PrepScholar is unique in that it isn’t one of the largest and oldest companies of the test prep world, but it also isn’t one of the newest—instead, it’s a company that sits in the middle. Founded by two perfect SAT scorers, PrepScholar has grown into an effective, widely-used test prep service that has a unique goal: to provide SAT students with personalized instruction that breaks the mold of one-size-fits-all courses and guarantees SAT score results.
There are tons of features that PrepScholar employs to accomplish this: their instructors are top-notch, their courses use an adaptive algorithm, and every course comes with a stellar guarantee, to name a few. On the other hand, there are a few things that may keep PrepScholar from fitting your SAT studying needs just right, but in our eyes they’re a solid choice for just about any SAT student today. Here, we break down exactly what makes PrepScholar’s online SAT course both effective and unique when compared to the top SAT prep programs out there, one that can easily take your SAT preparation to the next level and give you high score results.
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. Course Personalization
No matter which PrepScholar course you might need, your studying experience will always be catered specifically to your needs, schedule, and abilities. This sort of personalization is one of PrepScholar’s greatest strengths, accomplished thanks to an algorithm they call CustomPrep. When you first log in to your SAT PrepScholar course, you’ll take a diagnostic SAT practice test. The CustomPrep algorithm then takes your answers and determines how comfortable you are with dozens of niche concepts. By recording your ability on such a detailed level, the CustomPrep algorithm can then provide you with the exact material that you need from PrepScholar’s extensive database.
You’ll receive new lessons to complete each week, with questions that get progressively more difficult according to your skill level. This amount of personalization isn’t easy to come by, as most courses will simply provide you with all the material outright, which can result in you needing to repeat concepts you already know or concepts that are way out of your comfort zone. Instead, PrepScholar pushes you just enough to help you learn effectively using the material you need the most.
2. Amount of Content
Signing up for an SAT prep course generally gets you access to thousands of questions, but in this area, PrepScholar’s SAT course blows other courses out of the park.
They give you over 7,100 practice SAT questions to complete online, the highest amount of practice questions we’ve seen in any SAT prep course.
Practice questions, and their explanations, are one of the most important parts of test prep, and having a wide variety of stuff to practice with is never a bad thing. In all seriousness, you probably won’t see all 7,000+ of these questions while you’re studying, but the important thing here is that you’ll never run out of material to go over. If you are really struggling with a concept, you’ll be able to review it as much as you need without the information becoming stale—the same goes for concepts that you’re familiar with, as it’s much more interesting to engage with new material that you’re comfortable with than to rehash stuff that you already get and have already seen.
3. Course Formats
Today’s test prep courses often come in a few different formats, which can be self-paced, held through live online classes, or held in the form of private tutoring sessions; test prep companies sometimes focus on providing one of these formats for all their courses. For example: Magoosh SAT only offers self-paced online courses, while Testive’s SAT products come in the form of a tutoring service. Rather than focus on one format or another, PrepScholar boasts one of the best selections of course options available.
If you prefer to study on your own, their Complete SAT Online Prep course allows you to tackle information according to your own customizable schedule (though the lessons you learn will be selected based on the CustomPrep algorithm). If you prefer to have a classroom experience, their PrepScholar Classes package gives you 9 hours of dedicated classroom time with an expert instructor as part of a small group of 9 students. You can also get their Complete + Tutoring package, which includes up to 50 hours of tutoring (plus all their self-paced material) for those who are looking for individual guidance.
Most companies would stop there, but PrepScholar goes further with two more packages: a two-year self paced package and an SAT + ACT package, so you can study both exams without paying full price for both courses. That’s 5 options in total, plenty more than you’ll find with most other SAT prep services.
Test prep programs often include a guarantee that promises a score increase. If you’ve taken an exam already and don’t get a higher score after taking a course with one of these guarantees, you’ll get all your money back, or even have the option to retake the course entirely.
These higher score guarantees are often vague, though, meaning that you could score only one point higher after a course and not be eligible for the guarantee. The best prep guarantees are more specific than that, and PrepScholar has one.
With PrepScholar SAT, you’re guaranteed to score 160 points higher on the SAT after their course; that could be the difference between scoring in the top 25% of test-takers and the bottom 50%.
A score improvement guarantee this strong is pretty rare (other SAT courses with similar guarantees come from Magoosh, Prep Expert, and The Princeton Review), and it speaks for itself. With PrepScholar, you’re guaranteed to see massive score increases that could drastically improve your chances of getting into a certain college, a feature that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
5. Long Access Period
Every student prepares for exams differently, but it’s always better to have more study time than not enough. The top SAT prep courses have lots of access time built in to allow students months to prepare and take the test—some even have 3 or 6 months of access, which is enough to let you prepare for and take the test a few times. With PrepScholar, however, you’re getting the best access period on the market: 1 whole year, plus an additional year to retake the course if somehow your score doesn’t improve.
A year is enough time to take the SAT several times over, all while you have access to quality studying material that you can review at your leisure—their 2 year access package, the Complete Premium package, takes that to the next level. Access periods like these are nearly unheard of when it comes to test prep, so if you know you need a prep course but aren’t sure when you’ll have the time to use it, go with PrepScholar—you’ll basically have all the time in the world.
6. Best Instructors
Few companies can say that they have the best staff in the business, and even fewer companies can prove it. PrepScholar, on the other hand, has only employed the best of the best for their team of SAT instructors, and their SAT scores make it clear that each of them has earned that title.
All the instructors at PrepScholar scored within the top 1% of SAT scorers at least, and many of them have even received perfect SAT scores. These instructors are the ones who design your SAT lessons, questions, and overall curriculum, so it’s critically important that the people explaining such complex concepts really know what they’re talking about. When you read through PrepScholar’s text explanations or watch their SAT prep videos, it’s clear that they know their way around the exam. However, it’s also clear that they know how to teach it, which is a different skill set entirely. With PrepScholar SAT, you know you’re in good hands.
7. Progress Reports
The last thing that makes PrepScholar unique is their progress reports; they’re one of the best out there when it comes to supplying students, and their parents, with up-to-date information. One of the most essential parts of the learning progress is seeing where you’ve come from and knowing where you still need to improve, so the level of detail that PrepScholar provides is far more important than it may seem at first. The more you know, the more you can target your preparation.
Every week, students and parents both receive a detailed email with info on how much progress the student has made through the course. These updates are filled with statistics recorded by PrepScholar’s algorithm, so you can see the exact areas that you’ve been improving most in, and what areas need the most work. Parents can even see exactly how much time their student has spent on PrepScholar each week, which makes it pretty difficult for students to slack off.
1. Lacks Mobile App
Students today have busy lives outside of their schoolwork, and many test prep programs will adapt to this by providing mobile-optimized versions of their courses through apps. That way, students can watch videos and work on quizzes with ease, never wasting time struggling to read tiny text on a screen or to change their video settings to make watching lessons more effective.
PrepScholar lacks a dedicated mobile app, but this isn’t the end of the world. Their website still adapts fairly well to mobile platforms, so you’re still able to take quizzes, watch lessons, and review your progress no matter where you are. However, the experience just won’t be as seamless as it might be with other courses, so if you know that you’ll often be far away from a computer when you have the time to prep, this is definitely something you should consider.
As with all products, better features usually result in a higher price. PrepScholar offers some of the best features out there for their online SAT service—you get top-quality instructors, the largest bank of practice questions available, plus an incredible score improvement guarantee. For their cheapest SAT package, you’ll be paying $397, which is definitely on the higher end when compared to other highly-ranked SAT courses like Magoosh SAT and The Princeton Review SAT.
Even though it’s relatively pricey, PrepScholar is far from the most expensive SAT course out there, and their price does account for some truly unique features. While you can get courses for cheaper, those courses often come with shorter access periods or weaker improvement guarantees, and all of them come with less material when it comes to SAT practice questions.
PrepScholar SAT is expensive, but as we see it, the value that you get for this course could be worth the cost depending on what you’re looking for, as some of the features they include simply can’t be found with other courses, and may be exactly what brings your score to your target level.
For the average student, PrepScholar is a solid SAT prep option—though they are expensive, they include plenty of cutting-edge features like an adaptive algorithm, top-scoring instructors, and a strong score guarantee that really help them to stand apart from among the best SAT courses out there.
If you use PrepScholar SAT, you’re guaranteed to see a vastly better SAT score than you would get without it, and you’ll also be learning in a way that’s custom tailored to your specific studying goals.
If you know PrepScholar SAT just isn’t right for you, check out our comparison article of the top SAT programs today. There, you can see how they stack up against each other in price and course features; we’re sure you’ll find something that fits you best.