(Slapping the current year on a Kaplan prep book is a trick to get you to buy another Kaplan prep book every 12 months)

Every once in a while a student will ask me if my methods have been updated for “this year’s test.”

They ask this for two reasons:

  1. Lots of test prep companies slap the current year prominently on the covers of their prep books, not-so-subtly implying that the strategies they sold you last year are now out of fashion.
  2. Lots of people in forums and on blogs are new to the field and don’t know any better, and they spread the idea that standardized tests are in a constant state of evolution. (This is especially a big deal for LSAT-takers, many of whom seem to have a deep-seated biological need to believe that the LSAT changes every 3 weeks.)

Let me say, then, that standardized tests don’t change every year. If they did, there would be no purpose to standardized tests.

This means that the strategies that worked last year (and the year before that, and the year before that, and so on) will work this year, and next year.

If a company’s strategies are actually valuable in the first place, the only time they should need changing is when a major change to the format of the test is announced. If the strategies need to be updated every year, then they were faulty to begin with, because standardized tests don’t change every year.

So let me state that my courses and methods are always appropriate for the currently available version of each test that I teach. While I might occasionally “update a course” by adding some new free material (like when I added a complete free ACT course to my existing SAT Course), and while I’m happy to answer any student’s questions about any real test items in the forums of my courses, my courses are always designed to last. They get right to the heart of what makes each test standardized and beatable, so they don’t need to be updated every year like flu shots.