Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cerebellum AP Writing: English Language and Comp. Test Prep

Well! Nothing like being prepared well in advance!  :) Towards the end of the school year the TOS Crew received a variety of "Light Speed" AP Exam Prep DVDs. You will want to be sure to check out the rest of the Crew reviews, to see what they thought about the DVDs that they received.
AP English Language & Comp. Exam PrepI received the Light Speed Writing AP English Language and Composition Exam Preparation DVD. 

Now, keep in mind that I don't have a student of an appropriate age, and when I was in high school I was aware of  the CLEP tests,  (and took) the PSAT and the SAT, but AP courses and tests were not something with which I was familiar.

History of the U.S. AP Exam PrepHaving done a little bit of research, I am now a little more prepared for when my children reach the age of AP exams. As I understand it, students can sign up for AP exams (on a yearly basis, in the spring) for courses in which they feel they are adequately prepared.

One benefit of taking the exams appears to be that colleges may look favorably on those who take the exams, as they are an indication that the student is serious about their studies. In addition, if the student scores well on their exams, many, if not most colleges and universities will award the student credit for those scores(I checked Harvard University, and they give credit for certain tests), and/or place them in higher level courses than normal for first year students, which all boils down to saving a little bit of $ on College tuition. There is also the opportunity to qualify for scholarships and/or awards, based on the outcome of the testing. For more AP Exam info, you may find this link helpful.

Now that I've explored a little bit about what AP exams are, let me tell you a little bit about this test prep DVD set that we received.

U.S. Gov & Politics AP Exam PrepThe DVD is a fast moving video with a variety of engaging and pleasant youths giving tips and pointers to the prospective test-taker. I say fast moving because they take 30 essential topics from the exam and spend a minute on each one. Wow! Talk about cramming!! But I think it is very effective "Cramming", particularly if the DVD is viewed more than once, and a few pieces at a time. Light Speed offers test taking advice (ie: how many minutes to alot for each part of the test, and for each part of the writing process in the composition portion... good stuff!)You can see a sample of the video on the AP Writing product page.

There is an additional CD with a Digital Workbook for extra practice. The workbook reinforces the concepts gone over in the video with an outline and notes on the video, practice questions, games and quizzes. This also increases the effectiveness of the DVD, and while I mentioned "cramming" above, I think it would be reasonable to use the Video and the Digital Workbook as a light "Course" (I wouldn't put it on a transcript... this would be "homework", in my opinion) over a few weeks or even a few months, to prepare for the AP exam.

Cerebellum Corporation and Standard Deviants are offering TOS Crew readers a 20% discount off of ANY product purchased online through the rest of the year with code OSH20 at checkout. Many products (Including the LightSpeed line) are currently on sale for approximately 25% off, AND a code FREE for free shipping on orders over $25 showed up in the checkout area (I tried it, and it appears to stack with the TOS code mentioned above! Excellent!)

This is one of those resources that I didn't know much about, but was very happy to have been exposed to. Again, check out the other TOS Crew reviews, and hopefully this review, coupled with the others will help you to determine where you'd like to spend your homeschool dollars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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