Editorials and Opinions

Opposing Viewpoint: Balance the equation

By Denebola
Published: October 2007
By Lily SimonLately, I’ve been receiving all kinds of notices for PSAT tutors and classes in the mail. The focuses of the notices range from math to grammar to critical reading.

Most of these PSAT classes are about $300 dollars each, yet the price seems to be drowned out by phrases like “The best set of formula sheets you will ever use” and ” THE absolute BEST Math PSAT course anywhere.”

The PSATs are only practice, yet millions across the country are slaving away at practice tests, all in preparation for something that will most likely not even count.
Of course, it’s incredibly important to prepare teens to work hard. If so much energy is going into the PSATs, then how much will go into the SATs, a test that could potentially guide your future? The answer is a lot.Many resources are available to get ready for the test, yet each one is more expenisive than the last. This kind of money is not available for a vast number of families.

In this case, is it really fair that teens who spend hours with their tutors take the same test as every other junior or senior in the country?

The SAT is a national test, meaning each student in the United States is urged to take it. This includes teens from every kind of town and background. While we at Newton South are blessed with incredible academic resources, many schools are not. We already have an unfair advantage and have been learning numerous problem solving methods for years.

Many students have private SAT tutors. A one-on-one tutor in Newton could cost about $65 for just a half hour. To maintain using this tutor over the year, parents are spending hundreds of dollars, all to prepare for one test.

Tutors are great and really focus on what an individual needs to work on, but many families cannot afford this valuable source of help.

There is also the option of using books to aid studying. These books are published annually, revealing study tips and tricks to crack down on these tests. These books can be well over $50, such as the The Princeton Review Cracking the New Sat 2006 which is about $58. Although these are obviously much more affordable and attainable than a tutor, many need more than just a book to catch up with others in the country.

Then, there are also group classes. The prices for these can range from around $100 to $300, with both small and large class sizes.

This is one of the most popular methods of preparing because you can gain help from a professional while still being with your peers. Again, the prices are high and this still may not be as helpful as a private tutor.

It is unjust that many people are not receiving adequate help or preparation for it while competing with students from the best schools in the country.

Everyone should be given equal opportunities to prepare for such a vital and determining exam, and we should all walk into the test on a relatively level playing field.

In no way am I discouraging you from preparing with the books and meeting with your tutors. All I suggest is that in this case, the circumstances are not as reasonable or fair as they could be.

Link to other opposing viewpoint A perfect SAT score: Priceless”


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