The simple truth about "score improvement guarantees?" They are marketing gimmicks.
Customers always love a guarantee, so most companies will offer them, but parents definitely need to read the fine print on these. Missing a class, a practice test or even a homework assignment can disqualify the student from the guarantee. Some companies will only guarantee any improvement from the first test to the last (so a paltry 10-point improvement would suffice, for example). Other companies will guarantee a larger improvement (usually around 150 points), but when the guarantee kicks in, all the student gets in return is a free one-day "refresher course."
In my opinion, a score guarantee isn't worth much unless the company lets the student take another full class for free. But then again, who wants to repeat an SAT course if the original one didn't work in the first place? Sure, you might get your money back. But you've also wasted valuable time and effort, with nothing to show for it.
Unfortunately, most mass-marketed SAT courses are taught by recent college grads and part-time SAT tutors who are not experienced, skilled or committed enough to produce consistent results. The single best way to ensure a student's improvement, then, is to find a full-time, professional SAT instructor such as myself: one who is experienced, qualified, reliable, and heavily invested in the results of his/her students.
Our students' average SAT score improvement is approximately 250 points, which is a very high figure in this industry (at least for the companies who are honest about their official figures). However, each of our students still has to work hard to improve his/her score, which is why we don't make any "improvement guarantees." We simply guarantee that we will always try our best to help your student improve his/her scores, and we stand by the results of our many satisfied clients.
For more information on our SAT and ACT group courses, please click here.