$950 worth the SAT score?

$950 worth the SAT score? »Play Video
KENNEWICK - A new report shows Washington led the nation in some of the highest combined SAT scores. We tied with Vermont.

The next test is this Saturday and KEPR learned plenty of parents here in the Tri-Cities are willing to spent a lot of money to guarantee a good score.

College acceptance - and chances to snag *that scholarship - all ride on this test.
For students like Nicole, the SAT is long in coming.

"I can hopefully perform and do what I've learned and have that show in the results," said Kamiaken student Nicole Renard.

NIcole's parents enrolled her in Sylvan's individualized prep course.
She spends six hours a week pouring over the material - not including homework.

The cost? Almost $1,000.

"If she can do well on her test, it will pay off - and help with her tuition when she goes next year," said Kennewick parent Pam Renard.

Nicole's not alone.
Even a price hike didn't deter new enrollments.
Sylvan won't guarantee a particular end score, but say the average student bumps up 100 points per category.

"It's a tough test. There's a lot of language that isn't being used that they're just not seeing on a regular basis," said Sylvan Learning Center Executive Director Randy Way.

"Nicole has a very high GPA, but she sometimes has test anxiety, and doesn't perform as well on standardized testing," said Pam Renard.

If the tutoring doesn't help, consider heading to your local bookstore. Flash cards cost about $15, extra practice tests another 20. It that doesn't do it for you, extra course prep books cost about $40."

Some parents say the extra prep is unnecessary.

"He asked us for a book and thought he would diligently go through it before the SAT test - and naturally, he didn't crack it. He didn't study for the SAT, but he did just fine," said Richland parent Kristianne Rogalsky.

So fine - he made it to Seattle University on an academic and soccer scholarship. He's now in med school.

But for others -- it comes down to test-day to see if all that prep pays off.

Overall participation in the SAT increased this year -- it's higher than all Western states.

Administrators tell KEPR they expect to see a 50% increase at both testing sites this weekend.

And for procrastinators -- today is also the last day to register for the November SAT.