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Best Practices for Instructors Using Magoosh

By Molly Kiefer on June 30, 2020 In ACT, Test Prep, SAT, High School, Classroom

Every educator has their own unique approach to teaching, but to help get you started we’ve put together some useful guidelines for prepping your students with Magoosh.

 

Magoosh Best Practices for Instructors

 

In this post we’ve taken 5 frequently asked questions about teaching with Magoosh, and put together a list of best practices that come from our own experience as classroom teachers and tutors, as well as how we’ve seen our school partners use the product.

Feel free to pick and choose the recommendations that are best suited to your teaching style and the needs of your students, so they can make the most of their Magoosh experience!

1. How should students approach Magoosh test prep?

We recommend you start by setting expectations with your students about how and when they use Magoosh:

  • Students should actively engage with the material
    • Taking notes.
    • Asking questions.
    • Assessing their own learning and progress.
  • We recommend studying at least 90 minutes per week, not counting practice tests.
  • Academic coursework should always take precedence over test prep.

Remember, learning is not a linear process! Typically, there will be small bursts of improvement – sometimes not even until the final weeks of prepping.

2. How do students navigate their Magoosh accounts?

When students log into their Magoosh accounts, the homepage that they land on is called the dashboard. We think of the dashboard as a student’s study hub, where they can access video lessons, practice questions and explanations, and review their progress.

 

Magoosh Account Screenshot

 

Our introductory lessons are great for getting students familiar with the test and with the Magoosh platform. You can also point out the Help button in the lower right corner, which will connect students to Magoosh’s tutor team for additional help if they get stuck.

Each part of the Magoosh website is linked to a part of learning:

  • Video Lessons can help lower-performing students learn and practice major concepts.
  • Video Explanations help students visualize the answers to solutions.
  • Practice Questions are most valuable for students who have already mastered the basic concepts.

3. Which SAT or ACT practice tests should students take?

Students should take four official practice tests when prepping for the ACT or SAT:

  • One full-length exam during the first or second week of test prep
  • One full-length exam during the final week
  • The other two during the interim weeks, either as full-length exams or assigned one section at a time.

You can find official tests on the ACT and SAT websites, and Magoosh also offers several free ACT and SAT practice test PDFs you can download. Try using scantrons or another tidy format to expedite your grading process, then fill in any major knowledge gaps using Magoosh concept videos.

Remember that not only do students need to get the right answer, they must also develop the skill of switching contexts and subject areas quickly!

4. How can students learn from their testing mistakes?

Improvement goes beyond scores: students can make progress on how to learn from their mistakes and to work on timing and test taking strategy! 

We cannot stress enough the importance of students reviewing their mistakes along with where they went wrong. Here are some questions to have them work through as they review their graded questions:

  • What do they already know?
  • What did they think they knew when they answered the question?
  • What do they still need to learn?
  • And what’s the best way to learn and practice new skills?

5. How can you use Magoosh in the classroom?

Here are a few pieces of guidance for those using Magoosh in a classroom setting:

  • Encourage discussions on processes–You can have students meet in pairs or small groups to discuss their advances and areas of improvement.
  • Use classroom time to teach students test-taking strategies.
  • Introduce concepts such as basic time management and process of elimination early on in the course.
  • Spend some time describing the mechanics of test day along with stress reduction techniques.
  • Illustrate concepts and techniques using easy and moderate questions from Magoosh’s question bank.
  • If motivation or engagement dip toward the end of term, infuse short discussions of academic majors or college life more generally.
  • Remind students that standardized tests are simply tools to help academic committees make selection decisions – and they are just one point of data used in the college admissions process.

 

We wish you all the best in your experience with Magoosh, and we are here for you if you run into any issues. You can reach out to our team at any time using schools@magoosh.com.

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