In Colossians 3:23-24, Paul writes, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” It is in this spirit that James Stobaugh has combined SAT studies with devotions that encourage spiritual growth in the latest edition of the SAT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student.
Dr. Stobaugh notes that a major factor in scoring higher in the SAT is reducing stress, and the best way to do this is through Bible study and memorization. Even so, he reminds students that scores have nothing to do with their worth in the eyes of God (p. 9). We don’t want to confuse doing our best with earning God’s love, which is an important point to make before beginning this course with your teens.
The lessons in the book contain devotions, reading and vocabulary help, math and verbal exercises, and test-taking strategies. The layout is very clean, with each lesson taking one to two pages. There is a nice-sized margin on every page for note taking; some margins include a tip, quote, or short story for inspiration. In one lesson titled, “Dare to Be Daniel,” students read about Daniel’s capture and subsequent excellence under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. After a paragraph devotion, they’re asked, “How can you prosper in Babylon without becoming Babylonian?” (p. 54). Students are expected to keep a devotional journal, and would take time to consider their answer. This meets two needs: a spiritual challenge and meditation, as well as practice for essay writing. The lesson continues with vocabulary review, a MindTrap logic puzzle, a critical reading passage and question, and a brief story from D. L. Moody’s life explaining character. This coursework could easily take 1 hour per lesson (longer if you count free reading time), and I wouldn’t suggest rushing your student through the lesson.
Along with the 150 lessons, the extras in the book are worth the purchase alone: 3-year, 2-year, and 1-year plans for preparing; typical SAT day schedule; active reading tips; vocabulary helps; a book list broken down by grade, with a paragraph explaining each book's importance; sample reading journal (students identify character, setting, theme, worldview, etc.); devotional journal template; sample transcripts; and 50 sample college admission essays. A free SAT essay workbook is also provided online to those who buy the book.
This is an excellent resource that not only prepares students for the SAT, but puts knowledge into proper perspective and importance next to spiritual growth. I recommend the SAT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student for high schoolers – the sooner the better – as well as their parents, who can learn alongside. – Stacy Oliver, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Getting ready for college includes performing well on the SAT. The SAT score helps determine acceptance into college and the acquisition of scholarships. In the new expanded edition of the SAT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student, Dr. James Stobaugh offers the Christian student a unique opportunity to be well prepared for the test. Also, students will focus on the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading, study, Scripture meditation and memorization, and prayer. A former SAT scorer, Stobaugh reports, “the best SAT scores come from students who have serious, disciplined prayer and devotional lives.” For this reason, the introduction to each lesson includes Scripture reading and a devotional journaling exercise.