Why the SoFlo Tutors platform of video explanations is 10x better than other explanations
SoFlo launched a platform to host free SAT video explanations to almost every question and I’m going to tell you what I love about this content by first telling you what I don’t love about most other SAT video content out there.
My grievances with other SAT video content
- Most everything is poorly organized and hard to search. Either the video literally won’t exist for the question you want, or you’ll have to skip around through an hour long video to find the specific question you need.
- Most explanations are unpolished. They tend to be some person live-streaming themselves taking the entire test, which makes for annoying excess reading-time where the instructor says “uhhh hmmm” as they process the question.
- Most of the cleaner searchable content is stuck behind high pay walls. You don’t even know what you’re getting before you’re shoving your mom’s credit card details into their blurb box, then getting yelled at a month later for the weekly charges she’s suddenly getting.
- Most people making the videos talk like they’re held at gunpoint. They look like they’d rather be anywhere else on earth. As a student I remember thinking that studying was already bad enough as is.
Why our videos are better
Okay, now you’re probably wondering, “Is this the part where you say that your videos solve all this and are absolutely perfect?”. The answer is yes!
The reason I believe in our product is because we set out with the goal of avoiding these exact pitfalls and making something fresher. Here’s what that looks like.
|What Soflo has||How we have that|
|Clear Organization||How about a searchable video library of over 2,000 videos and every individual question linked? You don’t need to jump around a giant video to find what you need. Just go to the question you got wrong and boom. It’s even got searchable keywords.|
|Polished Visuals||We didn’t want the videos to be boring blocks of text or a tutor sitting behind a desk verbal explaining, so we have our video creators doing highlighting and writing on iPads to visualize their work. Plus they also have their beautiful faces shown throughout!|
|Free||We’re not really sure how all this great content is free to be honest. Economy?|
|People who engage||We’re not just here to crank out videos like robots! We care about that family-owned feeling. All our video makers are also tutors, and know how to make content easily referenceable and transferable for study purposes.|
How we actually did it
The Sistine Chapel was not painted in a day. Our videos, much like the works of Michelangelo, went through the same process. Below we’ll take a look at some of the choices we made along the way.
The choices we made
- Length of Videos: This was a hard one to settle on. Videos need to be thorough, but not boring. If a certain SAT question lends itself to more general advice (like learning the SoFlo method for vocab questions), then our tutors will take the time to give some background on the core concept behind the problem or testing strategy. We imagine that most of the students watching these videos were self studying and didn’t want to be bored with excess fluff. In the end we settled for videos that were 2-4 minutes long.
- Making Questions Searchable: Okay, this was genuinely a hard nut to crack. Many SAT questions, especially on the reading and writing section, are virtually the same asking “what lines best supports the answer in question 7”. So we started fully transcribing out questions AND answers so a random student searching on reddit could find the answer explanation content more easily. We didn’t want students to have to search for M’ay 2017 Reading Section Question 4’. Instead by Googling the answer choices or question text students will be able to pull up the exact question they are looking for.
- How to Get Out Our Content: We knew that what we were creating is high quality video content, but we weren’t exactly sure how to get it to a broader audience. We made it searchable, we made it expansive, and we made it highly engaging. More importantly we made it free on a reliable and modern tech platform. We’re hoping those things will attract students looking for self-study help or for a student receiving tutoring who wants explanatory help on a practice sheet.
Some of the nitpicks that we will be improving on
- One potential issue is that not all of the tests are fully complete. There still a few sections without answers. We are working to fully answer every single question, but in the meantime have uploaded the thousands of explanations we have already recorded.
- SoFlo has thousands of practice tests answered including explanations for the 10 official SAT practice tests that are still in use. However we also have explanations to less popular exams like the “2017 May SAT”, so content like that won’t really be useful as most students aren’t studying the entirety of SAT content before they take their tests. They’re focused mostly on going through the 10 official practice tests.
- Unfortunately, when you click on a question, there is no clear indication before you get started of what the right answer is, so you must watch the video to check your answers. This is less of a tool to check answers and more of a tool to understand mistakes.
- It might look nicer if the “next question” button wasn’t all the way at the bottom of the giant text transcript and is instead made more clear or put higher up.
- On the note of video transcript, I’m not sure if it’s particularly useful or looks nice to have the giant block of text be right below the video, since it looks a bit harsh and also contains a lot of confusing grammar errors within it due to the robot that transcribes it.
- Only some of the videos have “answer choices” listed right now as we are still transcribing ever SAT test.
- There’s not a clear search bar if someone is looking for key words from a question or from answers. Students are expected to search with Google.
|What Tests We Have||What Sections We Have|
|Official SAT Practice Test 1||Every Section|
|Official SAT Practice Test 3||Every Section|
|Official SAT Practice Test 4||Every Section|
|Official SAT Practice Test 6||Reading, Math (no-calc), Math (calc)|
|Official SAT Practice Test 7||Reading, Writing, Math (no-calc)|
|Official SAT Practice Test 8||Every Section|
|Official SAT Practice Test 9||Math (no calc), Math (calc)|
|Official SAT Practice Test 10||Reading, Math (calc)|
|2021 March SAT||Reading|
|2021 May International||Reading, Writing|
|2020 March SAT||Every Section|
|2020 October SAT||Every Section|
|2020 December SAT||Reading, Math (no calc)|
|2019 March SAT||Every Section|
|2019 May SAT||Every Section|
|2019 October SAT||Every Section|
|2019 April SAT||Every Section|
|2018 May SAT||Every Section|
|2018 April SAT||Reading, Writing, Math (no calc)|
|2018 March SAT||Every Section|
|2017 April SAT||Reading, Writing, Math (no calc)|
|2017 October SAT||Math (no calc)|
|2017 May SAT||Every Section|
Where to see more from us
Here’s a link to these video explanations so you can try them out on your own!
If this content isn’t what you’re looking for in your SAT prep resources, no hard feelings! But we think that anyone who gives it a try will find that a free, organized video collection of high quality content will be useful for anyone trying to turn their mistakes into learning opportunities.
About The Author
I’m Adam Shlomi the founder of SoFlo SAT Tutoring. I went to Georgetown University, scored a 1570/1600 on the SAT, and now SoFlo offers online SAT/ACT Prep to students around the world and has 100 tutors on our team. However, when I founded SoFlo a little more than three years ago I was bedridden recovering from ankle surgery with doctors saying I may never walk again.