This post is sponsored by the College Board, a not-for-profit that connects students to college success and opportunity. I was compensated for this post but the thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
It’s that time of year again, when high schoolers everywhere are feeling enormous pressure to get good scores on the SAT. This causes more stress than most parents realize – except for those parents who stress about it more than their students (you know who you are!).
You might remember my previous post about FREE SAT test prep offered by the Khan Academy and the College Board. Through their personalized online tools, students, regardless of income level or background, can prepare for the SAT and college-level courses.
Many families can’t afford to hire private tutors or enroll their kids in expensive test prep courses. Regardless of financial means, why shell out the cash when Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy is free! Students can access video lessons, test-taking tips and strategies, and thousands of interactive practice questions. And they get eight full-length, free practice tests written by the College Board test design team. It’s online, so they can practice almost anywhere at anytime. The kicker: it almost feels like a game. Students earn badges and energy points by practicing with the tools.That’s something this generation is used to — interactivity vs. pencil to paper practice tests.
Let’s focus on one student who benefitted from Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy and enjoyed herself while practicing.
Jazmin Regalado, a senior at Fort Sumner High School in New Mexico (a rural community with limited access to tutors or traditional SAT prep options), has a dream of being the first in her family to attend and finish college. She was born in Mexico and began to learn English when she moved to the United States at the age of four. The pivotal moment was when she took the PSAT/NMSQT in 10th grade. When Jazmin first received her scores, she was very upset. She had tested in the so-called “red” range, which meant she needed to build skills in both reading/language and math.
Jazmin immediately went to the school counselor to ask what she could do. The counselor told her to sign on to Khan Academy. By linking her College Board and Khan Academy accounts, she could and use her scores from the PSAT/NMSQT to help her focus on the areas she needed to practice most. After months of practice, she took the SAT using a fee waiver in the spring and increased 101 points from her PSAT score and another 120 points on her June SAT, to a total of 221 points increase!
Jazmin enjoyed the game-like experience of Official SAT Practice. “I liked the energy and how you get badges as you move up. The videos helped me understand the reading sections.” She practiced at least an hour a day, despite her busy schedule – a common theme among today’s teens. Jazmin participates in volleyball, basketball, and track, so she truly understands that practice is the key to improving at anything. Fun fact: studying for the SAT for 20 hours on Khan Academy is associated with an average score gain of 115 points from the PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT, nearly double the average score gain compared to students who don’t use Khan Academy.
Jazmin visited Texas Tech when she was in 8th grade and dreams of going there and getting into the medical field. With her improved scores, her dreams are a step closer. And her parents couldn’t be prouder. They also loved the confidence Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy gave their daughter. They noticed her self-assurance as Jazmin left the testing room.
What more can a parent ask for? Good test scores are important, yes, but as parents, we want our children to have confidence and understand that when they put in the practice, they can see results!