How Helpful Is that SAT Prep App?

This post is a review of two free SAT preparation apps for IPad and IPhone. One delivers multiple choice math questions, and the other provides vocabulary flash cards..

The following is part one in a series of reviews for SAT Prep apps.

Ace the SAT (both IPad and IPhone) FREE

Click on either “Test Practice” or “Review Your Progress” to start this SAT Math app.

Ace the SAT provides math problems- algebra, geometry, rate, probability, etc… with five answer choices as does the SAT.  As you answer each one, the app offers a math problem that matches your performance level, so if you want a challenge, you’ll most likely get one.  In the end you are scored using the 200-800 range.

Pros: The app will challenge your math skills and time you.

Cons: There is not enough of a variety of math problems and the tough ones are not quite tough enough.  There are too many rate word problems, for example, and not many geometry nor coordinate geometry problems.  When in review mode, not all solution explanations have been entered yet.

Grade: C+, don’t depend on it.  Any well-reviewed prep book would serve you better- it would include grid-ins!

SAT Vocab (both) FREE

This app provides flashcards of vocabulary that are as challenging as those on the SATs.  One side has the word with pronunciation, and the other has a definition and a sentence with the word in context.  The student can flag and shuffle the words.  There is an option to pay $.99 and get more words and lose the ads.

Pros: The words are SAT level.  The pronunciation and spoken definition are helpful, since auditory learning is another tool for memorization.

Cons:  Not all sentences are helpful.  For example, “The thunder continued for a while and then abated” could mean that it lessened or that it ceased suddenly.  Also, there are no synonyms, antonyms, root words or images to assist in memorization.  While the addition of sound helps, to learn hundreds of SAT words for the first time would require more mnemonic help.

Grade: C+,  again, don’t depend on it.


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