Friday, September 11, 2009

Review: College Prep Genius (Introduction)

As homeschoolers, most of us abhor the standardized test and would much rather focus on learning. Frankly, the current model of the pubic school system to teach to the test and nothing else is reason in itself to homeschool. However, like it or not, there comes a time when standardized testing has very high stakes. College admissions. If you have a college-bound student, you are probably acutely aware of the importance of an impressive SAT or ACT score for acceptance and offers of scholarship by the school of your student's choice.

Let's face it, college admissions can be pretty cut-throat and competitive. It is a game of one-up. It is a game of evaluating 13 years of schooling largely by a single test score. With homeschoolers who often have transcripts of “Mommy grades”, this is especially true. If you are going to play the game, you need to know the rules. Knowing the rules could pay off big in attractive offers and even full scholarships.

COLLEGE PREP GENIUS explains the rules and gives students specific plays to stay in the game. Author Jean Burk has over 10 years experience preparing students to take the SAT. Through her DVD course, book and workbook, students will learn common patterns of SAT questions, tricks to answer questions more efficiently and unique acronyms to learn recommended steps of approach for each type of question.

While my oldest has taken standardized tests before, her preparation consisted of little more than learning how to transfer answers from the booklet to the answer sheet and to bubble cleanly. Beyond that, it is her knowledge that has carried her scores. Standardized testing has always been used as a tool for my own information, a basic measurement of how our homeschool was doing with an outside tool. However, I can't deny the stakes involved in tests like the ACT and SAT. Well-trained athletes know the rules of the game and the likely plays of the opponent. Coaching on the rules of the SAT will allow your student to better show their abilities.

Over the next few weeks, I will be having my daughter go over some of the material presented in this course. We'll start with a retired SAT test, as recommended, for a baseline. After going through the materials, I'll report back on how this product worked for our family. In the meantime, you can check out the COLLEGE PREP GENIUS website and browse the articles found there. For a limited time discount, the entire COLLEGE PREP GENIUS DVD set only costs $79, which includes the revolutionary textbook, workbook and teaching DVD. That’s 30% off the retail price!

Be sure to check back for a personal review of this program.

1 comment:

Debra said...

Heidi -- this is such a great overview! And yes, I think the normal standardized tests are a total waste of time, but I do like the timed test practice aspect, especially with testing that might actually tell me something. Thanks for this :)