Monday, November 14, 2011

Review of College Prep Genius

As of late, my daughter has been trying to dodge her regular school work in order to work on College Prep Genius! She keeps telling me, "I can't wait to take the SAT!" The funny thing? She's only ten! I was thrilled to receive this product free in exchange for my review, because I knew that my daughter would just love it.  I wasn't wrong.  Although she is only ten, she is in 8th grade, meaning that she has already learned much of the math covered on the SAT.  Because she is a verbal genius, she also already has a great command of that section of the SAT.  In fact, I have to fight to get her to stop doing analogies.  How can she benefit from an SAT prep course when she is so many years away from taking the SAT? The answer to that is the reason that this program is so successful at what it does.

The SAT should not be a test that most kids start thinking of in 9th grade.  Why? For one thing, high school students can take the PSAT starting in 10th grade.  Taking the PSAT in 11th grade qualifies National Merit Scholars, a distinction that can result in major scholarship money.  Finally, and this is the real reason that I was so eager to get this program, students can take the PSAT in 7th grade through the Duke Talent Identification Program.  Being identified as a high scorer in this program opens up a world of great summer camps and other privileges.  Although my daughter does 8th grade coursework, she is still only 5th grade age.  That means she still has two years before taking her first PSAT, at which point she will be doing 10th grade coursework.  The upshot? She has every chance of scoring very high on the PSAT when both her native intelligence and advanced coursework are taken into consideration.

Hopefully the foregoing explanation isn't read as either boring or boastful.  Instead, I hope that sharing our individual circumstances helps more people realize that their students can benefit from an SAT prep course, even if the SAT is not in their immediate future.

What do you get when you purchase College Prep Genius?

Included in your purchase price of $99 is a DVD containing 12 lessons that walk your student through each section of the SAT.  The lessons introduce students to each question type and provide them with a concrete plan for working through those questions.  Although the lessons are conversational and fun to watch, they are hardcore and informative.  This is *not* a fluff course.  It is the same material you would see if you took this class in person. You also receive the College Prep Genius textbook and workbook.  The textbook is amazing, covering over 350 test-taking strategies and tips.  Even better, it contains tips for finding college scholarship money! Finally, the workbook is chock full of sample questions and problems, providing your student with ample opportunity to practice what she has learned.  Although you get a better deal when you buy these items as a package, each of them is available individually.

The fact that my daughter comes out of her College Prep Genius lessons excited, rather than intimidated, is a tribute to how well done this program is.  The focus is on the positives: the fact that the test is doable, that there are set strategies to help you through it, and that practice will make you better.  

The SAT shouldn't be something a child dreads.  Instead, like my daughter, they should eagerly anticipate the day they can walk into the test and then walk out with an assurance of college acceptance and scholarship money.  The more exposure a child has to the test, and, in my opinion, the earlier a ready child is exposed to it, the greater her chance of success.  This program is, of course, most appropriate for the early high-school student, but, given the circumstances, it can be a huge asset to younger children as well.

We love College Prep Genius in this house.  To find out how others reacted to it, visit the Crew blog.

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