On the Prep Scholar website, their ACT course profile seems like every learner’s dream comes true. It’s said to be wholly online, backed by hundreds of hours of study and practice materials and built-in technology to boost score gain.
It also boasts generous score improvement guarantees and extremely competitive pricing. But does a huge curb appeal, a great test-prep course? In this review, we go through the features of the course plus the pros and cons to help you come to your own conclusion.
Read on to get the full, unbiased PrepScholar ACT review from the experts at Prep Test Pros.
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ACT Prep Courses, Classes, and Tutoring Near Me
With nearly every college applicant possessing respectable GPAs and impressive extracurriculars, a strong ACT score may be the only thing standing between you and that acceptance letter. ACT stands for American College Testing. It’s a premium exam designed and administered by a non-profit organization of the same name.
The exam evaluates a student’s mathematical, English, reading, and logical reasoning skills. These are the skills needed to succeed in undergrad programs and the professional life thereafter. A writing section is also included as an option. When reviewing applicants, many universities consider exam scores. Therefore, if you are going to sit for the exam, better prepare to give it your all.
Prep Scholar promises to help you get ready for the exam with as little budget as possible. They have an OnDemand course, virtual classes, and private one-on-one tutoring. The OnDemand course is available as a one- or two-year test prep package or a hybrid package if you want to ACT and SAT prep services bundled into one plan.
History of Prep Scholar
In the test-prep scene, there are the big-name companies that have been around for a long time and have assisted millions of learners in crushing the standardized tests. Then there are the startups; these are brand new companies in the scene that appeal to test-takers because of their innovative approach to test prep.
Lastly, there are the companies that sit comfortably in the middle – not too young nor too old. These companies boast some experience in the field while still remaining innovative to provide learners with unique study platforms.
PrepScholar is a new firm with a fantastic team of experts, cutting-edge test prep tools, and a variety of dependable study and practice material. They use all of these aspects in every one of their courses, including the ACT online curriculum. This helps make them a significant alternative to existing test prep companies.
The company was created in 2013 by the two former top Harvard graduates, Allen Cheng (many teaching awards) and Fred Zhang (Bachelor of Mathematics and Ph.D. in Economics). Compared with other test preparation options, PrepScholar is a wonderful choice for students looking for a curriculum backed by an extensive library of materials and results-oriented methods. Read on to learn everything you need to know about PrepScholar ACT, from its materials to the format and everything else in between.
Prep Scholar ACT overview
Prep Scholar is an online study platform. However, it’s more than just a mere collection of videos and practice questions. Forget those one-size-fits-all prep platforms; here, the course is customized for each individual’s strengths and weaknesses to enable maximum improvement in a short time.
It includes interactive text-based lessons, high-quality videos, thousands of practice questions, full-length practice tests, and personalized study plans that tell students what to study, when, and how. You will also get weekly email notifications, progress tracking, and customized feedback to keep you motivated. The videos show you the content and useful strategies for the exam.
The company also provides a live online classes package for students who want a structured course with teachers to hold them accountable. Then there’s the option for private coaching if you want one-on-one ACT instructions.
Features of PrepScholar ACT
- Comprehensive ACT prep live online or OnDemand.
- Text-based and video lectures amounting to 60 hours of content
- 4+ point score improvement guarantee
- 4800 practice questions with solutions and explanations
- Personalized study plan
- Six full-length practice tests
- Dual SAT + ACT package
- Private tutoring
- Diagnostic test
- Weekly email reports and progress tracking
- Free ACT consultations
How Does the Prep Scholar ACT Curriculum Work?
To start preparing for your ACT with prep Scholar, you have to create an account by filling an online form then submit your payment info to enable a free trial. For the company to know your prep style and target score, you will have to answer a short survey then take a diagnostic test.
The latter helps identify your strengths and weaknesses across all areas of testing in the exam. Based on your performance, learning style, and target score, the algorithm on the platform puts together a course for you, including a study plan containing info on what to study, when, and how.
The curriculum uses the Learn it, Drill it, Review it, Repeat approach. Each lesson is 60 minutes long and split into 20-minute parts. The first part involves learning; the second is practice, then you review your work to identify and learn from your mistake and repeat the formula across each lesson.
Your study plan changes as you move through each lesson. If you pass the lesson, you’ll be allowed to proceed to the next lesson. If you need additional practice, they’ll reschedule the lesson so you may try again. You’ll make the most improvement using this training strategy. At various stages of the course, you’ll also sit for practice tests.
How’s the PrepScholar ACT Coursework?
PrepScholar ACT is one of the most well-rounded and extensive curriculums in existence. Once you sign up and purchase the course, you will get lessons and an adaptive study plan. Across 40+ individual lessons, PrepScholar guides students step-by-step through what, when, and how to study.
There is never a question with PrepScholar about what you should be doing at a given point in the course. They walk you through every bit of material on a strictly scheduled basis, ordered in a manner to maximize gains.
The lesions are 60 minutes long and teach both content and strategies. They are all text-based and interactive, but a few of them are accompanied by supplementary videos.
Text lessons are very extensive and dotted with equations, graphics, pictures, and other learning aids to make them even more comprehensible. Nevertheless, you will find them a little dry and long if you’re not a text-based learner.
On the other hand, the video lessons offer a more engaging learning experience. They cover the same content as the textual lesson but in a visual slideshow and voiceover format. That means that as the instructor verbalizes their instructions, you’ll see bullet lists of important points slide across the screen.
Occasionally the instructor will use a red marker to highlight key points and work out practice questions. But you will never see the instructor’s face or even hand. Combined with the text-based lessons, this makes for extensive ACT instruction.
Each lesson is divided into three 20-minute parts. The first teaches ACT content and strategies; then the next part is the practice work, where you’ll have to take 10-20 quizzes. These hammer more on the concepts covered in the lessons and are pulled from the company’s practice questions bank.
In total, you get over 2400 realistic practice questions. Once you are done with the lesson quiz, review your work because each question is accompanied by an explanation of its solution. The explanation thoroughly breaks the question into its core concepts, so you know what was required and how to avoid making the same mistake.
If your performance on the quiz indicates that you’ve mastered the lesson, you will be allowed to proceed to the next lesson; otherwise, you’ll be required to retake the lesson as many times as possible until you are ready to take the next one.
After you finish the first eight lessons, you take a practice test. Every learner gets an official ACT study guide. It contains real ACT practice tests from the people who set the exam. You’ll need three hours to complete the test, enter your answers online for immediate scoring, grading, and feedback.
The instructors will grade your essay too. In total, the company provides five full-length ACT practice questions; this number is in line with what other test prep companies provide, and, in any event, they should be enough to help you develop confidence and stamina for D-day.
It’s recommended that you keep following the Learn it, Drill it, Review it formula with your personalized study plan from this point onward. The lessons help you improve your skills, and practice exams help you put them all together. Specialized Strategy Lessons can also help you learn methods.
Your program adapts as you improve; you’re constantly pushed to the limit of your abilities, and you’re always challenged to improve. You will be completely prepared for the ACT throughout this course.
Finally, PrepScholar provides an analysis of your performance under the “Progress” tab on the dashboard. PrepScholar summarizes your performance using charts and graphics to give you a visual look of where you are trending towards. You’ll be able to see how much you’ve progressed each day and how far you are from your overall objectives.
Overall, the PrepScholar ACT curriculum is well designed and executed. The Learn It, Drill It, Repeat It approach is a sure way to improve the skills one is weak at for maximum score gain in a short time. Plus, the lessons also teach strategies so you’ll know how to solve certain types of math questions, how to analyze grammar, and so on.
PrepScholar OnDemand ACT Course Plans and Pricing
PrepScholar’s Complete Online ACT package is available as a one-year, two-year, or dual SAT + ACT package.
The one-year complete online ACT prep is the company’s most popular package. It costs $397 and grants year-long access to the entire program. You will get your own customized study plan, complete with dozens of ACT lessons, an extensive library of practice questions, and official practice tests.
- One-year access, no hour limitations!
- More than 60 hours of content
- Over 4800 practice questions
- Over 70 skill lessons
- 51 fine-grained ACT skills to learn and master
- Six official practice tests
- Covers all ACT sections: English, Writing Reading, Science, and Math
- Thorough answer explanations for every single question
- Personalized diagnostic quiz
For students who don’t know when they are going to apply to college but just want to take the ACT and get it out of the way, PrepScholar has this two-year study package to help you get started on your prep. It’s called the Complete Premium and costs $577. It includes everything that’s in the one-year course package.
If you plan to sit for both the ACT and SAT or are on the fence about which test to take, Prep Scholar has this hybrid ACT + SAT online prep package for $ 587. This saves you some cash by providing study and practice materials for both tests in one package.
This is PrepScholar’s most comprehensive option for Act prep. It takes the complete online course and expands on it by adding up to 9 live class hours. Students attend virtual classes with their peers to take live classes offered by some of the top instructors in the organization. The live classes + complete online prep package costs 895. The live instructions are based on the official exam questions.
Furthermore, the PrepScholar maintains a small teacher-to-student ratio so that all learners get individualized attention. You can engage and interact with other students during the classes. The lessons are usually stretched over two to three months and contain individual pre- and post-examination evaluations with an instructor.
Standout features of the live classes include:
- Learn and interact with other motivated students.
- Attend virtual classes developed and taught by top 1% ACT experts.
- Work with top ACT teachers in small groups.
- Stay motivated and on track.
- Ask the instructor questions.
Tutoring is the highlight of many test-prep companies’ services. Most of them provide one-on-one tutoring as a standalone service. In contrast, others allow users of their OnDemand or Live Online courses to supplement their prep with private coaching. PrepScholar falls in both categories; you can purchase a standalone tutoring package or the Complete Online Prep + Tutoring. The latter costs $995.
Standout features of PrepScholar ACT tutoring include:
- Double your score improvement!
- Drill down on your specific mistakes.
- Get individualized help on tough topics.
PrepScholar ACT Platform Interface
The PrepScholar ACT platform is clean and easy to use. It doesn’t boggle you down with many features; just a simple layout with a navigation bar featuring three tabs. The first tab directs you to the core ACT lessons, the second tab to the strategy lessons, and the third to the progress trackers. That’s it, a simple and intuitive interface with an academic look and font.
What’s The Content Access Period?
Every PrepScholar ACT prep package, except for one, allows 12-months of access to the study and practice materials. The only exception is the Complete Premium which comes with two years of access.
As already mentioned, if you need more time to prepare or do not know when you’ll apply to college but simply want to get started on your ACT prep, the Complete Premium package is the one for you. Otherwise, you will just do well with the standard one-year prep packages, be it 100 % OnDemand, OnDemand + Live Classes Hybrid, or OnDemand + Tutoring Hybrid.
Does PrepScholar Offer Score Improvement Guarantees on Their ACT Prep Packages?
Yes, ACT prep packages from PrepScholar come with one of the most generous score improvement guarantees you’ll ever get. The team is so confident in the curriculum that they offer a money-back score improvement guarantee.
They promise that if you follow all instructions to the end, you will see a 4+ point improvement from your previous score; otherwise, they’ll give you back your money. PrepScholar’s 4+ point score improvement is in line with the industry-wide standard. For example, Magoosh and Prep Expert ACT promise to improve your score by 4+ points or refund you in full too.
A difference of 4+ points in the ACT is no joke. It’s enough to get your score from the 47th to the 70th percentile and make you stay competitive among other college applicants.
Does PrepScholar ACT include a Mobile app?
PrepScholar doesn’t have a dedicated student app; not that this is a buzzkill since you can access the course features via browsers. However, a mobile app would have made things much smoother. Magoosh, for example, provides two mobile apps. The first app grants access to video lessons, practice questions, and explanations. The second app is for flashcards; you will get 200 of them for quick-hit revisions on the move.
For a $397 price per year, it’s a shame Prep Scholar fails to include a student app or flashcards. These are the features that modern students utilize the most to prepare for their exams on the move.
Does PrepScholar ACT Allow Risk-Free Trial?
A risk-free trial is a feature of the best test prep courses. It allows prospective users to take a curriculum for a test drive and gain first-hand experience of what a course is all about. Some companies grant full access to their course; others only allow access to a few features such as diagnostic exams, practice questions, or one or two video lessons. PrepScholar, on the other hand, allows a risk-free trial on all their courses.
You can try the Complete ACT Online Prep, PrepScholar Classes, or Complete + Tutoring packages for five days free of charge. If you discover that the curriculum is not for you, cancel your subscription, and you won’t be charged a dime!
Pros of PrepScholar ACT 👍
If you are looking for the reasons to choose PrepScholar, here’s a summary:
- Comprehensive act prep: covers all sections (English, Writing, Reading, Math, and Science)
- Personalized platform: starts with a diagnostic test and survey, then you get lessons and an adaptive study plan
- Over 2400 practice questions
- Up to 6 full-length practice tests
- Essay scoring, grading, and customized feedback
- 4+ point score improvement guarantee
- Five-day risk-free trial
- Hybrid prep packages: OnDemand + Online Classes, OnDemand + Tutoring, Dual SAT + ACT
- Free technical support anytime, any day
- Access period of one to two years depending on the package purchased
- Teaches both content and strategies
Now the aspects of PrepScholar ACT that make other curriculums better alternatives include:
- No mobile app
- No flashcards app
- More expensive than Magoosh: Magoosh one-year course costs $99 while PrepScholar is $397
Who Should Use PrepScholar ACT?
Any student can use the PrepScholar ACT curriculum to prepare for their ACT exams. There are multiple course options to choose from:
- Self-driven students can choose the Complete Online Prep course to prep at their own pace and when their schedule allows.
- Students who want the structure of traditional classes can buy the hybrid package, which pairs the online course plus 9 hours of live instructions in a virtual classroom.
- Students who want top marks or help with specific subjects can purchase standalone private coaching bundles or the complete online course + tutoring package.
- Students who haven’t decided whether to take the ACT or SAT or are looking to take both can buy the dual ACT + SAT package.
- Visual learners will also find the curriculum suitable since it includes video lessons in addition to text-based instructions.
- Busy-professionals will find the curriculum suitable too since each lesson is 60 minutes long and split into 20-minute sessions that are easy to squeeze into already-tight schedules.
However, if you are looking for in-person classes, you won’t find any with PrepScholar; consider checking PrepExpert, which has in-person classes for students in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Princeton, New Jersey. Veritas Prep and Princeton Review, too, offer in-person ACT classes.