My SAT Coach

Game review by
Harold Goldberg, Common Sense Media
My SAT Coach Game Poster Image
An enjoyable addition to an SAT course or tutor.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game imparts a good work ethic. It gets you to study hard in a fun way.

Violence
Sex
Language

Some words of the 'damn' variety are used in the questions.

Consumerism

The Princeton Review is a co-sponsor of this study aid.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a study aid for taking the SAT test. The game is not meant as a replacement for a tutor or more extensive book, but may provide some teens with a fun way to do SAT review.

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What's it about?

Ever since Nintendo had success with its popular Brain Games series, game makers have been experimenting with games to make them educational as well as fun. In MY SAT COACH, Ubisoft partners with SAT prep giants The Princeton Review to bring you a series of timed mini quizzes covering arithmetic, math, algebra, geometry, reading, and vocabulary.

So, is the learning fun? Generally, it is. To the strains of jazzy ambient music, pastel backgrounds, and down-to-earth language, the game gets down to business quickly. You'll use the touchscreen and the stylus a lot in the game. In fact, you'll feel as though you're taking a test when the stylus acts as a pencil on the touchscreen, and you blot out a small circle to add an answer. If you change your mind about an answer, you can also erase your answer.

Is it any good?

But the game sometimes acts too much like a chiding tutor. If you try to go directly to the math section, you'll be told "Cheating includes moving forward to new sections or backwards to completed sections." Obviously, the game wants to get you used to the test itself (the timed nature of quizzes proves this as well). Being firm and being colloquial are not opposing qualities in a teacher, even a virtual one. But to mention this in the first half hour of the game is a bit heavy-handed.

Still, there's a lot here that's impressive. To do well on the SAT, you do indeed have to get used to the timed nature of the quizzes. And it's better to get used to it here than during the SAT exam itself. If you get a question wrong, the game explains to you the correct response. You even get two complete practice exams to work on once you've done many of the mini quizzes. While the game could use some fun graphics to enhance the everyday language that's presented as text, it feels like a worthy, generally comprehensive addition to your SAT book, course, or tutor.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the game adds to the general SAT knowledge you get from a course or a book. After doing the drills, where are your strengths and weaknesses? Do any of the questions make you want to do more research into the topic? Which ones? What do you think of the two sample exams that are included?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: UbiSoft
  • Release date: September 23, 2008
  • Genre: Educational
  • ESRB rating: E for Mild Language

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