Standardized tests are on the rise as baselines for college admissions officers, and many students are constantly on the lookout for any tutoring opportunities that will help increase their scores.
However, the workload a certain student may have often shifts the focus more towards schoolwork than mastering the test-taking skills, or vise-versa. As this issue continues to stand out, one question lies: Where can a balance be found?
Students entering junior year are told and repeatedly reminded by their parents and school administrators that it is “the most important year of your life” or “will make or break you”. Junior year is the year the students have to buckle down and push through all of the hard work coming their way, especially preparation for the SAT and/or ACT.
While all of this may be true, the constant pressure to do well in all academic aspects gradually becomes a burden for students who need to succeed in order to attend the college of their choice.
At the end of the day, how the students manage their workload is up to them and there are multiple ways they can go about doing so. Students can put a lot of time into standardized testing, but they may run into their grades in school facing a decline. They can also focus on their schoolwork and just hope for the best on the SAT and ACT without achieving their full potential. Few students can manage to balance and attack both without the stress of worrying about a loss in one of the two items mentioned above.
With the help of online programs including Prepworks, students can grasp the material for standardized tests while learning about time management and other test-raking skills in the classroom.
Christopher Columbus High School signed a contracted with Prepworks six years ago, and has stayed with them ever since due to the evident improvement in the students’ scores. “Teachers and students are much more comfortable using Prepworks simply because they know it helps improves scores on the SAT and ACT. Prepworks is here to stay,” said Principal David Pugh, who believes the proof is in the pudding.
Teachers also apply the skills Prepworks offers in their own curriculum to get the students ready for test day. “If the material from Prepworks is introduced into your classes, it helps tremendously,” said Matthew Alfonso, a Columbus Junior who finds a way to combine Prepworks and his everyday Math and English lessons to make his stressful year easier.
Students with academic burdens are often scared to increase the amount of work they do mainly because it becomes way too intense or other distractions take precedence. “Some students don’t like Prepworks…” said Pedro Garcia-Casals, the Curriculum Dean at Columbus.
However, students will see their hard work pay off in the long run if they decide to go the extra mile. “…[students] need to see the relationship participation in the program has with their scores in the end,” Garcia-Casals later added.
Contribution from Javier Rodriguez