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New Survey Reveals 77% of American High School Students Feel Overwhelmed by Tests

–News Direct–

Bespoke Education Inc., which for more than 20 years has provided the highest quality tutoring, test preparation, and academic support to students from elementary through graduate school in both New York and France, today released a survey of parents of American high school students (n=600) in the wake of the last paper-and-pencil SAT exam earlier this month. Ahead of the nearly 100-year old paper test giving way to the future, all-new digital SAT coming in March, the survey showed that:

  1. Parents are taking the SAT very seriously with nearly 70% saying their students will take the test; only a small minority of parents say their kids will not take the SAT.
  2. Students start SAT preparations earlya majority have started by the end of the previous school year.
  3. Students prepare mainly through either self-study, or through SAT preparation and tutoring programs.
  4. About three-quarters of all parents report that their children sometimes to always feel overwhelmed or stressed about an upcoming test.

Here is a detailed breakdown of the more important findings:

Notwithstanding the decision of more than 2,000 higher education institutes to put test-optional admissions policies in place, parents and students continue to attach great importance to SAT results. A large majority (67.6%) of parents report that they are certain their child(ren) will take the new SAT this year.

Q2: Will one of your children be taking the new SAT this year?













Parents are clearly taking the SAT very seriously. They intuitively know that the SAT test scores will continue to be important in later life for most American high school students, said Bespoke Education CEO Tim Levin.

Asked when their student(s) will begin preparing for the new SAT, a majority of parents (64.31%) reported that their student(s) either started this past summer or began preparing when school started.

Q3: When will your student(s) begin preparing for the new SAT?



They started preparing this past summer


They began preparing when school started


They are going to start before the end of 2023


They will start preparing in January 2024


They will start preparing in February, a month ahead of the test


Dont know


I was positively surprised by these answers. We will always recommend that students start preparing for the tests no later than when school starts. Starting after December significantly decreases the odds of posting a good test score, said Levin.

Students prepare for the SATs through self-study using books and online resources (34.46%), enrolling in an SAT preparatory course or tutoring program (28.69%), or participating in school-offered SAT preparatory sessions or workshops (26.76%).

Q4: How exactly is/are your student(s) preparing or planning to prepare for the new SAT?



Self-study using books and online resources


Enrolled in a SAT prep. course or tutoring program


Working with a private tutor


Participating in school-offered SAT prep. sessions or workshops


They are not preparing or planning to prepare for the SAT


The most important thing is not how students prepare, but that they prepare. Fortunately, parents can choose from a number of options to help their student test takers develop the skills and confidence needed to perform at their best on test day. And of course, digital resources have made self-study much more valuable, added Levin.

The minority of parents with students who will not take the test were asked why these students would not take the SAT test. The number one answer to this question was that their student(s) is/are taking an alternative test (e.g. ACT) instead. Coming in second place, under other, a plethora of answers followed that seem to indicate that there is uncertainty with some parents on whether SAT tests are actually still taken. Third comes the answer that the colleges where parents are considering applying have test-optional admissions policies in place.

Significantly, 8.05% of students will not take the SAT test because of stress or anxiety.

Q7: Why will your student(s) not take the SAT?



My student(s) is/are taking an alternative test (e.g. ACT)


The colleges were considering have test-optional admissions policies


The costs of taking the SAT (registration, preparation, etc.) are prohibitive


Stress/test-taking anxiety




Parents were also asked to which degree their children feel overwhelmed by tests. 77.26% of parents report that their children feel sometimes, often, or always overwhelmed or stressed about an upcoming test. 40.19% feel either often or always overwhelmed.

Q8: How often have one or more of your children expressed feeling overwhelmed or stressed about an upcoming test?











Prefer not to answer


On the question of how parents normally help their child(ren) cope with test anxiety, a large majority (65.01%) answered that they counsel their children themselves.

Test-related stress is a very real problem for many students but it can be addressed. That means teachers, counselors, tutors, and parents must get involved in supporting students as they prepare, said Levin. We expect stress levels to diminish as students become more comfortable with the new digital format, which is more accessible and less intimidating than the 100-year old paper version it replaces.

On the survey

The survey was run on October 25, 2023. A total of 600 parents of American high school children were surveyed. 65.83% of all respondents were between 34 and 44 years old. 24.33% were between 45 and 55 and 9.83% were older than 54. All respondents lived in the United States. 49.17% were male, 50.83% were female.

About Bespoke Education

With offices in New York and Paris, France, Bespoke Education's mission is to provide exceptional educational support for students throughout their schooling. For over two decades, Bespoke's team of tutors, proctors, and full-time staff have offered the highest quality tutoring, test preparation, and academic support to students from elementary through graduate school.

Bespoke has worked with more than 50,000 students in the Tri-State area and around the world. Knowing the schools, administrators, and curricula in the areas where it serves, Bespoke builds long-term relationships with students, families, counselors, and administrators to provide the most comprehensive services.

Bespoke believes the mentor-student relationship is fundamental to guiding students in acquiring new habits and skills. Once this trusting relationship is established and students meet with newfound success, they become increasingly confident and motivated to take on new challenges.

Contact Details

Razor Sharp PR

Ray Young

+1 512-694-6097

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