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Shmoop Takes on SAT Preparation
Online study guide provider Shmoop has taken its irreverent approach to mastery of academic material into new territory: the College Board. The company now offers a complete online SAT preparation course that, while comprehensive with regard to the three sections of the test--math, verbal, and written--differs somewhat from traditional programs.
To begin with, Shmoop brings to SAT prep its quirky approach to helping students develop factual recall and build skills by relating mundane academic concepts to popular culture and lifestyle facts and icons that teenagers may remember more readily. For instance, in its glossary of vocabulary words students need to know for the verbal section of the exam, along with definitions and explanations of proper usage, the course offers quirky memory tricks that give each word an unusual but easy-to-recall context.
For the written essay, for which there are no "right" answers, the course offers an extensive explanation of how to prepare to write the best possible essay in the time allotted, in terms of content, factual knowledge, writing style, and grammar and syntax. And it gives this advice in the context of playing a popular video game. In addition, the course helps students master one or more possible essay topics by linking them to Shmoop's own online library of ready-reference facts, events, concepts, etc., that also takes a humorous, pop culture-oriented approach to knowledge acquisition.
Finally, while there's not a lot of leeway to get cute or quirky with math, the course provides comprehensive preparation for the math section, including practice questions and answers with detailed explanations, drills, and practice exams. Shmoop offers the entire course, with unlimited access to the preparatory materials, questions and answers, practice exams, and useful links throughout the online library, for $23 per student, with volume discounts for schools and districts.
For more information, and to register for the course, visit the Shmoop SAT page here.
Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.