Philadelphia schools add online test prep

The School District of Philadelphia has selected an online test prep service to prepare its students for college readiness exams. Students and teachers will be able to access online test prep for SAT, PSAT and AP exams any place they have Web access – at school or home.

“Each year, we work to have more students participate in AP, IB and Dual Enrollment Programs,” said Vera Da Vinci, AP/IB program manager for The School District of Philadelphia. “Along those same lines, we also encourage students to take the PSAT, SAT and ACT exams."

The district's new service provider, Shmoop, offers offers group rates for schools, districts and public libraries on its subscription products: Test Prep (for SAT, PSAT, AP Exams) and Teachers Editions.

Each SAT, PSAT and AP Exam test prep course includes deep content reviews, hundreds of drill questions and 2-3 full-length interactive practice exams. Shmoop uses classic video games like Oregon Trail, Tetris, and Mario Brothers as metaphors for the challenges, pitfalls, and question types that students will face in the exams.

In addition to preparing students for the SAT and PSAT Exams, Shmoop offers online courses for four of the five most popular AP Exams: AP English Language, AP English Literature, AP US History, and AP US Government. In 2011, Shmoop will add AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Microecnomics, and AP Macroeconomics.

"Preparing students for college is a city-wide priority, and we’re looking for products, like Shmoop, that will support our students’ understanding of and academic performance on college readiness exams,” added Da Vinci.