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Traditional classroom based SAT/ACT test prep uses a Didactic approach. Something like: Lecture > Homework > Homework Review > Next Lecture, etc. The problem here is efficacy. Some students, usually those scoring on the lower side of the PSAT or the Pre-ACT, tend to make gains while the majority of students stay close to their original benchmark scores.
The Didactic approach is slow, rote-based, and homogenized. It seeks the middle and is not particularly effective; offering only modest point gains. As a result, students can become bored and disengaged. So, how do we improve upon this traditional model?
Studies have shown that autonomous learning is a critical component to attention span and this is where a pedagogy knowns as “constructivism” comes in.
Constructivism views the teacher as “facilitator” rather than as lecturer and it employs scaffolding among other tools to help create meaning for each student. This helps the keep the learner engaged, creates a sense of empowerment and generates learner autonomy.
The idea of empowering the instructor to become a facilitator rather than a lecturer is one way to improve test prep programming. The other pieces include having a sequenced curriculum, plenty of practice sets, diagnostic tests, and item analysis feedback reporting.
Several of these items are open-source and others can be obtained at a reasonable cost. We bundle all these items into our TPAPT at School Programs as well.