Khan Academy: Time Well Spent

Khan+Academy%3A+Time+Well+Spent

Drew Pedersen

“Drew! You better be in your room studying for the SAT,” my mom said as I rolled my eyes and slowly get out my Chromebook. This is the last type of work I want to be doing right now. Who wants to study for SAT? Most of the time it only raises my score by a little bit so why bother. I logged onto my Chromebook and went to www.khanacademy.org. Every teacher and parent talks about how good this website is so I decided to try it. I made an account and began looking around the site figuring out all of the different features.

  One of the first buttons I clicked on allowed me to link my previous PSAT scores with Khan Academy. After my scores were linked, I started experimenting with the site finding out what I can do to practice and prepare from the SAT. Khan Academy is set up with five different tabs, each tab with a different purpose or tool to help students like me prepare. The five tabs are: Dashboard, Practice, Tips and Strategies, Full Tests, Review.  On each of these tabs, I found helpful tools that will continue to help me prepare for a future SAT.

  Dashboard: On this tab, I noticed a link to create my own practice schedule. I could create a practice schedule to prepare for the SAT. Not only did Khan Academy create a practice schedule, but it also reminded me every week on what days or times I need to be studying, based on how I filled out my practice schedule. During my experience, Khan Academy kept me accountable and made sure to at least remind me to continue preparing for the SAT. The other feature on this Dashboard tab was a little box that showed my scores from the PSAT I had taken earlier this year. After looking at the scores, I figured out which sections I should work on.

  Practice: This is the section where I spent the majority of my time in my experience with Khan Academy. In my opinion, this was the most helpful section of Khan Academy. On this tab, Khan Academy created mini practice tests specifically designed for me based on my PSAT score. Khan Academy used the questions or skills I got wrong and made the mini practice tests with similar questions. By doing this, I was able to practice and improve the skills or questions I got wrong previously. After I answered a free response question, Khan Academy gave me a step by step guide that showed me how to come to the correct answer. Also, on multiple choice questions, Khan Academy not only explains why the right answer is right but also why each wrong answer is wrong. Along with explanations for each question, Khan Academy showed the difficulty for each question answered which was helpful when determining what skills to practice first. As I said earlier, but this was the tab that I found the most helpful because I could directly practice the questions I had gotten wrong on previous tests.

  Tips and Strategies:  On this tab, I was able to pick a few helpful tips on how to manage my time on each section, or just general strategies how to answer questions for each section of the SAT. In this tab, Khan Academy has a section that gave me an overview of the SAT along with a chance to ask questions or look at frequently asked questions. Khan Academy also showed me how the SAT is scored, the length of each test, the number of questions on each test, etc. Then below the general overview of the SAT there is a general strategy section for the SAT. Below that are two sections for each part of the SAT or PSAT (Reading, Writing and Language, Math, Essay). For each section of the SAT there is information about what I should expect from each section as well as how I should approach the section. This gave me very helpful tips and strategies that will hopefully help me improve my future SAT score.

  Full tests: On this tab there are seven different practice tests for the SAT. I found these tests especially helpful because they are very similar to the actual SAT. Plus, there is a timer with each section so I was able to practice my timing for each test. Also, I could take the whole test or only certain parts of the test so it was easy to practice one certain section that I struggle on rather than have to take the whole test if I did not want to.

  Review: This tab is just a general overview page. It shows how I have done on each practice test that I have taken as well as my progress on every practice test. I visited this tab to check which tabs I have been struggling on so I can go back to the practice tab and practice them some more in order to better prepare for the SAT.

  Overall, Khan Academy was much better than I expected. It has so many different helpful features that were beneficial to me during my experience. The ability to practice the problems I had missed previously as well as entire practice tests was helpful. I would definitely recommend Khan Academy to anyone who is looking to effectively prepare for the SAT or PSAT.