Best SAT Prep Courses

Best SAT Prep Courses

The College Board’s SAT is a difficult exam that can have a major impact on your future as a college student. Because of this, many students planning on taking this test will look for educational resources that will better prepare them for the challenge. Unfortunately, there’s a major hurdle right out the gate for students planning for the SAT:

Finding the right SAT prep course can be the hardest part of the process.

With so many companies offering different methods, prices, and features, it can become very time consuming and intimidating to choose a single tutoring course. This becomes even tougher when trying to find a review program within your budget, as this can drastically limit your options.

Feel like giving up? Not so fast:

In order to help you and other students, I have created this list of the best SAT prep courses in 2018. After reviewing countless courses and companies, I’ve curated the best online SAT prep courses that can help you to score high and pass the exam!

Prep Expert SAT Course (Rank: #1)

The SAT prep courses offered by Prep Expert are the best options for students, hands down.

Prep Expert was featured on Shark Tank, a hit TV show where five ruthless business moguls fight for investment opportunities in promising companies. Mark Cuban, a businessman known for only working with companies of the highest quality, picked Prep Expert for investment. If Mark Cuban is working with a company, you know they’re the real deal.

Here’s what makes Prep Expert worth the hype as the best SAT prep resources for students:

Three different SAT courses are provided by this company that are designed to suit the needs of different students. The options are for a live in-person course, a live online course, and an on-demand online course. Out of these options, their most popular course is the live online one, which involves student taking classroom-style courses live on their computer.

All three styles of review courses are taught by 99th percentile instructors: the best in the business. Even the company’s founder, Shaan Patel, is highly qualified due to the fact that he achieved a perfect score on the SAT. With the combined brainpower of Shaan and his team of experts, these courses were designed with the highest possible quality. Furthermore, these tutors take the time to be available for each and every student; all their live classroom sessions allow students to ask them questions and clarifications about the standardized exam.

The live in-person courses offer around 60 hours of classroom time, in comparison to many other review courses offered by other companies that are only 18-25 hours in length. This substantial difference in curriculum length really allow Prep Expert’s instructors to provide more insight and depth into SAT problems, increasing students’ understanding of the material as well as their scores.

Prep Expert’s live course also features 4 proctored exams. This is a useful resource that allows students to acclimate to the exam environment and can help them determine the correct speed to advance through it.

Signing up for a Prep Expert course includes access to 5 books written by company founder Shaan Patel. These books can provide useful info from the perspective of someone who accomplished the incredibly difficult feat of reaching a perfect SAT score. These useful educational resources are free for students to read even after they finish their course.

Prep Expert also offers one of the best guarantees in the business. They claim to improve each student’s score by 200 points at the risk of a full refund, showing their willingness to put their money where their mouth is.

Despite all these fantastic features included in Prep Expert’s SAT programs, one drawback has left a few customers less than satisfied. If an issue arises that necessitates contacting customer support, it can take a long time before these problems are resolved. Aside from this, Prep Expert is a terrific resource at a fair price, getting our pick for the Best Online SAT Prep Course.

Veritas Prep SAT Course (Rank: #2)

Veritas Prep’s SAT review courses receive our pick for second best SAT prep resource for students. While it may not be as high of an accolade, this placement on our list is still an indication of high quality.

Keep reading to find out why?

In similar fashion to other prep course providers, Veritas offers the choice between in-person live classes, online live classes, and online on-demand materials. The instructors in Veritas’ classes have all scored within the 99th percentile or higher on the SAT, placing them quite literally in the top 1% of test takers. The intelligence and expertise needed to achieve such high marks means that all of these educators will be able to answer any questions and solve any problems that are raised by their students.

Ready for the best part?

Enrolled students have unlimited access to contact their instructors. That means you can email your instructor at any time, even outside normal class hours, to get help while practicing for the SAT. Instructors will also host live office hours online, allowing students to directly ask questions outside of normal class hours. This feature is exclusive to Veritas Prep, which helps it to stand out as one of the best online SAT prep courses around.

With 25 hours of classroom time instead of the industry standard 18, Veritas can go over more advanced concepts in greater detail to help increase students’ understanding of the SAT curriculum as well as their scores. While other prep programs are forced to only cover the basics, Veritas takes the time to ensure advanced students are not left waiting to get to the harder questions. Because of this, higher test scores are easily achieved by both newcomers to the SAT and repeat exam takers.

Veritas Prep’s review classes also include:

  1. 4 official College Board practice exams
  2. Unlimited access to online homework help
  3. 8 Veritas Prep lesson books
  4. One repeat of the entire course, free of charge

With so many appealing features, including some exclusives, you may be wondering: Why is this course only ranked second?

Veritas Prep isn’t ranked lower on our list due to any major flaws, simply that some of the features they offer aren’t as robust as the competition. For instance, despite having an above average 25 hours of classroom time, our number one pick blows it out of the water with more than double that amount. Similarly, the point increase guarantee offered by Veritas is less than the point increase guarantee offered by our best overall pick.

One aspect of this prep course that has left a bad impression on some takers is the pricing for one-on-one tutoring. Many students struggling with a specific section of the SAT find it very effective to turn to this method to help their test scores. Unfortunately, Veritas Prep doesn’t offer specialized tutoring packages like this, only offering very expensive long-term tutoring packages. For those who can afford it, this is still a fantastic resource; however, students on a budget will need to look elsewhere.

Kaplan SAT Prep Course (Rank: #3)

The Kaplan SAT prep course get our pick for third best. Kaplan is one of the market leaders when it comes to test preparation and they offer a variety of programs covering many different certifications. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that their review classes are among some of the best.

As is custom, Kaplan offers SAT preparation classes that are live in-person, live online, and on-demand online. The most popular option is their live online classes that require students  to attend a live classroom online at regularly scheduled times.

Since Kaplan is one of the largest test preparation companies in the world, they offer many different locations for in-person classes all over the United States. Students interested in taking an in-person classroom course for their SAT prep will likely prefer Kaplan over our #2 and #1 pick for this reason, especially if they live in the Midwest.

This is all well and good, but what’s the X-factor? What makes Kaplan so special?

The instructors that Kaplan offers are judged by their merit, much like how they would with any other test prep company. What’s unique about Kaplan, however, is that they also judge their instructors on their ability to meet the needs of each student as an individual. This greater emphasis on helpfulness and caring helps to make Kaplan’s classes more personal for each students, with the aim of motivating them for success.

This specialization continues when it comes to their SAT prep plan. Kaplan will personalize each student’s plan based on their individual strengths and weaknesses. This helps students to no longer waste time practicing subjects and concepts they already understand and instead cut to the chase by focusing on efficient ways to increase their score.

Something worth noting about Kaplan’s instructors is that they aren’t all 99th percentile scorers, unlike the top 2 choices on our list. Despite not having as high of accolades, Kaplan’s instructors focus on criteria and strategies that can’t be found anywhere else, making up for this supposed lack of merit in the eyes of most students.

Another aspect of their prep program that may be cause for concern is the fact that they only provide 18 hours of classroom time, which is much shorter than the top 2 choices on our list. To be fair, this is well within the industry standard; However, it does pale in comparison to the best SAT prep courses around.

Because of its many strong points and in spite of its few flaws, we rank Kaplan’s SAT preparation class offerings as the 3rd best overall and wholeheartedly recommend it to any student looking for a high-quality live classroom course.

Testive SAT Prep Course (Rank: #4)

Testive SAT Prep gets our top pick for the best on-demand online SAT prep course. (FYI, They also offer excellent ACT prep courses!)

Unlike other test preparation companies, Testive only specializes in one type of prep program: their on-demand online course. This single-minded focus allowed them to hone and refine their product to a mirror shine. This is clearly evident because their on-demand online preparation course is the best of its kind.

Want to know how? Here’s the inside scoop:

Testive’s online course is unique in that it also offers a weekly meeting with a test prep coach that helps to serve as a guide for their students on their way to test success. Most courses that aren’t in a live format achieve the same results as live courses because students receive much better motivation when they receive instant live feedback. This is a fact that is lost on most on-demand course providers, but not on Testive; their test prep coaches help to counteract this by essentially functioning as your own private tutor.

All of the coaches that serve as personal tutors in Testive’s online courses are 99th percentile SAT scorers, much like our picks for the best 2 overall prep courses. This means that they have an intimate knowledge of the course material and can answer all of a student’s questions about the exam by drawing from their personal experience.

In addition to highly qualified instructors, the technology Testive implements in their course is second-to-none. Two of the included features were developed at MIT, known as ‘smart questions’ and ‘score prediction.’ These features help students to gauge their progress and optimize their study time by focusing on the aspects they need the most assistance with. This adaptive technology offers incredible results by helping to raise a student’s score in a short period of time.

Testive’s on-demand online course format is a perfect choice for students that don’t have time in their schedule for weekly classes. Students have a list of activities and obligations that make constant demands on their time which can make extracurricular education difficult to pencil in. Testive understands this and designed their course accordingly so that each student can fit their SAT prep around their busy schedules.

The primary drawback of this review course is that no live or in-person options are available. Some students have a tougher time staying motivated without outside sources; for them, this course won’t be very effective. Fortunately, Testive helps to remedy this to a degree with their weekly coaching sessions.

Because of their advanced technology and unique weekly coaching sessions, we rank Testive SAT test prep as the best on-demand online SAT review course.

Testive is an online SAT/ACT tutoring company that combines technology with human teachers to help students work at the right pace and the right problems on their way to conquering these exams.  Testive’s efficient, flexible model is particularly good for time-strapped students.
Join Testive co-founder Tom Rose, graduate of Duke and MIT, for a free webinar that answers parent questions about the SAT/ACT!  Join Now.

Magoosh SAT Prep Course (Rank: #5)

Magoosh’s SAT test prep course gets our pick for the best budget SAT prep option. Much like Testive, Magoosh only offers their course in an on-demand online format that allows students to study whenever they have time because they aren’t constrained to a set class schedule.

Here are some other reasons why it makes the cut:

Magoosh defines itself from other programs by having a simple design and plenty of content. A student is typically faced with many tasks that demand their time and attention so their time can be limited. Magoosh recognizes this fact and designed their course so that students can get down to business right when they sit down. With plenty of content in a streamlined package, the average student can use this study resource for several months without running out of practice questions.

However, the one aspect of Magoosh’s course that is most pertinent to this ranking is its competitively low price. A student can unlock access to all of their content for 6 months for only $99: less than 20% of the cost of most major test review companies! While the reduced price for this course does come at the cost of some extra features, the money saved can go toward other educational resources such as tutoring sessions or exam fees.

Magoosh’s SAT prep course also includes:

  1. Over 140 video lessons
  2. Over 400 practice questions
  3. Study schedules to use to map out your study time
  4. A score increase guarantee

The one major downside of Magoosh is the fact that enrolled students don’t receive any personalized interactive guidance from any coaches or instructors. This guidance is often highly sought after by certain students because it can help motivate them. Since Magoosh’s test prep materials are only offered on-demand, there are unfortunately no live class options either.

Ultimately, the ultra-low price and effective barebones design of Magoosh SAT test prep causes it to get our pick for the best budget review class for the SAT.

Our Suggestions

Looking for some more advice on a rock-solid SAT study plan?

Here are some additional suggestions to help you find the most cost effective SAT study plan to fulfill your collegiate aspirations. With so many different options and formats to pick from, it can be somewhat difficult to decide even with all the information contained in this guide. For the completely lost, we suggest that you:

  • Take the Prep Expert SAT course if you are looking for the best overall live online course. If you are looking for a live in-person course and Prep Expert classes are not offered in your area, the next best option would be either Veritas or Kaplan, depending on which is offered in a more convenient location for you.
  • Time-strapped students may find it difficult to find time for a live course with required time slots. In this case an on-demand style prep course from Testive would be the best choice since they offer the best on-demand prep course around.
  • If you are looking for a decent SAT prep course on a tight budget, Magoosh would be your best choice.

Hopefully this information helps you to achieve your dreams of scoring high on the SAT. Keep in mind that even with the best SAT prep program, the key difference between passing and failing is your own determination and desire to succeed.

Now get out there and hit those books!


Best SAT Prep Courses
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