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The SAT is a standardized exam and is an important part of the college admissions process. Many US universities and colleges use SAT scores as a means of assessing a student's preparation for higher education.
Recently, the use of SAT scores in college applications has been hotly debated, with some critics arguing that the test should be eliminated from the college admissions process entirely.
However, many admission offices in top-ranked US colleges and universities strongly believe that SAT scores are still a good measure of an applicant's potential to overcome the academic rigors of higher education.
And most of these admission offices argue that SAT scores allow them to confidently and easily predict a student's ability to succeed at their universities.
Thus, the higher your child's SAT score is, the better the chance that your child will not only get accepted to their dream school but they could also be considered for merit-based scholarships.
And the tried and tested way for your child to obtain a high SAT score is by enrolling your child in an SAT prep course.
However, there are many SAT prep courses out there, and it might all seem overwhelming figuring out which to choose.
To help you make the best purchasing decision, we have personally purchased and thoroughly reviewed the top SAT online prep courses and classes on the market, to guarantee that your child is equipped with the best resources for success.
Our SAT Prep Course Winners
Best Overall: The Princeton Review
Best for Self-Study: PrepScholar
Most Comprehensive SAT Strategies: Prep Expert
Most Engaging On-Demand Lessons: Kaplan
Best Budget: Magoosh
Best Free Resource: Khan Academy
Best for Customized Support: Testive
The Princeton Review - Best Overall
The Princeton Review offers a wide range of SAT prep courses to adapt to any student’s needs and family budgets and has been offering these courses to improve SAT scores for over 35 years.
If you're looking for the best and the boldest SAT score improvement guarantee for your student, The Princeton Review SAT Prep is for you.
Their SAT 1400+ course guarantees an SAT score of 1400 and above after the course is completed. The course features 36 hours of live instruction with the option for in-person or live online instruction allowing for flexibility in learning styles and student schedules.
The course also allows students to solidify and hone test strategies through customized homework assignments. Students enrolled in the course will have access to 24/7 on demand support, where they can get help with questions related to the SAT prep material.
In addition to the practice tests and section tests available during the course, students will have access to 22 additional practice tests outside of the course to master the skills needed for test day!
Their SAT 1500+ Tutoring course is also available online or in person for high achievers that want the guarantee of a 99th percentile SAT score to be competitive for extremely competitive schools like Harvard, Yale, or Stanford. The course consists of rigorous and thorough prep materials, access to an elite group of tutors, interactive video lessons, and 1-on-1 tutoring.
For students looking to master fundamental test-taking strategies of the SAT, The Princeton Review offers the SAT Essentials course. The course contains 18 hours of expert-led classroom instruction, customized study plans, and 26 full-length practice tests. Online access to this course is provided for up to 365 days.
Prices for the SAT Essentials course starts at $949, the SAT 1400+ course starts at $1,749, while the SAT 1500+ Tutoring course starts at $278/hr. You may find discounts and limited time offers for all SAT courses on The Princeton Review website.
PrepScholar - Best for Self-Study
PrepScholar is specifically designed as an online-only SAT prep course and is not only affordable but is designed to tailor to a student’s strengths and weaknesses making it our best online prep course for self-study. With its new online SAT Prep course, there is a 160+ point guarantee.
The course has over 7,100 practice questions to choose from and 100 hours of lesson videos to ensure students can keep practicing their skills with fresh, new concepts. Each subsection of the SAT is extensively covered in detail, and there are a total of ten SAT practice tests to measure your progress.
Online lessons are either live or on-demand allowing for flexibility. Premium SAT videos include in-depth breakdowns of the hardest concepts or question types on the SAT, so you’ll feel prepared to tackle them on your own.
Courses are designed and taught by a team of SAT experts who have all achieved perfect scores, ensuring students can learn from the best. Weekly progress reports are sent out to parents and students that show the lessons completed and the time spent studying creating a high level of engagement and motivation for determined students.
There is also a course option that provides 1-on-1 tutoring with an SAT expert to make sure students get access to personalized lessons and maximize their scores. Courses range from $397 to $995. However, you can get a $50 discount off the price of their SAT and ACT courses using our exclusive link.
Prep Expert - Most Comprehensive SAT Strategies
Prep Expert provides SAT prep courses available in six-week and eight-week time lengths. The six-week and eight-week courses come with a 200+ point guarantee and include a full refund if scores do not improve. This course stands out as the most comprehensive prep course on our list as there are tons of practical SAT test-taking strategies taught in the lessons.
Each instructor is highly qualified and has scored in the 99th percentile of the SAT to ensure students are learning from the best of the best. Online courses are in a live online classroom setting where students can interact with the instructor in real-time to get their questions answered.
There is also a self-paced option for courses allowing students the freedom to plan their study schedule and practice for the SAT at their own time. Note that the Prep Expert SAT self-paced course does not have an interactive practice question interface. So, when attempting practice questions, students are recommended to print out the practice problem set, complete it on paper, and then submit their answers to the online platform for scoring.
For students needing extra attention or help, there are private tutoring options to allow for more individualized study plans and help. During each course, students are required to take a full-length practice test each week to ensure they can apply the material and strategies they have learned and to gauge their progress.
Courses range from $699 for the self-paced course to $1,499 for their premium 8-Week SAT live course. From our first-hand experience, Prep Expert's live six-week SAT prep package is a good budget alternative to The Princeton Review's SAT 1400+ prep package.
Kaplan - Most Engaging On-Demand Lessons
Kaplan is well-established in SAT prep and provides a wide range of online SAT prep packages to choose from. For the determined student with more time on their hands, there are the more rigorous Live Online and Unlimited Prep courses. For the busy student that wants to do a little SAT prep each day but does not have as much time, the On-Demand course is the best fit.
The Live Online course allows for flexibility as lessons can be watched from anywhere. Lessons are led by a team of teachers in real-time and are interactive, allowing students to participate and learn from each other but also providing options for students to ask the teachers questions on topics they need clarification on. This level of engagement can help motivate students during class. Outside of class, students have access to even more content and test prep resources through the SAT Channel. This course can also be taken in person.
The Unlimited Prep course provides SAT prep for a longer time, allowing incoming high schoolers to start prepping from day one to achieve their dream scores. With this course, students can design their schedule around their workload and lifestyle by scheduling classes when they need them and deciding how often they want to attend them. There is no rigid calendar in place. There is also a myriad of resources accessible outside of class to help tailor important skills for the SAT.
The On-Demand course offers bite-sized lessons to fit into even the busiest schedules. Daily courses are a maximum of 30 minutes with access to extra instructional videos, practice questions, and lesson quizzes. This course is perfect for students wanting an introduction into SAT prep and provides them a good benchmark on where to start.
Prices for these Kaplan online courses range from $199 (SAT On-Demand course) to $1,999 (SAT Unlimited Prep course). However, there is the option of making these payments over 3, 6, or 12 monthly installments, with interest rates as low as 0%.
Magoosh - Best Budget
Magoosh offers 100% live online SAT prep courses and is well-suited for students who prefer to self-study using videos. With Magoosh SAT prep, students can take small steps to achieve their bigger goal of improving their scores with just 20 minutes of study time a day.
Online courses and resources are available for 12 months and can be accessed using either a computer or mobile app, thereby allowing students to prepare whenever and wherever they want. Each question has both video and text explanations so students can understand why correct answers are right and break down why other answers are wrong.
Each course comes with a personalized study schedule, so students have an idea of what areas to target in their learning. Real test prep experts also provide personal aid and help to students. Text message reminders are also sent out to help busy students stay on track, and students can even receive points for sticking with their study schedule every time they study.
Up to 3 practice tests, over 1,750 practice questions, and over 200 video lessons are included. There is also a 100+ point guarantee and a 7-day money-back guarantee with each course.
Courses range from $129 for the self-paced premium course to $399 for the Guided study premium with 16 hours of Zoom live classes.
Khan Academy - Best Free Resource
Khan Academy is a non-profit organization funded by donations and helps ensure students can have access to education and resources even if they cannot afford to enroll in a test prep course. To help families without the budget for SAT prep, the College Board - the creators of the SAT - partnered with Khan Academy to offer a completely free SAT prep course!
Their SAT prep course is entirely self-guided, allowing students to work at their own pace through the material. The course provides official SAT practice tests and numerous quiz questions with detailed answer explanations, as well as a lesson module breaking down the concepts tested on each section of the SAT.
As a student progresses through these lessons, they can apply what they have learned through quizzes and questions at the end of the lesson. There is also a dashboard where a student can see their progress through the prep course.
While there is no option for students to ask questions, there is an online community where experts and other community members can collaborate to answer questions and learn from each other.
Testive - Best for Customized Support
Testive is dedicated to offering students personalized and customized support in their SAT prep courses. Real live SAT coaches utilize technology to provide personalized SAT tutoring. Practice tests are free and digitally proctored to allow students to experience a similar testing environment as the actual test. Students will receive a test prep plan and score analysis after completion to identify strengths or weaknesses to improve upon.
Before students enroll in a course, they will attend a consultation to plan a schedule, goals, and create an action plan to achieve their score. Students will then attend weekly meetings with their online coach to update them on their progress and steps for improvement. Outside of class, students can make use of the Testive learning software to access practice questions on topics that need reinforcement and watch video answer explanations to missed questions. Course packages start at $99/month.
Each student is unique, and with so many options out there for SAT prep courses, finding the best one might seem overwhelming, but the key points highlighted in this guide will help you find the best SAT prep course for your budget and your student's unique learning style and goals!
For more helpful money-saving tips when buying an SAT prep course or class, watch our helpful buying guide video for SAT test prep.
And if you're looking for more helpful tips on how to prepare for the SAT, check out our article on how to boost your SAT score by up to 400 points.
Best of luck on your SAT prep!