The SAT is a dreaded, but a very important test that measures whether or not a child is ready to go to college. The test was developed in 1926, originally to measure the IQ (Intelligence Quota) of military personnel. Today, it is administered by the College Board, who recommend that all children complete the test. Unfortunately, however, many children dread having to take the test and these nerves can be so significant that it influences their test scores. As a parent, one way you can help prevent this by enrolling your child in SAT preparation courses. Before delving into that in a bit more detail, however, it is important that you understand what the SAT is and what test preparation.
A Brief History of the SAT
As stated, the SAT was originally developed to measure the IQ of army personnel. This concept was pushed forward by Carl Brigham, a Princeton professor, under the guidance of Robert Yerkes. The test, then, was called the Army Alpha. Eventually, James Bryan Conant, then president of Harvard, wanted to find a standardized test that would measure readiness for college admission. He learned about Army Alpha, eventually convincing the College Board to adopt it as a standard form of measurement.
Why Take the SAT
The SAT is not a legal requirement. In fact, many universities and colleges in the country do not even request SAT scores as an admission requirement. However, there are four key reasons as to why you should consider encouraging your child to complete the SAT :
- Results are universally accepted, even at colleges and universities in other countries.
- Those who have completed the SAT are more likely to receive a scholarship and have more scholarships to apply for.
- The SAT can mitigate a low GPA.
- SAT scores can even be added to a resume once they enter the workplace.
What about a SAT Preparation Course?
The SAT are not easy to take. Naturally, it is vital that your child has paid attention in school, which will give them the greatest chance of having a deservedly high score. However, no matter how well they did in school, they may be nervous or simply have a bad day, or score poorly because they do not know what to expect. Either way, you can encourage your child to take part in SAT preparation courses, which were developed by numerous companies across the country. A caveat, therefore, is that you do have to consider which company to go to. Make sure you check out this review of Chegg and that you look at other similar companies to see what they offer.
You do, as well, have to wonder whether SAT preparation is truly necessary. In a recent article in The New York Times, a discussion is held about whether the high cost of a SAT preparation course is compared to the potential benefit. They conclude that these courses are most suitable for those who want to gain entry to the most elite colleges or universities, or for those who do have to build on their overall aptitudes. This, in no way, suggests that a child is less intelligent. Rather, each child has different learning needs and requirements. There is, for instance, a clear difference in how to best teach boys and girls. If the school your child attended did not have such teaching strategies in place, then it is possible that they were unfairly disadvantaged simply due to their gender.
Naturally, there are many things that you can do yourself to help your son prepare for SAT. One of those is to be aware of those different teaching strategies. Other options include:
- Using the College Board’s website, where numerous SAT sample questions are included.
- Using other free online resources, although you do have to check their validity.
- Speaking to your son’s school to determine whether they offer SAT preparation classes.
No child will ever admit to looking forward to taking the SAT. Many will put imaginary barriers in place, such as saying they don’t need it anyway, or that they won’t want to pay for it. In reality, however, the results of this test can benefit them for the rest of their life. It can open new doors for them, both regarding where they will study and how they will pay for it, and regarding their future career. Not just that, but the cost of the SAT is only between $45 and $57, depending on whether you want to include the essay or not. Hence, as a parent, if you are considering a high school graduation present that will serve your child for the rest of their lives, this is an option.
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