Kaplan ACT / SAT Prep Reviews

By Tech Powered Dad | July 14, 2018

Kaplan test prep facility

What is Kaplan?

Kaplan is the oldest name in test prep. They were founded in 1938 by Stanley Kaplan. In 2017, a staggering 350,000 students enrolled in Kaplan Test Prep courses. They are known for getting students ready for the biggest tests of their lives, and in the case of high school students, for getting them ready to be accepted to elite colleges.

Why Choose Kaplan for ACT / SAT Prep?

Much like with Princeton Review, Kaplan is chosen by parents looking for a premiere classroom experience. As we’ll see, that classroom can be in-person or online, but the idea here is that you are looking for a true ACT or SAT prep teacher that can answer explain and answer questions as they come up. Kaplan’s process for selecting teachers is very selective. Less than 1 in 10 candidates that applies to be come a Kaplan instructor is selected.

Here’s an example of one of the Kaplan teachers in action teaching a review for the ACT Math exam.

What Types of ACT / SAT Review Does Kaplan Offer?

Kaplan probably offers the widest number of test prep packages among the big names in test prep. They vary greatly in terms of their time commitment, personal attention, and cost. Here’s a look at their current offerings with links to each.

  • Free Events
    • ACT and SAT bootcamps
    • Free practice test and score review
  • Free Practice
    • ACT / SAT pop quiz
    • Question of the day
    • 20-minute workout
    • 90 minute turbo test, includes a prediction of where student will score
  • Self-Paced
    • 25+ hours of on-demand video instruction
    • 9 practice tests
    • Online quizzes and updated Quiz Bank of questions
    • Prep books
  • Live Online Essentials
    • Everything included in Self-Paced
    • 14 hours of live instruction on The Act Channel
    • Live proctoring for up to 9 practice tests
  • Live Online
    • Everything in the Live Online Essentials
    • 18 hours of live online instruction
  • Live Online Plus
    • Everything in the Live Online
    • 3 hrs of 1-on-1 coaching
    • Math Foundations
    • Those signing up for the ACT course get online SAT prep resources and vice versa
  • In Person
    • 18 hrs of live instruction
    • 14 hrs of elective live instruction on The ACT Channel
    • All courses also include
    • 9 practice tests, including 1 from the makers of the ACT
    • Updated online quizzes and Quiz Bank
    • 25+ hrs of on-demand lessons
    • Prep books for the ACT
  • In Person Plus
    • Everything in the In Person course
    • 3 hrs of 1-on-1 coaching
    • Math Foundations
    • Those signing up for the ACT course get online SAT prep resources and vice versa
  • Unlimited Prep
    • Access to Kaplan classes and materials for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT.
    • Students can take and retake any Kaplan PSAT, SAT, and ACT Prep courses through December of their senior year.
    • Includes live and in-person courses.
  • Tutoring
    • 12, 24, or 36 hours of private tutoring
    • In person or online
    • Includes an In Person or Live Online classroom course, and all of the practice materials that go with those courses

Which Kaplan ACT / SAT Prep Course?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by so many course offerings, so you’ll want to narrow it down. Here’s my advice. For my money, the best packages Kaplan offers are the following:

  • Unlimted Prep: The fact that a student can take the classes repeatedly over multiple years of high school, in person or online, and includes access to the three major high school tests makes it a great value.
  • In-person: This is a good value pick if you are looking for a quick but thorough review. Kaplan is known for its classroom instructors, and while the online option is great if they don’t offer a class in your area or on your schedule, I still think there’s something to be said for looking your teacher in the eye when asking a question.
  • Tutoring: This is the priciest option, but it’s the white glove service. Your child is going to get really serious 1 on 1 assistance with Kaplan’s tutoring prep option. I know from my personal experience working with students how quickly they can grow with that kind of attention.

Kaplan ACT / SAT Online Prep Review

As I just mentioned, while I think the classroom option is great, it doesn’t work for everyone. Kaplan does offer their online classes live. Many review services only offer them on-demand. This means the teachers will answer questions in real-time. For anyone who doesn’t have a schedule that works with the classroom option or live in a location where Kaplan has a class going, this is a pretty great option. Here’s a sample class that Kaplan ran recently to give you a feel for what the students see.

Does Kaplan Offer a Score Increase Guarantee for the ACT and SAT?

Kaplan does offer a score increase guarantee for most their ACT and SAT courses. It applies to the following courses:

  • ACT / SAT Tutoring (24 or 36 hours of tutoring)
  • Unlimited Prep
  • In Person
  • In Person PLUS
  • Live Online
  • Live Online PLUS
  • Self-Paced

If your child’s score does not increase and you take advantage of the guarantee, you’ll have the option of repeating the Kaplan course for free and retaking the test OR getting a refund but not both. You’ll want to read the full details on the guarantee for yourself as these can change over time.

Is Kaplan Worth the Money?

Kaplan is not the cheapest name in test prep by any means. However, they do have a variety of options that lend themselves very well to parents looking for “white glove” service. The individual attention that you can get with Kaplan is amongst the most extensive in test prep. If you are looking for a bargain option, this isn’t it. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a service that offers to coach your child every step of the way through the ACT or SAT process, they have something that’s very valuable. Some families are looking for that in the face of increasing college admission competition. If you fit that profile, then Kaplan is a fit for you.

Please click here to see the pricing for Kaplan’s latest ACT and SAT prep reviews.

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