Test Prep Classrooms: The World's Most Outdated Model

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Unaware of the newest educational options, many parents still sign their children up for SAT and ACT classroom courses. Test prep guru Anthony-James Green urges parents to reconsider. According to Green, these courses haven't been updated in decades, and use none of the most recent technological or psychological advances that have pushes test prep forward in other areas. Most of these courses are 5-10X as expensive as alternative options, and ironically, are about 1/5th as effective.

New York's Best SAT Tutor, Anthony Green

Anthony-James Green constantly strives to find the best pre-test strategies for his SAT students.

When you take test prep classes, you're effectively paying someone $1,200 to read a book out loud.

For many parents, SAT and ACT prep are synonymous with only one thing: classroom courses. The deeply-entrenched tendency to pick classroom courses makes perfect sense - these courses were the first test prep instruction methods ever offered, they're run by multi-million and multi-billion dollar corporations with massive marketing budgets, and they're a "quick fix;" parents simply drop their children off, pick them up, and things are all taken care of. However, some experts in the test prep field feel that these courses are quickly becoming the most overpriced and ineffective option in the industry.

Test prep guru Anthony-James Green, president of Test Prep Authority and widely considered one of the best SAT tutor s in the country, explains his aversion to classroom test prep: "I could go on for hours about the inherent problems with these classroom courses, but if I had to offer only one, it would be this: they don't teach students - they teach AT students. They're built for "the average student," whoever that is, and as a result, there's not a single kid sitting in these classes who's spending his time effectively. The fact that they cost so much adds serious insult to injury."

According to Green, the entire key to learning is "acknowledged acceptance." The brain doesn't learn new information unless it sees a need to do so, a well-established reality of brain science that these classes completely neglect.

"People learn information most effectively when they put it into immediate use. People put information into immediate use when they see the need to. When I work with my students, I force them to use real testing material from minute one. When they can't solve a problem and they look to me for help, that's the moment at which they're acknowledging their need for new information. For instance, if they can't find the diagonal length of a square, but they need to in order to solve a particular problem, they're hyper-receptive to learning that new piece of information. When they're then forced to put it into immediate use, the information sticks.

These classes take the exact opposite approach. A teacher stands in front of a class and spouts information at students for a few hours. Some students will be far behind the others, and they won't receive nearly enough information on the topics covered. Other students will be far ahead of the class, and they'll be sitting with their heads in their hands while the teacher drones on about topics they understand. But NONE of the students will acknowledge their need to understand the material, and as a result, they'll remember almost nothing. If you want to spend $800-$2,500 on one of these courses, I recommend buying a Rolex and praying instead."

Fortunately, these classes are now far from the only option available. Due to the number of unique opportunities that the web has provided, students can now engage in incredibly effective "self-study" programs, and can find readily-available help for the times when they can't overcome certain obstacles themselves.

"There's no longer any need for students to take these courses," says Green of the opportunities that the web provides. "Students can find qualified tutors and incredible online SAT resources at the drop of a hat. Once a student is able to identify her weaknesses, and understands the process of eliminating them, she can use a plethora of different websites, software programs, guides, and one-on-one instruction to improve her performance."

Green provides a full and growing list of these resources on his website at the following address:


"Parents have thousands of better test prep options. With all the new technological and psychological breakthroughs in the last few decades, it's a waste to see people selecting the same methods that were popular during World War II."

Green is the president of Test Prep Authority, a free test prep program for students and parents with thousands of subscribers. His site provides his users with step-by-step instruction on how to improve their SAT and ACT scores, along with thousands of different ACT and SAT practice problems, how-to videos, articles, and more.

Green is also the author of multiple books on test prep, including the recently published Own The SAT, The Perfect 12 Manual to the SAT Essay, How to Take a Standardized Test, and Every College Question Answered. He is widely recognized as one of the best SAT tutors in Manhattan, where he currently resides and works in his downtown offices.

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