Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

chiguirre

Has anyone used Prep Scholar for SAT prep?

Recommended Posts

Their guarantee is 160 points or a 1530 (if you've already got over 1380). $400, 40 hours. It sounds awesome.

TBH, even if it isn't all that and a bag of chips, I'm very interested in trying this out with dd. She did really well on her SAT but the average score for her dream program, Canfield Business Honors at UT Austin, is 1509. If Prep Scholar could get her 40 or 50 points so that she's in the middle of the herd of successful applicants, it would be a big relief for both of us. Of course, it's no guarantee. Canfield has holistic review and even a 1600 is no guarantee but she's checked the other boxes as well as possible and the SAT score is the last thing that she could improve.

Do you think Prep Scholar can get her there? Do you recommend a different prep program? We've done as much prep on our own as we can, so now we need outside help for the final 50 points.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has she already looked through their free tips/tricks & implemented them? They have a huge number of articles with tips linked in their Free guide

I haven't had a kid use a paid program, only Khan Academy, taking practice tests, then going through each missed question to figure out why it was missed.

Edited by RootAnn
Added another link.
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not at all positive about this, however, I think there is at least one recent thread here on WTM  (past 3 to 6 months?) which has comments about Prep Scholar and some other companies like that.  If my memory is correct, the comments about Prep Scholar were on the Positive side.  Due your due diligence with any program you look at.

I am glad your DD is going to give UT Austin a shot!    I always tell my DD, if you do not apply, there is no possibility you will be accepted.

Always include on the App and other documentation that she is a National Hispanic Scholar. Include a copy of the PDF files for the Certificate and the Letter from College Board.

Good luck to your DD!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DS used PrepScholar and his ACT score increased 5 points from the April test (which he took cold) to the September test five months later. His English score was already high, but he did not do well in the Reading and Science sections the first time he took it (26 & 27 respectively). After 5 months with PrepScholar he scored perfect 36s in English & Reading and 33 in Science. His math score (28) didn't really improve, but in his case that's a neurological issue (poor working memory and very slow processing speed) and not PrepScholar's fault; he just could not work any faster and was never able to finish the math section.

One caveat regarding the "money back guarantee" — you must complete the ENTIRE program in order to make use of the guarantee. There are a lot of problems — which is a good thing, because it means lots and lots of practice — but the student has to get 90-100% right on a given topic in order to check off that section as complete, so the "money back guarantee" only applies if the student has gotten nearly every question correct in the entire program. The "40 hours" they quote is how much time an average student spends on prep with them, it's not the amount of time it takes to complete the entire program. I would estimate that DS spent around 100 hours on the program over the course of several months, and there were still lots of topics in which he hadn't achieved 100%. I don't think they're actually handing out many refunds, because (1) anyone who put in enough hours to actually complete the entire program with a score of 90-100% would in fact be extremely well prepared, and (2) very few people probably complete the whole program.

That said, I thought it was an excellent program, it did exactly what we hoped it would do, and the $400 investment in PrepScholar resulted in an ACT score that was worth >$65,000 in additional scholarships. 

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All three of mine have used it in different ways. In all cases it’s hard to say if the specific program improved potential scores, but probably.

We gifted it to my oldest last year to help with GRE prep. She is easily distractible and a anxious tester, and the program kept her on track. She did pretty well. 

My second daughter used it the summer before junior year to simultaneously prep for PSAT and SAT. She is a gifted test taker though her soph year PSAT, taken without prep, was not in range for National Merit in our state. Ultimately she did earn a Nat Merit scholarship and perfect scores in math/language on the SAT (writing section dropped her 50 points. This was before the SAT change.)

Youngest used it last year to prep for soph year PSAT. She is a nervous tester and not super motivated. She worked with it daily but was pretty casual in her efforts. I just wanted her to feel like she knew what the PSAT was about so that the process did not set up anxiety for additional future tests. Probably an expensive method for that, but it was fine. Her score was good, though not in National Merit range.

I like the program. Good prep programs tend to be pricey. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughter (HS class of '18) used it to improve her ACT score.  I have posted on here before about her results, and I no longer remember the details, but it did work.  She is not a strong tester (or a strong student, for that matter) but did improve by whatever they guarantee--4 points, maybe?  I do plan to use it again for my sophomore.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My sister used it for SAT prep last year and her score definitely went up (although I worked with her as well, so it's not a perfect experiment.) We liked it a lot. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to add to my comment above that my daughter's super score actually went up six points.  She doesn't have a lot of testing stamina, so she inadvertently ended up focusing on two sections the second time she took it and the other two the third time.  (Her composite on tests 2 and 3 were the same, but her super score was 6 points higher by the end.)  If you're fighting for points and have a school or program that super scores, it is a strategy I now wholeheartedly endorse.  If your student is scoring over a 30'ish without prep, my sense is that PrepScholar would not be as useful.  If you're in the 20s without prep, however, it is a lot easier to move that needle.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ACT will be offering the opportunity to take one section at a time within the next year & has started encouraging colleges to superscore. They previously doscouraged it. They are also moving to computer administration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a little OT, because I am not comparing "Apples to Apples".   Primarily, my DD used the Free help on Khan Academy, to prepare for the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT. They have an official tie in with the CollegeBoard.

Now, for the ACT exam, for approximately 2 months before she took the exam, she had access to a Kaplan course that had quite a few videos for the students to watch and some live sessions with a live Instructor where the students could ask the Instructor questions. It was 99 or 100 USD and the last time I looked, months ago, it was for 6 months if my memory is correct, which IMO is a bargain.

My DD found both Khan Academy and Kaplan useful, however, I believe she would tell you that those occasional live sessions with an Instructor made the Kaplan course "better" than the Free Khan Academy help.

Kaplan has or had a tie-in with ACT, as Khan Academy does for the SAT.

Good luck to your DD!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dd started Prep Scholar and took the diagnostic. It is definitely geared to helping high scorers improve because her Prep Scholar scores are all 55-65 not 99 out of 100. That's great in my book because she'll have lots of room to improve in their program. That will keep her motivated and hopefully sharpen up her skills enough to break 1500. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

Dd started Prep Scholar and took the diagnostic. It is definitely geared to helping high scorers improve because her Prep Scholar scores are all 55-65 not 99 out of 100. That's great in my book because she'll have lots of room to improve in their program. That will keep her motivated and hopefully sharpen up her skills enough to break 1500. 

That was our goal with my sister, as well — to break 1500 :-). She did in the end, and Prep Scholar definitely helped!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son used it last year. He improved by the 160 points that are promised, though his score was not so lofty as a 1500.  But at least his score was 160 more than it had been to begin with.  

He worked on it for 45 minutes a day, 4 days a week from August until March.

Edited by Garga
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son has been using it since October.  We really like it, both as test prep and Algebra review.  He has spent 35 hours so far and improved his score 80 points so far--but the potential for a few more quickly, he ran out of time and could have got more, he learned so many new things that he is not fast at any of them yet, we are now working on automating them while moving forward.

It is good for improvement in that range. You might also want to get the SAT black book, it has tips and tricks not in most other books and really good explanations for each answer.

https://www.amazon.com/SAT-Prep-Black-Book-Strategies/dp/0692916164/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=sat+black+book&qid=1579053500&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyR1hSNjVTMTM2U09VJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMzQ5NzA5M1FTRjU2RFIyTUpQMCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNzkwNTc3Mlg5WTUzMVVMNENRTCZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

He started out doing it all on his own, but he is a big extrovert and he has now coerced me into helping him, he says he likes my explanations better; I've noticed he does that with other subjects as well, anything he is doing on his own, after a few minutes he'll tell me something about what he's reading or ask me a question.  He cooks his own food, and helps out with chores, so I have time to help him and sit there.  Even with me helping, it's still worth the money, it keeps you on track, has good explanations and practice questions, and nags you weekly about how much time you're spending on it.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/12/2020 at 8:43 AM, RootAnn said:

Has she already looked through their free tips/tricks & implemented them? They have a huge number of articles with tips linked in their Free guide

I haven't had a kid use a paid program, only Khan Academy, taking practice tests, then going through each missed question to figure out why it was missed.

This is basically what worked for my kiddo. We didn't use any paid services. PrepScholar and other sites have lots of free tips. Also the CollegeBoard website has practice tests and we used various books like the SAT Black Book, PWN the SAT  (https://pwntestprep.com/). Erica L Meltzer's guides are useful too. Many of these books are available through the library.

Taking the PSAT twice (once as a Sophomore and again as a Junior) also helped.

All those tools were helpful in prepping for the test but I learned that the "test prep" for my kiddo began years before with a solid education in reading and math.

Best of luck to you and your kiddo. 😃

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ByeByeMartha said:

This is basically what worked for my kiddo. We didn't use any paid services. PrepScholar and other sites have lots of free tips. Also the CollegeBoard website has practice tests and we used various books like the SAT Black Book, PWN the SAT  (https://pwntestprep.com/). Erica L Meltzer's guides are useful too. Many of these books are available through the library.

Taking the PSAT twice (once as a Sophomore and again as a Junior) also helped.

All those tools were helpful in prepping for the test but I learned that the "test prep" for my kiddo began years before with a solid education in reading and math.

Best of luck to you and your kiddo. 😃

This is good advice to start. We've done all 10 practice PSAT and SAT tests, PWN the SAT and the Meltzer books. Dd scored in the 99th percentile due to that prep. Unfortunately, the honors program at her top choice is very, very competitive and she feels she really needs to break 1500. TBH, even a 1600 is no guarantee but it's worth it to us to use Prep Scholar and give it every effort so there are no regrets.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, chiguirre said:

 Dd scored in the 99th percentile due to that prep. Unfortunately, the honors program at her top choice is very, very competitive and she feels she really needs to break 1500. 

Just out of curiosity...My DD was in the 99th percentile and she scored 1560 so I'm wondering if you mistyped something...but I suppose the percentiles vary slightly each year.

She took the SAT once and after research/discussion with others, we decided it would not be worthwhile to take again. Apparently once you get to that level of score, it isn't seen much differently by colleges than a score of 1600 (except for bragging rights I suppose). 

Sounds like you're on the right path! 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ByeByeMartha said:

Just out of curiosity...My DD was in the 99th percentile and she scored 1560 so I'm wondering if you mistyped something...but I suppose the percentiles vary slightly each year.

She took the SAT once and after research/discussion with others, we decided it would not be worthwhile to take again. Apparently once you get to that level of score, it isn't seen much differently by colleges than a score of 1600 (except for bragging rights I suppose). 

Sounds like you're on the right path! 👍

She got a 1460 and the percentile was listed as 99. There's also a 99* so that's what we're aiming for.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...