I know, I know; my oldest is only 13 years old. But she's almost fourteen. And we are already thinking ahead to prepare her for her college years, should she choose to attend college after her high school graduation.
Up until we began using and reviewing College Prep Genius, my strategy for helping her do well on the S.A.T and the P.S.A.T. (her junior year) has been to make sure she is studying material and content that will help her to be a discerning, logical thinker.
Now, my strategy is quite different...and yet still similar.
Yes, we're still going to be hitting the curricula hard and working at a high school level. But after using College Prep Genius for a few weeks, I've come to realize that much of the skill in taking the S.A.T. is simply knowing how to take this kind of test, NOT being a braniac in multiple educational subjects.
Can I tell you that this is my favorite academic curriculum we've used and reviewed this school year?
Since I'm reviewing this, it's important for me to sit alongside my 8th grader and view the material as she learns. I thought it might be a little bit on the boring side. WRONG! It's not super flashy and filled with lots of unnecessary noise and bling. In fact, the instructor is quite serious most of the time! But we've seen some amazing techniques being taught so far in the DVD lessons and in the textbook and workbook. It is NOT boring!
Did you realize that most of the reading selection questions on the S.A.T. can be answered without having fully read the provided reading passage?
Did you know that high schoolers may take the P.S.A.T. three times, even though it only counts toward scholarships during their junior year of high school?
Did you know that by learning some simple acronyms, your teen will have memorized some excellent techniques on how to approach the various portions of the S.A.T. and P.S.A.T.?
Did you know that the normal school tests often have subjective answers, whereas the S.A.T. only contains objective answers, allowing you to often eliminate some of the answer choices on questions?
Did you know that strategies learned in College Prep Genius will also work for AP tests, CLEP, GRE, LSAT, ACCUPLACER tests, and more?
To start using College Prep Genius, I skimmed the first few chapters of the main book, and then we popped in the first DVD. The lesson was very self-explanatory, and even though my daughter could have done this completely on her own, I appreciated being able to hear and see all of the tricks and tips offered by Jean Burk on the DVD lessons.
Here's what we thought after working through about one-fourth of the book and DVD lessons:
1. This is super simple to use! Most teens could easily use this material on their own.
2. Every type of question on the SAT is addressed in this material. We were amazed at the simple traps which are used to get students to answer incorrectly. Once they are shown, it is easy to discern this in future practice tests.
3. I almost wished I could go back in time and retake my high school SAT test, to put my new skills to use! And all along, I had always thought that the SAT was actually measuring student knowledge. Wrong! It's measuring logical and critical thinking skills, which translates to . . . test-taking skills!
4. Kelsi really liked working through the provided examples. She liked the study techniques and acronyms.
What we didn't like: NOTHING!
This is very thorough! Be prepared to spend some time on it, though. College Prep Genius would be excellent to use beginning in the 8th grade and practicing with it through the high school years, especially in the summer.
We are very excited to continue using College Prep Genius! We'll now read through and view the math lessons, although since Kelsi is finishing up pre-algebra, much of it may not be applicable yet.
BONUS! At the back of the College Prep Genius book, we found sections on:
Right now you can get the complete program for $99 (a 25% discount), which includes the DVD and the Second Edition Textbook and Workbook. (Please note that the complete program doesn't include the Vocab Café books shown on the left hand side of the above photo.)
Here's a television video of how the author, Jean Burk, came to develop this curriculum as a homeschool parent:
If you currently use College Prep Genius or have used it in the past, what were your impressions of this program? Did it work for the young adults in your family? Read more about what other TOS Crew members think of College Prep Genius!
Disclaimer: I was provided with a complete DVD set of College Prep Genius in exchange for using and reviewing this program on my website. My honest review is what you've read, and no other additional compensation was provided.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!