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Can Studying a Foreign Language Improve SAT/ACT Scores?

Oct 23, 2017

Can studying a foreign language improve SAT/ACT scores?

Jawohl!  Klaro!  Bien sûr!


If you have homeschoolers in middle school, chances are you have the SAT or ACT exams on a back burner. Now is the time to start preparing them by including a foreign language in their educational program!

Why a foreign language? 

Studying a foreign language

Studies of student SAT and ACT results are irrefutable: those with knowledge of a foreign language increase SAT and ACT exam scores in critical reading, writing, and even math, especially with third and fourth year foreign language studies. The above chart by College Board proves a direct correlation between foreign language studies and increased improvement in scores for the SAT.

How does knowledge of a foreign language improve scholastic aptitude?

According to Anne Merritt, an EFL lecturer currently based in South Korea, muscles get stronger and work better when they are exercised. Our brains are no different! When we study a foreign language, we activate and “exercise” a certain part of our brains. We learn words by memorizing, which makes one’s ability to memorize all the stronger. Those who have knowledge of a foreign language can remember things better, like instructions, people’s names, and lists of items.

Speaking a foreign language improves how your brain works by challenging it to recognize and figure out meaning and communicate in different language systems. This skill boosts your ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks as well, like in math.

If you study a foreign language, your English will improve!

Learning a foreign language draws your focus to the mechanics of the English language: grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure, as well as sounds. This makes you more aware of language, and how it can be structured and manipulated. This makes you better at communicating and writing, which is a definite advantage when taking the SAT and ACT exams.

Excelsior Classes offers French, Spanish, and German taught by elite, native or near-native speakers.

It is never too early to get a jump on the SAT or ACT! If your middle schooler does not yet know which foreign language he/she would like to learn, Excelsior offers a Foreign Language Sampler course to help.

One of the most important educational building blocks is a foreign language. Get a jumpstart now on creating a solid foundation for your student to earn a great score on the SAT/ACT exams and reap other educational benefits. Auf geht’s!


Since 2011, Susan Gleason has taught German online. She has an extensive background in foreign languages.

Traveling internationally since she was eight years old, her travels include Europe, Scandinavia, Estonia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, South and Central Americas, and South Africa. Susan studied German in college and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1986. In 1985, while still a college student, Susan led a Bible-smuggling operation into Soviet-controlled Estonia. She lived in Germany from 1986-1991, experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall, and had some daring adventures outwitting East Berlin border guards. Susan did post-graduate studies at Universität Würzburg, Universität Bonn, and FAS Germersheim. She worked as an interpreter at the international trade fairs in Cologne, as well as a translator and private tutor.

The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the author and should not be taken to represent the views of Excelsior Classes, LLC or the consortium of teachers.