Saturday, May 22, 2010

U.S. Gov & Politics AP Exam Prep - A Review

Product: U. S. Gov & Politics AP Exam Prep

Price: $14.98 (Current sale price of $11.24)

Company: Cerebellum Corp

Where to buy:

Other products available:
Many educational multimedia products on various topics.

Brief Overview -

From the website - Light Speed Advanced Placement videos reviews the 30 most tested topics, provides tips and strategies on passing the test, and gives insightful advance on writing the short-response answers. This is the first program of its kind, so go paperless and use this test-prep video to pass the exam! Digital Workbook included with handouts, quizzes, and activities to reinforce the topic before and after the video.

Here is a sample video from the website.

In-Depth Look:

When I heard that I was receiving a DVD to prepare for the U.S. Govt and Politics AP Exam, I wasn't thrilled. My daughters are elementary, so I didn't feel like I needed this. In fact, I thought it was going to be very boring. But I popped the DVD into the player, to see what it was like. I found myself watching the entire thing. It was interesting; it was enjoyable; it was helpful.

The DVD starts with a small section on the multiple-choice questions of the test. Then with answering the essay questions. Then it covers "30 in 30", covering 30 different topics related to U.S. government and politics in 30 minutes. Some of the topics covered are
- Policy Making
- Civil Rights & Civil Liberties
- Fourteenth Amendment
- Separation of Powers
- And lots more

The speakers were pleasant to listen to. Several students take turns explaining the facts. It helps break things up and hold our attention. They all speak clearly and are easy to listen to. Every time a new topic is introduced, there is a buzzing sound. I think this is to alert us and grab our attention back. But I found the buzzing sound very annoying. That was the only thing in the DVD that I didn't care for. The colorful graphics were cute and entertaining. And even if you aren't preparing for the AP, I think this makes an awesome quick overview. Or a good review for someone who hasn't studied U.S. government or politics in a while.

A CD is also included. It starts with a read-along covering the information on the DVD. Then it provides a practice test. The test consists of
True or False
Free Response
Know your articles and amendments
Fill in the Blank

Although it is intended to be a practice test for the AP exam, I think it would also make a good test at the end of a U.S. Government class. It could be used as a part of a unit study on politics. The uses don't have to be strictly AP based.

I didn't use this in prep for the AP test. So I don't feel I can honestly tell you that this will help you prepare. I don't know what the AP test is like. But I do believe that the Cerebellum company knows what it is doing and I am impressed with the final product. If you watch this DVD, you will walk away with a deeper understanding of the U.S. government system and a deeper appreciation of the founding fathers.

I watched this with my 8 and 11 yo daughters. It was too advanced for my 8 yo. Some of it was too much for my 11 yo also. But the DVD did have her asking questions. I enjoyed the refresher course.

Read more reviews of my fellow crewmates.

Disclaimer: I was asked to review this product as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

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