On January 6, 2011, I received an email from Russell Schaffer (Kaplan Senior Communications Manager) with this invitation. I liked the bolded/italicized section so different from other invitations to product review:
At first, I was tempted to discount the email but then I remembered that my daughter, Aida, is going to be taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) in a few months. Although she is highly motivated, her experience with Princeton Review and CollegeBoard SAT Preparation books was less than engaging.
As a parent of an SAT student, could this be an opportunity to really evaluate the program from the eyes of a teenager who is feeling the pressure to do well on the SAT? I checked with my daughter and she said she'd be happy to give it a try! We sent emails off and Aida got started on this course.
For the last few weeks, Aida has been participating in this online course which features an interactive virtual classroom, video/audio from expert teachers (such as the one shown left), polling and screensharing tools.
After listening to Aida in this podcast, I feel terrible that I didn't know about it for her PSAT. Although she did "very good" for PSAT, she missed the National Merit Scholarship cut-off score, which was disappointing for a highly motivated person like Aida. I would definitely have put her in Kaplan PSAT prep if I'd know about the course.
Now that Aida is about 3 weeks into the online course, we'll be chatting periodically about the different aspects of the course in future episodes:
Episode 1 - Overview and First Impressions from a Teenage SAT Prep Student
Episode 3 - Finding Out What the Classes are Like
Episode 4 - Practice Work to Ensure Success
Episode 5 - Proctored Work
Be sure to tune back in for future episodes. I also hope to include an interview with someone from Kaplan to discuss all the components, as well as how to find out more (including cost).
Listen to the rest of the series:
- Episode 1 - Overview and First Impressions from a Teenage SAT Prep Student
- Episode 2 - Getting Started with Diagnostic Tests
- Episode 3 - Finding Out What the Classes are Like
- Episode 4 - Practice Work to Ensure Success
- Episode 5 - Proctored Work