SAT Prep

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2011
SAT Prep
17
Wed, 08-24-2011 - 6:05pm

Hi there!

My daughter has been preparing for college since junior high. She's been working hard to get into one the BIG universities and of course we, her parents very much encourage this. Now she is coming us because she came across Ivy Bound Test Prep, a company from what I understand offers tutoring to help students raise their SAT scores.

Have you ever heard of Ivy Bound? What do you think of hiring tutors in preparation of the SAT? Is it worth the money?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
In reply to: mariehsm
Wed, 08-24-2011 - 6:25pm

We live in central IL and here the ACT is required and the SAT is optional - most schools in this part of the country don't require SAT. Neither of my boys took any formal ACT prep courses although I did purchase a book for each of them and made them take some practice tests - older ds took several, younger ds took just one of each because I made him ;-). I think a lot of it depends on how well the kids test. My boys both did very well on the ACT on their first time and neither chose to retake it. Older ds graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern in 2010, which I guess is considered a 'Big university' and is now in med school. Younger ds tried the college thing for a couple years and is now living back at home working full time. Probably every bit as intelligent as his brother but has just never been into the discipline of studying. Of course we hope that changes at some point.... So to answer your question - no I've never heard of Ivy Bound.

Pam
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
In reply to: mariehsm
Wed, 08-24-2011 - 7:03pm

No, I haven't heard of Ivy Bound.

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
In reply to: mariehsm
Wed, 08-24-2011 - 8:05pm
I'm in this (ACT) line - they did have Kaplan classes here for it or the SAT but ds's HS counselor said that only if the student was into that type of thing would it 'work'; otherwise just self-study and practice at home was best for many kids. He's not going to an ivy or big place; he's at a private (Jesuit) U as he's better suited to a medium school and has never tested well, so he just self-studied. and did better than average making it into the U he wanted.

Sue
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
In reply to: mariehsm
Wed, 08-24-2011 - 8:32pm

How did she do on the PSAT? My DD is a junior this year, but took the PSAT last year, which was strongly encouraged by her school for all sophomores just for practice. The advice we received was that if your child did well on the PSAT, taking a course was unlikely to improve her score on the SAT significantly.

Kids who didn't do well, or who bombed one section were most likely to reap the benefits of taking a prep course. Ditto for kids who get test anxiety.

If she's a motivated student, and did well on the PSAT, you may be better off saving your money and just getting her a practice book. If you do decide to pay for the course, she is statistically most likely to benefit if she takes it no more than 6 weeks before she takes the actual test.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
In reply to: mariehsm
Wed, 08-24-2011 - 8:43pm
All college-bound kids in Illinois take the PSAT, since that is what National Merit Scholarships, and various grants are based upon. And our kids were told that taking a course will always improve your score. Even if it's only a little, every little bit helps. And the biggest help, is in learning how to take the test--when to guess, when not to guess, how to make an "educated" guess, how long to spend on a question or section, what is looked for in an essay, etc.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2005
In reply to: mariehsm
Wed, 08-24-2011 - 8:57pm

My son never took any prep courses for the SAT or ACT.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
In reply to: mariehsm
Wed, 08-24-2011 - 9:07pm

If cost is an issue for a family, this advice makes no sense. Take a kid who scores respectably on the PSAT. Taking a course is unlikely to improve his score on the SAT more than a few statistically insignificant points, which doesn't make the cost of the course worth it for many families.

Everyone takes the PSAT here, too, junior year. But some districts, like ours, also encourage kids to take it for practice sophomore year. That

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
In reply to: mariehsm
Thu, 08-25-2011 - 10:43am

Have you ever heard of Ivy Bound? What do you think of hiring tutors in preparation of the SAT? Is it worth the money?

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
In reply to: mariehsm
Thu, 08-25-2011 - 2:33pm
You don't say what year she is in, but if she has time, take the test to see how she does. If she does well, then perhaps you don't need teh course. Or, as another poster stated, take the PSAT, if she does well, then leave it alone. You can always re-take these tests.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
In reply to: mariehsm
Thu, 08-25-2011 - 2:44pm

This is excellent advice. I would hate to see anyone waste their money on a prep course unless they could afford it painlessly and their child really stood to benefit from it. I live in a district where a lot of people hire tutors, batting coaches, just about anyone who they think can help their kids get a leg up over everyone else. This creates enormous pressure and totally unrealistic expectations for many of these kids, who think that if they don't get into Harvard, they're unlikely to amount to anything. So sad and screwed up!

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