Every week this past spring, there were 18,000 students who used the Method Test Prep SAT checklist. As a result, we received a ton of feedback and accumulated large amounts of score-increase data from students, parents, and schools. The average score increase for the SAT was about 160 points, and the average score increase for the ACT was around 3 points.

bf9b6771724b7441c2f67875033aa791Parents often seem surprised by these numbers; they wonder how our checklists of 15-minute tasks can be so effective. One primary driver is our short video clips, which walk students through the strategies for tackling each question type. An example of what a student might hear: “This is a reading comprehension, main idea question. You are guaranteed to see a number of these on your SAT and ACT. Here are the pitfalls and traps that students fall into. Here is the best strategy for handling this type of question...”

Students like that our web-based checklist is available on-demand, and that they can use it when it fits their schedule. Students also enjoy working at their own pace. They don’t like to have to rush through material they do not understand well. They also don’t like to have to raise their hands and ask teachers to repeat themselves. With our web-based checklist, they can just play the lesson or explanation a second time. No need to feel embarrassed. Just listen and watch a second time. And on the other hand, no one likes when a class moves too slow.

It is very satisfying when I am tutoring a student privately and the student says, “Oh, that makes sense. I remember hearing that concept on the checklist the other night.” The web-based checklist is a perfect supplement to other test prep, and could save families 50% of what they were going to spend on private tutoring.

Of course, a side benefit of all this is that students need to get comfortable learning online. When students work through a few of our 15-minute tasks, not only will they score higher on the SAT/ACT/PSAT, but they will also get more comfortable learning online. Students who can effectively learn online, whether through a program like Coursera or Method Test Prep, will have a massive advantage in the future.

The takeaway here is that there is a not-so-secret way to raise your SAT score 160 points or your ACT score 3 points –– work through the 15-minute tasks on the Method Test Prep checklists. You’ll score higher on the test, will build the critical math, reading, and writing skills you’ll need for college and life, and will get more comfortable using technology to learn effectively.