Are SAT prep classes worth it?

Katie Pope and Suad Mohamed


As juniors and seniors begin a new school year, there is something that is on all of their minds: the SAT. Almost all college applications the Common App ask for at least one SAT or ACT score. Performing well on the SAT is extremely crucial for an applicant to stand out to admissions directors.

To pack in more practice and review for the SAT, many families have chosen the road to take after school prep classes. Although taking prep classes can expose students to more testing material, the costs of going to SAT class outweighs the benefits. 

Private SAT prep classes vary in price from about $500 to $1500, depending on the company the families chose. These expensive classes are merely another way for students from wealthy families to have an advantage. This widens the gap between high and low income family. A huge fraction of students in FCPS are considered low income and SAT classes are simply a privilege that they do not have.

Many students who do not take prep classes opt for significantly cheaper and equally as effective options online or just review on their own.

“Basically just go on Khan Academy and study there. It does not have to waste money, it’s free,” said senior Justin Vo. 

Khan Academy has worked with the official College Board in preparing high school students for both the SAT and the pSAT. Khan Academy has posted hundreds of videos on their youtube channel that goes into detail of all the subjects and concepts tested in these tests.

Not only are SAT classes are extremely costly, a lot of the things taught in prep classes or by private tutors are the same as what you learn in school for free. 

Six hours of learning every day for five days a week is plenty of time to learn everything students should know for the SAT and efficient testing strategies. 

Most students also have other extracurricular obligations to attend to such as sports, honor societies, and clubs. SAT classes will only add more stress and compact students schedules future. 

There are colleges that are starting to not require an SAT score for acceptance, such as George Washington University. Although scoring well on the SAT are important, the essay on college applications are actually the place where students can really stand out. 

“”A lot of the time SAT’s aren’t always what get you into your college, other factors are just as important,”” said Ohene. 


Everybody has a dream university that they are trying to get into, but before any college even thinks about accepting a student, a college will check SAT scores. 

There are three parts to an Scholastic Aptitude Test. The SAT focuses on math, reading, and writing. There is also an essay part, which is optional and scored separately.

 Each portion of the SAT is timed. The writing and reading section have 52 questions, which you have 65 minutes to complete. The math section is split into two: a non calculator portion which consists of 20 questions and lasts 25 minutes, and a portion where you can use a calculator for 38 questions that last 55 minutes.

Taking an SAT is very different from taking a test in school. Test takers have to be able to work on 3 different subjects in a certain amount of time, and for some questions you cannot use a calculator. SAT prep classes get students used to not using calculators to solve problems and staying on a time limit. 

“Taking an SAT prep class is really important because it will teach you to manage your time so that you do not feel rushed when actually taking the test,” said senior Mahlet Samson.

Preparation classes help students refresh their memories and remember things they learned a while ago. It also helps students strategize for the test and plan out how they are going to time themselves. 

Different problem solving tecinques are taught in these classes that may not be taught in school. They build confidence and prepare students for the test. Test takers recieve sample questions from old SAT’s, so they are exposed to the material.

“SAT Prep classes are extremely important if you need help studying and learning core concepts. Taking one can increase your score by a considerable number if you put your best effort into it,” said senior Michelle Huang.

People usually do not take prep classes because they think it is too expensive, but a higher score could result in scholarships, which would make paying tuition a lot easier. 

Getting into a university is getting increasingly competitive. Colleges only want to accept the best of the best, and a student’s SAT score shows where they are on the scale. Taking a class is important if one is aiming to get into a top notch university or may need the extra help. 

In the end, taking a SAT class wwill be beneificial and give a student exposure to the test. Having a higher SAT score can open up many more possibilities.