Should test prep for the SAT/ACT be offered at the iSchool?

Some libraries in New York offer tutoring sessions after-school for the SAT/ACT

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Some libraries in New York offer tutoring sessions after-school for the SAT/ACT

Gabriella Sosa Medina, better known as Sy, is a junior at the iSchool who, like many other juniors, has been stressing over the SATs for a long time. When she found out that the iSchool was offering a discounted test prep course to students, she quickly checked out the offer in hopes of being able to better prepare for the high stakes test.

However, this small glimmer of hope faded quickly, for the discounted price was $599.99, a price she could not afford. Dismayed, she continued her search for free test prep courses online, and continuously completes applications in hopes that she finds the guidance she wishes for.

This is an unfortunate issue that many students face in New York. Due to low budget and time constraints, many public high schools in New York City do not offer free test prep, leaving students to fend for themselves as they monotonously apply to free test prep courses, which are few in New York.

The NYC iSchool attempts to alleviate this issue by providing discounts to its alumni, but not many can afford test prep that costs $599.99. According to Max Pierson-Panes, a junior at the iSchool, “Many people in NYC live paycheck to paycheck and may not have disposable income. To the students who need it most, it is not very accessible.”

The thought of having test prep for the SAT/ACT tests in the iSchool is very favorably thought of by administrators and students, especially by juniors who are about to enter the college application process, and need to take the tests.

Andre Schoolman, a junior at the iSchool, claims he would “Check it out”, with his friend Jian Xi Chen agreeing, stating “Who wouldn’t take advantage of free test prep?”

Assistant Principal Ms. Dodd has stated that there is “Interest in teachers to teach at the iSchool,” while Trigonometry teacher Ms. Guzman has stated that she would “be willing to tutor students for the SAT/ACT before school or after office hours” as long as she gets paid.

So, what’s the issue? Ms. Dodd has stated that there are both “space and time constraints” for both staff members and students to host test prep sessions. As of right now, many clubs are present in the iSchool, and it is very difficult to reserve a space for test prep. Furthermore, about 2 hours should be dedicated to test prep- one for English, one for math- weekly, and it is possible that the test prep may have to be split into two different days after office hours.

Of course, there are many challenges to pass before test prep can be implemented at the iSchool. But as of now, students at the iSchool must be inventive, teaching themselves core material with giant textbooks on their own to pass these tests like Sy.