Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 124 / DECEMBER 1990 / PAGE 94


We expect athletes to hone their talents through practice, yet we throw our kids to the wolves when it comes to helping them prepare for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). Davidson's Your Personal Trainer for the SAT package offers students a way to prepare for this all-important exam.

The program builds vocabulary and reading skills as well as areas of math covered in the SAT. If students adhere to the 6–7 hour weekly training schedule suggested in the manual, they should be able to tackle SAT problems and considerably increase their chances for success.

Since I'm not planning to take the SAT anytime soon but my 15-year-old son will take it this year, I let him use the program to help in his preparation for the test. After running through a few practice sessions in the Visitor mode, he felt less threatened by the types of questions asked on the SAT.

The Visitor mode allows you to browse through the questions asked on the SAT without actually taking a test. It's a nonthreatening way to develop a feel for the kinds of questions asked, and learning how to approach certain kinds of questions is as valuable as mastering the content areas of an exam. If you choose the wrong answer, you're told why the answer is wrong. Picking the right answer prompts an explanation of why the answer is right.

Included with the program is a companion book called How to Take the SAT, which includes several practice exams. After every practice exercise, you can look at the answers and explanations in the book. The Assessment option in the program lets you evaluate your progress. You'll get a score and a personalized analysis of each test. Then you can get a personalized training schedule based on your strengths and weaknesses.

The training schedule recommends several methods for building strengths and minimizing weaknesses, methods such as making flash cards for vocabulary words or math problems missed. Your training may include reviewing a specific topic on a page in the book, or you may need to work through one of the training activities using the program's onscreen hints and the glossary.

I won't know for sure whether this training has helped my son until he takes the SAT later in the year, but I plan to make sure he completes the entire training schedule. I'll keep reminding him of what a football coach tells his players: Games are won or lost on the practice field.


Ease of Use ***
Documentation ****
Features ***
Innovation ***

IBM PC and compatibles; 512K; CGA, EGA, MCGA, VGA, Tandy 16-color, or Hercules; hard disk optional—$49.95

P.O. Box 2961
Torrance, CA 90509
(800) 545-7677