In today’s highly competitive college admissions landscape, achieving high scores on standardized tests like the SAT and ACT can be a game-changer for students aspiring to secure spots in top-tier institutions and access lucrative scholarship opportunities. Among many test preparation programs available, Prep Expert has become well-known for its distinctive methodology that emphasizes test-taking techniques together with in-depth subject review. Prep Expert is a company started by Shark Tank standout Shaan Patel that provides a variety of courses aimed at assisting students in performing well on these significant tests. To help students make an informed decision, this article examines Prep Expert’s SAT and ACT preparation programs in-depth, looking at their features, advantages, limitations, guarantees, and how they compare to competing programs.
What is Prep Expert?
Prep Expert is an online test preparation platform that helps students prepare for the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) and ACT (American College Testing). To help students improve their performance on these important exams, Prep Expert offers a variety of study resources, such as video courses, drill questions, practice tests, and interactive content.
Dr. Shaan Patel, who achieved a perfect SAT score and appeared on the television show “Shark Tank,” created the platform. The goal of Prep Expert is to make excellent test preparation available to all students around the world, enabling them to succeed academically and professionally.
Prep Expert’s courses are designed to comprehensively cover the information on these standardized tests while also instructing students on test-taking strategies and tactics that may boost their performance and confidence. They provide both self-paced courses and live online classes to fit different learning styles and schedules.
Why was PrepExpert created?
The Prep Expert CEO and Founder, Dr. Shaan Patel, MD MBA, initially scored an average score on the SAT but decided to invest significant time and effort in studying and teaching themselves how to excel on the exam. After rigorous preparation, he achieved a perfect SAT score, a feat accomplished by only a very small percentage of high school students. This remarkable achievement opened doors to prestigious universities, garnered substantial scholarship offers, and even provided an opportunity to meet the US President. The financial burden of college was significantly reduced as they received scholarships that covered tuition, housing, books, and other expenses.
Inspired by his accomplishment, he launched Prep Expert, an educational organization dedicated to assisting other students in achieving similar life-changing outcomes through improved test scores. The organization uses top-tier skilled instructors who teach pupils the same ideas and approaches that helped them increase their own SAT scores dramatically. Prep Expert has a remarkable track record of accomplishment, with students improving their scores by up to 1,000 points on the SAT and 10 points on the ACT, regardless of their starting point.
The founder of Prep Expert had the opportunity to pitch his company on ABC’s Shark Tank, where he secured an investment deal with billionaire Mark Cuban. This partnership catapulted Prep Expert into becoming one of the fastest-growing test prep companies globally. With a track record of helping over 100,000 students worldwide gain admission to elite universities and secure over $100 million in scholarships, the founder believes that Prep Expert can positively impact the future of many more students.
How much does Prep Expert cost?
Prep Expert provides students with a range of course formats to choose from. Typically, their preparation choices differ based on factors such as course duration, total instructional hours, and the mode of instruction. There are four options, they are :
6-Week Flagship Program
The most popular course offered by Prep Expert is their 6-Week Flagship program, typically priced at approximately $1,000, although it’s frequently available at a reduced rate. This package encompasses six weeks of live online classes, meeting twice weekly, along with video lessons, practice problems, and more. It is recognized as Prep Expert’s most reliable choice for test preparation and comes with the most substantial score improvement guarantee, guaranteeing an increase of 200+ points for the SAT and 4+ points for the ACT.
For those seeking a more intensive preparation option, there’s the 8-Week Capstone course. Priced at approximately $1,500, this program meets twice weekly for eight weeks, offering a slightly more comprehensive approach than the flagship course.
Alternatively, for students with limited schedule flexibility, Prep Expert presents its Self-Paced Course. This course was built around a series of video lectures given by Prep Expert creator Shaan Patel. You may learn much of the same information covered in live classes by watching over 30 hours of video lessons.
The Weekend Review course represents Prep Expert’s final live online course, but it has a condensed duration of only two days. This course is designed for students facing time constraints shortly before their exam date, running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both a Saturday and Sunday.
Despite its short duration, the Weekend Review covers roughly one-third of the content contained in the 6-Week courses, resulting in a fast-paced and high-impact learning experience. This course costs slightly less than $600.
While Prep Expert’s offerings are undeniably beneficial, the pricing may be a significant factor for some students. The cost of Prep Expert’s courses can be high compared to other test preparation options (such as Magoosh), especially when considering more budget-friendly alternatives.
It is critical to balance the investment with the prospective return. Prep Expert’s courses may be well worth the investment for students who are strongly motivated to perform well on standardized examinations like the SAT and ACT and are willing to invest in their education. The results-driven strategy, skilled training, and tailored learning experience can result in significant score increases and new educational prospects.
What is SAT and ACT?
Before we delve into the intricacies of PrepExpert, it’s essential to understand the standardized tests at the core of its offerings: the SAT and ACT.
The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test): The SAT is a well-known standardized test that is used for college admissions in the United States. It is made up of multiple-choice questions and an optional essay portion. The SAT measures a student’s college preparation and is often taken by juniors and seniors in high school. It covers three main areas:
- Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW): This section assesses reading comprehension and writing skills through questions related to passages and grammar.
- Mathematics: The math section evaluates a student’s mathematical problem-solving abilities, ranging from basic algebra to more advanced topics.
- Optional Essay (Writing and Language Test): Although the essay is optional, many schools and universities strongly advise or demand it. It assesses a student’s ability to analyze and build arguments.
The ACT (American College Testing): The ACT is another standardized test used for college admissions, similar in purpose to the SAT. It comprises four mandatory sections and an optional essay. The ACT assesses a student’s knowledge and skills in the following areas:
- English: This section evaluates grammar, punctuation, and writing style.
- Mathematics: The math section assesses a student’s math knowledge, including algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.
- Reading: The reading section measures reading comprehension skills by presenting various passages and questions related to them.
- Science: The science section evaluates a student’s scientific reasoning abilities, data interpretation, and problem-solving.
- Optional Writing (Essay): Like the SAT, the ACT also offers an optional essay section that some colleges may require or recommend.
Both the SAT and ACT are crucial components of college admissions, and many colleges accept scores from either test. Students often choose one or the other based on their strengths and preferences. Prep Expert specializes in preparing students for these tests, offering comprehensive courses and resources tailored to the unique content and formats of the SAT and ACT.
In conclusion, Prep Expert’s SAT and ACT preparation courses offer comprehensive and well-structured approaches to mastering these standardized tests. With high-quality instruction, interactive learning resources, numerous practice tests, and flexibility, Prep Expert provides valuable tools for students aiming to improve their SAT and ACT scores. However, the decision to invest in these courses should align with your individual needs, budget, and academic goals. If you are dedicated to success on these exams and committed to putting in the effort, Prep Expert can be a valuable resource to help you reach your score objectives. Whether you’re focusing on the SAT or the ACT, Prep Expert’s offerings can play a pivotal role in your test preparation journey.
What is included in Prep Expert's courses?
Prep Expert offers several courses for SAT and ACT test preparation. Here are the main courses they provide:
- 6-Week Flagship Course:
- This is Prep Expert’s most popular course.
- It includes 6 weeks of live online classes (meeting twice per week).
- Features video lessons, practice problems, and more.
- Offers a significant score increase guarantee of 200+ points for the SAT and 4+ points for the ACT.
- 8-Week Capstone Course:
- An intensive prep option that meets twice per week for 8 weeks.
- It is more comprehensive than the Flagship Course.
- Costs around $1,500.
- Self-Paced Course:
- Ideal for students who need flexibility and can’t attend live classes.
- Revolves around a series of video lectures led by Prep Expert founder Shaan Patel.
- Includes 30+ hours of video lessons covering the same material as live classes.
- Costs approximately $700.
- Weekend Review Course:
- A live online course that lasts for just two days (Saturday and Sunday).
- Designed for students with limited time before their exam date.
- Covers roughly a third of the content from the 6-Week courses in a condensed format.
- Priced under $600.
These courses offer various options in terms of course length, format, and price to cater to different students’ needs and schedules. Students can choose the course that best suits their goals and availability.
Practical Features/Components Offered by the Platform
- Live Online Classes: Prep Expert offers live online classes as part of its courses. Students can attend these classes from the comfort of their homes, providing flexibility in their study schedules.
- Video Lessons: The platform provides video lessons, including lectures by the founder, Shaan Patel, breaking down the 100 testing strategies. These video lessons allow students to learn at their own pace. They cover the strategies and techniques specifically designed to tackle the tricks and nuances of standardized tests like the SAT and ACT. Shaan Patel, the founder of Prep Expert, personally leads some of these video lessons. His expertise is valuable for students seeking to improve their test-taking skills. These Video lessons offer the flexibility of self-paced learning, allowing students to revisit specific strategies or concepts as needed and progress through the course at their own speed.
The video lessons are likely structured to provide in-depth explanations of each strategy, how and why it works, and practical examples of its application. In addition, the access to these video lessons may vary depending on the specific course selected, but they are generally available as a component of Prep Expert’s offerings.
- Official Practice Materials: Prep Expert uses official, previously used SAT and ACT practice questions. These materials are highly valuable for practice because they closely resemble the actual test questions.
- Homework Assignments: Students are assigned homework between class sessions, providing an opportunity to practice what they have learned and reinforce their understanding of the strategies and techniques.
- Practice Tests: Students are required to take practice exams, often under exam-like conditions through self-proctoring. These practice tests help students gauge their progress and identify areas for improvement.
- Score Guarantees: Prep Expert offers significant score guarantees, assuring students of score increases (e.g., a 200+ point increase for the SAT and a 4+ point increase for the ACT) upon completing the course.
- Instructor Interaction: In live classes, students have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with instructors, which can be valuable for clarifying doubts and receiving personalized guidance.
- Course Length Options: Prep Expert offers different course lengths, allowing students to choose the duration that best fits their needs and schedules.
- Self-Paced Course: For students who prefer a more flexible and self-directed approach, the self-paced course option provides access to video lessons led by the founder, Shaan Patel.
- Tutoring Services: Prep Expert offers private tutoring packages for students who need additional one-on-one support.
- Admissions Consulting: The platform also provides admissions consulting services, including assistance with college planning, application strategy, essay editing, and school selection.
- Access Duration: Depending on the course selected, students have access to course materials for a specific duration, typically ranging from the length of the class plus 60 additional days to 1 full year for the Self-Paced Course.
Who are the instructors at Prep Expert?
Prep Expert instructors are highly qualified individuals who have demonstrated expertise in standardized testing. They are highly qualified, which suggests they have undergone rigorous training and have a strong understanding of the test content and strategies. Most of them are reported to have received a perfect score on the SAT or ACT, or they are in the top 1% of all scorers. This indicates that they have achieved exceptional results on these standardized tests themselves.
Why should students consider Prep Expert?
Prep Expert places a strong emphasis on test-taking strategies. Recognizing that success on standardized tests like the SAT and ACT often requires more than just content knowledge, the course provides students with a comprehensive set of strategies designed to tackle the specific tricks and nuances of these exams.
Regarding the commitment to Score Improvement, it is committed to help students increase their SAT and ACT scores. This commitment is underscored by the significant score guarantees the platform offers, such as a 200+ point increase for the SAT and a 4+ point increase for the ACT. These guarantees provide assurance to students and parents about the effectiveness of the program.
Does PrepExpert offer score guarantees?
Yes, Prep Expert does offer score guarantees for its SAT and ACT courses. These guarantees provide reassurance to students and parents about the effectiveness of the program. As mentioned in the information you provided:
- SAT Score Guarantee: Prep Expert guarantees a score increase of 200 or more points on the SAT for students who complete their course.
- ACT Score Guarantee: For the ACT, Prep Expert guarantees a score increase of 4 or more points for students who complete their course.
These guarantees typically have certain requirements and conditions that students must meet to be eligible for a score increase or a refund. Here are some common considerations:
- Course Completion: Usually, students must complete the entire course, including attending all classes, completing homework assignments, and taking practice tests as required by the course.
- Initial Baseline Score: Students may need to provide an initial baseline SAT or ACT score before beginning the course. The guaranteed score increase is calculated based on this initial score.
- Minimum Improvement Threshold: The score guarantee often specifies a minimum threshold that the student’s score must reach to be eligible for the guarantee. For example, a 200+ point increase for the SAT or a 4+ point increase for the ACT.
- Retaking the Exam: In some cases, students may be required to retake the SAT or ACT after completing the course to demonstrate their score improvement.
- Documentation: Students may need to provide documentation of their initial and final scores, such as official score reports from the testing agencies.
- Timeframe: There may be a specific timeframe within which the score increase must occur after completing the course.
How does Prep Expert compare to competitors?
Comparison with other platforms
To provide a comprehensive evaluation of Prep Expert, it’s essential to compare it with other test preparation platforms. While Prep Expert excels in many areas, it’s not the only option available. Here’s a brief comparison.
Prep Expert vs. Khan Academy
Khan Academy offers free SAT preparation materials, making it a cost-effective choice. However, it lacks the live, interactive classes and personalized study plans offered by Prep Expert. Prep Expert’s premium pricing reflects the additional features and expert instruction it provides.
Prep Expert vs. Magoosh
Prep Expert vs. The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review is a well-established test preparation company with a range of course offerings. While it competes with Prep Expert in terms of expert instruction, it may come with a higher price tag. Students should consider their budget and specific test prep needs when comparing these two options.
What do students say about Prep Expert?
Overall, student reviews of Prep Students are positive. Those who are happy with Prep Expert tend to highlight the quality of the instructors, their teaching methods, and their improved scores.
On the more negative side, some students find that the courses are too generic and do not focus in on the weak points of students. Some also were disappointed that they were not able to get a refund when they did not meet the score guarantee improvements (but it is unclear if they had met the other requirements for the guarantee to apply).
Review conclusion: Is Prep Expert Worth it?
Upon conducting a comprehensive evaluation, I am confident that Prep Expert is indeed a worthwhile choice for SAT and ACT preparation. With a combination of live class instruction, supplementary video lessons, access to official practice materials, and top-tier instructors, and an impressive score guarantee, it stands out as an attractive option for those aiming to increase their scores on these standardized tests.