Saturday, March 26, 2011

SAT Remix - A Review

Full Disclosure: SAT Remix set me up with a Monthly subscription so I could review their product.

Vocabulary words are something kids seem to have dreaded for decades. Teachers would pass out lists and kids were told to memorize the words for a test. I could spend multiple posts on why that method could be tweaked, but that is for another time. There is no way around the importance of testing as it stands right now, so it is important to find ways to help students learn valuable information they might encounter on tests like ACT and SAT. SAT Remix has found an interesting way reach students and teachers wherever they are to help them learn words they need for the future.

Here is a little info on SAT Remix from their site,

"SAT Remix makes it easy for you to learn and retain more than 300 of the most-missed words on the SAT in a format that fits your life: your phone. Every Sunday through Thursday, SAT Remix will automatically deliver vocab lessons to your phone so you can study anywhere—on the go or on the couch. It's on your time, on your phone, and on your terms.

SAT Remix is the only SAT vocabulary prep program available to any cell phone, and it's perfect for busy students who can't focus when they're tied to a desk on a Saturday afternoon. And don't worry about your parents bugging you to study every day—we've got it covered. Our automatically delivered lessons are a daily reminder."

I was drawn to the fact the word were going to be sent directly to the phone. Sunday - Thursday, my phone rings with a text message with a link to view the word and listen to the definition and a phone number in case I do not have a web enabled phone so I can listen to the word and definition.

The big part of SAT Remix is the emphasis on music as part of the learning process. Alpha Learning is explained on their site, 

"In vocabulary tests, students that listen to lessons set to music tend to score up to 40% higher than students that study from a book. Cramming words by reading or doing flash cards doesn't work, and it's not much fun either. SAT Remix's unique and powerful system has a scientific foundation that makes learning a lot easier and more fun.

Research conducted in the 70s by Bulgarian physician Georgi Lozanov showed that education combined with music puts the student in a relaxed but alert state called the "alpha state," which is ideal for learning. SAT Remix's unique mobile lessons take advantage of this state to help you digest and retain information without breaking a sweat or cracking a book."

The music that that plays along with each word is very nice. I'm not a scientist, but it has a positive impact on me. You can listen to a couple of examples by clicking on the picture below.

Each word is also given in two sentences so students can hear the usage. That is something I think is very important. Students can memorize definitions, but usage is a different beast. I often find that is the toughest part of vocabulary units.

My phone would ring in with a new word at 7pm and I would read it to my wife and ask her what she thought it meant. It was a fun little thing we got into the habit of doing. Luckily our college education paid off and we felt very smart because we know almost every single word. For the ones we did not know we would try and work them into everyday conversation. (Yes, we are nerds) I guess I'm trying to say that SAT Remix was very easy for me to integrate into my daily life. I got the word, I listened to the definition and examples and I could move on. If I wanted to go back and listen to a word, I could just pull it up on the phone.

SAT Remix is a subscription based service. Here is what their current packages looks like,

The one question most people want to know when reading a review is, "Is it worth it?" I think it depends on the package and what you are trying to get out of it. I found the monthly package very nice and have used it for almost 3 months. If you are going to use it for the Summer to help a kid prepare for the SAT, maybe the Three- Month package is a good idea. Want it for just a semester, then go for the Six-Month Package. I think each package is priced correctly for what they are providing. 
What I would like to see in the future:

I have one suggestion for SAT Remix that I think would be wonderfully helpful. I wish I could access all of the words that have been sent to me on my account page. There are times when I'm at the computer and I wouldn't mind listening to those words that have been sent to me without having to forward the text to my email to get the link. By having the words on the user account, a person can access them when they have time at a computer. 

With that access, users could create lists or labels for certain words they are struggling with and want to focus more on. Denoting verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc would be another way to categorize certain words on the user account page. 

Once you have signed up with SAT Remix, there isn't much need to go back to the website. By allowing users to access the words, it would drive traffic to the site which would be good for business. 

Overall, I think SAT Remix is a cool product that can really help those busy students get access to important vocabulary words they need to know for state tests and college entry exams. Try out the one month subscription and see how you like it. I had a blast with it and can't wait to see what they have up their sleeve next.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an intriguing app. I bet this will be a base format for rapid app development that will include music pop quizzes and bar scenes app. I think this will be good for our dance club subic.


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