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Anyone who has ever taken or attempted the ACT knows it’s no walk in the park. And often, getting started is the more intimidating part for some students. But with the right ACT prep course, you can prepare for this exam with ease.
To help you determine if the Prep Expert ACT course best suits your needs, we purchased the Prep Expert ACT Prep course and spent several weeks using it to bring you a first-hand review of their course line-up, lesson structure, lesson quality, and student support.
By the end of this article, you’ll know if this course is the best fit for you or your student.
Let's dive in and share our authentic experience with the course!
Prep Expert is the most strategy-focused ACT prep course on the market. Their ACT prep courses typically includes comprehensive study materials, practice tests drawn from official source, and access to experienced instructors.
Is the Prep Expert ACT Prep Course Right for You?
Who we recommend the course for:
- Students who need flexibility in their ACT prep
- Students who need minimal instructor support from an instructor
Who we don’t recommend the course for:
- Students who prefer personalized/adaptive video lessons and practice material
- Students who need more detailed answer explanations
Prep Expert ACT Overview
Prep Expert offers a combination of self-paced and live online classes. Their main ACT prep packages are the self-paced video course and the 6-week flagship course.
The self-paced course provides on-demand access to video lessons, homework assignments, and practice tests, and it comes with one year of access.
In contrast, the 6-week flagship course includes a series of live weekly classes held over Zoom for six weeks.
Enrollment in the flagship course comes with full access to the online course platform for up to 60 days after the final live class. This gives students access to past live class recordings, homework assignments, practice tests, and self-paced video lessons.
Prep Expert ACT prep course similarities
Let’s look at the similarities between Prep Expert’s ACT prep packages.
- Lessons and resources: Students get access to weekly live Office Hours through Zoom, enabling real-time help with homework and practice questions.
- Practice tests: The 4-hour self-proctored full-length ACT practice exam allows students to thoroughly prepare for the 3-hour ACT exam.
- Score increase: The 6-week flagship course has a +4-point score increase guarantee, whereas the self-paced course comes with a +1-point score increase guarantee.
Prep Expert ACT prep course distinctions
Now, let’s explore the differences in key course features.
- Access period: The self-paced course comes with a year of access, whereas the flagship course only comes with six weeks of access during the live classes and an additional 60 days of access when classes are over.
- Pricing: The Prep Expert self-paced ACT package costs $699 for 1-year access, whereas the 6-week flagship course costs $999.
- Live lessons: The 6-week flagship course offers 3-hour live online classes twice a week.
Self-paced online course
The self-paced course provides 30 hours of video content covering the concepts tested in all sections of the ACT.
These video lessons are presented in a slide-based format and are typically under 15 minutes long. They are taught by Dr. Shaan Patel, the founder of Prep Expert. And we found Dr Patel’s teaching style incredibly engaging.
Where Prep Expert truly shines is in their constant reinforcement of ACT-specific test-taking strategies throughout the curriculum.
The key test-taking strategies taught in the course follow a bottom-up solution strategy, which was very efficient when applied correctly to multiple-choice ACT questions.
6-week flagship course
Students who join the Prep Expert 6-week course follow a strict ACT preparation strategy. They meet with an online instructor twice a week for 3 hours per lesson and complete homework assignments.
Students also take a self-proctored full-length ACT practice exam once a week for 4 hours. This intensive preparation strategy results in quick learning and an excellent understanding of the key techniques needed to improve ACT scores.
A major disadvantage of Prep Expert’s lesson quality is the lack of personalized video lessons or practice material on Prep Expert’s platform. This might lead to some students feeling overwhelmed by the large library of video lessons.
Prep Expert also has no option for practicing ACT problems right after watching the related video lesson. As a result, students don’t get a chance to quiz themselves on the topic they just watched in the video, which is in stark contrast to other competing ACT prep platforms.
Review of Prep Expert ACT Practice Questions & Tests
Practice questions in lessons and drills
Prep Expert goes straight to the source for their practice material, referencing ACT practice questions from past ACT exams. This familiarizes students with the test-day experience throughout their prep.
The Prep Expert ACT course platform provides practice questions in the form of four “Homework Tests” and six full-length practice tests. This comes with a schedule that recommends how the practice problem should be completed.
Although the questions on the homework tests are self-paced, each of the six full-length practice tests should be timed and completed in one sitting.
Full-length practice test experience
Practice questions and tests on the Prep Expert platform are not delivered interactively. Instead, they are available as downloadable PDFs that should be completed using pencil and paper. Students can then enter their answers on the platform for grading.
This offline practice environment encourages students to mimic the real ACT testing condition at all times during their prep. However, students taking the digital version of the ACT will be ill-prepared as they’ll only have an offline test-taking experience.
Quality of answer explanations
Prep Expert offers 920 exceptionally succinct video answer solutions to all practice questions on the six referenced ACT practice tests.
These video answer solutions do a good job of pointing out the exact Prep Expert strategy you should apply to the question at hand.
However, they are only provided at an additional charge. In addition, there are no other text-based answer explanations for users who don’t upgrade to the video answer solutions. This puts Prep Expert at a disadvantage compared to its competitors.
The lack of answer explanations for those who don’t upgrade made for a poor learning experience when using the practice material.
Another disadvantage in this area was the lack of a diagnostic test or quiz that could help students quickly identify and hone in on their weak areas early in their ACT prep.
Prep Expert provides visibility to their ACT instructors. The qualifications of the instructors, including ACT score percentiles and their alma mater, are available on their platform.
In addition, they give buyers the option to choose their live class instructor, which is different from other competitors on the market.
Another major advantage is that students using any of the Prep Expert ACT packages get access to weekly Live office hours held over Zoom.
These office hours allow students to get real-time help with their ACT homework or practice test questions referenced on the platform.
However, Prep Expert does not provide any on-demand instructor support outside the weekly live office hours. So, you might have to wait for several days to get your questions answered live if you’re on the self-paced ACT package.
Prep Expert ACT Pricing
The Prep Expert self-paced package has a one-time fee of $699 for one year of access. The 6-week flagship course, on the other hand, costs $999.
Prep Expert does not offer any payment plans on their ACT packages. However, some of these ACT packages are occasionally priced at a discounted rate.
The Trial, Score Improvement, and Money Back Policies
Availability of free trial
Prep Expert does not offer any free trials on their ACT prep packages.
Score increase guarantee
Prep Expert promises a +4-point score increase guarantee or your money back on their 6-week flagship course.
Their self-paced course, on the other hand, comes with a +1-point score increase guarantee. We found the eligibility requirements for these score guarantees to be fair.
Money back policy
Prep Expert also allows customers to cancel a paid ACT live class for free, as long as the cancellation request is within 72 hours of starting or purchasing the live class.
However, students who purchase and use their self-paced ACT course packages are not entitled to any refunds for cancellation.
So, Which Prep Expert Prep Course Should You Get?
Although the self-paced course lacks the bells and whistles of some competing ACT self-paced courses, Prep Expert does an excellent job of teaching unique and effective test-taking strategies students can apply to real ACT questions.
Their self-paced ACT prep course is one of the best ACT courses in the area of lesson quality. We’d recommend this course package for students who need flexibility in their ACT prep and minimal support from an instructor.
The 6-week ACT course, on the other hand, would be a better fit for students who need more support and can fit a rigorous 6-week ACT prep program into their schedule.