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SAT Preparation Software

The Big Picture

The Scholastic Aptitude Test. The SAT's. The College Entrance Board examination. Pretty scary sounding words for most high school students -- and their parents. So what should you do? Today's options range from do nothing ("It's an aptitude test, right?"), to hiring a personal coach for your child. Between these extremes lie paper-based study guides, multimedia software programs, and special classes. To see what the experts have to say about these options, check out our feature article on The SAT: How to Prepare.

SuperKids looked at four software programs that variously claim to raise scores, reduce anxiety, and out-smart the test-writers. Do they work? Although no rigorous studies have been published documenting their value, SuperKids believes each of the titles we tested offers the potential to improve a test-taker's performance. If nothing more, studying for the SAT should increase students' familiarity with the exam, and at least temporarily improve their vocabulary.

Which one of these four titles is best for your high school student? All of them cover the same material; they differ primarily in approach and presentation. Read below for cameo descriptions, then click on the titles that interest you to see what our parent, teacher, and kid reviewers had to say.

SuperKids also took a look at a demo version of a software program produced by the College Board itself, One-on-One with SAT. This program is similar to a conventional book guide, with the addition of reference links and immediate feedback. But it lacks the humor and reassurance that several other programs offer to anxious students. It is best suited for confident students who want to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the exam, and prefer computer-based studying

Take a look at the ratings tables below, then click on the titles of the software you are interested in to see the complete review, or click on "PC" or "Mac" in the Buyers Guide column to see the results of SuperKids latest price survey.



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SAT Preparation Software

SuperKids RatingsRatings Key
TitlePublisherEducation
Value
Kid
Appeal
Ease of
Use
Buyers Guide
(Price Survey)
RoadTrip for
the SAT '97
Kaplan* * * ** * * ** * * *PC
Mac
Score Builder
for the SAT
Learning Company* * * ** * * ** * * * *PC
Mac
Personal Trainer for the SATDavidson* * * ** * ** * *PC
Mac
Inside the SAT
'97
Princeton
Review
* * * ** * * **PC
Mac



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