Posted in Curriculum & Reviews

Review: SAT or ACT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student by James P. Stobaugh

Fantastic!  A must-read for every Christian college-bound student!

Is your child hoping to attend college in the near future?  Do you want to make sure he is prepared to write his SAT or ACT test?  Do you also want to shore up your child’s Christian faith before he pursues higher learning?  If so, then look no further than James P. Stobaugh’s SAT or ACT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student.

In the SAT or ACT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student, James P. Stobaugh has written a comprehensive program for mastering the SAT or ACT in the context of developing one’s spiritual maturity.  Although the books include practice in each of the necessary skills required for mastering the specific test, the focus of each guide is on working hard to grow one’s faith with the aim of becoming one of the next generation’s godly leaders.  As such, the books are as much about one’s spiritual journey as they are about getting into college.

Each book is very similar in content, although they do also have their differences.  Both include information about their specific test as well as a sample test day schedule, a free download for helping hone essay-writing skills, and instructions on how to use the particular guide.  Both also emphasize the importance of actively reading challenging literary works as the best possible preparation for writing the tests.  Interestingly, Stobaugh states that he has “found that the best SAT scores come from students who have serious, disciplined prayer and devotional lives.”  Although this seems paradoxical, this is something I can attest to from personal experience.

Since each book is geared toward a different test, each contains a different amount of lessons: 150 for the SAT and 50 for the ACT.  The SAT guide is intended to be used over the course of one, two, or three years.  The ACT guide is intended to be used over ten weeks or 50 days, preferably in grade 11.  The SAT takes more time to prepare for because it is an aptitude rather than a knowledge-based test.

The lessons in each book are similar in content, although they are laid out differently.  Both include daily devotions and scripture passages, with a sample devotional journal to help students focus their time.  Lessons also include vocabulary development, a reading journal for studying great literature, test-taking tips, and practice questions on math, grammar, vocabulary, critical thinking and reading.  The ACT also includes science questions since science is a component of the ACT test. Attention is paid to essay-writing skills in both volumes.  Answers are included for all questions.

The Appendices include vocabulary helps, a book list for each grade, a reading journal sample, and a devotional journal sample.  The ACT guide finishes with indexes for Greek and Latin morphemes.  The SAT guide includes suggested scriptures for prayer time (presented in the ACT guide as prayer points), test-taking strategies, a list of resources for developing critical thinking, information on the college admission process, an essay on the rise of secular universities, a sample transcript, and 50 sample college admission essays.

I cannot speak highly enough of these guides.  Not only do they prepare students for acing their college entrance tests, but they also help students focus on what is really important in life.  Students will consider what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) while also getting ample practice in the skills needed to succeed on their test.  Furthermore, if your student has already mastered the art of essay writing, each volume could easily be used as the spine for credits in Bible, English Literature, and English Composition.  I have not used these guides as of yet with my students, but I fully intend to do so before they graduate high school.  In fact, I can’t wait until we can get started!


These books were provided free, for review purposes, from Master Books. All opinions stated in this review are my own, and I was not required to post a positive review.


2 thoughts on “Review: SAT or ACT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student by James P. Stobaugh

    1. Hopefully I’ll have more to add once we fully start using them. Right now, we are just using the reading journal to log the children’s independent reading.

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