Core Learning's Programs To Improve Testing Skills
By Moriah Harris-Rodger

The Link - a homeschool newspaper

Intelligence Builder and I.Q. Builder are two programs by Core Learning, created to improve the skills used in taking standardized tests, I.Q. tests and tests like the SAT. They do this by testing logical and abstract reasoning, developing problem recognition, developing problem-solving abilities, and allowing users to practice taking timed tests.

Standardized tests can be intimidating and involve more than just sitting down at a desk and filling in the "bubbles". The SAT will show colleges, universities and scholarship funds what level of academic aptitude s/he has and how much compensation s/he should receive for their hard work in learning the subjects. Also, this test score will have to be shared with any family or friends who ask about it. Having to continually share a low score could hurt a person's confidence long after the test is over. Therefore, it is important for young people to prepare for the test by studying the information and honing their test-taking skills. Intelligence Builder and IQ Builder will both teach the testing skills necessary for someone to take a standardized test or IQ test confidently and answer without hesitation.

These programs offer many tests ranging between 15 minutes and an hour long. They cover vocabulary, logical and abstract reasoning, and patterns. All of these are very helpful skills when taking any tests, especially tests that could lead to much anxiety when a person's preparation is incomplete.

Taking the tests offered in the programs is good brain exercise. They aren't really meant to teach facts, but teach the brain new schema, and new ways of thinking.

Some of the benefits to Intelligence Builder and IQ Builder are that both of them allow the user to check his score history. Then, the user can study the types of questions that they often answer incorrectly in order to improve. It’s also helpful for users to know if they are improving on their testing skills or not. If they aren't, they should probably change something about the way they take tests.

Another benefit to these programs is that the user can pause the program. This is a feature that is not offered on many online IQ tests. Though it would be best to take a test from beginning to end, like one would do if taking the SAT, this is not always a possibility at home. So, if something needs to be done in the middle of an hour long-test, the test taker can do it without wasting time on half of a test that he or she couldn't finish.

Also, the programs allow users to quit a test whenever they wish, and they can minimize the test on the screen if the computer needs to be used in the middle of a test. If these options weren't offered with the program, it could cause the user a great deal of frustration.

Overall, these programs are a helpful resource and though they teach the necessary skills for doing well on the SAT or ACT, please be aware that they do not function as "SAT prep" programs specifically. I think that if a young person who used these programs on a regular basis, s/he would improve performance on standardized tests. These two Core Learning programs have the ability to change the way people respond to standardized tests, increasing their chances for success in test-taking.

M.H.R.

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