Kaplan SAT Prep Review – Is It Worth It In 2023? 

 March 9, 2023

By  Chuky Ofoegbu

Student studying and smiling to the camera

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In this article, we'll thoroughly review Kaplan's SAT prep courses based on our first-hand experience with the course, to help you decide whether or not it's the right investment for your child's SAT prep.

In our comprehensive review of the Best SAT prep courses on the market, the Kaplan SAT prep course made it into our picks based on its strong performance, particularly in the areas of lesson quality and pricing. 

Here, we’ll uncover deeper the pros and cons of their SAT courses and also answer frequently asked questions associated with the Kaplan SAT prep packages.

Kaplan SAT Prep Course Options

Kaplan’s SAT prep course offerings are quite flexible, when compared to other test prep companies. You will find several courses offerings that meet the needs of many families.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article, they are currently not offering in-person SAT classes.

Live Online SAT Course

Kaplan’s most popular option is their Live Online Course. This course starts at $699. You can also pay monthly for the course, at $47 per month with 0% APR. This is pretty reasonable, especially given the number of features your student can access. 

The live online course comes with 18 hours of live online instruction - which pegs the price per hour of instruction at $39/hr. Students can sign up for classes, which run frequently and in various time slots, making it pretty easy to find one that fits into their schedule. 

In addition to the live class, students can also access 16 hours of on-demand instruction through Kaplan’s SAT channel. This can help your student practice sections they may struggle with or review material covered in class. 

A math video lesson on the Kaplan SAT prep course

A math video lesson showing a student and instructor working on a problem

Kaplan includes extensive practice materials with this course. They offer 8 practice tests, including 4 official College Board practice tests. They advertise this as a unique feature, although it is worth noting that the College Board also offers 8 official practice tests online for free.

In addition, Kaplan’s live online course includes SAT prep books, updated online quizzes, and a quiz bank. 

image of the Kaplan SAT's practice question bank

Kaplan SAT practice question bank

Furthermore, Kaplan offers a Live Online Plus option. This costs $999 or $84 per month if you choose a 12 month payment plan. The Live Online Plus comes with access to all the materials of the Live Online course, plus 3 hours of 1-on-1 tutoring and Math Foundations material.

Kaplan’s Live Online class option is a favorite of students and parents because it offers the structure and accountability that many students need to study effectively. In addition, it covers all the material you need to know on the SAT, so it will be beneficial for many students. 

However, this class may not meet the needs of all students. For example, suppose a student needs extra practice on one specific test section. In that case, they will have to do this independently with Kaplan’s prep materials.

This course may also not be the best option for students who feel comfortable with the SAT material but need help on testing strategy. 

On-Demand SAT Prep

Kaplan’s most affordable program is their On-Demand Test Prep, which costs $199 for a 6-month period of access. This course provides access to over 50 on-demand video lessons that teach students about the SAT sections, test-taking strategies, and other topics. Students also get access to over 1,000 SAT-like practice questions and quizzes for each lesson. 

Kaplan SAT self-paced course module structure

Kaplan SAT self-paced course module structure

The On-Demand prep option is designed for students with tight schedules. The program is designed in such a way that students can learn in bite sized amounts - as the majority of the videos on the platform are under 15 minutes long.

The videos lessons in each module are designed with a tutorial section - where one of their teachers can be seen on camera - followed by a short drill section, and finally, a quiz at the end to test your student's knowledge of the lesson content. 

But what is striking about their instructional videos is the high quality of production. Unlike some other competing SAT prep providers, Kaplan goes the extra mile to make the video lessons on their SAT self-paced course very fun and engaging. 

Which is essential when creating a self-paced learning resource for the large demographic of SAT test takers - high schoolers. In each video lesson, you'll occasionally find some humorous acting between the students and teachers. You can see an example in the image below.

Student and teacher shown in the Kaplan SAT prep course video lesson

A student and teacher playfully acting in a Kaplan SAT prep course video lesson

The structure of the On-Demand class makes it easy for students on a tight schedule to do their prep quickly, without having to plan things out on their own. If students want to take more initiative, they have access to resources like extra videos and practice quizzes. 

One caveat of the On-Demand program is that Kaplan doesn’t have an app, so students won’t be able to prep on the go. Of course, this isn’t a problem for many students who prefer to do test prep on their laptops, but it is worth noting. 

Finally, the On-Demand program comes with Kaplan’s Higher Score Guarantee. It also comes with a free 7-day trial, so you can quickly try it out and see if you find the materials useful.

One last thing to note is that compared to other SAT prep providers, with 12-month access periods on self-paced SAT programs, Kaplan's self-paced program gives your student access for only 6 months. While this is enough for some students with shorter SAT prep timelines, it may not be enough for students with longer prep timelines.  

Unfortunately, there are no options to extend access, except for Unlimited Prep, which comes at a much higher price for many more features. 

Unlimited Prep Course

Kaplan’s most comprehensive option is their Unlimited Prep package. This is not a separate course option but rather an all-access pass to their SAT test prep resources. 

Unlimited Prep is available for $1,999. It gives you access to all of the resources of the live online and on-demand classes. In addition, the package allows you to take as many ACT, SAT, AP, and PSAT courses as you want.

Kaplan SAT self-paced course Writing and Language video lesson

Kaplan SAT self-paced course Writing and Language section video lesson

The materials will remain available until your student graduates high school, so this may be a good option for students preparing for multiple tests over a long period of time.

Private SAT Tutoring

The final option that Kaplan offers is Private SAT Tutoring. This comes in packages starting at 10 hours for $1999 or $167 per month if you choose to pay with a payment plan. Packages go up from there, with options to choose 10, 20, 30, or 40 hours of 1-on-1 tutoring. 

At the time of publishing this review article, Kaplan's Private SAT tutoring is only offered online and not in-person. 

Kaplan’s tutoring programs come with 8 full-length practice tests and a score analysis for each test. Students can also get access to an entire Live Online course, as well as 4 prep books and access to On-Demand practice questions. 

Reading video lesson on Kaplan SAT prep course

Reading section video lesson on the Kaplan SAT prep course

Private tutoring is undoubtedly a pricey option, but it can be worth it if you don't have the time to frequently supervise your child's SAT prep but have the budget for a tutor. 

A private tutor can give your child personalized help to walk you through the process and work on their specific needs and learning challenges. They can also serve as a guide through the Live Online class, working with them to address challenges or class material they may not understand.

This is the most comprehensive option, as a tutor will be able to walk your child through all the steps and activities they need to excel on the SAT. 

Pros and Cons of Kaplan SAT Prep

Pros of Kaplan SAT 

  • Flexible scheduling: No matter which Kaplan test prep option you choose, you'll find options that fit the schedule of your family. For example, Kaplan’s Live Online classes are held at various dates and times, so you can choose one that works best for your family's schedule. And if you choose the On-Demand option, your child can gain access to this course whenever they want. 
  • Numerous study resources available outside of class: Kaplan’s study resources are extensive. They are known for their test prep books, which you can buy individually or get as part of their Live Online course. Between that and the additional hours of video instruction, your student will be able to review and practice any topic they desire.
  • Average course prices are more affordable: Kaplan offers more affordable options compared to other top-rated test prep providers. In addition, with their monthly payment plans and prep starting at just $199, they’re more affordable than many other test prep providers. Furthermore, Kaplan frequently offers discounts on their SAT course offerings, sometimes as high as 25%. 
  • Free 1 week trial for courses: Kaplan’s free trials make it easy to try out their products before you buy them. The On-Demand class comes with a 7-day free trial, so you can actually see if it works for you - although this only gives you limited access to the course. If you opt for the Live Online Class, you can sign up for a free class to get an idea of what it will be like. In addition, they offer several free events to help with SAT prep. 
  • Payment plans available: Kaplan’s payment plans (going up to 15 monthly installments) are another feature that makes their SAT prep courses more affordable. This can make accessing their Live Online SAT course within the reach of many families. 

Cons of Kaplan SAT

  • Weak score improvement guarantee: While Kaplan promises a "Higher Score Guarantee" they don't stand behind a specific number of points students can observe after completing their SAT prep courses. Compared to competitors like The Princeton Review, PrepScholar and Prep Expert with score guarantee promises of at least +150 points
  • Lacks instructor support outside live classes: Unlike their competition, Kaplan does not provide any access to on-demand instructors for assistance with their SAT curriculum, neither do they provide live office hours.
  • 1-on-1 SAT tutoring is included for a much higher price: Kaplan’s course offerings focus more on group classes and on-demand prep. This covers the material that most students will need. However, if you need any additional help, private tutoring is limited and is much more expensive. 
  • No study plan: Some test prep providers offer technology or other services to help you make a personalized study plan to address the unique strengths and challenges of your child. However, Kaplan’s SAT prep has a much more rigid structure, so you’ll need to either customize a study plan for your child or rely on their more general program structure. 
  • Lacks in-person SAT classes: While Kaplan’s SAT course options are tried and tested, they aren’t as varied as other test prep providers, given the lack of in-person SAT courses and classes.

Should you buy a Kaplan SAT Prep Course? 

While we found the Kaplan SAT prep course to excel in the area of lesson quality - with content that’s very engaging to the demographic of SAT test-takers, we were not very impressed by the depth of SAT specific strategies in their program.

In addition, at the price point of their live SAT prep program, we expected competitive customer policies from Kaplan like a bold score increase guarantee, and money-back refund for unhappy customers.

So if these complaints are important to you, we recommend you find other alternatives from the top SAT courses we've thoroughly reviewed. Such as those from The Princeton ReviewPrepScholar, and Prep Expert.

However, if the need for a budget SAT prep course is the most important factor to your family, you could get some value from Kaplan's affordable SAT prep course packages.

FAQs About Kaplan SAT Prep Course:

Is Kaplan SAT prep good?

Kaplan is one of the oldest and most popular test prep companies for a reason. They employ highly qualified and trained tutors and have a vast library of quality practice questions. Kaplan’s reputation precedes them, so you’ll know your child will be getting access to high quality SAT prep resources. 

What is the Kaplan SAT money-back guarantee?

Kaplan offers their Higher Score Guarantee (HSG) with most of their classes. This means that if you don’t score higher than you previously did, you can get your money back or continue your prep for free. 

The Higher Score Guarantee comes with some terms that vary based on what SAT course you’re purchasing, so make sure to read the fine print to ensure that your program will qualify. 

How much does Kaplan SAT prep cost?

The cost of Kaplan SAT prep varies based on what program you choose. Options range from $199 for their On Demand SAT course to over $1999 for their Unlimited Prep course. However, the more expensive Kaplan SAT prep courses come with monthly payment plans which makes them affordable for most families. 

Chuky Ofoegbu

With almost a decade of experience pursuing higher education in the United States, I fully understand the pain points foreign students endure. I created this website to help foreign students successfully navigate their way through the challenges they will face while living in the United States.

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