Disclaimer: I am a Prep Expert affiliate, which means I may receive a commission if you enroll in one of their programs. However, this review only contains my honest opinions. If you decide to move forward, feel free to use promo code Vocabbett300 for $300 off.
When Prep Expert reached out and asked if I’d like to review their SAT/ACT prep programs, my curiosity piqued. A quick Google showed that not only was Prep Expert featured on Shark Tank, it actually garnered a significant investment from Mark Cuban!
I like Shark Tank, I like Mark Cuban, and I like education…so obviously I said yes!
Let’s Start Here:
You know I’m all about the story, and Prep Expert founder Shaan Patel has an incredible one. As he describes it, he grew up in his parents’ budget Las Vegas motel, trapped in a school district with a 40% dropout rate…the worst school district in the country.
The first time Patel took the SAT, his scores weren’t anything special. Then he realized the power the SAT, spent hundreds of hours studying, and became one of the nation’s perfect-scorers. For some perspective, only about .02%-.04% of students receive a perfect score on the SAT, so this is nothing to sneeze at!
Patel’s life forever changed as a result of his improved SAT scores. He received offers from Ivy League schools, $250,000 in scholarships, and was even invited to meet the president of the United States. He went on to receive an MBA and (!) MD. Today, in addition to furthering his medical studies, he’s committed to helping other students realize the same life-changing results he experienced.
What I Like About Prep Expert:
Guaranteed score improvement of 200+ points, assuming you complete the course requirements
Clear expectations, which they’ve given a shorthand of 80/90/100 – you’re expected to attend at least 80% of the classes, complete at least 90% of the homework assignments, and complete 100% of the practice tests.
Since there’s so much required engagement, you have to…you know…be engaged. Hitting “play” and walking away isn’t possible.
Solid track record (over 50,000 students helped, with perfect scores and Ivy League acceptances among them)
Their students have earned over $100 MILLION in scholarships
Live and self-paced courses at a number of different price points
Conversational tone – knowledgeable without being intimidating
Extremely comprehensive. There are even videos showing how to find the answers to practice questions! This would’ve been a game-changer for me in the math section. Most books/companies provide the correct answer, but not how to reach it. These videos are invaluable.
Frequent free classes and webinars to give you a feel for the program
Only hires tutors who have scored in the top 1%. Their rates can be as low as $29/hour (compared to the $150-$260/hour at Princeton Review).
What I’m Not Crazy About:
The graphics aren’t super engaging. I know this doesn’t impact the quality of the program, but I personally find it easier to stay engaged when there are interesting visuals.
Slightly inconvenient dashboard. To take the practice tests in the self-paced SAT program, for instance, you download a PDF in one window and fill in the bubbles in another. They didn’t automatically open different tabs, so I had to go back and forth a few times to get everything. I understand why they do this – it mimics the real test to have the questions and answers in separate places – but a desk is bigger than a laptop.
I consider Prep Expert to be traditional SAT prep, similar to Princeton Review or Kaplan. It’s time-consuming and won’t win any fun-factor awards, but it does what promises and helps improve your SAT score.
Something Else to Be Aware Of:
Like I said, I very much consider Prep Expert to be a traditional SAT prep program like Kaplan or Princeton Review. However, given the lower price tag, you should know that the guarantees are smaller. Prep Expert only guarantees a score improvement. For about 10 times the price, Princeton Review guarantees a certain score.
Would I recommend Prep Expert? If you’re looking for a traditional SAT prep program, absolutely. It has all the tools you need to improve your SAT score, or even land a perfect score. Those results can help secure an offer letter from your dream school, garner scholarships, and springboard you to a better future.