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New Free App Helps Students Prepare for New SATS and PSATs

Many colleges - especially the nation's top colleges - require that high school students take standardized tests. Admission into the country's more competitive schools - as well as merit scholarships - are contingent on good scores.

The new SATs will be rolling out as soon as March 2016. But even sooner, on Oct. 14 and Oct. 28, high school students take the PSATs - the largest pre-college assessment in the country. Top scores on the PSATs can mean millions of dollars in scholarship money if students do well.

But many test prep programs are expensive or not as easy to access. To that end, The College Board has created the free "Daily Practice for the New SAT," a new tool students can use to prepare for the new SATs.

"By creating this app that is completely free, students no longer need fancy computers, only their smart phones. They can receive personalized instruction instantly," said Aaron Lemon-Strauss, Executive Director of SAT & PSAT/NMSQT Assess Programs at College Board.

The College Board's "Daily Practice App" gives students an easy and free way to practice for SATs and PSATs using their mobile devices. College Board, 2015

In 2014, more than 800,000 Latinos took the PSAT/NMSQT and over 300,000 took the SAT in 2015, making up 19 percent of all test takers, according to The College Board.

A recent Pew Research Center study found that 64 percent of Americans own a smartphone. Of those, 10 percent - mainly younger, lower-income adults and minorities -rely solely on smartphones for their Internet access.

Another study found 13 percent of Latinos are smart phone-dependent and almost a quarter - 23 percent - say they have few access points to the Internet other than a smartphone.

The app is designed so students who might not have access to the Internet at home or expensive SAT prep courses and books can still practice for the SAT directly from their mobile device.

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Students can "scan and score" the answer sheets - after taking the timed practice tests, students can simply use their smartphones to snap a picture of the test answers and send it over to the app for scoring. In a matter of seconds, they can get their scores with insight into the questions they answered correctly and incorrectly, as well as explanations to help guide them.

The app is linked directly to the Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy, which also includes more resources.

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