Shmoop Launches SmartPhone-Ready Video Test Prep to Help Students Study for SAT*, ACT*, and CAHSEE

Shmoop delivers free Test Prep videos to students via email, allowing them to study quickly and rigorously.

Shmoop's Video Test Prep

When it comes to cram time, students want their information—stat. With Shmoop’s Video Test Prep, students can study in quick bursts whenever they have a few minutes to spare.

When a student registers, Shmoop will send them three videos a day, tailored to their SAT*, ACT*, or CAHSEE needs. Students can then watch the videos in the convenience of their own home/school/bus/circus tent. And there’s no need to set a study reminder: Shmoop will automatically send the videos, prompting students to watch. Plus, because the videos are relatable, they won’t end in an unplanned nap.

Each video includes a sample exam question and walks students through the process of answering it. By providing detailed answer explanations, Shmoop fosters comprehension, so that students don’t just get practice with one question; they are able to improve their skills for an entire concept.

Shmoop will send these videos directly to a student’s inbox every day for thirty days; by the end of the month, students will have reviewed the equivalent of a full-length practice exam. Bonus: each video is tagged to the Common Core. It’s every teacher’s dream.

Go ahead and sign up—Shmoop will take care of the rest.

About Shmoop

Shmoop is a digital curriculum and test prep company that makes fun, rigorous learning and teaching resources. Shmoop content is written by experts and teachers, who collaborate to create high-quality and engaging materials for teachers and students. Shmoop Courses, Test Prep, Teaching Guides, and Learning Guides balance a teen-friendly, approachable style with academically rigorous concepts. Shmoop sees 10 million unique visitors a month on its site and offers more than 7,000 titles across the Web, iPhone, Android devices, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader. The company has been honored twice by the Webby Awards, named “Best in Tech” twice by Scholastic Administrator, and awarded with two Annual Education Software Review Awards (EDDIES). Launched in 2008, Shmoop is headquartered in a labradoodle-patrolled office in Mountain View, California.

*SAT and AP are registered trademarks of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of and does not endorse this product.

*ACT is a federally registered trademark of ACT, Inc. Shmoop University is not affiliated with or endorsed by ACT, Inc.



College Board Announces Huge New SAT Changes

After as much anticipation as a Hunger Games movie, the College Board finally announced the major changes they’ll be making to the 2015 PSAT and 2016 SAT. David Coleman, College Board President, said the changes are being made to better align to students’ high school curriculum and really show what students have learned and how that will apply to their prospective college classrooms.

So what’s in store? Shmoop’s here to break it down:

  •  No more penalty for guessing. If students don’t finish in time, they can fill in “C” all the way down without fear of retribution.
  • No more ten-dollar words. The College Board finally has seen the Shmoopy light: just because a word has seven syllables doesn’t mean it should be used to determine how smart you are. Vocabulary is meant to help us communicate, so the SAT will replace words like “depreciatory” with words students actually use, like “empirical.”
  • Optional essay. If students do choose to write an essay, they’ll be asked to analyze a passage and explain how the author made his or her argument.
  • Welcome back to the perfect 1600. Now that the essay’s gone semi-sayonara, scores will once again be out of 1600, with 800 each for reading and math.
  • Sourcing source documents. Students will be asked to use source documents from science, social studies, and American history (hello, Declaration of Independence!) to answer questions.
  • Math Refocus. Questions will be focused on linear equations, complex equations/functions, and ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning. Also important to know: calculators will only be allowed on part of the math section. Time to break out that abacus!
  • Both digital and paper formats. Welcome to the technological revolution!

Given that there are over half a dozen bullet-points on that list, Shmoop understands that students (and teachers) need a steady hand to hold in these confusing times. Thankfully, this isn’t the first time Shmoop has had to revamp its Test Prep to meet new standards.

Here’s why students and teachers can continue to count on Shmoop:

  • We’ve faced test changes before promptly and with aplomb. Shmoop already updated its AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Spanish Language exams, and Shmoop made sure students had a full school year to use its new study materials.
  • We build our resources to keep up with the times. Just like how Shmoop’s Online Courses and Teaching Guides are auto-tagged with their appropriate Common Core Standards, Shmoop’s SAT Math Shack is built to respond to the new, just-announced Math section.
  • We never stop innovating. Even when the SAT was offering the same-old, same-old, Shmoop was never standing still. Over the past year, Shmoop’s SAT has built out our Math Shack, Math Shack Assignments, and have constantly been tweaking our materials to offer you the best review, best drills, and best practice exams.

That said, stay tuned for Shmoop’s SAT: The Sequel. We promise it’ll be even better than the original.

Things to Do When You’re Bored: Summer Edition

It’s finally summer.  Three glorious months of sunshine, no school, and freedom.  You’ve suffered through an entire school year, taken all those finals, and here’s your reward…but now what?

You’ve probably already forgotten what it’s like to have so much time on your hands and what it’s like to be bored.  We’re not talking about bored because you’ve been listening to a two hour long lecture on the history of Brittany France (although, secretly: super interesting!), but bored because there’s actually nothing to do.  Your friends are all out of town, and you’ve already watched all the reruns on TV and it’s gotten to the point where you already know the culprit of every Law and Order: SVU episode ever. But never fear: Shmoop is here!

We’ve made a list of all of the fun things you can do over the summer, so let’s get on with it!

1. Embrace Your Inner Child

We know you guys are all big bad middle and high schoolers (and the select super-cool college students), but come on, be honest: everyone loves a good animated movie.  The summer of ’13 promises the long-awaited to sequel to Monsters, Inc., Monsters University. We’ve already seen it, and trust us, it’s everything you wish your college experience would be like, but never will be, since, you know, you can’t enroll in the kick-butt School of Scaring.

2. Indulge in Harry Potter Marathons

Now that all seven books and, ahem, eight movies are out, immerse yourself into the world of Harry Potter for a weekend.  Because, really, who doesn’t love Harry Potter?  (That was rhetorical, by the way. If you’re raising your hand right now, we’re officially no longer BFFs.)  Seriously. If you manage to re-read all the books AND watch the movies in one weekend? You might put Hermione Granger to shame.

3. Pick Up Archery

Yeah, archery.  You know, with bows and arrows and stuff.  Not only will you be able to shoot a bull’s eye from 50 feet away and compete in the Olympics, but you could become the next winner of the Hunger Games.

4. Learn How to Drive

Okay, so this doesn’t apply if you’re under the age of 15—and if you’re already driving under 15, don’t let us or the government know—but if you are at that time when you can get your learner’s permit, go get it!  Study for the written test here, and enjoy the perks and responsibilities of being On the Road.  Just stay safe please! The last thing you want is to recreate this classic (and horrifying!) scene from Clueless.

5. Learn a New Language

As students, there really is no better time than now to learn a new language.  Right now, your brain actually has the capacity to remember an entirely new language.  When you get older, which will happen, your brain won’t be able to remember as much. Trust us, we’re speaking from experience. Anyway, decrepit brains aside, Shmoop’s got a ton of languages, from Latin to Japanese.  And, if you know Spanish, you can use the mirror universe of our site, Shmoop en Español.

6. Go to the Zoo

It’s been awhile since you’ve thought about relaxing and spending the day with animals.  But you still haven’t forgotten how cute those zebras, elephants, lions and tigers are.  Go on, we know it’s tempting. Here’s a picture to tempt you some more:  

Aww, isn’t that the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? Plus, animals are totally weird. Like, why do lions lick each other? Don’t worry. Shmoop’s got all your insights into animal behavior here.

7.  Read Dr. Seuss

Time for an elementary school flashback! Bet you’ve forgotten about all of those Cat in the Hat books you read back in the day. But don’t you miss ole’ Sam and his green eggs and ham?

P.S. Want a recipe for Sam’s delightful delicacy? You can find one here.

And here’s some for those of you who want to be more productive with your summer (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone):

8. Take a Career Test

There’s no better time than the summer to figure out what you actually want to do with your career.  It’s a big decision, and an important one, so we’re here to help you along.  We know it seems daunting, but you’ll find one that’s right for you. Most importantly, make sure you end up doing what YOU want to do, not anybody else.  It’s your life, and even if you don’t feel like it, you’re the one who ultimately controls the reins.  So steer your life down the path that calls to you. You won’t regret it.

9. Write College Essays

If you really want to jump ahead, feel free to take a look at how to write college essays.  For the rising juniors and seniors out there, trust us, you’ll feel a lot less stressed out if you start planning out your essays over the summer.  Think about what you want to write about and develop a game plan for college application season.  There’s a lot of brilliant schools out there—most of them almost as brilliant as you—so take the time to find the one that’s right for you.

10.  Study for the SAT or ACT

Yay, studying! Okay, we can see your eyes rolling already. But we’ve got a great idea to get your study on: have study dates with your summer fling. Study those 1000 vocab words with your special someone and quiz each other on math facts.  It’ll make it pass by a lot faster (and might result in an awesome song and dance number).  Whether you need the SAT and ACT, Shmoop’s got you covered.  Go on, pick your lucky buddy. We think you two are adorable.

Shmoopers, do you have any suggestions for summer fun? Let us know in the comments!