For Parents of Sophomores: The Importance of Summer ACT/SAT prep

SAT/ACT test prep

SAT/ACT test prep

Pirateer Staff

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Dear Parents:
We’re writing to both Ivy Bound clients and  prospective clients.  Clients who have used Ivy Bound for an older child’s test prep know the importance of summer prep before junior year begins.   We’re glad to have you back this summer for your younger child’s prep.
We can’t scream loudly enough to those who are new to the process: DO NOT WAIT UNTIL SCHOOL IS UNDER WAY to start test prep.  Here are four reasons, any one of which should be sufficient for most students to get a chunk of ACT or SAT prep done before school resumes.
1) Summer is inherently more free for study than the Junior year.  Ask any rising senior — junior year is more crowded than any preceding year.
2) Starting early means FINISHING early.  Before students are beset with midterms, sports, clubs, driver ed, or other extracurricular activities they can be DONE with their SAT/ACT prep and have one or two tests under their belts.
3) Some SAT/ACT skills actually help students’ academic success.  Reading, grammar, essay writing, and many of the math skills can boost students in their English and math classes.
4) For students wanting to maximize their National Merit Scholarship chances, waiting until fall is too late!  The PSAT/NMSQT is given only once a year — in mid-October.  Unless they have 15 hours a week free to study, students who wait until the fall cannot be at their peak before the mid-October PSAT.
Unless a school has an embedded SAT or ACT course, NOTHING in the school year curriculum engenders SAT/ACT success as well as a directed, test-specific summer course.  That a student has yet to take Trigonometry should not dissuade summer study.  A good SAT/ACT prep course includes the trigonometry needed for SAT and ACT success.
There are a few “types” of students who might be better off waiting until deep in the junior year (or even until summer before senior year) for ACT/SAT prep.
A) The student will rebel against test prep.  This child is beyond just “is not motivated” (we get that routinely, and still inject skills to not-so-motivated teens). The child who will give you a hard time every week may be better off maturing and joining for a class or private tutoring down the road.
B) The student who will be attending a test-optional college.   This decision greatly limits a student’s available choices, but if that decision has already been made, there is no need to saddle a student with test prep unless the college rewards students with financial scholarships based on the ACT or SAT.  If so, senior year may then be the best time.
C) The student who is highly insecure about making progress on the SAT or ACT.  While some parents will still say “sooner is better if you need to do it some time”, others might delay and hope to have the student build confidence in the interim.   That student might try a speedy reading course.  It yields quick improvements (our sessions span just 7 hours).  Speedy Reading gets students more prepared for ANY school subject.  That can raise a student’s competence AND his appreciation that Test Prep will work well too.
Ivy Bound’s Test Prep Advisors collectively work with hundreds of parents each year.  We are adept at scheduling for students to fit their desired timing, and their weekly schedules.  Please call us BEFORE the school year has ended.