Getting Ready for the SAT
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SAT and act prep with magoosh - Episode 058
Getting ready to prepare for the SAT or ACT exam for college applications? Everyone wants to know how to prepare for the SAT and ACT in the shortest amount of time with the best results. The way we prepare for the SATs today isn’t so different than the past. There are just more options. Princeton Review, Kaplan - they have options online now in addition to centers and books.
We also see students start their preparation for the SAT as early as sixth or seventh grade. They are not the only ones preparing, though. Often, the parents are more invested in getting the perfect marks for their kids and are willing to do anything that will help their kids feel confident about taking the SAT.
The school system is starting to offer practice SAT tests (often to the point of over-saturation ) but even free practice tests aren’t enough, and parents look for the old school players of SAT Prep or ACT Prep. But what about some fresh blood in the college test prep world?
What is Magoosh?
Magoosh is a relatively small company located in Berkley, California. All of their content is available online. Their focus isn’t only on the SAT, but several other test preps like the ACT. They run on the belief that all students should have the same access to information that will provide a boost to their preparations. As such, their SAT Prep course costs a fraction of what you would have to pay for regular, traditional programs. They also offer a ton of free resources.
The website provides a free trial for anyone looking to get an idea of the Magoosh SAT prep. You can access videos, written portions for further explanation and then question that will help clear the entire concept. The layout is clean-cut and puts the test taker in a better mood from the get-go. I have struggled with math my entire life and their explanations left me wishing they had tutorials for my daily classes!
Can Magoosh Help a Struggling Math Student?
Since math is the subject I struggled with the most on my SAT testing, I tried taking the math tests. The questions that were answered wrong were answered with an explanation video. Pretty standard, at this point.
The surprise was the tutor that appeared for the explanation process. He spoke slowly and stuck to the subject at hand. The questions I didn’t understand were followed with easy solutions. Even better was that every question that popped in my head was also addressed in the lesson. They had separate explanatory videos for it in the related section. In short, Magoosh broke down the math problems like building blocks. If you received an incorrect answer, I was easily led backward to the core concept I would need to understand to get the correct answer. But Magoosh doesn’t want to waste your time if you have a solid grasp of the concept. The student can review the concepts they need help with and watch a 5-10 minute lesson on that concept rather than a 40-minute lesson on concepts they already understand. This leads a user to an ALMOST unique experience.
Magoosh also offers its students options during test-taking. You can quiz yourself and either complete the entire test and review the answers at the end or take one question at a time and receive the answers immediately.
They do an excellent job of guessing what most students struggle with, the kind of questions and concepts that makes the SAT prep test hard for them. Every time I struggled with a concept, I found an explanatory video for those questions. I didn’t feel lost and confused.
One of the hardest parts about being an SAT taker is feeling inadequate compared to your peers. The feeling of being less smart then makes one feel pressured. I did not experience that with Magoosh.
Of course, you might have some doubts as to why a platform so helpful has such a low price rate. The reason for it is that it is mainly directed for self-starter SAT takers. However, the website does provide a help desk for asking questions that is online at specific times of the day. Being the curious person that I am, I had to try it out.
Magoosh Customer Service
My math questions often leave me feeling stupid. I was actually afraid to send my question to the help desk. However, they answered respectively and spoke to me like a peer, and not like they were a math guru that was superior to me.
On the chance they didn’t know an answer, they would ask us to wait for an email with an explanation that usually arrived in a few hours. If your child struggles with asking questions, they might enjoy the relative anonymity of the help desk and be able to ask questions they usually aren’t able to pose to their teachers. The laidback, friendly vibe of the help desk persons would help them relax.
Special Perks Magoosh Offers
The website allows you to flag questions, make notes, and so on. The dashboard provides a helpful index of your total days of studying with Magoosh, the number of hours and the days you have left until a test. They also have the target scored noted to keep you motivated and on track.
They take data from your test patterns and provide you an overview of the hours you need to invest in improving your scores. The time is then further divided into days and you can pick the days you like to study. Say, you tell them you are only willing to study for four days a week. Then the website will tell you how many hours you need to consider for one day of the week. In case you don’t show up, they will send texts to remind you.
Nothing gets a person motivated like a reward system. Magoosh has figured out how to use that effectively. If you study for a specific amount of time and say, accumulate 300 points or so, you can earn an Amazon reward card. If you maintain the streak and gather more points, the rewards increase too.
Ready to rock Magoosh for your SAT or ACT test prep? You can opt for the monthly, three months or yearly subscription program. Naturally, the options become better with a secured subscription. You start with 100 extra points, assistance on emails, videos, tests, and broken down study schedules.
On paper, Magoosh isn’t notably different from other prep courses you find online or the SAT or ACT classes you can take in person. For some, offline classes could be more effective. You need to consider your child’s needs and learning preferences. However, as someone who felt shunned by the typical SAT prep companies - I found Magoosh to be a breath of fresh air.
Magoosh wants to challenge its students. The questions they give students will be harder than those on the SAT, so that students can be prepared for everything that the test throws at them. Ready to rock a free trial for the ACT or SAT? Click here to learn more!
Listen to the full episode for more tips and front line stories of the transition to middle school. You can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Googleplay, or Iheartradio or visit http://www.schoolcounselorgonerogue.com each week for the full episode (though let’s be honest, subscribing is so much easier!)
You can also sign up for the waitlist for The Organized School Year at teampasch.com/theorganizedschoolyear. It’s an intensive workshop to help your child create and implement an organization system that meets their needs.
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How to prepare for the SATs or ACTs
How Magoosh approaches prepping for tests
How to help struggling students with the SAT or ACT
Marni Pasch| Host of School Counselor Gone Rogue| Academic Coach | Team Pasch Academic Coaching
I work with students in grades 6th and higher, who struggle with academic confidence and motivation. I help them survive school with less stress by helping them create concrete goals, tackle procrastination and learn creative study techniques. I empower students to take charge of their education and reach their goals. I do this through individual or group coaching so students achieve success in life, school, career readiness and their social endeavors. I provided in person academic coaching in Orlando, FL, but work with students across the country through Zoom!