As parents, we strive to ensure our children have every opportunity to receive a quality education, to experience a fulfilling career and ultimately to find lifelong happiness. The SAT, ACT and other standardized tests are critical milestones along the way, but many of us don’t know where to begin when it comes to adequately preparing teens for these tests.
To help navigate these crucial tests, the U.S. Army created the March2Success website as a resource for students and educators. March2Success is a free online test prep tool designed to help students in grades 8-12 prepare for standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, state exit exams and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Career Exploration Program (ASVAB CEP). Best of all, this free resource is not used for recruiting purposes.
Traditional test prep courses can cost families upwards of a few thousand dollars. In addition to being expensive, these courses are often created for the general student population and are not tailored to students’ individual needs. March2Success is unique in that it allows students customize their test prep based on their personal strengths and weaknesses. The online program also offers multiple free full-length practice tests for SAT and ACT exams, so students can check their progress more effectively.
The curriculum begins with a pre-assessment to determine each student’s knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. This includes standard English and math sections, as well as newly-added science components. Based on the pre-assessment results, students are provided a personalized learning path with lessons relating specifically to their learning needs.
The platform delivers a user-friendly and accommodating experience. For example, students can select the length of their learning path (short, medium, full-length) depending on the amount of time they have available before the day of the assessment. Many students have busy and unpredictable schedules, so the exercises can be saved and then accessed later.
What else does March2Success offer?
- 7 Full-length practice tests for SAT and ACT
- Additional practice tests and reviews with explanations
- Flash cards of varying difficulty
- STEM practice tests
- Tips and strategies like “How to Beat Test Stress” and “Last Minute Study Tips”
- Critical college information, including college planning, admissions process and financing college through scholarships and financial aid
- Student Planning Guide, providing important steps in the college preparation process
With the roll out of the new SAT exam in Spring 2016, parents can rely on March2Success to remain current with the latest standards. Students can take advantage of the updated SAT practice test currently posted on March2Success in preparation for the new SAT exam.
In order for students to consistently meet test standards, it is imperative to teach them how to think critically, as opposed to just having them memorize facts and figures. March2Success lessons and exercises not only show students the correct answer, but also demonstrate how to get to the right answer and the reason why it is the right answer.
Several of the exercises also include electronic flashcards with audio to help students better understand context and how to pronounce vocabulary words. These flashcards are particularly helpful for English as a Second Language (ESL) students.
Over 164,000 students joined March2Success in 2015, but teachers, mentors and parents can also sign up. Pending permission from the student, educators, parents or mentors can monitor and participate in their students’ progress along the way.
The nation benefits when its young people are well-equipped for success. Therefore, the U.S. Army is committed to providing resources that ensure young people have every opportunity to explore various career options in pursuit of a bright future. Parents can be assured student information is not provided to recruiters. March2Success was designed to provide young people with one of many tools necessary to succeed, and it’s just a mouse click away.
Jose A. “Tony” Castillo is Education Chief for U.S. Army Recruiting Command. In his role he oversees several outreach initiatives and promotes Army education resources designed to help young people explore various career paths and succeed in their post-secondary future – as professionals and as citizens.