Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ten online SAT Test preparation services reviewed

This is the best independent review of SAT Test prep companies I have ever seen. This review was done by Consumer Reports WebWatch on May 1, 2006.

The 10 services they evaluated were: Barron’s test prep, Boston test prep, Kaplen’s SAT online prep, Number2.com, Peterson’s SAT online course, Prepmy SAT secrets, Test Preparation program, The official SAT online course, and The Princeton Review.

Overall the tester found 7 of the 10 sites generally effective. WebWatch did note the blending of advertising and educational content and aggressive marketing on some of these sites.

Key Findings:-- Number2.com was the only free-of-charge service tested, and it performed exceptionally well against expensive, better-known services such as The Princeton Review and Kaplan's.-- Testers found the prep service created by The College Board, creator of the SAT itself, had technical glitches and lacked interactive features common on other sites.-- Mistakes in online sample tests -- including grammatical problems, questions with no answers, missing sections of text, font problems, or poorly constructed questions -- were consistently present in six of the 10 services evaluated.-- One program charging $29.95 for three months contained frequent spelling errors, including words like "whore" instead of "where." The home page contained 20 non-functional links and no information about the publisher. The site's Internet Service Provider was traced to Bangkok, Thailand, and e-mail requests for refunds and technical support were not answered.

The testers did see their test scores improve 38 points per student. This is a 1.6% gain.

This report is free. It is 44 pages of great information. What I got out of reading it is that Number2.com which is free is at least as good as the other more expensive ones.

Summery written by Glen http://www.highersat.com/

Download the report here: http://www.consumerwebwatch.org/dynamic/families-reports-satprep.cfm


At 10:47 PM, Anonymous said...

Thanks for the number2.com website. I have passed it onto some friends nervous about the up and coming SAT. They find the website helps with understand the style of SAT questions being asked. Keep up the good work.


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