Are you getting ready to go to college? If so, you might be stressed out about taking the SAT.
After all, this exam is a significant factor that colleges consider when granting admission. No pressure!
The good news is that there are measures you can take to ensure you earn a high SAT score. Let’s talk about one of the simplest and most effective methods of preparation: the Practice SAT (PSAT).
The PSAT is an officially sanctioned practice exam that mimics the style and format of the actual exam. The best part? It’s held directly by the College Board and also sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. There are a handful of PSAT study guides and prep books floating around out there, and the College Board actually provides some PSAT practice materials on their website. However, there are some excellent additional resources for hands-on help. We highly recommend taking an online PSAT prep course; it’ll help you understand the structure and demands of both the PSAT and SAT.
So if you’re ready to get started, check out our list of the best PSAT prep courses currently available online!
#1 The Princeton Review PSAT Prep Course
The Princeton Review earns the top spot in our preferred PSAT prep providers due to their flexible approach to review. You’ll have multiple ways to learn with accompanying educational tools, and they offer flexible pricing to meet your specific budget.
The Princeton Review may feature their Private Tutoring services more prominently than the other aspects of their services, but don’t be fooled— they offer so much more.
Their PSAT test prep includes over 140 video lessons that cover all relevant PSAT topics. These are specifically designed so you can learn from them at your own pace.
As you work with this company, you can see updates on a dashboard that tracks your progress. In addition to scores, this interface will offer recommendations of what you should study next.
Finally, you’ll get an excellent library of practice tests and questions to work with— including 240 exercises and more than 2,000 multiple-choice questions. You can access additional features within the Princeton Review mobile app.
The Princeton Review PSAT Prep features:
- Over 2,000 practice questions
- More than 140 videos
- 240 Practice Drills
- Mobile Apps
- Full Score Reports on User Dashboard
- Private Tutor Satisfaction Guarantee (Highest Tier Only)
The Princeton Review Pros and Cons
- Pro – Pricing: A lot of online test prep services will limit you to one expensive price tier. In comparison, lots of students appreciate that The Princeton Review has multiple, fairly-priced tiers that make their services more widely accessible.
- Pro – Private Tutoring: Nothing says personalized like a private tutor. The Princeton Review is one of the few PSAT prep providers you can find that offer this service— so you’re in great hands if you want to learn through tutoring sessions.
- Con – Tutor Satisfaction Guarantee: While it’s nice that The Princeton Review has a Tutor Satisfaction Guarantee, it’s less nice that this guarantee is only available at their highest price point. However, you should still do well on your exams if you stick to a more affordable package.
#2 Kaplan PSAT Prep Course
Kaplan stands out thanks to their live and on-demand course options. WIth more than 13 hours of instruction, as well as practice PSAT exams, Kaplan always has up to date content that makes them a surefire way to boost your score on test day.
Kaplan offers a complete PSAT prep course in either live or on-demand format. You’ll also take 2 practice PSAT tests which come with a full breakdown and analysis of your scores.
The practice questions offered by Kaplan are guided by detailed video explanations. Additionally, segmented review outlines based on subject are available through Kaplan’s platform for both desktop and mobile devices. Essentially, their approach feels highly adaptable to any individual.
Kaplan PSAT Prep features:
- Live or On-Demand Courses
- 13 hours of video lessons (On-Demand only)
- 2 Practice Tests
- Score Analysis
- PSAT Prep Book
- Money Back Guarantee
Kaplan Pros and Cons
- Pro – Pricing: Similar to The Princeton Review, Kaplan has a few different pricing options to better help serve their their typical student. They also have financing options for those who prefer paying in monthly installments.
- Pro – Unlimited Prep Option: For those who really want to hit the books, Kaplan’s Unlimited Prep option is sure to scratch the itch. Take as many online live and on-demand courses as you need to!
- Con – Live Courses: While Kaplan does offer self-paced courses, be sure to contact them regarding their live online course schedules to ensure this option will work for you. Scheduling for these can be limited, which is a disappointing contrast to the convenience most of their content provides.
#3 Prep Expert PSAT Study Guides and Course
Prep Expert has some similarities to The Princeton Review and Kaplan— so why is it only in third place?
Ultimately, it just doesn’t have the same variety as our top two picks. But it’s still worth your attention; this is more of a classroom-style course, so it’s a fantastic choice if you want to study in that kind of environment.
Once you enroll, you’ll have to attend their course twice a week for 3 hours of instruction. They also have you take a 4 hour self-examination with a practice PSAT exam.
The best part of their services is their guarantee. If you don’t increase your overall PSAT score after taking it, you’ll get 100% of your money back.
#4 TestMasters PSAT Prep Course
At first glance, TestMasters appears to have quite a bit in common with our top picks. However, this PSAT study guide lacks many of the technological features of other courses.
TestMasters offers classroom and online courses as well as private one-on-one courses. Each course option consists of 12 sessions.
You can take advantage of more than 1,200 pages of review materials and take official SAT practice exams straight from the College Board themselves. It’s also a great pick if you have a PSAT study group, since they offer group discounts for their courses.
Their 30 point score increase guarantee helps to sweeten the deal, but it’s still not enough to recommend them over our top two choices. However, the much more impressive 300 point SAT increase guarantee is tough to beat!
#5 PrepScholar PSAT Review
PrepScholar may not have some of the nuance of The Princeton Review, but their price tag makes them an extremely attractive proposition as a side course to take. And when you take their generous access period into account, you can see why this is a decent PSAT study guide.
For under $400, you’ll get unlimited access to PrepScholar’s Complete PSAT Online Prep for one year. This includes customizable study plans, over 200 hours of content, two practice tests, and so much more.
#6 ElitePrep PSAT Study Guides and Course
ElitePrep takes a unique approach to all students. Just signing up for their services requires a consultation to determine the individual needs of the student. While we don’t recommend them over providers like Kaplan, their combination of expert instructors and proven results make them a solid alternative.
ElitePrep’s PSAT prep is led by expert instructors that are eager to help you learn. Their enthusiasm appears to work too, as they have helped tens of thousands of students achieve their desired scores. ElitePrep focuses more on learning than simple tips and test taking tricks,
Why should I take the PSAT?
As the actual SAT can have a large bearing on where you are admitted to college, taking the PSAT is a crucial step in preparing for the exam and helping to ensure acceptance to the school of your dreams. In some cases, a high PSAT score can even lead to financial aid opportunities!
How should I get ready to take the PSAT?
First, take stock of the test’s format and structure. There are plenty of free PSAT practice tests online. After taking some of these tests, your next goal should be to take an online prep course to help you work through trouble areas and reinforce your strengths.
How long does the PSAT take?
According to most students, it takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete the PSAT.