For many high school upperclassmen, summer is the best time to prepare for the competitive college application pool. Knowing this, many private institutions draw students to their summer SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) boot camps with promising results. However, the question is: is SAT boot camp worth it?
Summer boot camp is a cram school to prepare for standardized tests, such as the SAT or the ACT(American College Testing). Classes are held as many five days a week, and class time varies from three hours to as long as eight hours a day. In famous private academies, registration for summer SAT classes begin as early as February. Despite the high cost, which ranges from a thousand dollars to three thousand dollars, spots for these classes fill up quickly.
“I was told that my SAT prep classes were relatively cheap; however, I was paying about $80 a day, which is definitely not a small amount,” said Erin Cho, a junior in Black Forest Academy in Germany, in an interview with JSR. “I know that some preparation academies charge several thousand dollars a month, but I think that is too much.”
Although the high rates for these summer classes may be intimidating, parents and students are willing to participate. With promising advertisements guaranteeing improvement in test scores, students expect dramatic increases. With long classes, skilled teachers, and an organized curriculum, students have the access to the best resources to prepare for the SAT exam.
“I think the SAT classes were definitely effective,” said Xuan Ru Huang, a junior in Mission San Jose High School, in an interview with JSR. “I would not have been able to take so many practice tests in my own time.”
However, while some students affirm the effectiveness of summer SAT boot camps, others say that summer SAT classes did not necessarily bring the promised results.
“I feel like the classes weren’t as productive,” said Hua Tang Kao, a junior in Mission San Jose High School, in an interview with JSR. “Also, I am taking the continuation classes [until October] right now, and the teachers’ ways of teaching were different from the way we learned during the summer boot camp, so it was a bit confusing.”
While taking SAT boot camps over the break may be effective, students should be aware that taking SAT classes does not automatically boost your score. A considerate amount of review and self-study must be done outside of class in order to have the best results.
“Taking SAT boot camp definitely helped me learn how to approach different types of questions,” added Cho. “I might have to retake the SAT test if I don’t do very well in the first try. However, that time, instead of taking classes, I will try studying on my own.”