Prep Expert offers online ACT prep sessions as well as self-paced courses to help college-bound students crush their exams and get into the top colleges or qualify for merit-based aid. The classes are taught by superstar ACT instructors who will teach your child over 100 strategies created by Dr. Shaan Patel.
He’s a former perfect SAT scorer, and you’ll recognize the name from ABC’s Shark Tank program, in which he appeared back in 2016, pitched his idea of a test prep company, and managed to get funding from Mark Cuban.
Ever since the episode was on TV, Prep Expert has become popular with ACT and SAT students. But does the combination of a perfect test scorer and a billionaire lead to fantastic test prep services? Read on to get the full, unbiased Prep Expert ACT review from the experts at Prep Test Pros.
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History of Prep Expert
Prep Expert broke onto the ACT prep scene back in 2016 after founder Shaan Patel’s appearance on the ABC hit show – Shark Tank. While you may be skeptical of the usefulness of a course that got its start on a reality TV show, we can assure you that the Prep Expert ACT prep package is the real deal.
The course is based mostly on Shaan’s 100 self-created SAT testing tactics, which helped him obtain a perfect score on the exam and have now been altered to apply to the ACT exam.
The strategies are taught by veteran tutors, either through live class sessions or pre-recorded videos. You have the option of a 6-week flagship course, a self-paced video, or a weekend review course.
These courses provide double the number of hours than most ACT courses on the market but at roughly half the price. The teachers attained top marks themselves, boast years of teaching expertise, and have helped hundreds of students crush their exams using the most intelligent test prep tactics. Here are some of the prominent features:
Features of Prep Expert ACT Prep
- Top one percent ACT instructors
- Money-back score improvement assurances
- Self-paced online, live online, and weekend review courses
- 100+ ACT strategies
- Tutoring is available
Prep Expert ACT Coursework and Lessons
The Prep Expert ACT prep puts a strong emphasis on test-taking strategies. According to Dr. Shaan, strategies are what matters in the exam, not natural intellect. His strategies are designed to help students handle the nuances and tricks of the exam. They are the basis of every ACT course on the platform.
The 6-week course comprises 36 hours of live instructions with lessons revolving around Dr. Shaan’s 100+ ACT strategies. The instructor will begin by presenting an overview of how the exam tries to trick students or common silly mistakes students make. Then they’ll cover the strategy for dealing with the issue and explain why it works.
Finally, students will see the strategy in action as the instructor uses it to tackle a few practice questions. Across the six weeks, students will learn easy fixes and useful shortcuts for picking up extra points in the exam.
The weekend review course is the same as the 6-week course but condensed. It’s for students who want to put the final touches on their prep before the exam. On the other hand, the self-paced course uses pre-recorded video lectures in which Dr. Shaan walks you through the 100 strategies one by one. He usually appears on one side of the screen and the text portion on the other side.
The text portion is in slideshow format and contains a few keys, bullet points. However, the verbal part is the one students should focus on more than the texts on the screen. Finally, he’ll demonstrate how the strategies work through more than sample problems before moving to official practice questions and showing you how the strategies work in the exam context.
However, the pre-recorded videos cover fewer materials than what’s covered in the live classes, plus students won’t get to ask questions like in the live course format.
Students will take a self-proctored practice test once a week; this means 6 ACT practice tests in total. Once the answers are uploaded, the student’s work is scored and graded, giving them the chance to review the test.
Prep Expert insists on such reviews, even the class sessions reserve a couple of hours for pre-selected practice questions, and the teacher goes through them, explaining what strategies apply and how.
Apart from strategy lessons and self-proctored practice tests, Prep Expert ACT prep also involves assignments. The 6-week flagship course involves 2 hours of assignments every week. These are just sets of practice questions covering each week’s techniques and strategies. Completing the assignments and reviewing solutions is a great way to reinforce what’s taught in class.
Overall, Prep Expert ACT Prep classes and lessons are engaging and informative. The method of picking a problem, learning what technique applies, and then practicing the technique on similar problems makes learning feel natural and increases content retention.
The company provides consistent ACT instructions across all teachers and course formats, plus students get the chance to practice under the exam-like environment with some exceptional practice exams and simulated tests. Overall, Prep Expert provides a broad course curriculum that is among the finest in the ACT prep industry.
Prep Expert ACT Prep Course Plans & Pricing
Prep Expert offers three different types of ACT prep courses. The courses vary by format, length, and number of hours. The course options are as follows:
- 6-Week Flagship
- Self-Paced Course
- Weekend Review
The 6-week flagship ACT courses are the most popular prep options on the platform and cost around $799. Students and instructors meet twice per week for 3 hours of instruction and once per week for 4 hours of a self-proctored ACT exam.
These courses teach 100+ ACT strategies developed by perfect ACT scorer Clay Cooper and perfect SAT scorer Dr. Shaan Patel. They are also the most trusted courses on the platform since they carry a 4+ point score improvement guarantee.
The weekend review courses cover approximately a third of the 6-week course content in just two days. Students and teachers meet Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm. They are ideal for students looking to do some last-minute prep before the exam. The weekend review courses start somewhere around $299.
Finally, for students who want to prep at their own pace and time, Prep Expert offers a self-paced ACT course too. It comprises over 30 hours of pre-recorded video instructions led by Dr. Shaan himself.
He teaches hundreds of strategies and practices questions to show you how to crush the exam like a perfect scorer. You will have year-long access to the course and can prep at your own pace. The course carries a money-back score improvement guarantee, too, and costs $499.
Prep Expert ACT Prep Tutoring
For some students, private ACT tutoring may be the best way to prep for the exam. Prep Expert provides ACT tutoring for students looking to apply to top 25 universities, qualify for merit-based aid, or just looking for help with specific sections of the exam.
You will receive one-on-one ACT instructions from highly qualified instructors starting from as low as $50/hr. The instructors are great communicators and have very good and detailed knowledge of Dr. Shaan’s strategies.
Does Prep Expert Have a Mobile App?
The modern test-taker likes to watch video lessons and practice questions from their mobile phone. Smartphone apps make things easy, especially for students with tight schedules; they can study anywhere anytime as long as they have the internet.
Unfortunately, Prep Expert doesn’t provide a mobile app. This is not a dealbreaker because you can still access the course on your mobile via browsers, but a mobile app would have made things more convenient.
Prep Expert Score Guarantees
The instructors at Prep Expert are so confident in their ACT prep that they back up their courses with industry-leading money-back score improvement guarantees.
If you purchase a 6-week flagship course, you get a 4-point score improvement guarantee. The self-paced course promises that you will improve your score, too, or get your money back. Terms and conditions apply.
Why Choose Prep Expert ACT Prep 👍
The Prep Expert ACT courses stand out among the competition because of the multiple course options, expert instructors, extended access, and score improvement guarantees. Here is a look at the pros:
✅ 1. Multiple Course Packages
Forget those one-size-fits-all ACT prep courses; Prep Expert provides several course packages to choose from. You can choose a 6-week flagship course, a weekend prep course, a self-paced course, and if you want direct access to tutors, private coaching is also available starting at $50/hr.
The 6-week course includes 36 hours of lessons. Students and teachers meet twice a week for 3 hours of instructions and a four-hour self-proctored exam once a week.
The weekend review course is for students in a pinch before the exam. It will help you get ready for the exam in just two days. You’ll meet Saturday and Sunday between 9 am and 4 pm to cover roughly 1/3rd of the 6-week course content. However, it doesn’t come with a score improvement guarantee like the 6-week course.
Lastly, if you prefer to study at your own pace and time, you can go with the self-paced course. It covers the same content as the live course but uses pre-recorded video instructions that total 30 hours. The advantage here is you’ll be allowed 12 months of access to the course. This course includes assignments and practice tests, too, just like the live courses.
✅ 2. Money-Back Score Improvement Assurance
Prep-Expert has a Money-Back Score Improvement Assurance on the majority of its courses. Because each course allows students a varied amount of time to learn and engage with teachers, the company incorporates different assurances.
The 6-week flagship course promises that you’ll see a 4+ point improvement, while the self-paced course simply promises that you’ll score higher than you did previously.
All guarantees are backed by money-back promises, meaning that if you don’t score as promised, you can ask to be refunded in full. However, terms and conditions apply. To get your money back, you must provide your official ACT score before taking the course and completing the course you purchase.
✅ 3. Both In-person and Online Classes
Prep Expert is one of the few test prep companies that offer both online and in-person classes. If you live in the Las Vegas, Nevada area, you can attend ACT classes in person. This will suit students who prefer classroom learning environments.
If you are far away from the company’s on-site learning centers, you can take the classes online and access the ACT-prep books and video lessons using your intent-enabled devices. However, when it comes to the assignments and practice tests, you’ll have to take them as paper-and-pencil exams then scan and upload your answers for scoring.
✅ 4. Top 1% ACT Instructors
Prep Expert has some of the best instructors in the industry. Their crew comprises academics who scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT, putting them in the top one percent of all test-takers. Some even received perfect marks on the SAT and or ACT, demonstrating that they know what they’re doing.
Prep Expert’s founder himself, Shaan Patel, got a perfect 2400 score on the SAT and teamed with another perfect ACT scorer to develop the company’s ACT program. Prep Expert’s instructors are also incredibly personable and expressive, which makes their lectures not only easy to follow but also enjoyable!
✅ 5. Extended Access to High-Quality Prep Materials
Even if you decide to go with the live courses, it doesn’t mean your prep ends with the live online or in-person sessions; you’ll also be allowed to use the pre-recorded video lessons anytime, any day. Dr. Shaan himself makes these video recordings, and he goes through his strategies one by one, demonstrating how they apply to practice questions and drills.
Furthermore, most of Prep Expert’s course packages offer access to ACT course books, which provide content for each section of the exam. These books include:
- ACT Intro
- ACT English
- ACT Writing
- ACT Reading
- ACT Math
- ACT Science
You can access your ACT prep materials and dashboard for up to two months after your last class session if you take the 6-week flagship course. If you choose the self-paced option, you will have access to your course materials for a year following purchase.
This is a huge benefit since it allows you to use Prep Expert’s written materials, video lessons, and class sessions, even after you’ve taken the exam. If you score fewer marks than you wanted, you can still use the materials to prep for a retake without paying anything.
The books provide a deeper insight into the ACT exam and concepts that are the foundation of the Prep Expert’s curriculum. Use these books in addition to your class sessions and the self-paced course to get further explanations for the concepts you find challenging.
✅ 6. Engaging and Fun Lessons
Prep Expert uses Adobe Connect to connect students and promote interaction with their ACT instructors. Students can talk to the instructor and other students through a chat box and watch the instructor annotate and discuss the test. To encourage participation, teachers use many approaches.
For example, students are needed to answer a particular percentage of questions in the class; it’s like a polling system; failure to attain a certain level of participation leads to a student being marked as absent.
You must be present in a certain number of class sessions if you want to be regarded as having completed the course; otherwise, you will be unsuitable for the money-back score improvement guarantee advantage.
That said, there are a few aspects that may make Prep Expert ACT unsuitable for you. Here’s a look:
❌ 7. The Price
Prep Expert ACT courses aren’t exactly cheap, owing to the quality of materials and the level of access they provide. The cheapest course is the weekend Review course, and this only covers 1/3rd of the content covered in the six-week flagship course. Plus, it’s an intense program that’s only suitable if you are looking for a last-minute prep option. Otherwise, you will have to choose between the self-paced course starting from $499 and the 6-week course starting from $799.
However, if you look at it from a cost/hr point of view, the 6-week flagship course provides 36 hours of instructions, making it $22.19 per hour. Compared to other courses, this is significantly fairer.
You will get more hours at approximately half the price of the competition. For example, Princeton Review charges $599 for 18 hours of instructions, making it a $33/hr course. Veritas Prep charges $899 for 25 hours of instructions, making it a $36/hr course. PrepScholar ACT provides only 9 hours of classroom instructions for $895, making it a $99.44/hr course.
The only course that’s cheaper per hour than Prep Expert’s is the one from Kaplan. It costs $799 for 60 hours of instructions ($13 per hour).
❌ 8. Heavy Workload
The workload covered in the 6-Week Flagship courses is no joke. You meet twice a week for 3 hours of instructions and a four-hour self-proctored exam once a week. Overall, you’ll take ten practice tests; four of these are assignments as homework multiple times every week.
The self-proctored exams include essays as well, and the company recommends that you complete the essays even if you don’t intend to take the essay as part of the exam.
If you decide to go with the weekend prep, you’ll cover 1/3rd of what’s covered in the 6-week course in just 12 hours.
❌ 9. User Interface
While typically a current and easy to browse platform, numerous user interface components need changing. For instance, you can view classes, books, tasks, and practice exams when you enter the dashboard.
However, the dashboard doesn’t have video lectures. You must log in to a separate website to see the video lessons. In addition, to participate in live classes, you must download Adobe Connect, which is a separate software application. This approach of switching between websites can be a bit hard at first, but you’ll get used to it eventually.
The next issue is with the assignment grading component. You will have to download a PDF version of the homework and are allowed to obtain the answers whether you’ve finished the task or not. While this encourages accountability, on the other hand, it also tempts learners to look at answers before working through the assignment.
However, these are just minor issues. Overall, the Prep Expert platform is up-to-date and easy-to-use, allowing students to access video lessons, practice tests, download and submit assignments without any difficulties.
Who Should Use the Prep Expert ACT? 🤔
Any student can use the Prep Expert ACT courses to prepare for their exam. There’re many options to choose from:
- Students who want the flexibility and convenience of a self-guided prep can choose the self-paced course, which includes 30 hours of instructions, practice tests, and a money-back score improvement guarantee. This course is available for 12 months after you purchase it.
- Students living in Las Vegas, Nevada, or Princeton, New Jersey and want a classroom learning experience can attend classes in person.
- If you live far away from on-site learning centers but still want the structure of a live course, you can take the 6-week flagship course.
- Students in a pinch before the exam can use the Weekend Review course to do last-minute prep.