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Test Prep 101: Utilizing Free Test Prep Materials

Mon, Oct 02, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

free test prep resources.jpgFree Test Prep Resources Like Khan Academy Can Be The Perfect Accessory When Working With Your Tutor

By Taylor, IvyWise Tutoring Coordinator

Whether it’s AP or IB courses, continuing standardized test prep, or just keeping up with regular coursework, students have their work cut out for them this school year. While many of our students work with IvyWise tutors throughout the summer and school year to get a leg-up with these subjects, many students and tutors alike have also taken advantage of the limitless online resources available to them. It is 2017, after all, and it wouldn’t be the 21st century without implementing  technology to supplement students’ tutoring and learning!

This is where free test prep materials, like the Khan Academy, come into play! Khan Academy answered the plea of students by creating a fun and modern way to shake up the test prep industry. With its free video lectures, practice problems, and written lessons, Khan Academy is the perfect tool that students can use during and outside of tutoring sessions to help them further excel. From physics and economics to SAT prep and beyond, Khan Academy can supplement virtually any tutoring program.

Individualized Learning

We here at IvyWise are major proponents of individualized learning. We know that every student has vastly different needs, and as such, our tutoring programs are tailored to each individual student’s needs. Our tutors know just how to best work with and through each student’s particular weaknesses and particularities, and Khan Academy can further assist with this.

  • Specific, pinpointed help: Through your Khan Academy account, you can select which subjects you need help with and they will appear on your home page so that you can easily access them right when you log in. From there, you will have access to multiple videos, explanations, and practice problems correlating to those subjects. Let’s say you are working with a tutor on Trigonometry. You and your tutor can log into your Khan Academy account and seamlessly navigate right to the specific unit you are working on in class (for example: Graphs of Trigonometric Functions). Working with your IvyWise tutor, you can utilize those practice problems during your session and see which sub-units or categories of questions you have either mastered or need more work on. From there you will unlock…
  • Personalized practice: No one curriculum is perfect for all students, so between working with an IvyWise tutor and using Khan’s website, a student can curate their studies to mold around their needs. After completing practice sets through Khan and reviewing which subject areas should be polished, the website will automatically point you to new practice sets that focus on those weaker areas. In addition to this, it will make recommendations for further study based on your scores and skills. This is helpful to your tutor so that he or she can focus on those subjects with you in-session, and is also helpful to you so you are aware of which areas need to be strengthened. Basically, the more you use Khan’s tools with your tutors, the more personalized it will be for you, and the greater you will be able to succeed!

SAT and AP Prep

Since 2015, Khan Academy has offered free test prep help through its partnership with the College Board, starting with SAT prep and most recently, with AP prep. Although your tutor will be your main partner in crime while prepping for these exams, Khan Academy serves as a strong sidekick that can be used to further enhance your studies.

  • Official SAT & AP resource: Since Khan is an official partner of the College Board, they are the most updated resource for all things SAT and AP. Any trends in recent administrations of the exams and in test questions will be reflected on Khan’s website, as well as its corresponding practice. As such, you and your tutor will be updated in real time on the best ways to prepare yourself and what areas to focus on for test day.
  • Homework and in-session assignments: While your tutor will be your main resource for all things test prep, Khan’s bank of practice problems and quizzes can serve as a wonderful supplement to your IvyWise tutoring lessons. During your session, you and your tutor can work from Khan’s practice sets to hone in on exactly where you need to focus, and you will unlock even more practice based on those results. From there, your tutor can model similar practice problems for you to try out based on what Khan designates as your areas for further focus. As mentioned above, if you are having a tough time on a particular question type during your session, the practice problems are there for you at your disposal for when you are not meeting with your tutor.

While we do not believe Khan Academy or similar educational platforms should be used in place of a physical tutor, we do believe in the value and worth of the product they are putting out. Test prep and studying is all about exposure to concepts and consistent practice, and Khan Academy’s resources are the perfect centralized location to take care of all of this. It is a great tool that a student can use to further enrich his or her studies.

As Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy himself, so perfectly put it, “We view the virtual as something that can empower the physical — that if students can get lectures at their own time and pace, they can get exercises, they can have a programming platform, that doesn't mean that the classroom gets replaced; it means the classroom gets liberated.”

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