Best Online SAT Prep Programs

Lately, we have been getting more requests for online SAT prep services. When we started in the test preparation field over twenty years ago, students had two options for high-quality test preparation: expensive classes and expensive private tutoring. Up until a few years ago, not much had changed. Then, something happened. High quality, reasonably-priced online SAT programs hit the scene. 

#1: Kranse Institute

Kranse Institute offers a very strong SAT online program for a reasonable price, approximately $499. The course comes with 147 video tutorials, detailed SAT strategies, and a score improvement guarantee. Students receive 18-months of access to the materials from any device (which is great because most students should take the test at least two times). 

Big Money-Saver: Since becoming a big fan of Kranse, I negotiated a 30% discount for my Test Prep Coach online visitors (just type Coach30 at check out). Since Kranse loves Test Prep Coach and all of the great advice, they asked me to contribute ideas and content to the Kranse blog as well. So check it out! This company is on the cutting-edge of the next generation of test prep.

Online is the Future of Test Prep

This new generation of high school test takers are very tech-savvy and comfortable with digital environments. Students (and parents) really love the flexibility and low price of these high-quality programs. Most include video tutorials (which can be replayed as often as a student wishes), tons of practice problems, answer explanations, and updated scoring on quizzes and tests. 

Online SAT prep is a great option for busy students who want great coaching at a lower better price than private lessons. My prediction: by 2020, no more classroom SAT courses (and a lot less private tutors).

#2 Kaplan SAT Online

Kaplan Online SAT Prep, a hybrid course that combines live teaching and video tutorials ($299 to $599). The course also comes with eight Kaplan SAT practice tests (but these are basically the same materials you can buy at Amazon for $17). 

For $599, students can sign up for 40 hours of video instruction and access to scheduled, live online webinars. It was a little difficult to find out how long students have access to the materials, but definitely ask this question! Previously Kaplan offered only 90-day access to the online program (which is too short if a student takes the test more than once...otherwise, you would have to pay again).  

Both Kaplan and Kranse Institute offer money back guarantees, but Kaplan's seems to be more complicated (and not as consumer-friendly). For example, if you do not have an official score report (from a real SAT) BEFORE taking the course, then you have no baseline to compare for a refund. If you do not take all of the practice tests and watch the videos (which would be a TON of work...and if you do not like the program then you probably won't do this anyways), you probably cannot get a refund either. My first pick is still Kranse.

#3: Khan Academy

When the College Board announced that they were partnering with Khan Academy for free online SAT prep, everyone was really excited. But then the  enthusiasm fizzled. While the program as video tutorials, they are not as well designed or edited as the paid versions, and students get bored pretty easily.

The other problem is, unlike the programs above, Khan Academy does not really give you "insider" tips. After all, the College Board does not believe that you can "game" the test (which you can!), so students miss out on these types of strategies that really increase the score. The best part, though, is there are several online free SAT practice tests, so it might be a good idea to create an account and poke around on the website, but I would invest in a higher quality online SAT program if you can afford to.

Online SAT Prep: Still Need "Official" Practice Tests

(click image to purchase)

If you plan to take the New SAT, this is one of the best SAT prep books available. Why? Because The Official SAT Study Guide (2018 edition) is only SAT prep book that has "real" SAT exams, ones actually created by the College Board. It contains four real exams (which is not a lot). Be careful: The "used" version of this book can be previous edition created for the Old SAT.

If you enroll in an online course, many of these will make available practice tests, which can be printed out (you want to take the practice tests in printed form, just like test day). The Official SAT Study Guide (2018 edition) is, however, the ONLY book that has copyrighted tests, so it's worth the $16 to have those extra tests!

News & Updates

Several times each week, I post articles and test taking tips about the SAT and ACT tests as well as college admissions. These blog entries are a great way to keep current with what is happening in high school test prep and college admissions. So please bookmark this page (or subscribe to my RSS feed) and let your friends and family know about!