USATestprep Blog

Archive for February, 2011

Pilgrim High School’s Success

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Congratulations to Pilgrim High School in Warwick, Rhode Island. Their test scores have risen impressively in the past year. Thanks to the hard work of the students and teachers there, expectations are high for continued improvements. Read all about it in this article. Well done, Pilgrim!

Video Update

Friday, February 18th, 2011

We now have over 800 instructional videos on USATestprep! Our succinct reviews cover all content areas. From Absolute Advantage to Zheng He, and Y=X to Abraham Lincoln, we strive to make sure we have all of the bases covered. But we’re always adding more, so if you have suggestions for topics or if you have any comments about the videos, please let us hear!

What is the most important subject?

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

You’ve probably heard the students say it: “You act like yours is the only class we have!” That’s what came to mind when reading this article by Alfie Kohn at The Huffington Post, but Kohn address a much larger situation: is there one subject in particular that is most important for students to learn? Kohn examines the current trend of saying that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are most important, more so than learning verb conjugation or understanding the relevance of the Equal Protection Clause. (Full disclosure: your author was a Social Studies teacher for 17 years, do don’t get me started….) Regardless of your position, you’ll likely find this article at the very least informative, or maybe even fodder for a spirited debate in the faculty lounge.

Praise for “Think or Swim!”

Friday, February 11th, 2011

We wanted to share a comment  from a user about our newest projector game and first team game, “Think or Swim!”  It comes from Rachel Steel from Lee County, Georgia:

“I ended up using the “Think or Swim” projector game… and it was so much fun.  I gave each group a plastic divider (You could laminate a sheet of paper) and a dry erase marker so that they could write the group answer and then I would call time and all the groups flashed their answers at once. It is set up like (J)eopardy but everyone answers each question.  It is nice, too, that you can target the topics/domains you are working on and all the questions relate to those.”

Thanks for the kind words, Rachel. We’re glad you enjoyed it! So if you haven’t checked out “Think or Swim!” yet, head over to your subject page and look under “Online Resources.”

Two New Texas Products

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

We’ve recently added two new English products for our Texas subscribers: STARR English II and STARR English III. If you live in Texas and would like a free one-week trial, give us an email ( or call (1-877-377-9537) and we’ll activate it for you with no obligation.

Think or Swim!

Friday, February 4th, 2011

We have added another new game: Think or Swim! It is not only our first projector game but our first team game, as well.

Multiple teams can compete in a review of 3 to 5 elements. Sets of 5 multiple choice and 2 vocabulary are automatically generated for each element. Students jus write down their team answers- we provide printable sheets- and the teacher keeps track of the results right on the site.

Be sure to check out Think or Swim! today! Just look under the “Online Resources” section of your subject’s home page.

Newest Version of Add/Remove Students

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

We received feedback from you about the “Add/Remove Students” function on the website. Based on these suggestions we have made adding students even easier. Now you can search for students by last name with a single click of the mouse: just choose the first letter of their last name, find them from the list, and click “+Add.”

You can still type in their last name by clicking “Advanced Search” on the right. Removing students already in your class- listed on the left- remains the same.

Let us know if you have any questions about this new and improved process.

Projector Mode Questions

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

You may have noticed something new under the “Online Resources” on your subject-specific page:

If you have an LCD-type projector in your classroom, you can now use USATestprep to give 5 or 10 question quizzes to the entire class. Questions will display for a set amount of time, rotating automatically through. We even provide an answer key and a student handout for you.

Be sure to check out this new feature!