Before you shell out money to any company (ours included!) for test preparation, you should have an idea what it is exactly that you need: tutoring, classes, self-study, or nothing. The best way to identify that is by taking a real, released, recent SAT under proctored conditions.
Although taking an official SAT or PSAT can accomplish this, there are many reasons not to take an official test as any form of practice test.
1. It’s more expensive.
2. Any company’s score reporting (including College Board) is less detailed than ours—guaranteed.
3. It takes much longer to receive your scores. Our turnaround is generally less than 24 hours.
In addition, the absolute best way to prepare for a high-stress three-hour test is by sitting for the full test. If you were preparing to run the Boston Marathon, you wouldn’t train by running a few laps around the block, would you? Many students lack the stamina to make it through the full test on their actual test day because all they’ve done were individual sections.
Also, taking a practice SAT sitting at your dining room table or while sitting on your bed is better than individual sections—but lacks the stress of an actual testing day experience. If you truly want the most accurate score, you’ll want to recreate all the potential issues that you may have to deal with on test day.
- Waking up early to head to an unfamiliar place
- Dealing with the student sniffling next to you who really just should blow his nose
- Not being intimidated by the student who finished the section in half the time and smugly looks around the room for the rest of the time
- is that an analog clock in the room—I need to bring a wristwatch