Low-cost competition for the SAT

Source: SMSD / MGN

WASHINGTON (AP) - The multimillion dollar test preparation industry is facing competition from free or low-cost alternatives. Educators hope these options will make the process of applying to college more equitable.

Such innovations are also raising questions about the relevance and the fairness of relying on standardized tests.

The College Board, which owns the SAT, has partnered with Khan Academy to provide free online test preparation.

The board released a study Monday that shows 20 hours of online test preparation with Khan Academy resulted in students gaining an average 55 points on the 1,600-point SAT scale.

There are no rigorous, recent studies of test gains made by students who took test prep courses outside the College Board program. A 2009 study of test preparation courses reported an average score gain of 30 points.

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