Should students still pay for SAT/ACT prep?

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Matthew Carter, Amadon Editor-in-Chief

For years students have always dreaded two tests that will require hours upon hours of studying and costly classes to prepare for: the SAT and the ACT.

Students get to decide which one they’d like to take, or if they’d like to take both. In these uncertain circumstances things are different. Schools are starting to value tests significantly less, which raises the question of whether or not we should pay for test prep due to a few reasons. One reason being cost, and another being whether or not it’s worth it.

There are multiple things required for studying, all of which cost money. The average book alone can cost up to $50, an online curse can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,400, and an in-person course is the most costly, charging $800 to $1,800 per course. 

While some families can afford all these things, many families may not be able to provide their children with the tools they need.

 “I think students should not have to pay for prep classes because it gives students with richer families a huge advantage over the ones without, especially because students can’t control their families wealth. Everyone should have an equal opportunity,” said Evan Kent (‘22).

Being one of the most important exams in a student’s life, all students should be given equal opportunity to perform well. It can be unfair for student’s test scores to be determined by their financial situation. 

While the cost of courses may negatively affect some students, it’s important to think about it on the other side of things. 

Helping people study for a huge test is never easy, and takes a lot of effort. The people who tutor kids and run the program do deserve a good amount of pay for the work they’re doing, and to keep their programs going. 

“I think that they should have to pay to keep the tutors in business and have money but I think it shouldn’t be as expensive as it is,” said Kiana Lum (‘22)

The long term effect of paying for classes and study materials can end up in students participating in quality studying for generations. While the thought of kids getting this help for years to come is satisfying, it could mean some kids getting left in the dust.

Not only are some kids being given some unfair advantages, but it’s possible it soon may not be worth it to pay for test prep at all. In the near future big tests like the SATs could count for a lot less when it comes to getting into colleges, as student health continues to trump grades. With everything closing down, it’s difficult to even find an open test center to attend.

What’s to become of these tests is unclear. Students may be getting a breath of fresh air if colleges decide to loosen the reins on standardized testing requirements, or even potentially make tests like these unnecessary.