I have simply been a facilitator in my daughter's education. I have provided activities, materials, and opportunities, and my daughter has taken advantage of these things and has flourished in her education. I love being able to provide her with materials that have great educational benefit to her, so I was excited when I was given eKnowledge.com's SAT Power Prep to review.
While reviewing the SAT Power Prep, I quickly decided this was going to be the tool I would provide for my daughter to help her prepare for the SAT tests she will be taking all too soon. My daughter is now considered a junior and her plans include obtaining a college education. Preparing for the test only makes sense because getting decent scores on the SATs determine whether or not she will be accepted into the college of her choice, as well as whether or not she will be eligible for financial aid scholarships.
It is interesting to note that the program is quite simple to use, yet it seems to be quite comprehensive in the material that is included in the program. SAT Power Prep requires Windows 98 or higher, 1GB HD, 128MB RAM, Sound Card and Powered Speakers. I tried the program on Windows 98, as well as our computer with Windows XP, and the program worked well on each one. The video segments looked better on my Windows XP, but they were fine on my older computer - just not as streamlined. Installation was quite simple on each system.
In addition to the program, you will need an Internet connection and a copy of 10 Real SATs compiled by the ETS and the College Board, the companies that own the SAT and publish the tests each year. The program provides a link to Amazon.com for you to purchase the book.
After installation is complete, you must insert disk number two to run the program. When you come to the Start Page, you will see an outline to follow. They suggest: 1) Make a study plan; 2) Do classroom study where you watch the video segments, answer practice questions, do the quizzes, and track your progress (which you do on paper AND on your computer); 3) Timing and comprehension where you take the actual tests; and 4) Using a calculator, which explains the types of calculators that are allowed (and encouraged to be used) during the SAT tests.
The sections of SAT Power Prep
1) The SAT section explains general information about the SAT tests - types of questions, the SAT format, and how the SAT is scored.
2) The Classroom section provides 120 video lectures that cover SAT specifics. As the instructor presents the material, there will be "pop ups" that allow the student to read the highlights of the lecture. On the video screen, there is a button that says notes. The student is able to type in notes during the lecture (pushing that button automatically pauses the lecture) and these notes are stored on the computer, so the student is able to access the notes for later study.
3) The Resources section allows you to print the information given on the "pop ups" in the video presentations. We printed these outlines so my daughter would have some structure in note taking while she was watching the video instruction. This also helped her as she was reviewing for the test.
4) The Testing section will take the student to the competency eQuiz. This is a great way for the student to check her progress. The student will be able to review the correct solutions to the questions they miss, giving great feedback and learning potential.
5) Tip of the Day sections gives numerous tips for studying for and taking the test. This section is divided into four sections: General Tips, Verbal Tips, Math Tips, and Vocabulary Tips. Each of these sections is just full of relevant tips for the student. An example of a tip in the General section is: "Don't listen to anyone during the breaks - they do not know any more than you do, and they could make you feel discouraged about how you've done so far, or even overconfident. And don't de-brief after the test - what is done is done. Go do something fun, and forget the test!" As I looked through the tips, it impressed me that even little tips like getting a good breakfast and plenty of rest were included. I don't think they left anything out!
How to implement the SAT Power Prep in a homeschool
The beauty about this program is that there would be many ways to implement its use. It would be feasible to use this throughout the school year as a supplement to what the student is studying by working on the program a little bit each day. When my daughter reviewed SAT Prep, though, she immediately re-scheduled the rest of her school year. She has worked it out so she will complete her current studies by April, then she is planning to use the SAT Prep as her curriculum throughout the summer. Of course, the proof will be in the pudding, so to speak, and Alyssa has yet to take the SATs, but I took them many moons ago, and I certainly wish a program of this quality had been available to me. Kudos to the SAT Prep developers!
-- Product Review by: Terri Miller, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
SAT Power Prep Software
400 S. Ramona Ave. Ste. 203
Corona, AZ 92879
SAT Power Prep Software Program by eKnowledge was designed to cover and track every testable point. Studying SAT Power Prep will give you confidence knowing that you are covering every topic and every question-type that could possibly appear on your SAT exam. This is for High School age teens. The software is complete, but there are books that you can purchase to enhance the software.
I appreciated the opportunity to review a product so positively geared toward home schooling. The program explains itself well and was generally user-friendly. Installation was fairly simple but actually running the program was a bit complicated because it would not run properly on my computer. Although my computer contained all the system requirements listed, it still would not run properly. This required me to uninstall and reinstall the software on a different computer. The program ran well on the other computer, so it is not compatible with all computers.
The program provides a thorough overview of the type of questions on the SAT test and the number of each question type appearing on the real test. A useful explanation of SAT scoring processes is also provided. When accessing the "Classroom", several subjects are offered as selection options. Each subject then provides a choice of several different videos to watch to help explain what you need to know to answer the questions correctly. After completing the desired videos, you then progress through relevant practice questions for that subject. When you answer the question, an audio/video begins to explain the whole question and answer. This is particularly helpful if the question is answered incorrectly since it reinforces what you need to know. There are at least ten practice questions for each available subject.
The program also has a resource center with 17 books that you may print to practice and work in. It has questions, answers, and even explanations of how to arrive at the correct answer. You may also take an SAT test in the program allowing you to determine your probable score based on current knowledge. There is ample information on this set of two CDs, which is especially useful for someone who is going to take the SAT. Additionally, this program may provide high school children with tools for subjects such as Math or English.
Overall, I enjoyed this program and consider it informational for all high school age children. My only criticism would be that it is not a full screen providing a larger video size.