3 Reasons Why I Regret Not Taking an SAT Test-Prep Course

Posted on December 11, 2014 | Filed in GMAT, SAT

3 Reasons Why I Regret Not Taking an SAT Test-Prep Course

Years after taking the SAT exam, what drives a person to regret not taking a test-preparation course? Find out the top reasons why a successful student regrets not taking an SAT test-prep course even after receiving a good grade.

It was years ago that I completed the SAT exam, then again a second time several months later. I attended and graduated from a four-year college and am now currently enrolled in a test-prep course preparing for the GMAT exam. Although it has been a significant amount of years since I took the SAT exam it’s only through my experience of preparing for the GMAT that I realize just how different everything could have gone. I was, and still am, considered very smart. I went to a reputable High School and committed to a study schedule when the time came to take the big test. I scored well and got into a good college. I was happy because I was doing well, it is only now that I realize that doing well is an underachievement if you are not doing your best. Taking a test-prep course allows you to tap potential you don’t even know you have. Here are the top reasons why I regret not taking a SAT test-prep course when I had the chance all those years ago.

  1. I don’t know everything

    I’m smart, I can admit this, what I can also admit to is not knowing everything. I’m not referring to information that I can learn in a book, because I’ve studied every book I could get my hands on when preparing for exams. What I’m referring to is not knowing what can only be learned through experience. Taking a test-prep course puts me in a room with an instructor that is a professional in guiding students to reach their full potential. They know all the different techniques to shave minutes off test taking time and how to gauge a student’s strengths and weaknesses. Instructors have access to test taking methods that I just did not and could not possess.

  2. Discipline

    I studied for the exam. My studying was not as disciplined as it could have been. When I found available time, or the only time I would admit to being available, I worked on practice problems. By signing up for a test-prep course, however, there is a set schedule. I have assignments and am responsible to commit a certain amount of time and energy to productive studying. Even though I was dedicated to receiving a high score on the exam I found it difficult to always be motivated to study. Having an instructor helped take the burden off of my shoulders. I wasn’t solely responsible for my studies, there was someone pushing me to apply myself and demanding that I commit a 100% to my work.

  3. Stress

    I have taken a lot of exams in my life, I have also taken many standardized exams. No matter how many times I take an exam there is always the lingering stress of failure. Even if I’m prepared and know that I’m prepared for the exam there still exists a stress and anxiety. This anxiety translates to slower test taking time, sloppy mistakes, a lower grade than my knowledge should have earned. After taking a test-prep course I was more relaxed during the exam because I had gone through a process of conditioning for test like conditions. When studying on my own there were no time constraints, no pressures or competition. Even if I decided to conduct a practice exam under timed conditions there was no real consequence of breaking the rule. In a test-prep course I was surrounded by other students competing with me for a higher score and had an instructor present who would implement rules on how the class was conducted. By going through this process I was far less anxious than usual because the experience was mirroring previous ones in class. I felt comfortable.

The ultimate reason why I regret not taking a test-prep course in the past is because of my grade. I was happy with my grade but after knowing that it could have been higher I feel disappointed. I settled for something when instead I should have fought to utilize every tool available. Good isn’t very good unless it’s your best. I now know this and am seeing the results on my GMAT studies. Although I can’t change the past what I can do is learn from my experiences and present the lessons I’ve learned. If you have an opportunity to improve on yourself, take it.

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