23 SAT/ACT Prep Online Resources
Here are popular online resources to prepare for ACT and SAT tests (click for updated list):
- Albert Online — lots of SAT practice exams, including subject areas.
- College Board
- Kaplan Test Prep
- Khan Academy reading-writing-practice
- Mindsnacks SAT Vocabulary–a big part of succeeding on the SAT essay is knowing the right word
- Number2.com–for SAT, ACT, GRE
- Perfect Score Project--to prepare for SATs
- Prep Factory–for SATs, ACTs, other
- Quizlet–hundreds of SAT vocabulary prep flashcards
- StudyBlue–over 500 study resources that cover SAT prep
- UWorld SAT Prep
- Veritas Prep–free and fee tips, videos and more
MS Career Planning: Moving in the Right Direction
I really like the recent trend away from presenting college as the goal for all graduating seniors, opening that up to include a wide variety of careers. Our job as educators is to encourage students in whatever their choice of post-school employment is, be it more education, a technical school, or a job. If we try to force students into a future not of their own choice, they disengage from learning. Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Bryce Welker, has some ideas on that I think you’ll find interesting:
As an educator, you want to help your students excel now and in the future. This means you have to do everything possible to prepare them for their careers.
One way school districts are ensuring this is by introducing career topics and studies to middle school students. According to the Association for Career and Technical Education, middle school is the time when students are the most likely to become disengaged from learning.
This is in part due to them going through puberty, trying to form their own personal identity, and overcoming other challenges that come with navigating new environments. So this is a vital time to introduce courses that teach students about various career opportunities.
Let’s take a look at how educators around the country are helping middle school students plan and direct their future careers.
5 Best Websites for IELTS Exam Prep
If you’re one of the many who must take the IELTS test, one of our Ask a Tech Teacher contributors has come to your rescue. Here are five great websites to prepare you:
The classroom is not the only place you can prepare for your IELTS exam. Thanks to technology, the candidates can access different resource materials online to practice for their examination. There are many platforms online that offer opportunities for you to prepare for the different stages of the exam: Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening. Right from the comfort of your home, you can measure your English skills in the different categories of the test and get familiar with the exam process at a reasonable cost. Stress has been taken out of your IELTS exam prep. You only need to have a computer system or a mobile phone along with the Internet connection.
There are some great online platforms that provide effective training for the IELTS exam. Using any of them will make your exam prep seamless and devoid of any stress. These top 5 online platforms are:
- IELTS Test Online
The IELTS Test Online is the official website for the IELTS examination. This site is the perfect place to get familiar with the process of the exam and how it works. There are different useful exam details that you can access on this platform. For instance, you can learn more about the general information about the exam format, where to find a test center for IELTS, how to register for the exam, tips on preparing for IELTS test, and sample questions for the examination. To keep abreast of information on the site, you can also join the Facebook Page where you can get tips and quizzes in relation to the IELTS exam. The site is very active and you can learn a lot from its different posts. You can also ask questions and interact with other candidates on the IELTS social platform.
Helping My Daughters Prepare for the ACT Exams
A few months ago, Jane Sandwood sent me a nice note. She’s a a freelance writer, editor and former tutor, homeschooler, and mother of two teenage daughters. She’d read my articles about preparing for SAT/ACTs and had a story of her own detailing how she helped her children prepare for their ACT. I think you’ll enjoy her experiences!
As spring approaches, my eldest daughter Katherine, now in her junior year, is bracing herself for the upcoming ACT exams, while my youngest, Elizabeth, a sophomore, is getting ready for next year. I am a former tutor and for almost 10 years, I helped students prepare for both SATs and ACTs, relying heavily on tech tools and games to keep them motivated. Somehow, even students who needed the most help weren’t quite as challenging as my own daughters, and the lines between tutor and mom were often blurred, as is to be expected.
Different Learning Styles
Katherine and Elizabeth are just about as different as two people can be when it comes to their attitudes about school and their interests. Katherine, who wishes to be an actor, always took to her studies almost instinctively, since she was a child. She took great pride in handing in her homework neatly, took great pains to finish all her tasks, and was more of a rote learner than Elizabeth, who is more into writing, and who always took a more critical, analytical approach to her studies.
Elizabeth is naturally bright and quick, and has an enviable memory. She has always loved reading and has amassed quite a collection on her Kindle, yet is reticent to complete homework and has always had a strong aversion to maths. Because things tend to come easier to her, she is easily bored and far less disciplined than Kathy when it comes to homework and creating a study strategy. She also struggles with time management, often getting lost in a book or musical album and arriving to school without having completed home tasks.
How to Prepare for the SAT
Taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) has become a right-of-passage for high school students as they leave formal education and enter the next phase of learning. Over seven million will take SAT tests in 2018 in January, March/April, May, June, October, November, or December. Some will take it for the first time; some for the umpteenth time. For many, it represents a last desperate attempt to qualify for the college of their dreams.
In an earlier article, I focused on preparation for the essay portion of the SAT. This time, I’ll discuss some of the great online sites that help students prepare for the math and reading portions. I’ve based my selections on the following criteria:
- ease of use — accounts are easy to set up with access to both the site and materials quick and intuitive
- well-rounded — nicely differentiated tools that address varied student learning styles
- quantity and quality of available prep materials — materials are both in-depth and in a variety of formats (written, online, video, live/chat) with explanations of answers
- cost vs. value — free is nice but if students get good value for fee-based resources, that’s just as important
- time commitment — students can spend as much or little time as they have on any given day
Here are eleven options for SAT preparation, from my Top Five choices to six Honorable Mentions. All are easy to use, differentiated, up-to-date on the recent changes to the SAT, and represent a good investment of both time and money:
UWorld’s Unique SAT Prep Site
When I first visited UWorld’s College prep site, I expected what usually is included on free SAT/ACT prep sites–questions, answers, and a lot of cheerleading.
I should have known better. UWorld is a leading provider of question bank materials for professional licensing exams like USMLE, ABIM, and ABFM, considered by many to be the gold standard in test preparation. Now, UWorld has expanded into SAT prep (as well as ACT and AP prep). The site includes over 1200 questions written by experienced educators and designed to be similar to what students will find on the real SAT. With each question is a rigorous explanation, step-by-step instructions, and helpful images about the logic behind answers.
- Choose your difficulty level–low, medium, hard.
- Get hints to help you find a starting point for the answer.
- Customize practice tests to focus on mastering specific concepts within subjects.
- Create your own flashcards for quick review.
- Track your time and performance to improve your pace.
- Monitor progress with reports and graphs.
- Compare your results to peers as a gauge of performance. This includes questions they got correct, how much time they took answering individual questions, and the types of questions they are struggling with.
- Identify weaknesses and improve strengths.
- Flag questions that you’d like to review later.
- Define difficult words from within the app (for reading prep).
Registered students can access questions at the pace they’d like, take full timed tests to build test-taking stamina, pause during testing, flag questions they want more work on, save generated tests to finish or retake later, and more.
How to Prepare for the SAT Essay
Seven million students took the SAT test last year. While it traditionally is an assessment tool for college-bound seniors, more and more high schools are choosing it as an exit exam for graduating seniors (such as these changes in Ohio and the State of Washington). Driven in part by the educational imperative to minimize student testing, what better solution than a test already heavily vetted as being inclusive and cross-cultural that many students are familiar with.
In this article, I’ll focus on preparation for the SAT essay portion. General preparation hints include:
- practice good writing with every school essay students write
- use academic-specific vocabulary whenever possible
- take practice tests
- read a lot — and let that inform your writing
Here are three different approaches to preparing for the essay portion:
- Khan Academy — work on the students’ unique writing problems experienced in their PSAT or earlier SATs
- Revision Assistant — practice writing over a long term and receive targeted feedback to improve skill
- Mindsnacks SAT vocabulary — develop depth in academic vocabulary that improves not only student writing but their understanding of what they’re reading