Monday, Oct. 28, 2002
Lavonne Luquis (510) 987-9194


All students in California can now get free online preparation for tests like the SAT and the ACT on a University of California-sponsored Web site.

Interactive online test prep courses are being made available free of charge on the California Virtual High School Web page at The courses feature user-friendly tutorials, practice sessions that dynamically adapt to each student's ability and a vocabulary builder with more than 2,000 words. Students may also select a parent or teacher as a "coach" to mentor them during the test prep process.

"This is the latest effort to level the playing field for students," said Francisco J. Hernandez, executive director of the University of California's College Preparatory Initiative (UCCP) and vice chancellor for student affairs at UC Santa Cruz. "The University of California doesn't want financial limitations to put students at a disadvantage, so we are making these courses available to all students. These materials use a series of tutorials, practice sessions and vocabulary drills to help students reinforce the academic skills tested by the SAT and ACT."

In addition to user-friendly tutorials for all seven subject areas covered on the SAT and and all six subjects covered on the ACT tests, highlights of the courses include:

• A response on multiple-choice questions that offer hints and suggestions for incorrect answers and explanations for correct answers.

• A vocabulary unit that stores words on an electronic flash card for subsequent review, and a "word of the day" feature that supplements the vocabulary builder.

• A link to a question of the day related to each test, drawn from a pool of more than 1,200 questions.

• Tips on time management and guessing strategies.

• A timed sample test that helps identify strengths and weaknesses and suggests directions for study.

• Access to an expanded question database of more than 1,200 questions for each of the subject areas on the SAT and ACT.

• A mentor-based coaching system that encourages students to designate a parent or teacher as a coach to monitor their progress.

• Reporting features that allow coaches to view real-time student performance statistics in each content category.

• Optional e-mail reminders offering tips, word of the day and progress reports with a direct link to the student's individualized test prep home page.

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