Taking either an SAT or an ACT test is a standard procedure to apply for college. Because the scores are linked to the type of colleges a student is accepted into, it is no wonder that many students hope to study and improve their scores. So, many companies capitalize on this fact by charging students money to help them study for the exam.
However, it is not clear as to whether these programs really work or not. Although there is a positive correlation between taking these courses and student's scores, there are multiple ideas as to why that is. One such idea is that students who take the courses are better educated to begin with. Also, there is a hypothesis that the improvement seen after the classes is due to practice effects. Practice effects means that people improve because of practice alone and not necessarily because of the classes.
Why is this important to know? It is important because taking SAT and ACT's as well as other forms of IQ tests are a part of life that many people have to face. It is important to know what you should and should not do to achieve the scores that you are looking for. So, should you spend your money on one of these classes? Well, if you do, you should expect improvement but not miracles. It is unrealistic to expect more than a 200-point increase. So, I would avoid any articles that claim to boost your score by an unrealistic number of points such as this article. If there is something that I am still wondering about, it's what my SAT scores would have looked like if I had taken one of those classes. I suppose I will never know. However, I assume that it would not be hundreds of points different.