Princeton Review ACT Prep Review – Is it Worth it in 2022? 

 February 17, 2022

By  Editorial Team

2 young males students smiling at the camera

The Princeton Review is one of the top test prep providers. With over 35 years of experience teaching the ACT, it's no surprise that the Princeton Review is a favorite of parents and students alike. 

And here at Sojourning Scholar, we rank the ACT courses from The Princeton Review highly as well. In our through review of the best ACT courses on the market, the Princeton Review takes the position as the Best Comprehensive course. 

While the Princeton Review does have some great packages, they tend to be more expensive compared to their competition. This guide will cover everything you need to know to decide if they have the package that's best for your family's needs. 

Princeton Review ACT Prep Course Options

One of the best things about the Princeton Review is their variety of high quality course options. They have a package for almost every budget and student. Their range of offerings can get a bit overwhelming, though, so we'll break each one down. 


The Self-Paced course is the Princeton Review's cheapest option. It is only offered online and starts at $299 for ACT prep, with options to add SAT prep and on-demand tutoring. 

This course follows a relatively standard self-paced test prep model. It consists of study units that are about an hour each. The units start with videos covering content areas and testing strategies. 

These videos are one of the big advantages of the course. They are short and engaging, taught by the Princeton Review's expert instructors. The videos have drills to supplement them, and this section of the study unit ends with a quiz. 

After the first part of each study unit comes the practice portion. This is just what it sounds like: a selection of practice questions to help your child internalize and retain the material they've just learned. 

The questions come with answer explanations to help them learn from their mistakes. The study units generally focus more on the practice questions. This focus helps with retention as students learn by doing. 

The Princeton Review's vast content library makes sure that your student has the materials for learning any topic. It also allows for review, with lots of videos on specific topics. 

In addition, they have over 280 video lessons, 277 online drills, and more than 3200 online practice questions. They also have full-length and single-section practice tests to simulate the actual testing experience.

One of the significant advantages of the Princeton Review is its top-quality software. Their platform is easy to use and provides study recommendations. 

The system recommends material based on your child's practice tests and drill scores. They will also adapt as you go. So whenever your child opens their test prep program, they'll know what to study. 

The Self-Paced course also comes with some pretty neat features. These include ACT and SAT practice questions, review sessions, AP video lessons, and score reports that can help you track your progress and predict your score. 

The Princeton Review's Self-Paced course is an excellent option for families on a budget. It's also great for students with tight schedules. The course even offers an app that can help your child study on the go. 

The course provides one year of access, but many students will complete their prep in much less time. This course also comes with their signature better score guarantee. 

ACT Essentials

The Essentials course is the Princeton Review's next level beyond the Self-Paced Course. This course offers many of the same features in the Self-Paced course plus live classes and some other additions for $949. It is also available both online and in person. 

You'll get 18 hours of live instruction with the Essentials course, either online or in the classroom. They have various scheduling options, so you can choose dates and times that work best for you. 

The content of these classes is similar to what's in the video lessons, but the live classes will go more in-depth. You'll also get the benefit of engaging with the instructor directly and being able to ask questions. 

Live classes are paired with tailored homework assignments to help your child retain what they've learned. In addition, the Princeton Review will ship you paper materials. These include a course workbook and a book of practice questions to help you prepare. 

The ACT Essentials course is best for students who are generally self-motivated but may need more structure and guidance in their studies. It’s also good for students who like to practice with different formats, like paper books and online tests. 

This course also has a few other extras. You'll get more practice tests, online materials for both the ACT and SAT, and access to extra classroom time with their ACT Advantage Sessions. 

Private Tutoring

For students who may need more personalized help, the Princeton Review offers a Private Tutoring option. Tutoring is also available both online and in person. 

The Princeton Review’s Private Tutoring comes in three different packages: 18 hours for $2,700 ($150 per hour), 10 hours for $1,600 ($160 per hour), and 3 hours for $540 ($180 per hour). 

Private tutoring comes with access to online video lessons, practice questions, and score reports to track your progress. They will also ship their course books, including their complete course manual and practice questions book. 

The materials in this course are similar to the Essentials course. The main difference is that this option offers private tutoring instead of group instruction. One-on-one tutoring can be helpful for students who have trouble following class schedules or may need something different from other students in a larger group. 

31+ Guaranteed 

The Princeton Review's most popular course option is their ACT 31+ Course. This option costs $1,749 and guarantees a score of at least 31, which is a standard for most top universities and merit-based scholarships. It is also available online or in person. 

The 31+ course offers 36 hours of live classroom instruction and online ACT practice materials. You'll also get four proctored tests, plus seven other practice tests. Like their other courses, it comes with paper materials and an online system that will personalize your child's practice and homework. 

You'll also have access to their ACT Advantage sessions for extra class time if you need it. Finally, you'll get access to their SAT Self-Paced Prep course so you can prep for both tests at once. 

One of the most notable advantages of the 31+ course is its 24/7 on-demand tutoring. Your child can get direct help with any question or concept they need when they need it. Tutoring can save a lot of time, ensuring that your child never has to get stuck focusing on a single topic or question. 

34+ Tutoring

The Princeton Review's most comprehensive option is their 34+ Tutoring. This option guarantees a score high enough to get into Ivy League schools and other top schools and qualify for merit-based aid. 34+ tutoring is available online or in person. 

ACT 34+ tutoring comes in three packages: 18 hours for $5,000 ($278 per hour), 10 hours for $2,875 ($288 per hour) and 3 hours for $923 ($308 per hour). 

This is a pretty nice deal, but how do they do it? The key is their expert tutors. While all of the Princeton Review's tutors are carefully selected and trained, only the best of the best teach the 34+ sessions. 

The 34+ course also offers features you'll recognize from the other courses. These include print and online practice materials, video lessons, and ten full-length practice tests. You'll also get access to their ACT Advantage sessions and SAT prep materials. 

Pros and Cons of Princeton Review ACT Prep

Pros of Princeton Review’s ACT Courses:

Wide variety of courses: The Princeton Review has something for everyone. Whether you're on a budget and need some guided practice, or you want to bring out the works, they've got you covered. 

Their many add-ons and packages can help you customize your study materials to fit your child. They even offer enrollment advisors to help you figure out what package is best for you. 

Comprehensive support: The Princeton Review is nothing if not comprehensive. Their courses will guide you and your student through ACT prep, whether it's with personalized recommendations or private tutoring. In addition, their user-friendly platform makes it easy to navigate your test-prep journey. 

Extensive library of materials: With thousands of practice questions and at least 100 video lessons, the Princeton Review has materials for any topic. Their print books and practice tests offer a great supplement to the online system, allowing you to simulate actual test conditions. In addition, their add-ons, such as live classes and private tutoring, make sure you can access all the resources you need. 

Trustworthy company with course success: The Princeton Review's courses are tried and tested. Their status as one of the top test prep companies allows them to hire the best instructors out there and develop high-quality materials. In addition, their score increase guarantee shows their confidence in their offerings. 

Cons of Princeton Review’s Courses

Higher prices: While the Princeton Review's courses can accommodate many different budgets, they're generally on the pricier side. This is especially true for the comprehensive courses. So if you're looking for test prep on a budget, it may be good to look at other providers as well. 

No payment plan: All of the Princeton Review's courses must be paid for in full before starting the course. This includes their private tutoring. Although it is priced by the hour, it comes in packages, so you'll have to choose the number of hours you want, and pay for them, upfront. 

No free trials: The Princeton Review also doesn't offer free trials of their materials. However, they do have a few sample videos available. Still, you won't be able to get the whole experience until you buy. 

Not all courses guarantee score increases: The Princeton Review is generally pretty confident in its course offering. However, if you're concerned about the money-back guarantee, make sure to check the specific course and package you're buying. Not all courses offer the better score guarantee, and even those that do may not provide it in all packages. 

Should you buy a Princeton Review ACT Prep Course? 

If it fits your budget and your student's needs, the Princeton Review is an excellent option for ACT prep. We especially recommend them because of their high-quality practice materials, engaging and knowledgeable instructors, and comprehensive prep packages. 

To decide if the Princeton Review courses are suitable for you, we'd recommend digging a bit deeper. If you find one in this review that sounds like a good fit, check it out on their website, and see what others say about it. 

If you have any questions or want to talk to someone about the course offerings, you can also schedule an appointment with a Princeton Review enrollment advisor. They can help you better understand any offerings you might be confused about and determine if their courses are suitable for you. 

FAQ's About Princeton Review ACT Prep Courses

Is the Princeton Review Good for ACT?

The Princeton Review is one of the top providers for ACT prep. They offer various course options, a comprehensive library of materials, and expert instructors. 

In addition, their online platform is easy to use and guides your student through everything they need to do for test prep. We highly recommend the Princeton Review's courses, as they have something that can meet most students' needs. 

Are the Princeton Review ACT tests harder?

Many people find the Princeton Review tests harder than official ACT practice tests. Not everyone agrees on this, though. 

Remember that while practice test writers do their best to simulate the actual test, nothing is quite like the real thing. In addition, testing conditions (time of day, environment, etc.) can influence how difficult a test is. 

Is the Princeton Review ACT worth it? 

In general, we'd say the Princeton Review's courses are worth the money. But, of course, every student is different, so you'll have to make your decision based on your student's needs and goals. However, with the Princeton Review, those high price tags are paying for their high-quality materials, intuitive platform, and expert instructors. 

Is Barron's or Princeton Review better for ACT?

The Princeton Review is generally better for ACT prep since they offer more interactive and comprehensive test prep resources. While both have books, the Princeton Review allows you to review specific topics and practice with lessons, videos, and practice questions. 

Editorial Team

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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