Pros / This application features a fun, compelling interface and more practice tests than its competitors do.

Cons / There are no quizzes, and score analysis is not helpful.

 Verdict / This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date study program we reviewed, and you get a full refund if test scores do not improve.

The newest edition of SAT/ACT/PSAT 2012 Platinum by Topics Entertainment and Headroom Learning is a complete SAT/ACT prep software tool. We recommend it as a sound alternative to private tutoring or online courses because it will sharpen testing skills quickly. The most important feature of this application is its practice tests, of which there are 17. That's more than any other prep software we tested. This application also excels with its multimedia interface, academic subject tutorials and flashcards. The comprehensive nature of this SAT and ACT prep product and its engaging approach make it our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner.

The most dedicated students want to get into the best college possible, and it's even better if you can get scholarships and grants to help pay for it all. To that end, many students choose to take both the ACT and SAT college-entrance exams. Some of the best and brightest will also take the PSAT, which offers practice for the SAT and the chance to apply for the National Merit Scholarship. SAT/ACT/PSAT 2012 Platinum will prepare you for each of these tests. It helps you review vocabulary and mathematics, grammar rules and science strategies.

SAT/ACT/PSAT Platinum 2012 Visit Site
  • SAT Tests
  • ACT Tests
  • PSAT Tests
  • Academic Subjects
  1. Full-length Practice Exams
    More is Better
  2. 1  SAT/ACT/PSAT Platinum
    10.0
  3. 3.0
  4. 0.0
  5. Category Average
    3.75

Tests

The interface of SAT/ACT/PSAT 2012 Platinum has a special button for practice tests. From there, you can find 10 full-length SAT tests, five full-length ACT practice tests and two PSAT tests. The tests are divided into sections, so you don't have to dedicate a block of time to complete each exam. You can also pause and save the tests in case you need to step away.

The interface of the testing portal shows tests as if they were printed on paper, just as the real test will be. You also get an answer sheet on which the bubbles are filled in by a virtual pencil in about the same time it would take to pencil in an answer on a hard copy. It happens after you click on the bubble. It's all timed, so you can practice pacing your progress to maximize your results.

The application lets you zoom in and out and navigate easily from page to page, but its testing portal has some problems. You can't hide or minimize the answer window, so you can't always read the text on the test. Furthermore, every time you click to answer, the test moves in the background. This is frustrating and unnecessary, especially considering the fact that many test questions span multiple pages in both the ACT and SAT.

Once you complete a test or any section of one, your results are published immediately in the review section. There, you see the scores of all your tests and view correct and incorrect answers, along with detailed explanations of the questions. You and your parents, teachers or mentors can also view this information from an online portal. From there, you can go back to the tutorials to brush up on subjects that need work. Unfortunately, all the analysis you'll get from your test scores is in the form of numbers. A breakdown of the kinds of answers you got wrong or the ones on which you spent the most time would be a welcome improvement.

SAT/ACT/PSAT 2012 Platinum doesn't offer extra questions or quizzes as part of its lessons, but the number of full-length tests it offers make up for it. Nevertheless, this means that it's difficult to practice questions immediately after you learn about them.

Unfortunately, the latest edition of this software has a reputation for showing wrong answers in the math sections.

Teaching Tools

SAT/ACT/PSAT 2012 Platinum opens with a large window showing all the application options and a group of cartoon avatars that give little speeches and guide you through your options. We recommend starting with the tutorials, which feature these avatars prominently, complete with speech bubbles and voices. Each tutorial progresses from slide to slide, which makes for a fun way to learn. Unfortunately, you can't see the tutorial text separately, so you have to wait for the avatars to finish talking to move forward.

Tutorials available include software navigation and information on the tests, such as format and scoring. Others teach you how to prepare and how to pace yourself. Academic tutorials, which act as lessons, cover essay writing, math, verbal skills and science, which is vital for ACT prep.

Another way to learn with this software application is flashcards. You get standard vocabulary flashcards with words on one side and definitions on the other. You also get flashcards for math, science and grammar. The grammar cards are particularly useful, and the math and science ones are ideal for quick cramming sessions right before the test. You have to click through the cards to see them all, and no menu system is available, so it might be a challenge to focus on the ones you need the most help with.

This application doesn't include extra games and activities or printable content for SAT and ACT prep. It also lacks strengths diagnostics and personalized study plans, so you have to be self-motivated to use all its tools. Older versions of this application offer games and activities, personalized study plans and performance feedback.

Academic Content

Tutorials and flashcards make up the academic content portion of SAT/ACT/PSAT 2012 Platinum. This SAT and ACT prep product is one of the few we reviewed that covers everything we looked for, including critical reading, a full-fledged math section and scientific reasoning. For example, the flashcard about Research Summaries explains that, "Typically the tables will show how altering one or more variables causes the observed data to differ." This is good information, particularly when you consider that many of the science classes you take in school focus on specific subjects rather than reasoning tactics.

Help & Support

SAT/ACT/PSAT 2012 Platinum is easy to use from the beginning, especially when you watch the tutorial about how to use the software. You can also find FAQs online or contact the company by email for technical support. You can't reach customer support by phone.

The installation process for this product is fairly simple. Start the process by inserting your disc and following the instructions. Then, you will be asked to enter the product key that comes with your disc. After you complete this step, you get a student pass code. Keep this code handy because you will use it each time you open the application. You also need this code for the online portal.

If you watch all the tutorials, study with the flashcards and take the practice tests, we're confident that your scores will improve. If you purchase this application and don't see score improvement, the manufacturer promises a money-back guarantee.

Summary

SAT/ACT/ PSAT 2012 Platinum Edition includes study help for all three of the college entrance exams. It is the most comprehensive and up-to-date SAT and ACT prep application we reviewed, and its manufacturer offers a full refund if your test scores do not improve.

High school prepares you for academic success in reading, writing, arithmetic and science, but it does not fully prepare you for college entrance exams. SAT/ACT/ PSAT Platinum Edition provides all of the full-length sample tests, vocabulary and feedback you need in an easy-to-use, work-at-home package. SAT/ACT/PSAT 2012 Platinum is an effective application for test preparation. It's well worth your time and money.

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