Forced my children to prep for the SAT and ACT? Guilty. No, I’m not saying I’ve actually forced my 2-yr-old daughter or 7-month-old son to take the SAT or the GRE. But, I do admit using college level grammar books with 5th to 7th graders.
And it’s not that I necessarily have “forced” students or parents to have their students enroll in the Duke or Northwestern programs , but working with higher level material (which in a way is sometimes more logical and straightforward than material students might be working with in their primary or middle schools) does naturally tend to college preparedness. This is so much the case that I have seen my middle schoolers even surpass the score of the young man featured in the video above. Was it that I stumbled into their lives and magically they scored far beyond what they were naturally capable? I think not. A lot of young students out there have great talent and they simply need an outlet and some structure to maximize their scores.
I for one don’t believe in trying to get a child to do things he’s not developmentally equipped to do. However, we also forget so many child prodigies in ages past were doing amazing feats at a very young age. I believe the key is to slowly nurture those skills until the time comes to take on a project like the SAT and ACT in a systematic way. Believe it or not, there are 7th graders out there who can dominate either test, even without a tutor. It takes some prayer and wisdom to see when a student might be ready, but we also shouldn’t hold our students back when they aspire for greatness. Just keep them humble, and prep for the SAT and ACT when you think the time is right.