I was browsing through some SAT material at the Resource Centre of MACEE (Malaysian American Commission on Education Exchange) the other day when I came across something to the effect of SAT cannot be coached. It was particularly irksome because it was professed in a College Admission Handbook, supposedly by an authority. I beg to differ.
Since my move to Penang SAT has been centre stage in my daily routine. As such, I shall advocate my 2 cents worth. Granted, the SAT is explicitly not curriculum-based and so is inherently not an achievement test. However, it cannot be denied that it does serve its purpose in US college and university admission well. After all, it has stood as a rite of passage to such institutions for almost a hundred years.
SAT coaching is a matter of perspective; people should be clear about the context in which they make their pronouncements. According to the Webster big book, coaching is teaching, training or tutoring someone. This sounds like a very fitting description of what I do with great effect on the academic reasoning and application abilities of US college bound students, measurement of which is what the SAT is purported.
SAT proficiency is measured by scores. The distribution of these scores is scaled and regulated through the degrees of difficulty designed into the test questions. The idea is to sieve SAT takers into their relative score levels. In terms of that, a top student will always ‘own’ a poor one – no-brainer. Apple-to-apple, a student with coaching will also ‘own’ a student without, any day, top or poor! Absolutely, SAT can be coached.
With increased globalization, interest in American universities and colleges has become more widespread. There are now heaps more foreign aspirants for US tertiary education and many of them, especially those eyeing the selective schools, are sure to employ SAT coaching for a leg up. In Penang SAT coaching is not hot but certain degrees of it can be found at MACEE, INTI, Dalat, Uplands, Beacon Ministries, Prince of Wales, Pinang Ace, KAIZEN and, of course, with Yours Truly too.