Virtual School Meanderings

July 4, 2012

EDTECH597 – Guest Blogger: Which Online SAT Prep Course is Right for Your High School Student?

Carlina Yepinski is the primary researcher and writer for networkmonitoring.org. Her most recent accomplishments includes graduating from Kentucky State with a degree in communications and computer science. Her current focus for the site involves network traffic monitoring and network mapping software. As is the tradition at Virtual School Meanderings, this will be the only entry today.

Internet based courses are a great alternative to traditional classroom SAT prep that can run your family thousands of dollars, but with so many companies offering different services, perks and promises, it can be difficult to choose which one will benefit your child the most.  Here are five well-known companies and a break-down of what their online prep courses offer as well as tips to consider before you buy.

1.     Princeton Review SAT Online Course

Princeton Review offers two courses designed with different levels of intensity and individual instruction.

The regular online course costs $399 and offers the following:

20-30 hours of interactive, self-paced online lessons, 4 full-length practice tests and online drills, a full set of printed materials (including 11 practice tests and a student workbook), online instructors that can answer questions, and virtual student discussion groups.

Purchase this course if:  Your student is a self-motivator who studies better independently and needs less support from an instructor.

The live online course costs $699 and offers everything mentioned above and eight online class sessions led by a real-time instructor and a complimentary headset to interact with the teacher and other students during these sessions.

Purchase this course if: You think the eight class sessions are worth the extra $300 and your student would benefit from more personal guided preparation.

2.     College Board SAT Online Course – $69.95

This affordable course offers your student 18 interactive lessons, 10 online tests with essay scoring and 4 detailed score and skill reports.

Purchase this course if: Your student needs more practice than instruction.  College Board’s course offers little in the way of strategies and tips but for the price, it will give your student a good look at what to expect on test day and help him or her to decide if they need further instruction.

3.     Kaplan

Like The Princeton Review, Kaplan offers two programs that differ in intensity and price.

The “On Demand” course will run you $299 and offers video instructed online courses that are available 24/7 with 50+ hours of instruction, a self-paced stud plan based on a diagnostic of the student’s performance, 4 proctored tests, and over 1,000 practice questions.

Purchase this course if: Your student needs a combination of practice and instruction and thrives in a self-paced environment.

The more elite “Classroom Anywhere” includes the “On Demand” features as well as 18 hours of live course instruction you can attend from anywhere with an internet connection.

Purchase this course if: Your student thrives more in a classroom environment and is willing to put in the extra classroom hours in addition to the self-study and self-paced lessons.

4.     Barron’s Online Prep

By far the cheapest option, Barron’s online study prep is only $10.95 for six months.  The saying is true that you get what you pay for, but the self-scoring practice exams can be effective when utilized to their full potential.  The verbal prep only offers a list of the most common SAT words, but the added work of having to look them up and document the definitions can be helpful in retaining their meanings.

Purchase this course if: You’re looking for a super affordable option to get started, pad any other studying your student is doing or as an add-on to any of these other courses.

5.     Peterson’s SAT Online Course

More affordable than Kaplan or Princeton Review but with more in depth study options than the cheapest options, Peterson’s runs $119.95 for four months and offers an initial diagnostic test with a “customized learning path” based on your strengths and weaknesses of the diagnostic.  A computer-generated essay grader, interactive games, electronic vocabulary flash cards and 3 full-length practice tests are also included.

Purchase this course if: You want the most important features of the Kaplan and Princeton Review courses without having to pay several hundred dollars for a prep course.  If your student is able to learn in an online environment with less individual instruction and support, this course could save you money and adequately prepare your student for the SAT.

Carlina Yepinski is the primary researcher and writer for networkmonitoring.org. Her most recent accomplishments includes graduating from Kentucky State with a degree in communications and computer science. Her current focus for the site involves network traffic monitoring and network mapping software.

3 Comments »

  1. Reblogged this on News & Notes on LEADERSHIP for LEARNING.

    Comment by billbroc — July 5, 2012 @ 11:12 am | Reply

  2. […] EDTECH597 – Guest Blogger: Which Online SAT Prep Course is Right for Your High School Student? « …. […]

    Pingback by EDTECH597 – Guest Blogger: Which Online SAT Prep Course is Right for Your High School Student? « Virtual School Meanderings | Eleanore's Ramblings… — July 5, 2012 @ 11:53 am | Reply

  3. […] Guest Blogger: Which Online SAT Prep Course is Right for Your High School Student? […]

    Pingback by EDTECH597 – End Of The Course « Virtual School Meanderings — July 29, 2012 @ 12:01 pm | Reply


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