A good college education from a reputable school can set graduates up for a lifetime of success, providing them with all of the skills, qualities, and connections they’ll need to build a successful career and thrive in their chosen field.
College admissions are more competitive than ever, though, and students need every advantage they can get when vying for one of the limited spots in any of the country’s top schools. In addition to good reference letters, a strong academic performance in high school, and a robust list of extra-curricular activities and volunteer experiences, a strong SAT score is essential for students hoping to improve their chances of getting into the school of their dreams.
If your child is preparing for the SAT in the hopes of being admitted to an elite college, here’s how intensive SAT courses could help.
The competition to secure a spot at any one of the country’s top-tier schools is harder than ever before, with acceptance rates declining dramatically over the past decade for many of the most prestigious institutions. Harvard’s acceptance rate, for example, dropped from 9% in 2006 to only 4.6% in 2018—a decrease of nearly half. During that same period, MIT’s acceptance rate dropped from 13% to 6.7%, NYU’s from 36% to 19%, and Stanford’s from 11% to 4.3%. These are all fairly substantial reductions in the number of new students being admitted every year relative to the number of applicants.
As admission rates have declined, the expectations for incoming students have become higher, as they need to stand out against a much more crowded field of applicants than at any time in the past. Although the SAT is only one element in a student’s application, these increased levels of competition mean that for students hoping to secure a spot in an elite school, every point counts.
While the average SAT score is around 1068, average scores for successful applicants to competitive colleges tend to be much higher. At Harvard, for example, the 25th percentile for admitted students on the SAT is about 1470. This means that even an above-average score may not be enough to make a mark on admissions officers.
Intensive SAT preparation can give students the boost they need so that their SAT score is competitive. By reviewing key exam strategies, drilling core content areas, and practicing on every section of the test, preparation courses help students tackle the SAT effectively. This allows students to familiarize themselves with the content and format of the SAT and develop an effective strategy tailored specifically to the exam, giving themselves the best possible chance of success.
In addition to the concrete skills and strategies that students can learn in intensive SAT prep classes, they’re also given the opportunity to boost their confidence in advance of sitting the exam. This can be particularly helpful for students who experience stress during high-pressure exam situations, or who might be taking the test for the first time.
By gaining hands-on practice with each section of the SAT, students can enter the exam feeling confident and prepared, allowing them to more easily focus on the questions and helping them achieve the best score they can.
Do you have a child preparing to take the SAT?
Find out how ASC A+’s intensive SAT test preparation in Boston can help.