Friday, June 7

Barron's Test Prep Review

I was invited to review a new site called Barron's Test Prep and the timing couldn't have been better! Ethan is wrapping up his Sophomore year and next year includes PSAT and ACT testing. These scores affect his ability to get into his school of choice and help determine which scholarships he can receive. Much depends on a student's ability to test well.

Barron's Test Prep begins with an evaluation test for students and then provides a personalized study and practice testing based on the student's needs. Students can go in and take quizzes, strengthening their weaker areas. They can also go through mini-lessons created to improve test-taking skills. These lessons include videos, a reading portion, and practice quizzes.

Throughout the entire experience, students (and Mom) can view their skill report to see their progress in all available areas. A history of everything they've done is logged and you can easily see their level of proficiency in each skill.

The site is extremely easy to maneuver.  A 3-minute tutorial gets you started quickly. It is attractive and user-friendly. Barron's Test Prep has a free-version and a paid-version. I was hired to review the free version.

Ethan tried the Evaluation test and it was very revealing. He received 100% in the English portion. I had been second-guessing my decision to not teach grammar in high school and I was worried that he hadn't really had formal writing lessons...ever...but apparently, he's fine. Chalk it up to excellent foundation skills taught by Rod and Staff, reading living books, and having great book discussions.

Math was not nearly as successful. This was interesting because Ethan loves math and excels in it. However, he has not completed Algebra II and has not begun Geometry. These are absolutely necessary classes. We have been trying to decide what to do about grade placement with him, due to his summer birthday. The math situation is making us lean toward calling him a Sophomore next year rather than a Junior.

I'm so glad we took the test!

Now that he's taken the evaluation, we know which areas to work on. Barron's offers sample quizzes and questions, as well as videos and tutorials to help him. For free! Obviously, your options are much greater with the paid version, but it's something you could decide after trying the free version first.

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