Updated August 11, 2020
In the world of test prep, there are a few really big names—companies that have been around for decades and have helped millions of students optimize their standardized test scores. Then, there are startup companies that offer a unique angle to their test services in order to get their foot in the door. Finally, there are the prep companies like PrepScholar, which sit right in the middle.
PrepScholar is a young company that has a great team of instructors, cutting edge test prep features, and a wealth of prep material that is both dependable and state-of-the-art. They employ all these features in each of their test prep courses, including their ACT online prep, to accomplish their specific goal: to provide a fresh and substantial alternative to other test prep companies and guarantee a fantastic score increase on your exam.
When compared to other test prep options, PrepScholar is a great choice for students looking for effective test prep with a lot of material and proven results, despite its lacking some other common prep features. Keep reading to see everything you need to know about PrepScholar ACT, from its material to its format and everything in between.
Please note PrepScholar is one of our affiliate brands, and as such we receive a small commission at no cost to you if you choose to purchase this prep course. Only use our links if you find this review helpful.
1. Personalized Platform
In all their educational programs, PrepScholar puts a huge emphasis on personalized content, and their ACT prep course is no exception. PrepScholar utilizes an algorithm they call CustomPrep, which continually adapts to your progress as you make your way through the course. Their courses are divided up into text lessons, quizzes, review, and finally practice tests. During your online quizzes, the CustomPrep algorithm measures which questions you get wrong and which questions you get right, and then provides new assessments that adapt to the difficulty level you need.
This doesn’t just apply to the major sections of the ACT—English, Math, Reading, and Science—but actually applies on a subsection basis. Struggling to calculate the geometry of a circle? You’ll get easier questions relating to that topic until you’ve mastered it. Doing well with punctuation in complex sentences? You’ll get the hardest punctuation questions PrepScholar has in their database. By using this technology, PrepScholar makes sure their ACT students are never going over content they’re already comfortable with, nor are they getting thrown into the deep end with concepts they struggle on.
2. Great Guarantees
Test prep companies often employ guarantees to show off how confident they are in their product. Many of these are higher score guarantees, where if you don’t see a score improvement on a test after you’ve taken the course, you’ll get your money back in full. However, most higher score guarantees are pretty vague—score only one point higher on your test and you won’t be able to get a refund, even if that score improvement was less than you hoped for. PrepScholar, on the other hand, offers a best-in-its-class 4+ point improvement guarantee for your ACT score (only two other courses have this guarantee: Magoosh ACT and Prep Expert ACT). Four points may not seem like much, but let’s put that amount in context:
That 4-point improvement can be the difference between scoring in the bottom 30% and the top 30% of ACT students.
That’s a big deal. Guarantees this strong do come with certain requirements, though, so be sure to look through PrepScholar’s guarantee policy to see how you can qualify.
3. Multiple Course Options
Students who want to study on their own can use the Complete ACT Online Prep course, which allows you the most schedule customization of any option, though the CustomPrep algorithm will determine which lessons you’ll take on as you progress. If you’re looking for a classroom experience, you can get 9 hours of time with an expert instructor and a small group of 9 students using the PrepScholar Classes package. For those who need more individual guidance, there’s also the Complete + Tutoring package, which includes up to 50 hours of tutoring plus all the material from their self-paced ACT course.
However, PrepScholar goes a step further than most companies by offering 2 more course packages: a self-paced plan with 2 whole years of access(!) and an SAT + ACT package that lets you study for both tests at the same time. This amount of variety isn’t all that common for ACT prep, so it’s great that PrepScholar provides courses for every learning style.
Out of all the ACT prep courses we’ve reviewed, PrepScholar’s platform is one of the best when it comes to providing its users with essential info. Their web dashboard is constantly communicating with students about where they are in their studying and where they need to go. Beyond that, however, PrepScholar does a great job of updating students’ parents as well.
Each week, both the student and their parents receive an email update about the student’s progress, including which lessons the student completed, which skills the student has been improving, and even the exact amount of time that the student has spent on PrepScholar that week (good luck slacking off).
5. Access Period
Studying for the ACT will take a different amount of time for each student. So, good test prep companies will allow students a lot of flexibility when it comes to their test course; some offer 3 months of access, monthly subscription plans, or even half a year of online access to make sure that a student can study as much as they need to.
With PrepScholar, though, you get the best access period available today: 1 whole year of course access, plus an additional year if you don’t see a score improvement and want to retake your course.
With this access period, students could take the ACT several times throughout the duration of their course, giving you plenty of opportunity to retry the exam until you get the exact score you need. There are lots of ACT online courses out there, but this one is among the best when it comes to the amount of access provided to students. If you know a great access period is high on your priority list, other ACT prep options you should check out include Magoosh ACT and Prep Expert ACT.
6. Top 1% Instructors
PrepScholar boasts the most qualified ACT instructors in the industry, and they don’t make that claim lightly. Every instructor on their staff scored within at least the 99th percentile of ACT scorers, meaning that 99% of everyone who took the test scored below PrepScholar’s staff. They’re the best of the best.
Some of the other ACT prep programs we’ve found claim a similar level of expertise; their instructors may score in the top 10 percent, for example. Some programs, on the other hand, don’t have any specific percentile score requirement when they hire instructors. These instructors are the ones writing lessons, designing quizzes, and explaining practice questions, so it’s great to know that when you study with PrepScholar’s material, you’re learning from the best in the business.
7. Lots of Content
Having a variety of practice questions and lesson material is essential for successful ACT preparation. The more material you have, the less time you’ll spend stuck on tough concepts that are only explained one way or on questions that you already understand.
If you go with PrepScholar’s online ACT course, you’ll get access to over 2,400 practice questions complete with in-depth explanations, one of the highest amounts out of the ACT courses we’ve reviewed. You’ll also be able to take up to 5 full-length practice ACT tests, which is more than enough to familiarize you with the timing and difficulty of the actual exam, something practice questions alone can’t really accomplish.
With features like a top-tier staff of instructors, a great amount of practice questions, and a personalized ACT prep curriculum, it’s no surprise that PrepScholar is fairly expensive: your PrepScholar ACT package will cost $397 total. When compared to cheaper comprehensive courses like Magoosh ACT and The Princeton Review ACT, this price is a bit high. However, this certainly isn’t the highest price that we’ve seen, as other top-ranked ACT prep courses can cost as much as $499 for 6 months of course access, or even $399 for a single month.
Although there are other courses that offer similar access periods for a bit less, PrepScholar’s features could make it worth the cost for you. For $397, you’ll get all the features we’ve mentioned above plus a strong 4-point score improvement guarantee, showing that though the price may be steep, it brings great results.
2. No Mobile App
PrepScholar’s online dashboard is up-to-date and very user-friendly, but one thing keeping their platform from being perfect is their lack of a mobile app. Today’s students have busy schedules and may often find themselves wanting to review without sitting down at a desktop computer. Sadly, PrepScholar has no mobile app, but that doesn’t mean studying on your phone is completely impossible. Their website adapts fairly well to mobile formats, so you can still take quizzes and review lessons wherever is most comfortable for you; the experience just might not be as seamless as you’ll find with other mobile-friendly ACT programs, such as Magoosh.
The most mobile-friendly courses often use videos to explain concepts, or even use interactive video lessons that let you answer questions as you learn. Instead of using video or audio material, PrepScholar relies on text for your instruction, another thing that makes it a little harder to use on a smaller screen. Still, some students will be grateful for the ability to jump around from paragraph to paragraph and reread sentences with ease, so this is more a matter of preference.
PrepScholar aims to provide you with a ton of highly-personalized ACT content that uses technology to respond to you as you learn. Students using PrepScholar get thousands of practice questions, dozens of adaptive quizzes, and accurate full-length practice tests which are all guaranteed to raise your scoring potential; all of this makes PrepScholar a really good option, though its pricing and mobile optimization may leave something to be desired for certain students.
In the ACT prep world, some companies are larger and older, while others are just getting started, but PrepScholar meets you in the middle with their time-tested material and unique, technologically-advanced course personalization. If you want results, don’t hesitate to use PrepScholar’s ACT prep.
If you aren’t convinced that PrepScholar is the best option for you, there are still several other great ACT prep courses out there that we’ve reviewed. Check out our comparison of their features , schedules, and prices to see which will best fit your needs.