October 29, 2014: Testing

Take the stress out of tests for high school students

No matter how many years it’s been since we were in high school, most of us remember the trauma of taking the SATs. I’m old enough that when we were prepping for the test, we had to get books out of the library to study. There was no Internet and no test prep centers.

But today test prep has turned into a big industry. Bloomberg Businessweek says these “high-priced tutoring services have turned Americans’ college anxiety into a booming business.” The magazine reports the number of test prep centers now tops 11,000, more than double what it was in 1998.

The multibillion-dollar market is dominated by franchises and chains like Kaplan, Princeton Review and Kumon. But, says Businessweek, they tend to be concentrated in the states with larger populations, such as New Jersey, which “has 16 tutoring businesses for every 100,000 residents aged 23 or younger.”

While there’s no conclusive proof that test prep centers give their customers an edge when taking exams, the demand is sure to rise as the competition to get into good colleges heats up.

Test prep businesses tutor students taking the SATs, ACTs, Advanced Placement tests, medical school entrance exams and more.

If you’re in a highly populated area, you might want to check out franchise opportunities, rather than open your own center. But if you’re in a smaller city, explore opening a test prep center of your own, or just get started tutoring students in need.