Showing posts with label Standardized Tests. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Standardized Tests. Show all posts

Friday, July 15, 2011

BLine Test Prep Offers Free SAT Prep

BLine Test Prep is a test preparation service that is now offering a free SAT and GMAT preparation program. Both programs offer full-length practice tests that students take online. After completing a practice test students receive instant feedback on the questions they answered. The feedback comes with animated and narrated explanations of the correct answers. For busy students who don't have time to work through a whole test in one sitting, there is an option to pause and come back to the same place later. Overall, this could be a good service for students to use as they prepare to take the SAT this fall.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

10 Sites and Apps for SAT Vocabulary Review

Like many of their peers across the country, this Saturday all of the Juniors at my school will be taking the SAT. Although it's kind of late to start prepping for the test, better to do some review this week than not do any at all. The following ten websites and mobile apps are designed to help students review the type of content they're likely to encounter on the SAT.

Vocab Ahead is a great service offering hundreds of videos designed to help students learn SAT and ACT vocabulary words. Each video features a narrator pronouncing the word, reading the definition, and then reading a sentence or two using the vocabulary word. An animated drawing accompanies each sentence to illustrate the meaning of each word and sentence. You can watch the Vocab Ahead videos individually or in a continuous stream. All of the Vocab Ahead videos can be viewed directly on their website or you can embed the Vocab Ahead widget into your own blog or website. Vocab Ahead also gives teachers the ability to create custom playlists of vocabulary videos. The playlists can be shared via email, a posted link on a blog, or by posting a vocabulary video widget on a blog or website.

Bubba Brain is a simple site packed with review games for students preparing for the SAT and AP exams. Bubba Brain also has some games for elementary and middle school subjects. The games all use the same format of giving a definition and asking students to find the word or term that it matches. Once a correct match is made, a new definition appears on the "back" of the answer to the previous definition.

Vocab Sushi is designed to help students prepare for standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, and more. When you register for an account, Vocab Sushi will ask you which test you are preparing for. Based upon the test for which you're preparing, Vocab Sushi will give you a short (20 question) quiz to evaluate your current skills. Then based on your score, Vocab Sushi will generate a list of words for you to learn.

EduFire is a tutoring service offering live video lessons. EduFire charges for the video lessons, but they do have a good selection of flashcards that students can access for free. There are many decks of flashcards designed for SAT and other standardized test preparation. Students can also access flashcards designed for developing and practicing foreign language comprehension.

Flashcards, either online or physical, still seem to be one of the preferred methods of studying vocabulary words. Flashcard Flash is a handy little search engine designed for one purpose, helping you find sets of flashcards. Flashcard Flash was built using Google Custom Search. Flashcard Flash searches twenty-two different flashcard services including Flashcard DB, Quizlet, and Study Stack all of which I've previously reviewed and found to be excellent services.

Power Vocab is a free iPhone App for learning and studying vocabulary commonly found on the GMAT and GRE. The app uses artificial intelligence based on the research of the MIT Web Semantics Lab and MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. The artificial intelligence in the Power Vocab app is used to learn about your vocabulary skills and habits to then present you with the word lists and exercises you need to focus on. The app provides you with tools to track your progress as your test date approaches.

Easel is an educational iPad App that provides a canvas for working on Algebra and SAT practice problems. Select a problem type from the menu and you're provided with a blank canvas to write and draw on in the same way that you would use scratch paper. If you get stuck, you can tap the "show me" button to get help. Easel has free and paid versions of an app for SAT prep and an app for Algebra.

Words, Words, Words is a free vocabulary app for Android from Socratica. I have previously checked out some other apps from Socratica that I liked, and this one is no different. I like that the interface is very visually-pleasing and easy to navigate. Words, Words, Words can be used in a flashcard-like manner for familiarizing yourself with the words or in a quiz mode. Words, Words, Words offers audio to help users with pronunciation.

Cobocards, like other flashcard services, allows you to create customized sets of flashcards. One of the key differences between Cobocards and other flashcard services is that Cobocards provides you with pdf copies of your flashcards that you can print to study offline. Of course, you can study also study your flashcards online.

Cramberry allows users to share flashcards with other users. After creating your flashcards you can contribute to a public gallery of flashcards. If you don't have time to make flashcards of your own, you can search for and study flashcards in the public gallery. To use the flashcards you will need to create a Cramberry account. Cramberry offers apps for iPhones and iPads. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

What's a Motel Kid? Do You Have One in Your Classroom?

Last night I stumbled across a CNN video titled What's a Motel Kid? The short video is in part about families who live in motel rooms because they cannot afford any other housing. The video reminded me of a Snag Learning film called Immersion that illustrates the challenges ESL/ELL students face when taking some standardized mathematics tests.

Applications for Education
Today, I have to proctor a state-mandated test. As I work in a district that is currently struggling with unemployment and poverty I can't help but wonder how those issues will affect the performance of our students compared with those students in better-off areas of our state.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Snag Learning Film of the Week - Immersion

This week's Snag Learning Film of the Week is Immersion. Immersion is a short film (12 minutes) that illustrates the challenges ESL/ELL students face when taking some standardized mathematics tests. The story follows Moises, a student who is good at math, as he struggles with the decision to take the standardized mathematics test or to skip school that day.
Watch more free documentaries
Applications for Education
Immersion raises some good discussion questions that could be used in a classroom or in a professional development setting. Should Moises be allowed to take a Spanish version of the standardized test? How can you prove that you know something when there is a language barrier in place? What is the purpose of a standardized test?

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Snag Learning Film of the Week - The Luckiest Nut in the World
Snag Learning Film of the Week - The Family Meal
Voxy - Learn a Language from Life

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Video Attempt to Motivate Students

Last week a reader from Indiana sent me a link to a video that he and his colleagues made, in his words, "to motivate students to pass the state test." I watched the video and thought that it was a good example of teachers putting themselves "out there" for their students. Most of us dislike standardized testing, but unfortunately it's a part of our professional lives. So if you can't make standardized testing go away perhaps you can do like these teachers did and try to put a fun spin on test preparation.
Here it is, enjoy!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Just for Fun

My mother clipped this cartoon for me. If you've ever proctored a standardized test, you'll appreciate it.
I promise, the next blog post will be serious. If you like this one, you can find more here.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

PrepHub - Collaborative Test Preparation

PrepHub is a new SAT, LSAT, and GMAT preparation resource. PrepHub is built on the concepts of collaboration and user generated content. In their words, "think of PrepHub as the YouTube for test prep." Users can add practice questions and solutions, comment on test items, and track their own progress. 

Applications for Education 
As more public schools push to have all high school students take the SAT, there is going to be an increased need for good, free test preparation resources. PrepHub may be a good resource for students to use as they prepare for the SAT. A good learning exercise may be to have students write their own test prep questions. (Teachers may want to screen the questions before students submit them). The progress tracker on PrepHub shows students the areas and types of questions that they are doing well on and those that they need to improve on.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Socrato - Test Preparation Service

Spring is here at that means it's standardized test time in many schools across the country. Socrato is a new website designed to help students prepare for standardized tests. Socrato has all of the features you might expect in a test preparation service like test taking tips, practice tests, and results analysis. The two things that make Socrato unique are the option of creating customized practice tests and the ability to form collaborative study groups on Socrato. Socrato users can create their own study groups to prepare for a specific test. The study groups can be made private or public.

Applications for Education
Teachers can create online study groups for their students to help them prepare for a standardized test. The teacher can act as moderator of the group and be their as a resource to help students when they cannot find answers on their own. The collaborative groups are set up in a wiki style so that students can add their own questions for discussion. Students can also share their strategies for test taking. The option of uploading a customized practice test is a good resource for teachers as they know best what their students are struggling with.