Thursday, October 1, 2009

College Prep Genius -- My Final Review

As I explained earlier in my introductory review, the College Prep Genius course is designed to teach our students strategies to help them improve their SAT scores.  Jean Burk, the creator, wants to help others achieve a full-ride to college by raising their PSAT and SAT scores.  She does this by providing acronyms and test-taking strategies students can use to understand the SAT test patterns and manage their time well when taking the test.  This product is not just for homeschooling families, but for all high school students.

When this product first arrived, I was completely overwhelmed by it.  I looked it over, seeking an explanation of where to begin and how to implement the system.  The list on page 8 of the textbook suggested we read the textbook through 2 - 3 times as a beginning step.  I flipped through it and saw all the complicated acronyms and test-taking tips that a student is expected to memorize and groaned.  It seemed to be too much.  I gave it to my 9th grade daughter to read, but that backfired on me.  She was even more overwhelmed than I was.

We both began to dismiss this program as just not being a good fit for us.  We didn't see the need to spend hours each week studying these acronyms.  It seemed stifling and boring, to be honest.  We have always been a relaxed literature-based homeschool.  We aren't completely delight-directed, but we certainly lean that way.  The College Prep Genius course seemed to be exactly opposite of our usual method of learning.

But then I picked it up and read it again.  I read the chapters before and after the acronyms, and found such helpful recommendations for SAT test-taking, for scholarship applications, and for college interviews.  I realized that the best way to use the College Prep Genius set in our home would be to have my 9th grader take a practice PSAT or SAT test first.  After she has seen what the book is referring to, and we see her weakest area, we can focus on JUST that section of the test-taking tips and acronyms.  Rather than expecting her to read and memorize all the acronyms, we first need to assess where she needs the most help. 

There is so much information in the College Prep Genius set.  A person could spend hundreds of hours learning it all, or they can just glean from it the information they need the most.  If a student takes several practice tests, several PSAT tests, and the SAT itself more than once ... they can focus on a new section of the College Prep Genius after each test.  

Taking the tests multiple times to achieve the best possible score is exactly what the College Prep Genius author suggests.  Realizing that my daughter doesn't have to memorize all the College Prep Genius tips before her first test was such a relief!  It took an overwhelming product that actually scared us both and turned it into something manageable.

Since I found the instructions for how to use this program rather overwhelming, I have my own recommendations. 

  1. Read the Introduction and Part 1 of the College Prep Genius textbook first. 

  2. Watch the first DVD in the "Master the SAT Class".  

  3. Read the rest of the College Prep Genius textbook, without focusing on memorizing acronyms.  It gives helpful information on each section of the SAT. 

  4. Take a practice test.

  5. Begin to study the acronyms that will help with your weakest areas using the DVD, textbook, and workbook.

The College Prep Genius program  includes the "Master the SAT Class" DVD set, a workbook, and a textbook.  In addition to this set, it is recommended that you purchase practice SAT tests to help you practice the patterns, strategies, and acronyms that College Prep Genius teaches you.

This curriculum is designed for the person who is very serious about earning the best score they possibly can on the SAT.  Whether it is to gain entrance to a college with a higher SAT score qualification ... or whether it is to earn a full-ride scholarship to college.  To implement the system as designed will require a minimum of 2 hours of practice each week, and even more on the weekends preceding a test. 

It is an excellent list of test-taking strategies, but the list of acronyms to memorize is overwhelming at first.  It will take a motivated student to complete this course on their own.  I definitely recommend giving credit for this course on your student's transcript if you homeschool.

The College Prep Genius set is currently on sale for 30% off,  only $79 for the whole set.

Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting in Him,

1 comment:

  1. April, this is an excellent review! I love how you gave your own instructions on how to approach the course.


    Mrs. White


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