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What's the Best SAT Prep for Your Child?

It’s no secret that the SAT is a huge part of the college admissions process. But because students need to study and take the SAT in the midst of other academic and extracurricular responsibilities, motivating students to prepare for the SAT can be a huge stress on students and on parents. That’s where we come in. Whether or not your child needs an extra push to get their SAT studying off the ground, finding an SAT prep program you can trust can both get your child the score they need and take some of the burden off you. 

Kaplan has many SAT courses designed to fit the needs of a variety of students without adding undue stress to their already-busy lives. You’ll find prep that works for your child based on your answers to the following questions.

How self-sufficient is your child when it comes to academics?

If your child has no problem staying motivated academically and requires few reminders from you to complete assignments, they’re a great fit for Kaplan’s SAT On Demand course.  SAT On Demand is a time-efficient, flexible, expert-led course designed to be completed in as little as 30 minutes per day. Your child will have access to 1,000+ practice questions, 50+ instructional videos on test content and strategy, and quizzes to check progress along the way. They can test their SAT readiness with Kaplan’s free SAT practice test

If your child benefits from being held accountable by a teacher who will keep their attention and give them specific assignments to improve their SAT scores, consider signing them up for a live online Kaplan SAT course. Our live SAT courses consolidate 18 hours of live instruction, 8 practice tests (including 4 College Board official practice tests), custom quizzes, 40 hours of additional on-demand lessons, and more into one place so your child can hit their target SAT score. Kaplan instructors are engaging, motivating, and will do everything in their power to help your child succeed.

For even more one-on-one attention, we have tutoring packages available. Our tutoring packages, with between 10 and 40 hours of one-on-one tutoring, giving your child access to individualized SAT prep will provide them with the knowledge and confidence they need to hit their SAT score goals.

How much time per week does your child have to prepare for the SAT?

The amount of time high schoolers have to study for the SAT each week varies widely depending on their course load and extracurriculars. If your child is involved in sports, music, and student government and taking a heavy, challenging course load, for example, it’s possible that attending a weekly SAT course would be one too many things on their plate. To reduce the risk of placing excess stress on your child in this situation, consider our SAT On Demand Course, which uses just 30 minutes per day to teach your child test content and strategy. 

Alternatively, our Live Online SAT courses are administered through an online classroom and recorded for later review. This means that there’s no commute time, and if your child is late or misses a live class session, they can review it later when they have time. 

If your child is able to devote considerable time each week to studying for the SAT, it’s still important to find a prep option that consolidates resources and provides detailed, immediate feedback and explanations. Our Live Online SAT courses are taught by expert Kaplan SAT instructors who teach in a way that motivates students, holds their attention, and helps them improve their SAT scores. Depending on which session you select, your child will meet from one to four times per week and complete assignments outside of class that will augment and solidify everything they’ve learned.

In what kinds of environments does your child learn best?

If your child is a social learner, an Live Online SAT course would be an excellent prep option for them. They’ll attend class with other students and have a teacher who knows them personally and is able to help troubleshoot any issues or roadblocks that arise. For even more individualized attention, our tutoring packages, which include in-person and online options, will target your child’s needs and give personalized feedback to help them boost their scores

If your child works best on their own, without distractions, purchasing one of Kaplan’s SAT books may be a good starting place. They can begin by reviewing the content and strategies in the books, take some of the included practice tests, and then decide if they would benefit from outside structure, such as that which they’d find in a Live Online SAT Course or SAT On Demand.

How to Create a Tailored SAT Study Plan with Your Child

SAT prep looks a little bit different for everyone. Follow the steps below to create an SAT study plan that works for your child:

  • Choose a test date.

    Choosing an SAT test date early will give your child the most options when it comes to SAT prep, retaking the SAT (if necessary), and college admissions deadlines.

  • Choose an SAT prep strategy.

    Depending on how your child learns best and what their score goal is, choose a type of SAT prep that will work with their schedule and learning style. Keep in mind that it’s better to study a little bit every day for a few months than to study a lot for a week or two.

  • Set an SAT score goal.

    Based on your child’s practice test scores and list of colleges, help your child set an achievable score goal.

  • Become familiar with the SAT yourself.

    This will allow you to know how to help when your child feels frustrated with studying, and alter the study plan as necessary.

  • Reassess regularly.

    Lots can change over the course of preparing for the SAT. Your child may need to alter their SAT plans for any number of reasons; perhaps they want to reschedule the test itself for more study time, or they just want to shift their existing study plan to accommodate more math practice. Whatever the change for whatever the reason, pivoting during SAT prep is totally normal. Help your child study in a way that will make them the most successful.

How to Help Manage Your Child’s SAT Stress

There’s quite a bit that you as a parent can do to minimize the amount of stress your child will feel as they prepare for the SAT. 
  • Have reasonable score and study expectations.

    Set score goals with your child, not for them, and do not expect them to give up all social and extracurricular activities to study for the SAT. Your child will not benefit from worrying about disappointing you in addition to worrying about their future.

  • Find the balance between supporting your child and taking over.

    While it’s possible that your child will need help staying motivated and sticking to their study plan, in the end it is their responsibility. If you find yourself becoming the driving force behind all things SAT, consider taking a step back to reduce the likelihood of your child becoming frustrated with the SAT because of you. 

  • Encourage, even if studying and practice tests aren’t going as smoothly as planned.

    SAT setbacks are common. Instead of becoming frustrated if your child’s scores are not increasing as drastically as you had hoped or if your child struggles to maintain focus while studying, continue to encourage them and boost their confidence, and rework the study plan if necessary.

  • Make sure there’s an environment where your child can study.

    Knowing that their study time will be comfortable and distraction-free will increase the enjoyability and productivity of your child’s SAT prep. 

NEXT: SAT Scores Needed for Top Colleges