Opinion

Free test prep for everyone | Darcy Brixey

Once a week I receive a phone call from a parent or a nervous student wondering when the library will host the next SAT prep course. If I don't get the phone call, I will get a visit from one or two frazzled students looking for GRE study books at the library.

The SAT sessions fill up quickly and the current books are often checked out with a large holds list. Savvy library users know to scan the KCLS website constantly and immediately sign up the first day an event is posted. Others hear about it after the fact and want to know how their kids can take advantage of such a program.

There is one convenient, free and 24-hour resource I always rely on to please everyone: Testing And Education Reference Center.

From the KCLS database page choose the subject heading marked Careers and Education, then select Testing And Education Reference Center. Log on with your library card number to access practice tests for SAT, ACT, TOEFL and more. Create an account to save your information and return to it.

The database does not just cover practice exams for college entrance. It covers the ASVAB for military, graduate school tests such as GRE and GMAT and high school tests like AP exams, the GED and the COOP. The built-in resume builder and career information will help for others deciding their next steps in life.

Besides practice exams, the database contains online study books. Under test prep materials for the SAT, there are five separate PDF books. Also included are extra training materials such as a word of the day, test taking strategies and tips as well as information on registering for the exam, deadlines, etc.

Testing and Education Reference Center is perfect for students who cannot afford their own prep courses, but also for people looking toward graduate school who are working and raising a family. Because the database is available 24-hours-a-day, you can find a time to study that works best for you.

To prepare for your next exam here is a quiz question:

Your standardized test is scheduled for next month. Your vocabulary and math skills are not as strong as they should be. You can:

• Spend money you don’t have on a tutor

• Tear your hair out nervously

• Buy a large stack of books and try to learn by osmosis

• Turn to your library for test prep materials.

 

Darcy Brixey is the teen services librarian at the Bellevue Library. She’d like to tell you she loves to read, but it’s an expectation of the job.

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