Test Prep at VES
Timing of the Tests
Most VES students complete some form of structured test prep for the SAT or ACT prior to their senior year, and the most common times for them to engage in this work are:
- in the spring of junior year, after they have taken the ACT or SAT once and prior to their second test.
- in the summer prior to their senior year as they prepare for their final tests in the fall.
- in the summer prior to junior year.
The College Counseling Office at VES feels strongly that, for the vast majority of students, formal test prep for the ACT or SAT should not begin prior to the summer before the junior year—and that is often still too early for many students.
The best time to prep is different for each student and depends on his/her academic/extracurricular schedules, level of interest in/commitment to prepping, and academic history. Students who benefit from a “slow and steady” approach to studying for classes will likely benefit from earlier test prep, whereas students who need the pressure of impending deadlines to do their best work will probably benefit from later test prep. If you are unsure which options are best for you/your child, please contact one of the college counselors, and we will be happy to discuss options with you.
Regarding Test Prep Courses on Campus
Though we’ve offered test prep classes on campus in previous years, feedback from students and families, along with national research, has led us to strongly recommend individual tutoring, or small group tutoring of students with similar skill levels, to maximize the impact of time and money spent in test prep efforts.
Our Recommendations for Test Prep
While the cost of test prep tutors varies widely and can be quite expensive, fortunately there are a wide-variety of free and low-cost options that can be highly effective. Here are several options we support at a variety of price points: