As more students set their sights on a four-year degree, college admission is becoming increasingly competitive.
And while some universities are going test-optional, Florida’s state schools continue to put an emphasis on a student’s SAT/ACT scores. In Florida, those scores are also a student’s ticket to huge college savings when used in conjunction with GPA and service hours to qualify for Bright Futures Scholarships.
Students can take advantage of free SAT and ACT test prep offered online through Khan Academy. This free tutoring site has partnered with College Board so that they are able to offer customized test prep based on your child’s previous PSAT/NMSQT performance. For students who are self-motivated and tend to perform well on standardized tests, this may be enough to achieve the score they are after.
Others might need to enlist the help of a test prep tutor. Here are a few signs that could indicate your student might benefit from the expertise of tutor that specializes in standardized tests:
• Your student cares about his score, but might not be disciplined enough to study on his own
• Your student tends to be a nervous test-taker
• Your child is struggling with core concepts or could use a refresher course in subject matter they have not worked with in a while, like Algebra 2
• Your student is having trouble finishing the practice test during the allotted time
• Your student is trying to reach a specific score and is having trouble getting there
When searching for a test prep tutor, it is important to look for one who is certified in the test your child is seeking help with. It is also key to find a tutoring setting that works well for your child – some will do better with one-on-one tutoring, while others may prefer a small group session. Some students are perfectly comfortable with an online setting, while others will thrive with in-person instruction. To help our readers start their search, we polled members of Westchase Neighborhood News (WOW) to see which tutors they recommended based on their child’s test gains. Below are the tutors they recommended, in no particular order.
Location: 4534a West Village Dr., Tampa, Fl 33618
Disciplined Minds Tutoring
Location: 715 W. Platt St., Tampa, FL 33606
Huntington Learning Center
Location: 33231 US Hwy 19 North, Suite C1/C2, Palm Harbor, FL 34684
Location: 4242 W. Linebaugh Ave., Tampa, FL 33624
Sylvan Learning Westchase
Location: 10951 Country Way Blvd., Tampa, FL 33626
Preble College Prep
Location: 338 Los Prados Dr., Safety Harbor, FL 34695
Flynn SAT Test Prep
In the end, whether your student tackles test prep on his own or opts to hire a tutor, it is important to remember that, while test scores play a role in college acceptance, they are not the only thing schools take into consideration. And test scores weigh more heavily into the factor at some schools than others. The key is finding the school that is the right fit for your child. College Board’s BigFuture website is a great place to start the college search and determine the median test scores of applicants who have been accepted. Start your search at https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/.
By Karen Ring