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Library Happenings – College prep sources available (Feb. 3, 2016 issue)

For teens who are looking ahead to college, the prospect of a new SAT coming March 5 may be daunting. The test will return to its former 1600-point scale, the essay portion will be optional and scored separately, and some of the more obscure vocabulary will, happily, be retired in favor of words you are likely to use again. Best of all, there will not be a penalty for incorrect answers, so guess if you don’t know! (I’m sure they all will be educated guesses, but if you have no clue, you might choose a single letter and stick with it.) These may sound like positive changes, but there is still the perceived danger of the unknown.
Fortunately, there are resources in TEL, the Tennessee Electronic Library, to help you prepare for the new test. The comprehensive “Introduction to the 2016 SAT” tutorial would be a very good place to start. There also is a tutorial and four practice exams for each of the four test sections: reading, writing and language, math and the essay. The practice tests are available now and the tutorials will debut in late March.
If the ACT is your preferred college entrance exam, TEL can still help you. Sixteen newly revised practice tests have been added to prepare students for the latest official specifications. These cover the four test fields of reading, English, science and math. TEL also offers Advanced Placement (AP) practice exams in ten subjects.
How can you take advantage of these resources? The Tennessee Electronic Library is free and available to all Tennessee residents at http://tntel.tnsos.org/. Click on the “Test Prep” tile and then go to the “College Preparation Center.” Register for your free account and track your progress as you get ready for the exam. Good luck!
New Stuff
The audiobooks we ordered in December are still trickling in. Among the titles we chose are some that may appeal to the entire family. The “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the “Harry Potter” novels and six “39 Clues” books are perfectly suited to long car rides. Any one of them should dramatically cut down the number of times you hear “Are we there yet?” They are being cataloged and processed as quickly as possible, so go ahead and plan that road trip.
Our spotlight book this week is “NYPD Red 4” by James Patterson and Marshall Karp. A starlet is dead on the red carpet at a movie premiere and the millions in loaned jewels that she was wearing are gone. How can there be a throng of eyewitnesses to such a crime and there not be a suspect? And what about all those paparazzi? As you would expect, Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald and NYPD Red are on the case.