Is Kaplan Beneficial or Not?

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Daisy Bucio

On May 3rd, 2016 every junior in Illinois took the ACT standardized test. Schools, especially Phoenix Military Academy, have been working hard on helping their students practice and find new strategies for tackling the ACT. For example, many students in Phoenix Military Academy were part of the Kaplan program.

The Kaplan program was a program to prepare a certain number of students for the ACT. Teachers from the Kaplan facility came to Phoenix to teach their courses on the strategies and tricks to tackle the ACT after school from 1:45-3:45 P.M. Along with the classes taught by Kaplan teachers, they were also provided with Kaplan ACT books. The only thing that was required from the students was to sign a contract saying that they will commit to attend every Kaplan session, and if not they will have to pay a $50 fee.

Throughout these sessions many students reacted differently towards the Kaplan sessions. Some said that they were not worth signing up for and others said they were really helpful. I personally can understand both perspectives and their reasoning behind it.

One of the many reasons why group of students who said that the sessions were not helpful is because we are told the same exact thing over and over again. We are told how much time we have to answer a number of questions for each section. We are told what each section contains, and that we need to choose the letter that best answers the question. Students who are in other programs, for example Minds Matter, already know all the basics. They all know the most common strategies, so for them these sessions are redundant. Students who already know this find the Kaplan sessions useless and no help.

On the other hand, the students who claim to say that the Kaplan sessions are helpful are those who do not know much of the ACT test. Those are students who absolutely know nothing about this test. In the Kaplan sessions they are given a bit more confidence and it does take away the pressure. They are exposed to the content in the test and are told to take this test like any other serious test. They are told to not fear this exam. Students are more reassured of themselves and know what they are getting into.

I believe that they should continue this program at Phoenix for the simple fact that some students do need it more than others. However, I do not believe that only certain people should be able to take this course. People should not be chosen to this program, they should be allowed to sign up regardless, and I also believe that it shouldn’t be mandatory to take. It should be a choice made by the students because they all react to the Kaplan program differently.