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To help you determine if Prep Expert's SAT prep courses can get your student a competitive SAT score, we've purchased and spent several weeks deeply reviewing their SAT platform - both for self-paced and live class courses.
After reading this in-depth review article, you will be confident in deciding if Prep Expert is the best SAT course for your student.
Featured on the premier TV show Shark Tank, this course distills the key SAT test-taking strategies that students need to master in order to boost their SAT scores in a relatively short time.
Is the Prep Expert SAT Prep Course Right for You?
Who we recommend the course for:
- Self-motivated students who prefer to study independently
- Students/families looking for a budget yet high quality SAT live online course
Who we don't recommend the course for:
- Students who strongly desires an SAT course with a lot of practice questions
- Students who want to practice SAT questions digitally
Prep Expert SAT Video Review
To get a peek into what studying with the Prep Expert SAT prep course feels like, check out our unbiased video review below. In this video, we break down the performance of Prep Expert's SAT course in several key areas that are important to your student's success on the SAT.
Prep Expert SAT Overview
While Prep Expert has in-person SAT prep services in specific locations, most customers use their online test prep products.
Their main SAT prep course line-up includes the Self-paced video course, the 6-week flagship course (the most popular one), and the 8-week Capstone SAT course.
The self-paced course provides on-demand access to video lessons, homework assignments, and practice tests. It is sold on a continuous 365-day plan. While the 6-week Flagship course is a series of weekly live classes held over Zoom for 6 continuous weeks.
The 8-week Capstone SAT course is their most exclusive package. The course is taught by instructors who have achieved perfect SAT scores and is designed for students aiming for a minimum SAT score that falls in the 99th percentile.
Enrollment in the 6-week and 8-week live courses come with full access to the online course platform for up to 60 days after the final live class session. Giving students access to past live class recordings, homework assignments, practice tests, and self-paced video lessons
How are Prep Expert's SAT Prep Packages Similar?
Let's examine what the Prep Expert SAT courses have in common.
- Lessons and Resources: The core content of all their prep packages teach the same fundamental SAT test-taking strategies developed by Dr. Shan Patel.
- SAT Practice Tests: Buyers of any of Prep Expert's SAT course packages get 11 practice problem sets.
- Weekly Office Hours: Students using any Prep Expert package can enjoy free weekly live office hour sessions led by an expert SAT instructor over Zoom.
How are Prep Expert's SAT Prep Packages Different?
Now that we've discussed some of the similarities of Prep Expert's SAT courses let's dive into what makes these courses distinct.
- Access period: As the title of the courses suggests, with the 6-week and 8-week classes, access to the course is given for 6 weeks and 8 weeks, respectively. While for the Self-paced SAT course, students get access for 365 continuous days
- Score Increase: While all Prep Expert SAT packages promise an SAT score improvement after completing the course, these promises are not equal. The live class packages have the higher score increase promise of +200 points, while the Self-paced SAT course promises a modest +10 point score increase
- Pricing: As you can expect, their live SAT classes - with bolder score increase guarantees - are more expensive than the Self-paced course.
One of the most critical components of any SAT test prep resource is the effectiveness of the lessons on test-taking strategies and skill building. After reviewing several SAT prep courses, we can say that Prep Expert does this better than many other SAT prep providers on the market.
The Self-Paced SAT prep course provides 30 hours of video content covering the concepts tested on all sections of the SAT. The video lessons are typically under 15 minutes and are taught by the Prep Expert founder Dr. Shaan Patel himself.
But where this course truly shines is that they present and constantly reinforce SAT-specific test-taking strategies throughout the curriculum.
The key test-taking strategies in the course follow a bottom-up solution strategy to multiple-choice questions. Giving students an alternative to the top-down solution strategy they are accustomed to from their high school coursework.
In the self-paced video lessons, you will find tons of SAT-like examples where they use these bottom-up strategies in combination with top-down approaches.
All the self-paced video lessons show Shaan Patel on camera. We liked that he actively makes notes on the slides when explaining concepts or solving example problems, which helps make these videos engaging.
The only complaint we had about the lesson is that they are not personalized or recommended based on a student's weak or strong areas. Thus, when students join the platform, they might be overwhelmed by the extensive library of video lessons to be completed.
The Prep Expert SAT platform is straightforward to navigate as they present a pretty plain interface for desktop users and users accessing their website on a mobile device.
At the time of this review, Prep Expert does not have any mobile apps for their SAT prep program users who want to study on the go.
And if you need a technical support issue resolved, the chat support feature on the platform works seamlessly.
Review of Prep Expert's SAT Practice Material
Practice questions and practice test experience
Prep Expert provides SAT practice questions in 11 practice sets - 5 homework tests and 6 practice tests. They also offer a schedule recommending how these practice problem sets should be completed.
While the questions on the 5 homework tests can be completed at your student's own pace, each of the 6 practice tests should be completed in one sitting.
However, Prep Expert takes a different SAT prep philosophy from all other SAT prep providers, as they don't create their own SAT practice questions.
Instead, they strongly advocate that every SAT practice question students use during their prep should come from official sources.
And that's what the 11 practice sets on the Prep Expert platform are - official SAT practice tests, which they reference from the College Board's website. This guarantees that with Prep Expert, your student will be preparing with authentic SAT practice questions similar to what they will see on the day of their SAT.
However, since Prep Expert does not have a license from the College Board to deliver these practice questions interactively, they are made available as downloadable PDF documents.
Thus, every user of Prep Expert's practice material must print out these practice problem sets and complete the questions by hand. This way, students mimic the actual paper SAT test conditions at all times during their prep.
But while this fully offline approach to attempting SAT practice questions is essential for students taking the paper version of the SAT, it does not help those taking the digital version of the SAT.
As a result of Prep Expert's offline approach to designing their practice material, there is no performance diagnostic feature on the platform. Thus, platform users lack the means of quickly identifying areas where they need to improve. Compared to SAT prep courses like PrepScholar and The Princeton Review, which have excellent performance diagnostic tools.
Another complaint we had about Prep Expert's practice material was the lack of a diagnostic test or quiz, which could help students quickly identify and hone in on their weak areas early on in their SAT prep.
Quality of answer explanations
In this area, Prep Expert does an excellent job of providing detailed explanations to every question on the 6 SAT practice tests they reference from the College Board's website.
But they don't do this with text alone. Instead, they create video explanations for each question on the 6 referenced official SAT practice tests.
These video answer solutions are concise and do an excellent job of pointing out the exact Prep Expert strategy your student should apply to the question.
However, on the 5 homework problem sets that Prep Expert references from the College Board, they only provide the correct answer without any explanation behind that answer.
This was a major complaint for us, as the lack of answer explanations made for a weak learning experience when using the Prep Epxert practice material.
In the area of student support, where Prep Expert stands out above the rest is that they offer free weekly live office hours to every user of the platform.
In contrast, with other SAT prep providers, live office hours are usually reserved for those students using a premium SAT prep package.
The live offers hours are 2-hour long and are hosted by top 1% SAT instructors. These live sessions allow your student to get their questions answered in real-time and learn from the questions asked by other students.
Students using Prep Expert's live class packages - like the 6-week Flagship course and the 8-week Capstone - can enjoy the social atmosphere that live classes offer.
For example, in the 6-week Flagship course, your student will meet online twice a week for 3 hours each and take a self-proctored full-length exam once a week for 4 hours.
While this prep schedule is quite intensive, it allows your student to quickly learn and strengthen their understanding of the critical techniques that Prep Expert teaches. In addition, your student will be increasing their stamina to sit through the 3-hr SAT exam.
A major complaint we had about Prep Expert's support is that during the live classes and live office hours, students can only communicate with the teacher using a chat feature. This mode of communication makes the live sessions less interactive, compared to live classes where students are allowed to come off mute to speak.
It's also important to point out that during the Summer months - the peak season of SAT prep - some of Prep Expert's live classes could have up to 100 students. This large student-to-instructor ratio means that students will get less attention from the instructor.
Prep Expert SAT Pricing
The 8-week Capstone SAT course starts at $1,499, while the 6-week Flagship course starts at $999. Considering that the 6-week Flagship course includes 36 hours of live instruction, the price per hour translates to $28/hr.
Given the price point of the Prep Expert's 6-week Flagship course at $28/hr of live instruction, this course is sold at a steep discount compared to other closely competing SAT courses with live classes like The Princeton Review's 1400 SAT course and PrepScholar's Live Class package.
Prep Expert's Self-paced course with 12 months of access is priced at $699, which translates to $82 per month of access. This price point puts Prep Expert's self-paced SAT course as one of the most expensive self-paced SAT courses on the market.
As for their private SAT tutoring option, Prep Expert's SAT tutoring starts at $89/hr for a pay as you go plan and goes down to $59/hr for 16 hours of tutoring.
Prep Expert occasionally runs sales on their website, with discounts of up to 50% on all their SAT prep packages.
However, at the time of this review, Prep Expert does not offer any payment plans on any of its SAT prep course packages.
Trial, Score Improvement, and Money Back Policies
Availability of free trial
At the time of this review, Prep Expert does not offer free trial periods on any of their SAT prep products.
Score increase guarantee
Prep Expert promises a bold +200 points score improvement guarantee or your money back after completing their 6-week or 8-week flagship program. While on the 12-month self-paced video course, the score guarantee is at a modest +10 points.
At the time of this review, this +200 points promise makes them the SAT prep provider with the highest score improvement guarantee on the market.
Digging through their terms and conditions, we found the eligibility requirements of their score improvement guarantee quite fair.
Money back policy
What happens if you paid for Prep Expert SAT and find out that it's not the best fit for your student? Prep Expert promises to give you a full refund after 72 hours of purchasing or starting a live online course.
However, no refunds can be issued once you access their SAT self-paced course – which they define as simply completing the onboarding process.
Which Prep Expert SAT Course Should You Get?
After reviewing several SAT prep courses on the market, we can stand behind the quality of lesson material in Prep Expert's SAT prep packages.
So, whether you choose the Prep Expert self-paced course or any one of their SAT live class packages, you will be satisfied.
That said, the Prep Expert SAT package you should go for depends on how quickly one wants to master the strategies taught in the course.
Their 6-week and 8-week SAT prep courses will be an excellent fit for those students who need more support and, most importantly, can fit an intense 6-week or 8-week SAT prep program into their schedule.
While the self-paced video course package will be ideal for those students who need flexibility in their SAT prep and can confidently prepare for the SAT with minimal support from an instructor.
How Does Prep Expert SAT Compare to Other SAT Prep Courses?
It can be helpful to compare Prep Expert to other similar online SAT prep course providers. Knowing more about how the Prep Expert course stacks up to its close competitors can help you make a more informed buying decision.
Prep Expert SAT vs The Princeton Review SAT prep
- Students using The Princeton Review's SAT programs get more practice material - thanks to The Princeton Review's large library of SAT practice questions amassed over decades of publishing SAT prep books
- Both platforms lack free-trial periods on all their SAT prep packages.
- The Princeton Review has the cheaper SAT self-paced course (at $300 for 12 months). However, their SAT live classes are more expensive (starting at $53 per hour of live instruction) compared to Prep Expert (starting at $28/hr.)
- The Princeton Review offers a +150 point score increase guarantee on its premium SAT prep packages, compared to Prep Expert with a bolder +200 point increase.
- Learn more in our video review of The Princeton Review ACT vs Prep Expert ACT in the video above or read our full The Princeton Review SAT review article.
Prep Expert SAT vs PrepScholar SAT
- PrepScholar has the cheaper SAT self-paced course (at $397 for 12 months), while Prep Expert has the cheaper SAT live course (at $28 per hour of live instruction)
- PrepScholar SAT offers a 5-day risk free trial on their self-paced course platform, while Prep Expert does not have any free-trials
- PrepScholar boasts a score increase guarantee of +160 points, on all their SAT prep packages. Compared to Prep Expert with lower score increase guarantees on some of their SAT prep packages
- Learn more in our video review of PrepScholar ACT vs Prep Expert ACT in the video above or read our full PrepScholar SAT review article.
Prep Expert SAT vs Kaplan SAT
- Outside of their live SAT online class sessions, Kaplan does not offer any access to an SAT expert instructor for assistance. While Prep Expert provides weekly office hours to every student using their SAT platform
- In terms of pricing, Kaplan has a cheaper SAT self-paced course (priced at $33/month) and SAT live online course (priced at $39/hr. of instruction)
- While Kaplan provides a 7-day free trial on their self-paced SAT course (although with limited access), Prep Expert does not have any free trial periods on any of its SAT prep packages. But overall, Prep Expert's customer policies beats those of Kaplan.
- Learn more about the Kaplan SAT course in our in-depth review article
Prep Expert SAT Prep FAQs
Does Prep Expert SAT have a mobile app?
No. Prep Expert does not have any mobile apps dedicated to the SAT prep. However, their course website is well optimized on mobile devices, which creates a good user experience.