Sponsored by TestRocker, an online SAT/ACT preparation program
I’m so proud of my high school freshman–last Saturday, he took a seat among students who were mostly juniors and seniors, and wrote the ACT for the first time, for real (he got to give it a test drive in seventh grade, as part of a program for gifted students, but it wasn’t graded “for keeps”).
It won’t be the last time he takes the test. I hope he scored well, but the main goal at this stage was to get him familiar with the testing process and get his (and my) head in the college admissions game. The experience has taught both of us what it takes to prepare for the ACT: serious commitment and planning. The TestRocker program provided a structured study plan and progress report that kept him on track and on pace. Maybe there are other students and other parents who can keep up with self-directed test preparation while juggling regular studies, but we aren’t them. It was so helpful to be able to pull up his progress with a click, and see exactly how far along he was.
Sometimes he was behind, and had to put in overtime to catch up. Listen, it’s hard to find time for extra study when you’ve already had full day at school, have regular homework, and want time to skateboard, practice guitar, hang with your bros, and text your girlfriend. I’d never cut it as a tiger mom–I have too much sympathy for the complexities of adolescent life. So it’s a sincere and significant endorsement when I say that TestRocker was blissfully nag-free. I braced myself for protest when he had to cancel plans last Friday night after I reminded him that it was his last night to study, but there wasn’t a single groan. He camped out on my bed, fortified by his favorite junk food, and did the three hour practice quiz without complaint.
Here’s what the scholar had to say when I asked him about writing the ACT with TestRocker in his corner:
A. I felt fairly prepared and confident.
Q. What was the testing experience like? Were there any big surprises?
A. It was easy and relaxed. There were no real surprises.
Q. How would you approach the study plan next time?
A. Stay more devoted.
Q. What did you like about the TestRocker study program?
A. It was easy to follow, with lots of reinforcement.
Q. Was there anything you would like to see changed?
A. I would love to have a paper version of the study program to follow along with.
Thanks for following along on this whole new set of “baby’s firsts,” and please share in the comments if you’ve got questions or helpful advice to give.