PSAT, SAT, ACT, Subject Tests, AP, IB, Stanford, IOWA -- Kids take a lot of tests before they head off to college. Some of them actually matter.
PSAT8/9 is a perfect baseline. Taken in 8th or 9th grade, it can tell someone like me a lot of important things.
Will he be a National Merit Finalist? Does he have a learning delay? Is there a gap in any core subject? What will he make on his final SAT/ACT?
Yep! I can easily answer those questions, and much more, with a PSAT in my hands. But the PSAT8/9 is a baseline and should be taken without any prep
What do you do when things get serious? How do you prep for the 11th grade PSAT that will determine National Merit status? What is the best program for acing the SAT or the ACT for college admissions & financial aid?
It depends! A really smart, motivated, hard working student will do equally well with any of the national programs on the market. Just make sure that he or she is connected to his/her teacher and you will see notable improvement. But the average student is not so motivated when it comes to sitting indoors studying for upcoming tests on a Saturday afternoon ? Nothing works consistently but I have steady & good results with the following.SAT
- FREE - Online program put out by the makers of the test, The College Board, and administered by Khan Academy.
- Must be done with a tutor or a study buddy as discussion is a must.
- Should be done no more than 1 hour per day every other day.
- It is optimal to prep for no more than 3 months.
- Do not take more than 3 full length practice test. It causes brain burnout.
- PAID - PrepExpert.com created by a student who scored a perfect SAT. There are various levels of this program. Only the in-person is worth the expense.
- FREE - Online program put out by the makers of the test, ACT Inc.
- Cost is $40 for 1 year.
- Prep rules are the same as for the SAT.
- PAID - A live, local tutor w/a study buddy and this book works better than anything else I have ever tried.
- Spend serious time on the science section.
- Karen Dillards works well for in person program for the kids that finish. Lots of kids drop out due to stress and there is no refund.
- Princeton Review is expensive but works for top students. It is a bad match for kids with any anxiety or learning issues.
- Kaplan & Tests Masters are almost all online now so I avoid.
- CRASH COURSE - There is one for each subject and they have amazing outcomes. CC is for kids who like a story, not just the facts.
- FIVE STEPS TO A 5 - Also one for each subject. This book is ideal for kids who like it short and sweet and have good memories.
- Use either book but not both.
- Start prepping in February and finish in May.
- Work with a buddy to discuss and get feedback.
- Get tutoring for any writing.