A Study on the effects of tutoring on SAT scores

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
In the last decade, there has been a rapid increase globally in scholastic aptitude test-takers seeking tutoring, under the belief it will improve their SAT scores. This research investigates the effects of tutoring on SAT scores and questions the validity of claims made by an SAT tutor (Tutor A) used by students at an international school (School X) in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The research finds no significant difference in reading, math and essay between a quasi-experimental (Group A) and control groups (Group B), who had and had not received tutoring respectively. There is, however, a significant increase in writing for Group A. Moreover, the research also finds Group A has a lower propensity to engage in student driven preparation, such as downloading SAT practice material from the internet and studying without the aid of a tutor. Due to the stratagems style nature of tutoring provided and according to Messick (1982:23) may have detrimental effects to tertiary education. It is concluded more independent research with a larger sample is required to clarify the effects of tutoring on SAT scores. It also suggests engagement in test preparation of this type is futile as a minimal increase in writing scores does not justify the monetary investment made. Policy in the private sector should be developed to heighten student and parent awareness of the phenomena.
coaching, college board, quasi-experimental, scholastic aptitude test (SAT), shadow education, Sharjah, test preparation, t-test, tutoring, United Arab Emirates (UAE), writing