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SAT preparation software
One-on-One with the SAT, from The College Board, is designed for the serious student who doesn’t need fancy video, graphics or animation to keep on track. It is the most accessible of all the SAT preparation software, as it loads and is run from two floppy disks, and doesn’t require the latest and greatest computer system.
One-on-One stresses that the SAT is a measure of verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities, abilities that develop and are refined over time. It promises to help the student prepare for the test in two ways: Short term, which focuses on the test itself and offers techniques that help the student maximize test-taking capability; and Long term, which stresses academic performance and encourages the student to work to improve competency and gain skills necessary to answer the more difficult questions on the test.
The user is initially asked to chose an "advisor" or guide, who helps create a study plan, and councils throughout the program. Various levels of advisor involvement are available, from the ever-present obsessive who watches the student’s progress every step of the way and ensures that s/he doesn’t skip a beat, to the couch-potato slouch who practically ignores his advisee. Thankfully, the student can also choose to pass on the advisor option.
As one would expect, One-on-One does not include a list of ways to out-smart the test-writers, but rather features a ‘General Strategies’ section that focuses on test-taking fundamentals to be used by students throughout their lives. It includes and elaborates on such basics as: Know the directions, Keep moving, Check you answer sheet, Don’t panic, Don’t throw away points to carelessness, Use your test booklet as scratch paper, and Eliminate obviously incorrect choices.
A lesson section is available for each of the subjects included on the SAT. Although they lack the pizzazz of other more commercial SAT preparation software, lessons are clear and complete, including informative text passages and many practice problems. Specific points are condensed and highlighted so that even students who chose to skim the lesson will be amply able to pick up important information. Following each lesson are practice tests that begin with easy questions and move on to quite difficult ones. Students receive immediately feedback on the correctness of each of their responses, and the advisor steps in now and then with recommendations and accolades.
Our student reviewers found completing the program to be a formidable task, but commented that it did provide sufficient training for the test. "I completed one small section each time I used the program," was one comment. "It took concentration to stay focused, but I learned a lot."
Some of our Windows 95 users experienced problems with broken and incomplete text. One-on-One tech support admitted that this is an occasional occurrence, and noted that changing display drivers usually corrects the problem.
PC: Windows 3.1 or better, 386MHz or faster cpu, 8 MB hard drive space, 4 MB RAM, VGA display, Sound card (recommended)return to top of page
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