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Pros and cons of self studying for the SAT

PRO:

Saves time

Classes may spend time on material one already knows. Self studying is a nice way to know which concepts a student doesn’t understand. Furthermore, traveling back and forth to the class takes up time in itself, compared to sitting down at home and getting started right away. This flexibility of time is appealing, and doesn’t take up large chunks of time on the weekends.

Work at own pace

In a classroom or tutoring environment, a student may be hesitant to ask questions and ends up skipping foreign concepts, sometimes rendering the class useless. Studying alone ensures that covering material is not done too quickly or too slowly.

Saves money

SAT classes often cost more than $100 per day. While buying a prep book will certainly not offer as much guidance as these classes, they can still be a quick and cheap way of reviewing considerable amounts of material.

CON:

Distractions

SAT classes are generally known to be disciplinary in enforcing its rules and studying regimes. Self studying leaves the student vulnerable to many distractions. Sitting down to take a three hour practice test can be quite challenging to do out of self-motivation.

Preparation

As handy as prep books can be to review in a quick amount of time, teachers can offer tidbits of advice that will ultimately benefit the student while taking the actual test. Most classrooms not only offer content, but effective uses of strategy that have helped students in the past. The SAT tests awareness and speed, along with the curriculum, so these strategies prove quite valuable come test day. For example, some functions on a calculator helps greatly with the graphical and algebraic concepts, while some grammatical patterns are easier to spot with good instruction.

No Group Setting

While being away from others may be beneficial in the sense that there are no outside distractions, many have grown up learning in a classroom environment – being around other students while learning the same material. As a result, self studying may be uncomfortable due to the different setting and difficult to adjust.

By Brian Chen, Staff writer


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