Sometimes it seems as if companies are lined up outside your door offering online prep courses for the SAT. Which one is best? There’s no definitive answer. It depends on, among other things, the student’s learning style and motivation, the amount of time until test day and the cost. If you’re looking for an online program, these are the seven options most worth considering.
Kaplan has been around for a long time and has traditionally been known for its lecture-based classroom training. In the online world, Kaplan offers everything from live online classes to short personalized quizzes. Base prices are high and optional additions can make them higher.
- The live online option includes 18 hours of live instructions plus 30 hours of elective instruction and 40 hours of on-demand lessons. Also includes eight practice tests and SAT prep books. Starts at $899.
- The self-paced course offers 40 hours of recorded instruction. Also 30 of elective instruction and the eight tests. From $299.
- College Prep Pass is less structured and allows you the focus where you want. Includes streamed lessons, quizzes, tests and essay feedback. You can upgrade the experience by adding an online coach. From $149/month.
- All courses include Kaplan’s Qbank personalized quizzes. These are also available a la carte starting at $39.
- 1,000+ practice questions.
- Guarantees a higher score, but by no specific number of points.
- Mobile app available.
- Free consultation to get started.
Princeton’s live classes are offered both in classrooms and online. There is also a self-directed option.
- The SAT Ultimate Classroom provides 18 hours of virtual classroom plus access to additional sessions. Full-length and single-session practice tests. Tailored homework assignments and study plans. Interactive goal setting and tracking. $799, sometimes discounted to $674.
- Self Paced includes 280+ video lessons, 377 online drills and 3,200+ practice questions. Personalized lesson plan based on tests and drills. $299 sometimes discounted to $249.
- Plans include preparation for ACT and PSAT.
- Higher score refund guarantee, plus free repeat of a course if you’re not satisfied the first time.
- Mobile app available.
- Free practice test.
Magoosh is a leader in flexible low-cost options. Their offerings are self-paced rather than live online and are suited for students who are busy and those who like to set their own study schedules. They charge by the month for course access with discounts for 3-month and year-long subscriptions.
- $99 for a month of access, $159 for three months, $179 for a full year.
- 200+ video lessons, 1500+ practice questions with video explanations and three practice tests.
- Study schedules and customized practice sessions.
- Email assistance from tutors.
- SAT score predicted based on practice tests.
- Guaranteed to improve score by 100 points.
- Rewards program allows students to earn gift cards for spending study time.
- Mobile app available.
- Seven day free trial.
PrepScholar’s focus is on interactive online lessons in small groups. They also offer self-directed access to their online materials. It’s pricey but for some students the engaging lessons and the impressive score improvement guarantee make it the right choice.
- Program starts with a diagnostic test that builds a program appropriate to the student’s readiness. It recommends step-by-step what to study and when to take practice tests.
- PrepScholar classes are taught to groups of no more than nine students in an online classroom. Students can ask questions in real time. A total of nine hours of class instruction. Personalized homework assignments. $895.
- Add individual tutoring hours to the online class option. $995.
- Self-paced option provides access all materials, which include 210+ hours of online content, 700+ problem-solving videos, 98 skills lessons and six practice tests. $397 for a full year.
- 7,100+ practice questions, more than any of the others.
- Guaranteed to improve performance by 160 points
- Mobile app not available.
- Free consultation and five day free trial.
Testive has an approach that is more like a tutoring relationship than a classroom. Each student is assigned a personal coach who does not actually teach content but who oversees their program and provides ongoing guidance. The program is expensive, time-consuming and thorough with full family involvement.
- Begins by setting expectations with the family, setting, and personalizing a program.
- Video chats, daily assignments and weekly one-on-one video coaching sessions.
- Coach and parents have full access to student work. Coaches regularly communicate with parents.
- Email and phone support.
- 50 hours of video and 3,000+ practice questions.
- Program can run four to five months at $399/month.
- Coaching Plus program offers even more coach support plus two video chat sessions each week. $599/month.
- A compressed Bootcamp version runs four to six weeks with twice-weekly coach meetings. $799 one time cost.
- Score improvement gurantee but no specific number.
- No mobile app available.
- Get started with a free consultation.
This program is the opposite of the high-cost, high-touch approach. It’s free! Khan Academy is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit specializing in K-12 and early college tutoring. Their mission is to “provide a free, world-class education to everyone, everywhere.” One of its offerings is an SAT prep course.
- Begins with diagnostic quizzes and a customized program.
- Videos, lessons and practice questions. Videos star founder and CEO Sal Kahn working through the questions and problems, though you don’t see his face.
- No video chat or other one-on-one instructor support. There is, however, continual feedback on your performance.
- Thousands of practice questions.
- Eight full-length tests developed as partners with College Board.
- Claim an average 115 point increase from PSAT to SAT.
- Cost = $0.00. However, tax-deductible contributions are welcome.
No one can accuse Prep Expert of lacking confidence in their ability to deliver SAT preparation. They guarantee a 200 point score increase and claim their founder, back in his SAT days, improved his own score from mediocre to perfect by using the strategies they teach. They offer self-paced and live online training, but the 200 point guarantee applies to the live classes only.
- SAT Flagship Course meets for six weeks, with two 3-hour sessions and a 4-hour exam each week. Almost identical to their physical classroom course. Taught by instructors who had high SAT scores. Students can ask questions via chat. 200 point guarantee. $1099 often reduced to $899.
- SAT Fast Track course is the Flagship course in half the time, the same number of hours in three weeks. 100 point guarantee. $1099 often reduced to $899.
- Self-paced video, non-interactive. Watch at your own speed. No point gurantee. $799 often reduced to $599.
- Homework and practice tests.
- Classes can be as large as 40+ students.
- Focus is on the classroom training with few additional materials. No customization of training for individual students.
- Offers a free class for students and parents with 10 tips on how to raise your score.
One of these seven options is just the ticket for your student. Take advantage of the free consultations and trials to zero in on the online coursee that fits your learning style, schedule and budget