Tuesday, November 15, 2011
TOS Crew Product Review ~ College Prep Genius
Here I sit, typing away, drinking coffee from a bright orange mug with the words "Wheaton College MOM" emblazoned on the side. With my oldest in an excellent college, I must say I feel pretty confident about the future of my four younger children. During my son's last two years of high school, I thought I'd learned pretty much all there was to know about the college testing process. As a homeschooler, there are often extra hoops to jump through when filling out college applications - and since my son chose to apply at academically strong schools that don't accept a high number of homeschooled students, I found myself working over time in the position of guidance counselor.
I know a lot about standardized tests and understand the application process pretty well. And it's all fresh in my mind, since Gage graduated in May of this year. But I must say, I have learned a TON from College Prep Genius and I truly wish I'd discovered this product earlier. There are a few things in the life of a homeschooler that are worth their weight in gold; College Prep Genius is one of them. (The items I received free of charge for review purposes weigh about 16 oz and gold is currently valued at $1782/troy ounce - College Prep Genius is worth $28,512...)
I received the DVD set, which includes 4 DVDs with a total of 12 video lessons, a 326-page textbook, and an 80-page workbook. My 11th grade daughter and I have been using the program together over the last several weeks and I can honestly tell you that she is NOT a standardized test-taking fanatic! But she has grown in her confidence and skill level by using the textbook and workbook and watching the DVD lessons (presented by the author, Jean Burk).
We began with the "How to Use This Book" section, which lays out a clear plan of action for the student. Step one is for the student to take a practice SAT or PSAT. There are many options available, but the best ones can be found online at The College Board website (www.CollegeBoard.com). (As a side note, each high school student in your family's homeschool needs to have their own College Board account. This site has more tools and resources available than I can make mention of here, but if your child is "thinkin' 'bout college", you need to be a user on this site!) Jean Burk's wise advice to set up an account at The College Board is a key component in your child's college application process.
After finding your student a good practice test and registering at The College Board, jump right in with this curriculum. The "Motivational Trait Evaluation" is a good next step, and it's actually a whole lot of fun! My 17-year-old daughter thought it was very informative and helped her nail down some of her strengths and weaknesses. In homeschooling families, it's important to identify each child's individual gifting so that they don't live in the shadow of older siblings. She was very comfortable using this curriculum, and recently had a lengthy phone conversation with her older brother about preparing for college. Her attitude has improved and her fears have diminished as she has used College Prep Genius. It's clearly laid out plan to help her achieve a higher SAT score has given her the boost in confidence she needed to chart her path toward higher learning.
Information contained in College Prep Genius about standardized tests - from general test info, to how to register for the tests, how to cancel your test scores should you be displeased with them, to accurate websites and thorough explanations of the purposes and benefits of these tests- is simply terrific and invaluable. Is the process overwhelming? Sure, it can be. But it doesn't have to be. College Prep Genius is one way to keep the process manageable.
3 Key Ingredients to a Successful & Low-Stress Path to College:
1. Start Early
2. Work Steadily
3. Keep a Calendar Just for the High School Student's College Application Process
If you do the three things mentioned above, and use College Prep Genius as your guide, you and your student can have a positive experience.
College Prep Genius offers a 100% money-back guarantee for 30 days after purchase. You really don't have anything to lose! To purchase College Prep Genius, or to learn more about the college admissions process, visit www.CollegePrepGenius.com.
The DVD set I reviewed sells for $99.95 (but would cost $129.85 if each item were purchased separately). The books without the DVDs sell for $69.90 (but there is a current Co-Op special for $50). Additional student workbooks cost $19.95. They also have an e-book titled "15 Secrets to FREE College" available for $9.95. Their VocabCafe series of books sells for $38.95.
To see what other TOS Crew members had to say, click HERE.
To sum up my feelings about College Prep Genius, I would say that it seems to answer the age-old question of how to eat an elephant. (One bite at a time.)
God bless you on your homeschool journey and may you be encouraged today as you fulfill your high calling as a mother!
Day 131 done :)
Jan L. Burt