All of us, as college students, have taken either the American College Test (ACT) or the SAT, once known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (but now an acronym for nothing). I would someday like to take a survey to see how many current college students out there feel like 1) this test was an appropriate measure of your intelligence or that 2) this test was an appropriate measure of your test taking abilities. I personally felt the ACT tested the latter, and I know I am not alone on this.
Nonetheless admission exams remain. Even worse, they keep coming. After undergraduate school we face a myriad of other exams, depending on what our higher education goals consist of. Medical school hopefuls are put through the dreaded Medical College Admission Test (MCAT); Law School applicants can look forward to the Law School Admission Test (LSAT); and for those seeking other higher educational pursuits there is the generalized Graduate Record Exam (GRE). There are also the GMAT, DAT, OAT, and the PCAT. It is an acronym nightmare! Rarely do colleges not look at at least one type of admissions exam as part to their admission process. As a pre-med student myself, I know first hand that Medical Schools put just as much weight, if not more, on the MCAT score than on GPA. This means that this one single exam can effectively determine your professional future more than 4-5 years of sleepless nights studying.
On the one hand this may seem unfair, but on the other hand it can be a glimmer of hope for those career changers such as myself who don't have a such a stellar GPA. But how do you prepare for an exam of this magnitude... where the results can literally determine your life? This is where test coaching comes in.
If the thought of spending thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars of college aren't enough to send you running, there is always one more thing to spend your precious, not yet earned, loan money on. This time it is paying someone to teach you how to take a test. Companies such as Kaplan and Princeton Review guarantee higher scores on your admissions test. Kaplan's slogan is "We Build Futures".
But I feel like they are leaving a key part of their slogan out...a more suitable phrase would be "We build Futures...for those who can afford the astronomical price". For the not so small price of $4,999, someone can have a whopping 35 hours of private tutoring from Kaplan's "best of the best". Yes I know, this is the high end. At the lowest end of Kaplan's price range you can register for their online MCAT Advantage program for the price of "$1,899 or 3 installments of $633!". Still quite the pretty penny.
As if we didn't already have numerous financial burdens and obstacles standing in the way of higher education for low-income students...Admission Test Coaching is one more thing to give an advantage to only those who can afford it. Just one more argument to put less weight on standardized admissions tests.