|Image courtesy: Texasoncourse.org|
By Rajkamal Rao
I'm often asked - what is the best way to prepare for the SAT/ACT?
- The Khan Academy site is truly world class. If you link your College Board account with the Khan Academy account, the KA website will automatically detect which areas of testing you are weak in based on your performances on the PSAT. And it will start serving up lessons and practice questions so that you can improve. Even a private coaching academy will not give you such personalized service!
- You can set your smartphone or PC to automatically challenge you with practice questions every day at a certain time. You set the frequency, the topic and the number of questions.
- There are loads of videos and review content if you are ever not sure about a topic area.
- And then there are 8 full length practice tests from the College Board so that you can really create test-day conditions in the privacy of your home. In the link here, change the number of the test - for example, replace 8 with 5 to download the .pdf for test 5.
- You can print out the answer sheets even and use 2HB pencils to oval your responses out.
- And you can download an app to instantly score your answer sheet with detailed explanations for every answer. The app is available for both iPhones and Android. Here's a video clip which explains how to use the app.
- If you're preparing for the ACT, here's a set of full length official test questions in English, Math, Reading, Science and Writing.
So, when you enroll your child in a test prep academy, you are simply outsourcing the project management of your child's preparation. But is this really worth $2,000? Hardly!
The big testing companies know that the market is slipping away from them. This is why many of them are getting into the lucrative college counseling industry. Read our post here about how one famous test company is doing just this and why.
But here's the summary: Tell your child that he or she is much better off practicing at home on his or her own. And promise your child half of the savings in cash if they beat expectations! After all, nothing is more American than that!!