Test Prep Money…Well Spent?

In this media saturated culture we live in, we are constantly bombarded by news, data, studies and so on. As parents, we key in on the information regarding children. We are told what we should or shouldn’t be doing to help our children grow into the best version of themselves. A lot of the times we jump right in. We will do whatever it takes to give them a perceived “leg up”, this can range from delaying the start of school so they have a maturity edge, giving them the best foods for their brains, private lessons for everything from academics to sports. We don’t want to be the parent who didn’t go the extra mile for their child. So when my 3 children began their college process…I bought in. There were test prep classes for the SATs and separate ones for the ACT, tutoring sessions, text books and workbooks purchased, all at a very high cost, but it’s what I signed on for.

Was it worth it? The answer to that question for me is both yes and no. Yes, because I made available to my children the tools they needed to do well. No, because it doesn’t really change the bottom line much. This is not a scientific study, just my life experience with my 3 children. They each took the SAT several times, their scores did not vary more than 100 points (not always in the higher direction). If I think back to all of those standardized test they took in grade school, the ranges they fell between back then are the same ranges they fall between today. This much I know, at the end of the day their ability is their ability, but we would be remiss as parents if we didn’t provide every opportunity for them to lead a successful life.