SAT test-takers, listen up. I know you're freaking out about the SAT vocabulary in the Critical Reading section of the SAT test, but just wait a second before pulling out mom's credit card. Which test prep material should you buy? Should you invest in the PowerScore Essential SAT Flashcards?
You have to read this review of the PowerScore Essential SAT Flashcards before you pick up a box at your nearest online retailer. Trust me on this!
- The vocabulary flashcards are thorough. PowerScore analyzed 50 SAT tests to determine which words were the 100 most common for both the sentence completion and reading comprehension questions, so the words you'll be learning are truly legitimate. You won't have to memorize the entire dictionary to get a good score on the Critical Reading section.
- The vocabulary flashcards are organized. Each card has the part of speech, definition, a sentence with the word used in it, and other forms of the word on the info side of the card. It's neat and to the point.
- The vocabulary flashcards are SAT savvy. You know how the dictionary offers like 6 definitions for every word? Well, these flashcards give the definitions most used by the SAT. For example, the SAT uses the word "apt" most often to mean "skilled" as in, "He was an apt fisherman." But another definition of "apt" is "inclined to" as in, "He was apt to get angry at his mom."
- There are misspellings in the directions! The word "intelligence" was misspelled as "intellegence." Yikes! Even if that was a typo, it doesn't bode well for the rest of the deck of vocabulary flashcards if this is the first thing you see.
- The vocabulary flashcards easy to recreate yourself. There is nothing on the flashcards that a high school student couldn't create him or herself easily. Just doing a quick Google search, I found dozens of sites with the "100 most common SAT vocabulary words." Many of the lists were the same, and offered almost the exact same words as these vocabulary flashcards.
- The language is out of touch. The definitions of the words are written as they would be right out of the dictionary, which does NOT help a kid understand the meaning. Also, the sentences are not memorable at all and are written as if directed to an adult, not a teenager about to take the SAT. Here's an example of one of their sentences for the word, "analogous": "The analogous relationship between the brain and a computer has been the subject of many movies." Really? They couldn't write something more creative than that?
- The vocabulary flashcards are bland. Look, PowerScore didn't have to spend a fortune making the cards more marketable, but it would have been helpful if they'd done something to make these cards more readable. They could have categorized the info sides of the cards by color according to the parts of speech or added small pictures/graphics to help the kids using them retain the word.
The Bottom Line
Sorry, PowerScore, but these Essential SAT Flashcards have turned out to be not worth the $25 listed on the box. If you're studying for the SAT, you'll learn much more if you make your own vocabulary flashcards, or purchase another study aid that was created with you in mind.