Thursday, October 1, 2009

TOS Homeschool Crew Review - College Prep Genius

First I will review some of the basics of the course. Most of this is the same as my first review of this product. If you read that you can skip down to the new personal stuff.

COLLEGE PREP GENIUS has helped thousands of students from public, private and home schools improve their Psat, SAT and other test scores. This product is made for High School Students.

This program includes a textbook, a workbook and 4 DVD's. Disc Titles:
   1. is the Intro.
   2. is the Critical Reading section.
   3. is the Math section.
   4. is the Writing or Essay section.

The only things you will need besides this program is a number of practice tests for the PSAT. These must be ones from the College Board and not from elsewhere as they can vary to much, according to the DVD.

What makes this program different is that it does not help your child learn the content of the SAT tests, trying to memorize tons of vocabulary, but teaches the techniques and logical patterns the standardized exams use.

Many students simply don’t understand the strategies and logic behind these standardized tests. These exams test more than just a student’s ability to answer questions; they test time-management skills, logical aptitude and much more. COLLEGE PREP GENIUS helps students pinpoint weak areas of the test by emphasizing the strategic and logical approach to taking the SAT.

The test is designed to stretch a student’s ability to manage their allotted time. Large passage reading sections and intricately long math problems are included to test how a student will handle them. Many kids will work problems the normal way– the LONG way.

Our Personal thoughts
Positive factors:
The Acronyms throughout the program are very helpful in knowing the tips for each section. What things are important to remember that will help you get the best score possible. Knowing how to use, and then memorizing, the acronyms is the heart of this program.

Though each section has its good points the math section seemed to be especially good. Like the reading sections the Math section teaches you to look for the tricks, the tests are designed to trick you up. You must remember these tests are logic tests, not a normal math tests. They teach you to keep saying to yourself "What are they asking??" Go over the question and circle the part of the math question that tells what they want to know.

The math section also teaches lots of tips for solving the questions without having to use your calculator. Using the calculator actually slows you down and you could also copy or type in an incorrect number and mess up your answer.

In the Mathematical Student Response section it is important to know how to fill in the bubbles. Since it is not a multiple choice answer you must fill in the actual answer to the question. This can be confusing and they teach you step by step. You must still pay attention to what they are asking and watch for tricks, which they teach you in the course.
Negatives for us:
Instead of memorizing a whole bunch of vocabulary for the test you have to memorize a whole bunch of acronyms. They are not saying that vocabulary is not important, oh no, learn that too, because that will help with your reading and with your essay section.

On their website, College Prep Genius advertises that you can "Raise your SAT score as much as 600 points!" This will take a lot of work. They suggest you:
  1. Take a practice SAT test to get a base score.
  2. Read the Text (176 pages, including charts at the back) all the way through two or three times. [about 10 hours]
  3. Learn the acronyms for each section. [5 hours]
  4. Take the Master the SAT Class or watch it on DVD. They suggest watching each disc multiple times. [10 hours]
  5. Take practice tests from the actual College Board. They suggest taking 25 practice tests. These will take about 3 hours each for a total of 75 hours or so. Free Smileys
  6. Spend a couple hours correcting each of the 25 practice tests to identify your mistakes so you know how to attack those problems the next time. [50 hours]
  7. Know the rules for each section so you don't have to read the rules for each section. This is to save time on the day of the test. If you take as many practice tests as they suggest this should be no problem.
Then it says, "IF you get a $75,000 scholarship, it is like earning $500 for each of the 150 hours you spent preparing for the test." Following this program will take a lot of determination from your student. This is not something that will work well if the student is forced. They must really want to do well, to get into a top college or to get a great scholarship.

One of the things your student must do is go over the math terminology chart. This chart is at the end of the Math section, in the text. The chart is 20 pages long. It first lists the math terminology, then it gives a definition then there are two boxes to mark. The first is Know it, the student puts a check mark for all the terms he already knows and the second is the Make an Example where the student illustrates that he understands the definition by writing a math problem or drawing a diagram to illustrate the definition. They stress this section is important for your student to know, this will be a lot more work.

Now comes the money part. For a limited time the entire DVD set costs $79, which includes the textbook, workbook and teaching DVDs. There is a 100% Money-back Guarantee! If you’re not satisfied with the COLLEGE PREP GENIUS program, you can send it back within the first 30 days and you will receive your money back! That’s ZERO RISK for you, and a 30 % discount on your first order.

Out of 5 stars we give this ...

This program was just not for us. My son did not like this program. I am sure there are a lot of students out there that would benefit from this program. At the present time my son hopes to start his own business. He does not plan on going to a top college or spending hours and hours preparing for the SAT. It is just not his thing. Because of these factors we only did disc 1 and 2 together. I reviewed disc 3 and 4 by myself. It was just too much of a daily struggle to get him to co-operate and it was affecting his attitude toward all his schoolwork, and especially his willingness to review further products. So, for now we are putting the program aside. If he changes his mind the program will be there for him to do later.

I doubt I would have purchased a program for SAT prep at this time if we had not gotten it to review. But the price seems fair, especially if you child uses it as it says to, and gets a great college scholarship!

If you have more questions check out the website by clicking any of the COLLEGE PREP GENIUS links or see their FAQ page.

You can also get other opions by checking out the other reviews by my TOS Crew Mates HERE.


1 comment:

Rose said...

Great post! I am also a homeschooling mom~I found your blog through your daughters blog~Jessica and Rachel~they are doing the Feelin' Feminine Challenge. I am new to your blogs and did not know if they were mother and daughter or sisters. I saw Rachel's post of Feelin' Feminine and thought I would participate in the Psalm and Praise meme today. It is nice to meet another homeschooling mom whose children are older and getting ready to take tests for college etc. My oldest is 14 years old but she does want to go to college to be a teacher at a Christian School. I was wondering if any of your children did college online. There are no Christian Colleges close by so I would have to send her to a Catholic one~so she could drive home after classes. My friend just sent her son the Liberty University~but I did not want her to sleep away. There are to many things that are not Christian going on and temptation is not good for a teenager. Let me know what you think when time allows. God bless, Rose


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