Best (and free) Test Prep for SAT/ACT

So you have a teen staring down the deadline to her first SAT experience. Or your son shows little dedication to his vocabulary program. What’s an innocuous (SAT word of medium challenge –adjective 1. not harmful or injurious; harmless. 2. not likely to irritate or offend; inoffensive. ) strategy to help them both prepare in less than 15 minutes a day?

And because our mantra around here is always free, if you please; low-cost, no-cost solutions are to die for, can this solution come with no strings attached?

Got just the site for you: number2.com

Your teens can register for a free prep program for the SAT and ACT – and all sections are included ( math, verbal, writing, subject areas, etc.).  The site tracks the student’s progress and will send reports to a “coach,” which can be you.   Your student can also register for the vocabulary builder program which starts with the least challenging words and works up to the most.  The student receives immediate feedback; as well as, helpful hints before giving up the correct answer.

Finally, the icing on the cake: The site keeps track of your teen’s strengths and weaknesses and personalizes the program to gently move the student toward mastery.  This site has everything built into it that we know from the research promotes student learning: immediate feedback, explanations and hints that trigger prior knowledge, and an individualized approach that always begins at the level of a student’s success and moves upward incrementally.

And it’s free!  So what’s the catch?  Not any that I can see. Unlike other sites where your teen will be subjected to a constant barrage of advertisement and user information is sold to third-party vendors, number2.com keeps the information you share private.  The student’s personal information is used to customize the program and to send reports to the student and coach.  Because the site is funded through sponsorships and licensing, the tool is available for free to users.

Consumer Reports did a study a few years back comparing online test prep programs.  All the big names were included, and you know some of these companies are charging hundreds of dollars for their online program; plus populating their sites with a lot of advertisements.  Well, number2.com was in the study and they scored in the top quadrant in almost all areas.  You can read the full report here.

So there you have it: Our best (and free) site for the week of Jan 31, 2011.

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