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New App Brings Multiplayer Duels to the World of SAT/ACT Prep

In play2prep, students earn points by challenging each other with the kinds of questions they'll face on tests.

A new mobile app has found a way to turn the tedium of test preparation into a game-based learning challenge.

Play2prep, available on Android and iOS, is aimed at teen SAT and ACT test takers who find themselves isolated and bored when cramming for the exams. By inviting friends to practice questions through duels, students can become more engaged in the learning process.

“Before this app, kids would basically grind on 20 questions alone in a room with a book. It was a solitary, miserable experience,” says Kenny Nova, the app’s creator. “We wanted to transform that.”

Nova says play2prep was designed to introduce fresh ideas in the ACT and SAT testing market. By tapping into their network of friends, kids can have multiplayer interactions while staying studious.

Play2prep is one example of how game-based learning is booming. Industry analysts peg the industry at $1.5 billion and climbing, according to VentureBeat. As parents and teachers alike debate the merits of games, designers are dreaming up ways to blend education with fun. Nova’s creation is among the first that brings that philosophy to the world of ACT and SAT preparation.

The app delivers five free questions each day based on testing materials provided by McGraw-Hill and other publishers. Each question is similar to those that students will face on their actual tests.

Using optional power-ups, students can narrow the results of a multiple-choice question, extend their timer or get a hint on how to answer. Results are tracked so that students can identify which areas they need more practice in.

In multiplayer mode, students can challenge their friends with questions they pick from a lineup. Play2prep automatically narrows this range of questions to those that a student needs to practice. Students then answer the questions in turn-based fashion, scoring points between rounds until a winner is declared after 25 rounds.

The challenge-based structure adds a competitive edge to studying that kids dive right into, Nova said.

“There’s nothing better than four kids throwing questions around in a room and answering them while trash-talking with each other,” Nova said. “It’s a great way to practice.”

Play2prep can be downloaded for free on Android devices through Google Play or on iOS through the iTunes App Store.

May 08 2014

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