If I were getting ready to embark on any journey or purchase and knew up front that not taking an intentional, measured, planned approach would cost me at least 50% more, I’d STOP and rethink the plan.

Expense can be calculated in the terms of time and money. Taking the ACT or SAT for a “trial run” before embarking on test prep and serious testing is a costly mistake.

LEAP’s proven approach since 1999 is as follows:

  1. Take a prep course – we hope you’ll choose LEAP!
  2. Take the first attempt at the ACT and/or SAT.
  3. Analyze scores and decide which test to retest on. 83.4% of LEAP students improve while only 57% of all students nationally increase on a second attempt.
  4. If necessary (not always the case), do additional prep (LEAP offers individualized tutoring) to strengthen weak areas on the test.
  5. Retest on the ACT or the SAT (not both!), and you should be done in most cases.

The ACT with writing (learn why you might want to take it with writing!) costs $62.50 (up 6% from last year) and the SAT $60. With LEAP’s approach, you are looking on average at $61 in testing fees since the state of Ohio now pays for one of your attempts! Test day time investment from the time you arrive at the testing site to testing with breaks is about 4+ hours. So the proven approach is 8 hours invested if you start by taking only one test or 12 hours if you take both on the first round which will at least double your cost.

For the family who decides to do a little experimenting and assessing before a calculated approach to testing, this will likely result in an additional testing attempt at the cost of approximately $61 and another 4 hours of precious time. Our history since 1999 shows the typical student maximizes scores when they test twice after their initial prep. Of course there are outliers for less or more testing, but we make our recommendations on what has worked for the vast majority of the thousands upon thousands of students LEAP has prepped in our history. We prep approximately 1300 Greater Cincinnati students every year while still keeping our classes capped at 18 students.

Experimenting results in a 50% increase in expense putting the price tag at $122 for the student focused on one test. Doing both on the first round? Your total cost is now about $183 on testing and 16 hours of time. An additional concern is students do burn out when it comes to testing. Speaking from experience, when they hit the testing wall they are finished and more testing, more prep do not reap the reward.

The college bound journey is an expensive one: college visits, testing, test prep, applications and more. Save money where you can it can help pay for college later.