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Is it worth the time and money to take an SAT course?

QUESTION: I took the SAT this spring and got a 1280 on the critical reading and math sections, which I think is good but not great. I’m thinking about taking a test preparation class to help boost my scores, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the time and money. What do you think? –Possible SAT Student

Dear Possible SAT Student: The answer to your question lies in your study habits. Are you a loner or one of a herd? In other words, do you study better on your own or in group situation with a lecturer? If you have the discipline to study on your own, you can do just as well using study guides from the College Board, which are available at However, if you study better in a formal classroom setting and don’t think you have the motivation to study independently, it’s probably worth the expense to take a class. From personal experience, we’ve found that both methods work.

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.