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Looking into SAT or ACT prep and notice that places like Kaplan and Princeton Review have ...

citymama9citymama9 Registered User Posts: 1,535 Senior Member
packages that involve online prep. Are these as good as going to a testing center in person? I'm concerned about finding the time to actually fit classes into D's schedule?

Also is there a big difference between Princeton Rev and Kaplan? How do we decide which to pick? Thanks

Replies to: Looking into SAT or ACT prep and notice that places like Kaplan and Princeton Review have ...

  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,623 Senior Member
    edited September 12
    My honest opinion, as a test prep tutor...save your money. I personally do not feel that big classes are at all beneficial. For the same money, you could hire a private tutor for a few sessions. That is money much better spent, becasue they can target your child's specific areas of weakness. You also have much more flexibility. A private tutor works form ou, on your child's schedule.

    Re Kaplan versus Princeton, six of one, half dozen of the other. Choose the better price, if you go that route.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,156 Senior Member
    Plus, they both use their own tests not the official ACT and SAT practice tests.

    Our S19 took an ACT and an SAT freshman year (since those scores won't show up anywhere) and decided SAT was better for him. Then, he studied on his own this summer using the Xiggi method. You can google it. Worked well for him. Won't get his official score for another week but his practice test scores went up and up. If he thinks he needs a tutor after seeing this score, we will know exactly what he needs in terms of tutoring and they can just focus on any weaknesses. That's way less expensive than hiring a tutor from the beginning.
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,623 Senior Member
    And I realize I didn't read your post properly.

    I have a friend who purchased online prep for her kids and thought it worked very well. But I still think one on one in person is better.
  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 675 Member
    I also don't think the classes are worth the money. We hired a test prep one-on-one tutor for my daughter and her ACT score went up 6 points. I've used Kaplan in the past (for myself) and was not impressed.
  • citymama9citymama9 Registered User Posts: 1,535 Senior Member
    edited September 12
    @Lindagaf @Emsmom1 @homerdog Thank you so much for responding. I wish my D could self-prep like so many here do, but I'm afraid that she needs a structured program to get her started. She's done some math using an ACT book so far, but nothing major. Our plan was for her to start a class to get her started this fall. Then once she has some tools she can do stuff herself. Once we get closer to test time and when she knows her weak spots we were planning to hire a tutor. I'm just afraid that if we get a tutor now that the cost will be crazy. It's not unusual for tutors in our area to charge around $200 per hour. I'm hoping to find someone for less. As of now the plan is to for her to take the first ACT next April. Still trying to figure out if she should do ACT and/or SAT. It's so hard know which to focus on. She's a great student, but not an amazing test taker.

    Ideally, I would rather skip the class and just hire a tutor, but I'd rather save that for Jan.

    Any more thoughts are welcome. I appreciate your insights.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 1,156 Senior Member
    Makes sense to me, then, to go to a class. I'm sure they will assign homework and that will keep her on track! As for choosing ACT or SAT, there are many reasons to choose one over the other but you'll need some scores on hand. Both Kaplan and Princeton Review around here will allow the kids to take a free timed test. Then, they give you a pretty handy report that shows strengths and weaknesses on each test. After that, it is sometimes easy to decide. Sometimes, though, kids do about the same on the tests and then you can either prep for both or look closer at how your child felt about each test.

    For S19, the questions on the ACT were pretty easy. He just couldn't finish. And being crunched for time has always made him very nervous. While he found the SAT questions harder, he's bright enough to do well on them and SAT gives way more time per question. He decided he'd prefer to focus on SAT prep.
  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 675 Member
    edited September 12
    That's a good idea to hire the tutor after you figure out her weak spots. My daughter has ADHD so there was no way she would have studied on her own, which is why we did the tutoring from the get-go (we are in LA and it was quite pricey). I do know there are some places that offer online classes plus a tutoring package. My nephew did just the online classes and his SAT only went up by 50 points, although I don't know how dedicated he was to doing the homework, etc.
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