Welcome to the SHSATAcademy math course. You have made an excellent decision. This course presents a unique opportunity for 6th to 9th graders to get a head start on the SAT and PSAT while preparing for the SHSAT with grade-appropriate content. Let’s begin!
1. Learn the SHSAT — and SAT and PSAT — test design. The new SHSAT is designed around the common core curriculum much like the new SAT. Our course provides a unique opportunity for 6th to 9th graders to not only study for the SHSAT but to get a head start on successful SAT preparation. Standardized exams like the SHSAT or SAT are not like typical classroom exams, and they often do not reward the same approaches. Students need to understand the test design and learn the underlying rules, an aspect of test preparation too often overlooked.
2. Lessons – Study the core subject material in math and English Language Arts (ELA) from dozens of skill-based lessons. In addition to teaching you about the test design, the lessons in this course cover the subject material that underlies the SHSAT. Our online course provides the deepest repository of math and ELA lessons available for the SHSAT to assist students of any level including hundreds of video and written lessons that cover subject material from the fundamentals up through the majority of required SAT topics.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice — Quality not just Quantity.
a. Quality – Too many prep books and courses advertise their quantity of problems, but few address the far more important issue of quality. We believe every exam problem should provide more than a question and answer. Our walkthroughs review the different methods to solve SHSAT and SAT problems including the most effective approach to the solution, a thorough review of wrong answer choices and typical test design traps, and related strategies to optimize student performance. Moreover, all subscriber results are automatically generated and stored for later review. Subscribers will have access to performance and progress reports.
b. Quantity – We have not forgotten that a great deal of practice is a must for successful preparation. In fact, we have the deepest repository of practice problems to match the lessons contained herein. Included in this course are several real full-length SHSAT practice exams available online and in print format. Students have the option to take miniature versions of each to match their busy schedules. Most every lesson includes related skill exercises and SHSAT level problems for practice. We do not have the same resource constraints as a book, which is why we can offer the material covered in all the prep books. If you find a practice problem or exercise we do not offer, let us know. We will make similar problems or exercises available to you in short order.
4. Flexibility and Value.
a. Study on your terms – The complete course materials are available at your fingertips anywhere you have internet access at any time of the day (and offline content is avialable for times when internet access is unavailable). We at TestPrepSHSAT realize most students have busy, frequently changing schedules, so we have developed a platform that can provide the flexibility to match. Moreover, most group classes with one to two dozen students, tend to teach to the lowest common denominator. They rack up the hours teaching all topics when most students only need to focus on specific areas. We believe that is a waste of time and money.
b. Don’t break the bank – Subscribers can access the complete platform all year for only $25; it is an ideal solution for self-study. However, you do not have to do it alone. Join the Learning Advantage Program for $50 monthly and we will plan your course of study and help track your progress with you (and your parents). Students will have access to experienced tutors online with other students in small groups to cover any topic areas or specific questions they have. Think of it as tutoring as you need it rather than tutoring to the lowest common denominator. Feel free to contact us for additional help.
Complete Walkthroughs vs. Answer Explanations
Most preparation courses provide answer explanations that do not help students better understand their mistakes, which is a critical part of improving scores. In this preparation guide, we replace stale, old explanations with complete walkthroughs to identify why each incorrect answer fails based on the objective exam criteria, and we highlight the typical traps in the answer choices. The lessons you learn in this course will teach you how to take advantage of standardized exams like the SHSAT, and the walkthroughs will apply the same criteria learned from the lessons. Every good answer explanation should indicate the following:
- Exactly why the right answer is correct — what attributes does the answer have that you can expect to encounter on other right answers you will see on test day?
- Exactly why the wrong answer is incorrect — what attributes does the answer have that you can expect to encounter on other wrong answers you will see on test day?
- If applicable, the fastest and easiest way you could have arrived at the right answer.
- The attributes of the question that will appear in other problems on test day, so you can exploit them when you see them in the future.
- The tricks that the test designer tried to play on untrained test takers when it constructed the question, and how you can avoid similar tricks on test day.
- If applicable, the core lessons covered by each question.
In general, typical answer explanations alone do not address these issues. On reading questions, in particular, answer explanations in most course books provide some limited or circular statement that amounts to saying, “Option A is correct because it is the right answer, and the other choices are wrong because they are not correct.” Consider the following representative example of an actual answer explanation to a reading problem. The question prompt asks about the function of a line of text from the passage, and the correct answer is it “provides humorous insight” into the main character in the passage. The explanation quotes a few lines of text in support of the right answer suggesting these quotes show the character has a “sense of humor.” In other words, the answer “humorous insight” is correct because the chosen quotes suggest something humorous. The “explanation” doesn’t tell us why the quoted lines are humorous! As a result, a student doesn’t know how to identify something humorous in the future for the real exam. The explanation concludes by telling us the wrong answers are incorrect because they do not fit with the quoted text — no explanation why and no insight into how students can identify similar wrong answers in the future. “Humor” for standardized exams does not mean “funny.” It usually means something “unexpected” occurred. After all, funny is a subjective concept, and different possible interpretations could invalidate a standardized reading exam. By contrast, “unexpected behavior or circumstance” is an objective way to define the term “humor.” That detail is useful for test takers to know. Even when explanations provide more detailed answers, they usually fail to help students learn the more profound lesson from a problem to apply to future questions.