I was in Vegas earlier this week. But not for the same reason as some people I know. I was there to celebrate New Years with my girlfriend and do a little gambling.
I’m a video poker fan. Somebody once told me that playing video poker is like getting paid to take a standardized test every eight seconds. That’s a good thing for me, because I was always good at standardized tests. It used to infuriate my math teachers that I was getting C’s in calculus class while I was finishing in the top 3 in the state on the Mathlympics, or whatever the heck they called them back in the Dark Ages. I figured if they were nice enough to put the answer in amongst the multiple choices, I should be able to find it somewhere.
So after graduating college, I parlayed this talent into a job teaching for The Princeton Review. I really enjoyed that job, teaching high school and college kids how to excel on the PSAT, SAT, LSAT, GMAT etc. It wasn’t exactly an academic pursuit; it was more like learning the techniques to finish a video game. I recognized that if colleges were really going to use the results of a tricked up test to decide who they were going to admit, it was only fair that the folks willing to learn how to beat the test deserved to move up the waitlist.
Now my former bosses have leveraged the latest technology to automate the process. More details after the jump.
The Princeton Review helps Digital Students Test Prep for Tests in More Personal Ways
New York, NY Jan. 4, 2008 — Test prep is heading in a new direction for 2008. Princeton Review’s SAT math and verbal drills are showing up in virtual worlds and on hand-held calculator screens. Students waiting for their school bus can plug in their iPods to catchy songs with witty lyrics which The Princeton Review composes to help them learn new vocabulary words.
The Princeton Review is adapting its products to our students’ increasingly digital lifestyle. By adding more high-tech options for test preparation, our students can use their time more efficiently in the way they feel most comfortable. Learning is no longer confined to the classroom. Students carry SAT drills and college admissions information on iPodsODs, hand-helds, and calculators. Online courses and tutoring, make it possible for students to access Princeton Review’s score-raising content instantly at any time, any place.
Second Life® SAT Sessions offer students virtual reality with benefits. Throughout January 2008, students can enter a realm of virtual reality, create their own avatar to fly, teleport or drive a virtual Princeton Review sports car to an SAT strategy session, where he can earn learn how to raise his score on the college entrance exam and accumulate free virtual collectibles. The Second Life SAT session brings an educational component to the 3-D, video-game-like experience. The Princeton Review virtual sessions can be found on the Ohio University virtual campus by searching in Second Life for Ohio University or at the Second Life URL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/OHIO%20Outreach/173/76/25.
Online courses and tutoring allow students to plug in at their convenience, 24/7, whether or not there is a Princeton Review classroom nearby. The technology for these courses are so advanced that students can even choose to have their courses in real time with headsets and white boards, interacting at home with both instructor and other students.
Award-winning podcasts teach students how to develop their critical reasoning skills by analyzing arguments in popular culture and current events, a stimulating way to develop skills necessary for the LSAT. Each week, more than 20,000 fans download Princeton Review’s LSAT Logic in Everyday Life, and ITunes has recognized it as a top educational podcast. Younger students plug into Princeton Review’s Vocab Minute, which teaches vocabulary with short, witty songs. Princeton Review’s Parent’s Podcasts offer important information to the folks that pay the tuition.
Princeton Review’s website, www.princetonreview.com, helps more than half the students going to college and graduate schools research, apply and finance their education, with its free tools. Its college search engine, Counselor-O-Matic, is the e-harmony of higher education, matching a student with the schools that best fit his skills and interests. By completing an online questionnaire, Counselor-O-Matic finds and categorizes appropriate schools as a safety, match or reach. Search engines help students match majors with schools and find scholarship information. It has the most robust information available with over 1800 school profiles, 150 career profiles and 150 majors profiles.
Calculators with SAT and ACT drills: Count on your calculator for more than just answers to mathematical equations. In partnership with Texas Instruments, The Princeton Review is providing free SAT and ACT math and verbal questions on the TI-Nspire and the TI 84 Silver. Students can multi-task whenever there’s down time, at the bus stop, in the back seat of the car, or waiting on the bench at a league game.
About The Princeton Review:
The Princeton Review (Nasdaq: REVU) is a pioneer in the world of education. Founded in 1981 and headquartered in New York City, the Company offers private tutoring and classroom and online test preparation to help students improve their scores in college and graduate school admissions tests. The Company’s free website, www.PrincetonReview.com, helps over half of university-bound student’s research, apply to, prepare for, and learn how to pay for their higher education. In addition, The Princeton Review works with school districts around the U.S. to measurably strengthen students’ academic skills by connecting ongoing assessment with professional development and instruction and by providing districts with college and career resources for both students and guidance counselors. The Company also authors more than 200 print and software titles on test preparation, college and graduate school selection and admissions, and related topics.
Sounds pretty cool to me. If I gotta be replaced by a CPU, it might as well be something worth checking out!