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Kaplan PSAT Prep Review
A comprehensive review of the Kaplan PSAT prep courses, practice tests and study books
Students preparing for the PSAT/NMSQT exam often look for help in the form of a prep review program. With Kaplan having a reputation as one of the most respected test prep companies in the world, it makes sense they are top of mind for many students. But will Kaplan’s reliable and respected test prep materials provide you with what it takes to do well on the exam? Let’s find out in this detailed review and analysis of the Kaplan PSAT prep course options.
Kaplan offers three different prep course plans from which you can choose: 1) Self-Paced Course, 2) Live Online, and 3) Unlimited Prep. Pricing for these courses run approximately $300, $500, and $1,300, respectively; however, we often see these courses on sale for less.
It should be noted that the Unlimited Prep course has optional tutoring that can be added for roughly $400 more. For those who may find it necessary, as long as you meet their approval requirements, Kaplan also offers payment plans for their PSAT prep courses.
Regardless of which version you choose, you’ll get a fairly solid suite of resources, including a full prep course that may be live or on-demand. You’ll receive video lessons tackling every topic, which you can access anytime and anywhere. You also get practice tests with a detailed analysis of your scores, and you’ll get Kaplan’s most up-to-date prep book for the PSAT.
The Self-Paced Course offers on-demand access to about 13 hours of video lessons, which you can access at your own pace and on your own schedule. You will begin your studies with a practice test, the results of which will be used as a baseline for customizing a study plan based on your individual needs. With this personalized plan, you will also get access to a performance tracker where you can follow your progress and track your improvement. I really liked the visuals of this tracker and the great feeling of seeing improvement in my weaker areas. You’ll further get teacher support with online chats and email access, which is helpful if you need clarification of a concept or have a strategy question. This is the most flexible version of the course.
The Live Online course is a synchronous video class taught in a virtual classroom. The class meets 1 or 2 times a week, depending on which schedule you choose, with each class lasting around 3 hours. I liked that they had weekend class offerings, as most high school students might find it difficult to fit another class into their already busy week. The teachers are experts at the PSAT and they make it very easy for you to engage with the class in a real-time environment. This course option might be good for you if you like the accountability factor and if you perform better with a teacher and peers to bounce ideas off of, rather than setting your own pace.
Finally, the Unlimited Prep course allows you full access to an unlimited number of live courses and full PSAT practice tests, with the added bonus of access to their SAT On Demand through December of your senior year. Since you will most likely be taking the SAT at some point, this SAT offering adds great value to this course option. In fact, it acts as a two-for-one in terms of value.
With access to a question bank of over 1,000 questions, eight full practice exams, and the ability to enroll in as many live online courses as you need, you are sure to customize a study format that will enable you to score well on the PSAT/NMSQT. If, however, you feel that you need more of an edge, you can opt for the Unlimited Prep with Tutoring. As mentioned above, this option will cost you around $400 more, making the total price tag about $1,700, but in exchange you will get 4 hours of personalized 1-on-1 instruction with one of Kaplan’s highly qualified test experts. This added tutoring cost breaks down to about $100 per hour, which is a pretty good value for private tutoring.
Overall, Kaplan’s pricing on PSAT prep is definitely more on the expensive side of offerings in the marketplace, but the quality and level of resources is also unparalleled, as discussed further below. However, if it is too costly for you, I would suggest taking a look at our PrepScholar PSAT review or our list of best PSAT prep courses here.
Course options and pricing current as of date of publication
Our Evaluation of the Kaplan PSAT Coursework
Overall, our team found Kaplan’s PSAT prep offerings to be very effective and rated them quite highly. Their video lessons, practice exams, and prep materials ensure that you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips while readying yourself for test day. Here is our expert analysis of the features in this comprehensive prep plan.
PSAT Course Formats
Kaplan’s complete and comprehensive PSAT course will be delivered to you either by video on-demand or live synchronous, depending on the level of prep you choose. Kaplan knows that high school students are busy with school, extracurricular activities, sports, or even a part time job. Their self-guided study option works great for those students who need to study on their own timetable.
If you are a student like me, who performs better with the structure that a live class setting provides, the scheduled live courses will fit the bill perfectly. I was able to excel by sticking to a schedule and being able to participate in real-time instruction.
On-Demand Video Lessons
With both the self-paced and live options, you’ll have access to prerecorded on-demand video lessons.
I found these videos to be first rate in terms of both substance and delivery, and I used them to supplement my learning and dial in on the areas where I needed the most work. I found the library of lessons in writing, especially, to be quite comprehensive, providing me with more tools to beef up my writing skills.
Kaplan PSAT Practice Tests
Depending on your selected course option, you’ll have access to between two and eight practice tests. Each practice exam provides a thorough analysis of your score, so if you get a question wrong, you’ll be able to understand exactly why, which will help you avoid repeating your mistakes.
I really like that the practice exams are designed to mimic the real PSAT. This was especially helpful, as I was able to approach the exam on test day without the added stress of wondering what the exam would be like.
Kaplan PSAT Prep Book
Kaplan is well-known for its test prep books in print, and every course offering comes with the latest version of the Kaplan PSAT book. Personally, I like having an actual book as a resource, so I was pleased that this course included more than just online text materials. This is an ideal on-the-go resource and includes test questions, practice exams and so much more. The book contains more than just topic information, however; it also provides test-taking tips and strategies to help you understand how to approach the test, as well as what you need to know.
What About Kaplan PSAT Tutoring?
As mentioned above, the top-level Unlimited Prep package comes with four hours of direct one-on-one tutoring with an expert tutor who knows the PSAT and is matched to your specific needs. If four hours isn’t enough, or you want your own, customized PSAT prep course with your own tutor, you can purchase a tutoring package.
Kaplan’s PSAT tutoring options include a 10-hour package with a price tag of approximately $2,000. You can double the hours and get 20 hours of tutoring with their top-level package, for around $2,900, which we see as a good value for only $900 more. The sticker shock that might come with the cost of the tutoring options might be lessened a bit if you take into account that with these tutoring packages you will get access to one of the live online prep courses (valued at around $500), as well as all the practice questions, quizzes, 2 practice exams, and their well-designed PSAT prep book. So, while a bit pricey, these prep options pack a real punch in terms of value.
The amount of time you have to access your materials depends largely on the package you choose. Defined by when you get started, the Live Online and Tutoring programs come with scheduled access to the materials leading up to your test day. You’ll set your schedule either directly with your tutor or by registering for classes, and you’ll have access to the program during the entire course of your study. This includes access to your practice exams, a question bank, live tutoring and other resources.
The Self-Paced course gives you six months of access to your on-demand videos, question library, practice tests and other resources. The Unlimited Prep course gives you full access to the courses as well as SAT prep with access to SAT On Demand through December of your senior year.
Certainly, the Unlimited Prep course provides the most robust access, with the Self-Paced course being the most limited, though the cost of the upper-level programs could be prohibitive to some students. Still, even the six-month access term is enough for many students to drill on their areas of weakness and get ready to tackle the exam.
Kaplan PSAT Refund Policy
Kaplan offers a refund policy for their PSAT courses in the event you have a change in circumstances or your prep plans change. You can cancel your course for a partial or full refund, but only for a limited time after initial purchase. If you cancel within three days of your original purchase, you can get 100% of your fees back. If you cancel between four and seven days from purchase, you can get 75% of the program fees returned. After eight days no refunds will be given. This applies to the in-person, live online and self-paced programs.
If you go for the live tutoring program, and provided you have not started your tutoring sessions, the three- to seven-day refund policy is the same, and after eight days you are entitled to a refund of $75 per hour of tutoring you haven’t used. If your tutoring sessions have commenced, the refund policy is a little different. If you cancel after your first tutoring session your refund will be $75 for each hour that has not been used. Note that there is an expiration date on tutoring hours and refunds will not be given for hours that have expired, so don’t delay in requesting cancellation and refunds.
Verdict: PSAT Prep Course Review
Our final verdict is that the Kaplan PSAT prep course is a solid option for just about every type of learner out there. Whether you go for the self-guided package or the program with live classes, you get rock solid resources both online and in print, with personalized attention and the ability to customize your course to your needs. If there is a downside to the Kaplan course, it’s that their Unlimited Prep option, especially with the tutoring option, can be quite pricey. Nonetheless, we were impressed with the quality of the instruction and content provided in the on-demand video lessons and find their PSAT prep materials to be comprehensive and top notch.
There’s a reason why Kaplan is so well respected, and with programs designed for self-paced learners as well as those needing more structure, their courses will likely help students perform well and achieve their desired scores on the PSAT exam.
How much does the Kaplan PSAT prep course cost?
Depending on which course option you choose, the Kaplan PSAT prep course will cost you in the neighborhood of $300 to $1,700. Customized tutoring packages price out around $2,000 to $2,900.
Does Kaplan offer live PSAT prep classes?
Yes. With the exception of the Self-Paced course option, your PSAT course will offer live online virtual classes, taking place once or twice a week in 3-hour time blocks.
Is the Kaplan PSAT prep course worth it?
In our team’s opinion, yes. As one of the leaders is PSAT prep, their customized study plans, detailed videos, expert tutors and top-notch materials should provide you with all of the resources you need to do well on the exam.