Practice Pays Off: Autumn Loss, Ubly, Michigan
Practice Pays Off: Autumn Loss, Ubly, MichiganMaria Alcon-Heraux, Director, Communications
This post kicks off the "Practice Pays Off" series, which tells the stories of students who improved their SAT scores using Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy.
Between taking the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT, Autumn can tell you there was no expensive test prep involved, no mystery tricks to help her get the right answers. She simply practiced two to three times a week with Official SAT Practice, the free, personalized, online SAT practice tools created through a partnership between Khan Academy and the College Board.
“I loved that it gave me a broad range of questions I could practice,” said Autumn. “I could see my progress.” She practiced in class and outside of school, a few times a week, on the iPad Ubly Community provided.
Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy builds a personalized study plan for each student. By linking their College Board and Khan Academy accounts, they can use their scores from the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9 to get personalized recommendations about what to learn next. In seconds, they get access to video lessons, full-length practice tests, thousands of interactive questions, and more.
Official SAT Practice helped Autumn feel confident on test day because it focused her study time on the areas where she most needed to improve—in her case, in math—and demystified the format of the questions.
“I struggled in math, and the videos made the problems easier to understand because they walked me through how they were worded,” she said. “I really liked the videos explaining the questions, so I could figure out the question on my own.”
“For me, Official SAT practice was not only free, but also very convenient,” Autumn added.
Since the tools became available in June 2016, more than 3.7 million users have logged on to practice for the SAT on Khan Academy.
Almost every one of the 270 students at Ubly Community High School has at some point or another logged onto Official SAT Practice in the last year. The teachers have integrated 30 minutes of practice on Khan Academy into their math and language arts classes each week.
“Since we cover it in class every week, I think students understand this is important,” said Janice Brandel, a school counselor at Ubly Community. “I think students and teachers see a reason to pay attention, and there's a lot of buy-in.”
Ubly Community students not only take the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT during the school day at no cost, but the PSAT 8/9 and PSAT 10 as well, which allows younger students to identify early on where they need to improve over time.
Ms. Brandel says that having access to free SAT preparation through Khan Academy opens doors for her students. While some may head to a trade school after graduation, taking the SAT gives them the chance to apply to college later if they change their minds.
“We don’t tell them you have to get this score or that score,” she said. “We tell students, we want you to do your best. Whatever your goals are, we don’t want you to have any barriers.”
If you know any students who would like to sign up to Official SAT Practice, visit satpractice.org.