  At SAT Preparation Group, we believe in working with the big picture!  We pride ourselves in being personal student coaches and not JUST test prep tutors.  We work with each and every student in mastering learning and overall study skills that will support the student beyond increasing test scores and provide that student with skills that will carry them throughout college and well into their career of choice.

The strategies taught for test-taking will be tactics that are applicable to college, business, and beyond. Elite private schooling does not guarantee accomplishment; teaching a student to self-evaluate and adjust his or her learning style is a tool to ensure confidence and excellence far beyond college admissions tests.

Parents who cringe at the prospective costs of a comprehensive exam preparation program may want to ask the question would we rather pay now or later? College exam test preparation is a solid investment with dividends that have no expiration!



SAT Preparation Group advises in test prep, college planning, and success strategies for teens. Call Us Today at 877-672-8773 or click here for a free consultation.

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