I am often asked by parents of Connecticut juniors: “when should my child begin prep for the SAT or ACT?” While all circumstances are different, summer before junior year is usually ideal. Here’s why: Junior year for most students in our top Connecticut schools is tough. Really tough. The combination of AP and/or honors classes, bigger responsibilities in activities, and the beginning of the college search makes junior year the hardest academic year in the K-12 cycle (and arguably harder than most college years). Ideally, the student should get the basics and/or the bulk of test prep done prior to junior year. And, yes, I do think our course is the best way to do so! Then, during the year, the student can get tutored individually – if needed – in areas of need. This process has led to the best results for our students through the years of teaching SAT and ACT test prep.
As I have mentioned elsewhere, I have become less self-conscious about suggesting test prep given the enormous correlation that I see between test scores and merit aid. I used to greatly worry about the appearing self-serving when I suggested starting SAT and ACT test prep in the summer. But the realities of college cost has changed my reluctance. Ask every parent of a college age student that you know whose child did well on the SATs (or ACTs) about merit aid. You will discover that attending our summer SAT-ACT Mastery Seminar may be the most lucrative summer job your child ever had.