The short answer is, No – but that doesn't mean we recommend going into the exam room unprepared.

Prep classes do help, there’s no denying that. These courses advertise great improvements in your score after just one session. They offer one-on-one training with knowledgeable people in the areas that you are deficient.

They are also ludicrously expensive.

All in, prep classes can be upwards of six thousand dollars. For most Americans, that’s an absurd amount of money for any kind of tutoring. Sure, there are other more affordable programs, but what a relative term – “affordable.” At $30 dollars/hour (which was one of the cheapest rates we could find), that’s still a large sum for a high school kid to pay with a job filling popcorn tubs at the local movie theater.  

One of the better, more affordable approaches to test preparation is to buy a practice book and study on your own or with a group. Practice books have lists of questions and testing methods similar to a condensed version the courses have to offer. We also recommend taking advantage of the practice exam. Practice exams offer you a comparable testing environment, without any of the impact and anxiety that the real test creates. Most practice exams are also free, thus relieving the financial burden. Taking advantage of this practice round will help you become familiar with the test, environment, content and the way questions are worded.

Since you have the opportunity to take and retake the exam, the best thing to do is to experiment and figure out what study methods work best for you. Consider all your options and keep your financial circumstances (and your family’s) in mind when making a test prep plan.


Click here for information on the remaining test dates for the ACT or click here for details on SAT dates.