Prepare vs the Competition

How does the PREPARE SAT/ACT prep course compare to those of our competitors?  

  • Price

  • Total Instructional Hours

  • Diagnostic Tests

  • Tuition Free Scholarships

  • Come back to class for free

  • Local Testimonials on website

  • PREPARE

  • $849 (with $150 host-school discount)

  • 36

  • Yes

  • Yes

  • Yes

  • Yes

  • Kaplan

  • $499/$999+

  • 18 +add PSAT-ACT

  • Yes

  • No

  • ?

  • No/Yes

  • Princeton Review

  • $599/$999

  • 18/30

  • Yes

  • ?

  • No/No

  • ?

  • Sylvan

  • Who knows? $500, $1000, $2000 (Won't tell you up front)

  • ?

  • ?

  • ?

  • ?

  • ?

  • Huntington

  • Who knows? $500, $1000, $2000 (Won't tell you up front)

  • ?

  • ?

  • ?

  • ?

  • ?

  • Boonswang

  • Who knows? $500, $1000, $2000 (Won't tell you up front)

  • ?

  • ?

  • ?

  • ?

  • ?

Lehigh University

Lehigh University

Common sense about test prep companies

Huntington, Kaplan, Princeton Review, and Sylvan are nationwide companies. Do they have something that PREPARE doesn't?

Sure: inflated prices, elaborate websites, part-time instructors and computerized feedback for their students' diagnostic tests. PREPARE offers sensible prices, a modest website, a full-time professional instructor, and human feedback.

Why won't some test prep companies give me a price without an in-person 'evaluation'?

I think you can figure this one out.

  Princeton University

  Princeton University

Why does PREPARE offer so much more instructional time than its competitors?

Because that’s how much time it takes to properly prepare for the ACT and SAT. The reason my competitors don't have more hours is because they would have to (1) significantly raise their already inflated prices, or (2) take a big cut in their profits. Faced with these unpleasant alternatives, they have chosen to dilute their course offerings.

Kaplan and Princeton Review slashed their prices in response to the economic downturn. But don't be fooled: their new 'economy-level' prep are cheaper because they also slashed their instructional hours. What a bargain, huh?

“The Prepare program is a highly effective program for the SAT exam that I strongly recommend. I sent both my daughters to study with Peter during their junior year in high school and not only did their scores increase dramatically but their confidence levels did as well. This course prepares students for the SAT's and beyond with rigorous training both in subject matter and high level study habits. I am so happy they had the opportunity to work with Peter Schmidt.”

       Shelley Oliver, Lecturer, Muhlenberg College, mother of Taylor & Sarah Leonhardt, Wilson HS

 

What about the lower-priced prep courses at local colleges and the free courses offered by high schools?

Unfortunately, moonlighting teachers—not SAT test experts—usually run the SAT courses offered by community colleges and local high schools. In fact, many of PREPARE’s students are frustrated refugees from these programs. But don’t take our word for it: find someone whose child has taken one of these courses and ask them if they were satisfied with their ACT or SAT scores.

"Through Prepare, I was able to learn effective strategies for every section on the SAT and gain confidence with frequent practice tests in realistic testing conditions. After my Prepare course, my scores increased by 500 points. Using Prepare's strategies, I was designated as a National Merit Finalist. Many of my friends took courses with Kaplan and Princeton Review for hundreds of more dollars and found themselves with little to no improvement. You've definitely made a difference in my life through your teaching."

            Stephen Yoon, Freedom HS, 2009 National Merit Finalist, Cornell ‘13

 

Does PREPARE offer a money-back guarantee?

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For our students who enrolled AFTER August 2015: 

 

We stick by our students from the first day they walk in our doors to the moment they walk down the graduation aisle; they are welcome to attend extra classes for free and to take diagnostic tests long after their initial classes are over. Quite apart from the genuine affection we feel for our kids, from a purely business perspective… the better they do, the better we do.

Even so, we cannot guarantee the results of students on the "New SAT" for two reasons: (1) the cumulative score ceiling has been reduced from 2400 to 1600, and (2) we haven't had enough experience yet with the New SAT. Until we have solid data about how the new test is being administered and scored, over a year or more, Prepare feels that no responsible company or tutor could truly guarantee a given result.

Still, if they want to succeed on the New SAT or on the ACT, our current students should take care to abide by the conditions below...

For Students who enrolled prior to September 1, 2015:

 

Our 100-point improvement guarantee comes with the following stipulations:

  • In order to qualify for the guarantee, students must attend 90% of their classes—including ALL regularly scheduled diagnostic tests and Friday-night brush up classes before their real SAT tests—and do 85% of their assigned homework. (Weekly quiz scores also count toward this homework total.). If they do all this, but still fail to add a hundred points to their SAT score, they get 100% of their tuition back. 
  • Students cannot miss two classes for any reason whatsoever, including studying for exams, illness, or family emergency. My experience has shown that when students miss two classes, they never catch up. Therefore, I ask students who miss two classes to start over in a subsequent session. I strongly recommend that students NOT miss any classes, but this policy allows for one unforeseen, emergent absence. When students take a planned absence (almost like a vacation day) this hurts their preparation and affects the rest of the class, as I have to slow down to catch them up upon their return. Also, I have found that students who take a planned absence almost always tend to end up missing a second class for some unforeseen reason and are then forced to drop out and start over again. 
  • Tardiness and early departures are distracting and destabilizing, so each instance counts for half-an-absence. Missing more than 15 minutes of a class constitutes an entire absence.
  • I understand that kids nowadays have full schedules, but they must make my class a priority or they will not fulfill their potential. Thus, I strongly recommend that students not pursue any other time-consuming activities when they are taking the class. To be specific: if students are spending more than a total of twelve hours a week on all other non-school activities-such as working at a part-time job; playing varsity or club sports; rehearsing for theatre, dance, musical performances, etc., I cannot guarantee their results. Indeed, if these activities significantly impair their ability to do their homework, I may ask them to leave the class and start over in a subsequent session.
  • Many kids don’t realize that their SAT scores can be applied to college applications months after they have been officially submitted. And since our kids often improve their scores significantly over time (sometimes more than 200 points between tests), we require that they take at least two official SAT tests after completing our course. Furthermore, students who wish to claim a refund cannot do so unless they have exhausted all opportunities to improve their score; i.e., they must take any official SAT or ACT test that could still be applied to their college application.
  • Students who start the course in the fall of their senior year are not eligible for the guarantee.

Does PREPARE offer scholarships?

Yes. PREPARE is proud to offer tuition-free scholarships for ACT and SAT prep tutoring to qualified students.Please phone 610-730-4876 for more information.