The Best ACT & SAT Prep Courses To Score High
College admission tests loom large in the lives of high school students everywhere. Then there is the dilemma: SAT or ACT or both? Good scores may mean the difference between getting a place at a top college or having to accept a place at a lesser known college.
Experts agree that it is essential to thoroughly prepare for these tests, the earlier the better. This article highlights some important considerations and gives an overview of five recognized ACT/SAT prep courses.
Both the ACT and the SAT tests are designed to indicate whether a student is ready for a successful college career. Most colleges accept both tests and many students sit for both. These are NOT intelligence or aptitude tests, as many people still think and it is NOT just super-bright students that can hope to score well. What are the key differences?
- SAT belongs to the College Board, a non-profit organization and ACT was introduced in 1959 by professor Lindquist as a competitor for SAT.
- There are minor differences in the areas covered by the tests.
- SAT is scored on a scale of 400 – 1600 and ACT on a scale of 1 – 36.
How To Study For ACT/SAT
Experts will tell you that the best advice they can give is to start preparing for the tests as early as possible. Here are a few more valuable tips:
Take a practice test. A practice test is a valuable tool to help identify areas where you need to improve.
Sign up for an in-person prep course. Attending classes will help you to remain focused and disciplined
Prep online. This is an excellent option for students that simply cannot attend regular prep courses.
Get a private tutor. One-on-one tutoring is expensive but it is personalized and can be adapted to your specific needs.
Think out side the box. Some speed reading courses support ACT/SAT and other tests.
Prep over the summer. With the tests scheduled for August and September, the summer break is the ideal time finalize your preparations.
How To Choose The Right ACT/SAT Prep Course
It is not easy to decide which prep course to take. Asking yourself these questions may help you decide:
- How much help do you actually need?
- How much can you afford to pay?
- What type of course (tutoring, online, in-person) will you find most comfortable?
- Are you disciplined enough to study independently or do you prefer the structure of a scheduled course?
- How much time can you spend on your preparations each day or week?
So, what are the best ACT/SAT prep courses? Below is an overview of five classes to help you getting started.
1. Kaplan ACT/SAT Prep Courses
Kaplan offers prep courses for both SAT and ACT. The format of both these courses are very similar and the content varies only in terms of the subject matter tested by each course. You can choose between three different delivery methods.
SAT Prep or ACT Prep – In Person. These prep courses are presented by an instructor at a school close to you. This is what you can expect:
- Live instruction by an experienced instructor during scheduled classes. You will get 18 hours worth of interactive lessons (both courses).
- Access to The SAT and/or ACT Channel. SAT students can elect to receive another 30 hours worth of instruction via the SAT Channel while ACT students get 14 hours of online instruction.
- Practice Tests. SAT students can sit for four official College Board proctored tests while ACT students will sit for four proctored tests but they will also have access to five additional tests.
- Online quizzes. Both SAT and SAT students have unlimited access to online quizzes and the Quiz Bank.
- On-demand lessons. Both courses offer an additional 25 hours worth of on-demand lessons.
- Resources. All students are supplied with Prep Books for their respective courses.
SAT Prep or ACT Prep – Live Online. These courses follow the exact same format as the in-person courses, but you will receive your training on your laptop or smart device.
SAT or ACT Tutoring. This option will give you access to your own personal tutor, either in person or online. Apart from benefiting from individual attention, you will also have access to any of the ACT/SAT prep courses (online or in-person) mentioned above.
Price: from $299 (self-paced).
Website: View website.
2. The Princeton Review – ACT and SAT
The Princeton Review also offers prep courses for both SAT and ACT. In this case you have two main options.
SAT & ACT Self-Paced. This single online course covers both SAT and ACT, a serious option if you plan to sit for both tests. This is what you can expect:
- Online video lessons. The core of the course consists of more than 280 online lessons presented by experts in their fields.
- Practice materials. Test yourself with more than 170 drills, more than 3000 practice questions and 27 full online practice tests. There are also eight subject tests related to the ACT.
- Comprehensive score reports. You will get full feedback on your scores and advice on the specific areas that should receive more attention.
SAT or ACT Ultimate Classroom. These two instructor-led courses focus on either the SAT or the ACT, but each of them includes a full self-paced prep course for both tests. These are their main features:
- Formal classes. You will get 25 lessons (one hour each) by a certified expert ACT or SAT instructor. All areas of the respective tests are covered.
- Practice materials. Both prep courses feature four scheduled, proctored practice tests. SAT students can access 19 additional tests online and ACT students can opt for 11 additional online tests as well as eight ACT subject tests.
- Recommendation Engine. Not only will you get detailed feedback on your scores, but you will also receive advice on those areas where you need to concentrate.
Price: from $99 (self-paced).
Website: View website.
3. Kahn Academy SAT Prep Course
They offer a very wide variety of free online courses. It is interesting to note that some well-respected reviewers have declared The Kahn Academy’s online SAT prep course as the very best preparation resource for this test. The main features and benefits are:
- Online video lessons. The high definition video lessons covers all the areas tested by SAT and contain numerous hints on how to tackle specific questions.
- Practice material. You can take eight official online practice tests and there are thousands of practice questions to help you gauge your progress. In addition, you will receive many tips on how to study.
- Official corroboration. The Kahn Academy’s SAT prep course was designed with the full cooperation and assistance of the College Board, official owners of the SAT.
- Instant feedback. You will receive immediate feedback on your scores during practice tests and you will receive valuable advice on where to focus your main efforts.
- Individualized study plan. If you complete a few diagnostic tests and provide your test date, you will be presented with an individually tailored study plan that will help you make most of your time.
Website: View website.
4. ACT Online Prep
This course has been rated by acknowledged experts as the best online ACT prep course. The course was designed with full cooperation from the designers of ACT. Let us look at some of the main features.
It is fun! Critics will say that fun is not a requirement for quality training but students are much more likely to engage with the course if they enjoy the process.
Text lessons. These comprehensive, well written lessons peppered with numerous practical examples were prepared by experts.
Interactive dashboard. The dashboard ensures that you will always know exactly what progress you have made and where you need to improve.
Connect with other students. The online discussion area allows you to connect to other students to share ideas or to ask for advice.
Game center. A variety of basic games will help you to review your progress and to test yourself in a fun way.
Practice tests. Full length practice tests will tell you just how ready you are for the real thing and where there is room for improvement.
Choose your own course structure. This unique features allows you to choose between a structured approach where you will be presented with lessons and exercise in a pre-determined sequence or an adaptive plan.
Website: View website.
5. Premium ACT Prep Course
The Premium ACT Prep Course : Improve Your ACT Scores is an offer from the respected Udemy stable and presented by TutorMe.com Test Prep. Here’s a brief overview:
- Video lessons. 56 Video lectures, presents by experts over a period of nine hours covers everything tested by the ACT. Lessons can be repeated whenever you want and as many times as you want.
- Interactive learning. The entire course is fully animated, making it fun and exciting.
- Practice tests. There are more than 500 practice problems for you to test your mettle. Each problem is thoroughly analyzed and explained.
- Test strategies. If you know exactly how the ACT is designed you will not be surprised during the actual test. You will learn how to develop you very own test strategy.
Price: from $10.99
ACT/SAT Prep Courses – Conclusion
Nobody will argue the fact that good scores in the SAT or ACT tests are important. Students who takes these tests seriously know that they need all the help that they can get. Experts agree that a well regarded prep course can work wonders to help you raise your scores. The ACT/SAT prep courses you choose will depend upon your needs, your budget and your time restraints.
What is your test prep experience? Please share your opinion, tips in the comments below to help others score well and succeed in their tests.
What Are The Best ACT/SAT Prep Courses?
- Kaplan ACT/SAT | ★★★★★
- The Princeton Review ACT/SAT | ★★★★★
- Kahn Academy SAT Prep Course | ★★★★★
- ACT Online Prep | ★★★★☆
- Premium ACT Prep Course (Udemy) | ★★★★☆
Research Questions – FAQ
What is the difference between the ACT and SAT tests?
How much does it cost to take the ACT test or SAT?
Is the the ACT test easier than the SAT?
Other Test Prep Courses: LSAT Test Prep Courses