Tuesday, October 4, 2016

ACT/SAT Test Preparation and Coaching Programs

Test preparation programs—sometimes referred to as test coaching programs—have been implemented with the goal of increasing student scores on college entrance tests. They generally (a) familiarize students with the format of the test; (b) introduce general test-taking strategies (e.g., get a good night’s sleep); (c) introduce specific testtaking strategies (e.g., whether the test penalizes incorrect answers, and what this means for whether or not one should guess an answer if it is not known); and (d) specific drills (e.g., practice factoring polynomial expressions). The programs can be delivered in person or online, and in whole class settings, in small groups, and individually.

What Works Clearinghouse reviewed 26 eligible studies, with six studies meeting WWC group design standards with or without reservations. Of these, the report concludes that three showed statistically significant positive effects for the general academic achievement domain, and three studies showed indeterminate effects. 

The WWC aggregates the reported effects from each study to create its assessment of effectiveness. Through this method, ACT and SAT test preparation programs were found to have positive effects on general academic achievement for high school students.

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