SAT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student
Fantastic! A must-read for every student!
Is your child hoping to attend college in the near future? Do you want to make sure he is prepared to write his SAT or ACT test? Do you also want to shore up your childÃ¢ÂÂs Christian faith before he pursues higher learning? If so, then look no further than James P. StobaughÃ¢ÂÂs SAT or ACT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student.
In the SAT or ACT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student, James P. Stobaugh has written a comprehensive program for mastering the SAT or ACT in the context of developing oneÃ¢ÂÂs spiritual maturity. Although the books include practice in each of the necessary skills required for mastering the specific test, the focus of each guide is on working hard to grow oneÃ¢ÂÂs faith with the aim of becoming one of the next generationÃ¢ÂÂs godly leaders. As such, the books are as much about oneÃ¢ÂÂs spiritual journey as they are about getting into college.
Each book is very similar in content, although they do also have their differences. Both include information about their specific test as well as a sample test day schedule, a free download for helping hone essay-writing skills, and instructions on how to use the particular guide. Both also emphasize the importance of actively reading challenging literary works as the best possible preparation for writing the tests. Interestingly, Stobaugh states that he has Ã¢ÂÂfound that the best SAT scores come from students who have serious, disciplined prayer and devotional lives.Ã¢ÂÂ Although this seems paradoxical, this is something I can attest to from personal experience.
Since each book is geared toward a different test, each contains a different amount of lessons: 150 for the SAT and 50 for the ACT. The SAT guide is intended to be used over the course of one, two, or three years. The ACT guide is intended to be used over ten weeks or 50 days, preferably in grade 11. The SAT takes more time to prepare for because it is an aptitude rather than a knowledge-based test.
The lessons in each book are similar in content, although they are laid out differently. Both include daily devotions and scripture passages, with a sample devotional journal to help students focus their time. Lessons also include vocabulary development, a reading journal for studying great literature, test-taking tips, and practice questions on math, grammar, vocabulary, critical thinking and reading. The ACT also includes science questions since science is a component of the ACT test. Attention is paid to essay-writing skills in both volumes. Answers are included for all questions.
The Appendices include vocabulary helps, a book list for each grade, a reading journal sample, and a devotional journal sample. The ACT guide finishes with indexes for Greek and Latin morphemes. The SAT guide includes suggested scriptures for prayer time (presented in the ACT guide as prayer points), test-taking strategies, a list of resources for developing critical thinking, information on the college admission process, an essay on the rise of secular universities, a sample transcript, and 50 sample college admission essays.
I cannot speak highly enough of these guides. Not only do they prepare students for acing their college entrance tests, but they also help students focus on what is really important in life. Students will consider what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) while also getting ample practice in the skills needed to succeed on their test. Furthermore, if your student has already mastered the art of essay writing, each volume could easily be used as the spine for credits in Bible, English Literature, and English Composition. I have not used these guides as of yet with my students, but I fully intend to do so before they graduate high school. In fact, I canÃ¢ÂÂt wait until we can get started!
These books were provided free, for review purposes, from Master Books. All opinions stated in this review are my own, and I was not required to post a positive review.
September 8, 2012
Prepare your student for the SAT
There are two basic ways to prepare for college entrance exams. One way is to study the test and take multiple practice tests while memorizing a vocabulary list. That is the most common way. While this may help some students it can also do more harm than good and even lower test score results in the long run. I know. Our family has tried this method in the past and even with the use of testing software the results were disappointing.
Another, far better way is to actually teach the student the material that is used to make up the test in the first place. Enter the ACT & SAT College Preparation Courses for the Christian Student by James Stobaugh. Both of these books are COMPLETE courses of study that are in a devotional format and literature based. I believe that home school parents will find these courses to be a very valuable help in directing their students toward preparing for the SAT & ACT exams. LetÃ¢ÂÂs examine them more closely.
The ACT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student is a large 332 page soft cover volume that consists of fifty lessons to prepare a student for the test. In the introduction, you will find out exactly what to expect from the ACT test and be able to choose from a ten week plan or 50 day plan to complete the lessons and prepare for the test. Each lesson begins with a scripture and prayer points. There is also a short passage to read and study. The lessons contain vocabulary, math, reading and English components as well as writing and science. There are answer keys in the back of the book and you can download a free essay workbook to use along with the course.
The SAT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student is a 425 page soft cover book that consists of four different components: A daily devotion, reading and vocabulary exercises, math and verbal exercises and test taking strategies. The introduction answers common questions and has a handy chart to help in plotting the course as a three, two, or one year plan in completing the fifty lessons. The book also includes sample essays and a downloadable workbook to be used along with it. There is great emphasis on critical thinking and essay writing as well as a comprehensive reading list in the back of the book.
I find both of these courses to be wonderful resources and think that they would be beneficial even if your student is not planning to attend college at all. After completing either or both of these books, your student will have a solid background in literature and vocabulary as well as learn essential writing skills that will benefit him throughout life. He will also have spent a great deal of time in scripture reading and prayer which will help greatly in the test preparation process.
One word of cautionÃ¢ÂÂwhile I recommend these books highly, I must also state that the parent must be aware of the fact that these are very intense and structured courses and may not be a good fit for all students. I only say that because some students do not do as well with a course that requires a lot of writing and might find it difficult to adhere to such a rigorous course of study. The parent and student will have to make that determination together. That being said, I would highly recommend these books for all homeschoolers who intend to make college the next step in their academic careers. They will give a solid foundation in preparing for college level materials and serve the student well.
I received this complimentary copy from New Leaf Press for this review. A positive review was not required and the opinions expressed here are my own.
February 1, 2012
The title is a mouthful. But it's nice that James P. Stobaugh has taken the time to write a SAT and college prep book for Christians.
On the front cover, it lists three of the benefits students receive from reading it:
~Test-taking insights and strategies
~Timely tips for thriving academically
~50+ sample essays sharpen your skills
My SAT prep books are old so I was excited to get the chance to review a new edition! I think this is a unique resource for students preparing for the SAT. This book is not the same as The Princeton Review or Kaplan books which include sample tests and focus on the "right" way to take/crack the SAT. Academically, those are probably more helpful and to-the-point. This is especially so for someone like me who waited until after highschool to start studying for the SAT. Don't make my mistake. Start studying ASAP! There is a 3-Year Plan (for those starting in 9th grade-recommended), a 2-Year Plan, and a 1-Year Plan. I've been going at my own pace and mixing this book with other SAT prep books.
In the Appendices, there are vocabulary helps, recommended reading lists, a reading journal, a prayer devotional journal, possible target Scriptures, and test-taking strategies. Then there are the fifty sample college admission essays that you can peruse. This book is written from a Christian worldview with an emphasis on the spiritual side of things. It begins each day with a Bible passage and the author's observations (whether he relates it to a personal or historical incident or literature, etc.) I was surprised that the recommended reading lists didn't have more Christian books on them. This book reinforces the importance of reading a lot but since I grew up an avid reader, it didn't apply much to me. I need serious help in math and there are math problems sprinkled throughout the lessons...I've mainly used the book for these. I like that the answers in the back of the book come with an explanation.
In the end, I feel that this book will help some students more than others. It's worth a look!
January 10, 2012
A Very Helpful Resource
Designed for the Christian Homeschool student this course is strives to prepare young minds for the SAT test. As I have not taken the SAT yet myself, I a ton of questions, that were answered with this book. Also there are a ton of study and day-of-the-test-ideas, that I found helpful, and informative.
I should tell you though, that this book is not just a book, it's a full course, designed to help prepare one for the test. There are 150 exercises that take about less then ten minutes a day, that review basic Algebra, Geometry, Vocabulary, and Problem Solving Skills. There is an essay practice section that shows examples of the tops scored essays, so you have an idea of what is expected. Also all through the book there were these little side notes, that gave everything from tips on how to take notes properly, and how to take certain parts of the test, to how you should schedule the day of your SAT. There is also a daily devotional, and suggested Bible reading plan! There is just so much in this helpful book that I fear I am not doing it justice! I learned so much about the test and how to take it from this course, though only time will tell if it pays off :D
Not to mention the fact that the appendix is amazing! There are lists of recommended reading, meant to challenge the mind and grow the volcabulary of the student naturally. This course can be started as early as 9th grade.
So far I have enjoyed this course and I find it challenging, yet not overwhelming because of the short lessons. I haven't taken the SAT yet, but as a person who hasn't yet taken the SAT, but is taking this course, I highly recommend this book.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
November 29, 2011