The 3 Best PSAT Prep Courses for 2021 and Beyond

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Prepping for the PSAT is a win-win when it comes to getting ready to take college admissions tests (like the SAT) as well as a chance to potentially earn a National Merit Scholarship. Still not convinced? Check out all the reasons why you should take the PSAT

Choosing a good fit for your PSAT prep is just the first step in getting into your dream school. We’ve ranked our top 3 best PSAT prep courses based on 4 major categories. Keep reading to find the best course for you!

Prefer a home study program instead? Start with these PSAT prep books.

How We Evaluated the Best PSAT Prep Courses

We looked at 4 major categories when evaluating the best online PSAT prep courses. These categories were: Curriculum, Pricing, Platform, and Real Student Feedback. After seeing how each course ranks in these categories as well as reading our short PSAT prep reviews, we think you’ll have all the knowledge necessary to make a great decision for your prep!

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OUR FAVORITE PSAT COURSE

Kaplan PSAT Live Online

5/5

Live online classes with Kaplan PSAT experts are interactive and engaging and take the stress out of planning your own prep schedule!

The 3 Best PSAT Prep Courses

Without further ado, let’s see which courses made our top 3! Each of these courses, as mentioned, are ranked by 4 categories, but be sure to keep reading, as we share more detailed reviews below. 

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Kaplan

The Kaplan PSAT prep course is a very comprehensive prep course that is organized as live online classes (but you can also choose among Self-Paced and Unlimited). Their Live Online courses are taught by PSAT experts and feature 15 hours of live online instruction and 2 practice tests and scoring. All courses also come with their on-demand video lessons that cover every topic. 

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Prep Scholar

This is a 15-hour comprehensive PSAT prep course boasting an average 150-point score increase. Prep Scholar’s course allows for customization using smart diagnostic tools that cater your study program for your difficulty level. This includes weekly reports, progress trackers, and customized feedback. 

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Varsity Tutors

A 16-hour course that features live instruction, small class sizes, and is tailored to your needs. You will work through at least 2 full-length PSAT practice tests and have the chance to meet with an Educational Director who ensures that you’re on the right track. 

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Related: The 5 PSAT Study Guides You Need in Your Prep 

Best PSAT Course by Curriculum

It doesn’t matter what bells and whistles a prep course tries to sell you on if their curriculum isn’t up to snuff. All of these courses, by being listed in our top 3 review here, have curriculum that meets our standards, but within varying degrees. Each of these courses come with different amounts of instruction hours, practice tests, practice questions, and study plans.

Kaplan

5/5

This is a completely comprehensive course that includes live or live online instruction in addition to the 13 hours of their on-demand curriculum.

Prep Scholar

5/5

This course is loaded with 210+ hours of content, 7000+ practice questions, and customizable practice sets. They receive a 5 out of 5 for their study plan. 

Varsity Tutors

4/5

This course has the highest amount of live instruction with 16 hours. The curriculum does not boast a high amount of practice questions beyond the 2 practice tests. 

Best PSAT Course by Pricing

We rate these courses by their cost, but keep in mind that some courses do come with greater value. PSAT prep, overall, is quite expensive when you consider that the test is helping to prepare you for the SAT, in which you’ll still need to prep for. If these prices are going to put you over the edge with future SAT prep courses added in the mix, then we recommend a course that prepares you for the PSAT and the SAT. The Princeton Review and Kaplan both offer these hybrid courses and may be worth looking into. 

Kaplan

2/5

Kaplan has the most expensive PSAT course on the market. If you hope to take the SAT in the future, you may consider lumping in SAT prep, too, with their PSAT/SAT Unlimited Course. 

Prep Scholar 

3/5

Second after Kaplan, Prep Scholar is still pretty pricey and does not include any live online instruction or significant time with experts. 

Varsity Tutors

4/5

Varsity Tutors is one of the more affordable courses considering you get live online instruction. 

Best PSAT Course by Platform

Our #1 tip for choosing a prep course with a great and intuitive platform is to try whatever trial option is available for the course. At the end of the day, you may prefer the layout and feel of one course over another or enjoy some other features that you weren’t expecting, such as the analytics, customizable practice sets, or simply just the ease of switching from one task to another. If you do not have time to try a trial course of all of these PSAT prep courses, then you can see our platform reviews here:

Kaplan

5/5

Kaplan has a clean, intuitive platform that is comprehensive and easy to use. 

Prep Scholar

4/5

Their platform has a lot of features and is powerful, but it feels a bit outdated.

Varsity Tutors

4/5

All materials can be accessed online and also include a feature of being accessible by their iOS and Android apps!

Best PSAT Course by Student Feedback

Kaplan

5/5

Most students agree that the content covered is very similar to the PSAT and diagnostic test scores are generally close to what they score on the real PSAT. 

Prep Scholar

5/5

For being a bit less relevant in the test prep industry, Prep Scholar actually has a lot of credibility for its prep courses and most Reddit mentions describe increased scores. You can even see their reported score increases here

Varsity Tutors

3/5

There’s remarkably little student feedback published on Varsity Tutors detailing real student experiences with their courses. 

Short PSAT Prep Course Reviews

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Kaplan PSAT Live Online

Kaplan offers 2 different modalities for its PSAT prep – live or on-demand. Where we’d like to focus our efforts, however, is the live online method, which we feel offers a more well-rounded approach with live online and on demand access. 


The Kaplan PSAT live online class meets online either once a week for 5 weeks or twice a week for 2.5 weeks. These class schedules are in the evenings or weekends, depending on your availability and are an opportunity for students to enjoy instruction from experts in real-time. The difference between a live online course and an on-demand course with teacher support is that you can actually ask questions directly to your teacher in real-time versus emailing a teacher and waiting for him/her to get back to you. For about ~$200 more, I think it’s worth it to have access to 15 hours with an instructor to help solve questions or problems immediately. 

In each course, you will work through a comprehensive study of the PSAT strategies and topics as well as take 2 PSAT practice tests and score them. With advanced analytics, you can see your strengths and weaknesses and better adapt your study plan based on these pinpointed areas. 

By the end of this course, you will have the strategies in place required to do your best on the PSAT. As mentioned, included in your PSAT live online course is the PSAT on demand course that is offered separately as its own standalone course. The 13 hours of these on demand lessons will help to solidify any new concepts or strategies you learned in class and are available for free for those who enroll in the live online. 

This is the best PSAT prep course for: Students who desire a much more guided and hands-on approach to studying.


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Prep Scholar

Prep Scholar’s PSAT course is only offered in an on-demand format with the option of adding on 1-on-1 tutoring for an additional cost. This is a 15+hour on-demand course that is broken out into the following time allotments:

First 10 mins – Sign up & prepare

First hour: Take a smart diagnostic test

This smart diagnostic test can be taken the first day of signing up for the course and will immediately pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. 

Hours 2-10: Skill training lessons

There are 8 lessons that are one-hour each that can be accessed online from your student dashboard. Each of these lessons has three 20-minute sections: Text & Video Lesson, Focused Practice Quiz, and Quiz Review. Progressing from one lesson to the next is contingent upon whether you can prove full knowledge of the concepts.  

Hours 11-14: Take a full-length practice test

You’ll work through an official full-length PSAT practice test. 

Hours 15+: Continue customized prep

You’ll continue a customized study plan with additional lessons and practice tests until your test date.  

The Prep Scholar results speak for themselves, as they boast an average score increase of 150 points. No other PSAT prep courses on our list display such high score increases. 

This is the best PSAT prep course for: Students who are seeking a National Merit Scholarship and would like to see a significant score increase. 


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Varsity Tutors

Varsity tutors offers an extremely comprehensive and thorough live online prep course at the most affordable rates in the PSAT prep industry. Each live online class meets for 2 hours either once or twice a week for 5-8 weeks. With 16 hours of live online instruction, students can use this time to ask questions while working through problems together. 

With this course, you’ll be able to work through 2 full-length practice tests, their ebook, and online access to flashcards and additional practice tests. All of these course features can be found on your Varsity Tutors client account, which can be accessed with any mobile device. To help keep you on track, you’ll be paired up with an Educational Director who will help make sure that you are meeting the goals required to do well on the PSAT. 

This is the best PSAT prep course for: Students who are looking for a course that doesn’t break the bank but still provides effective curriculum and live (online) instruction. 

Conclusion

Regardless of the PSAT prep course you ultimately purchase, all of these courses will cover the PSAT comprehensively and, when combined with consistent practice and study on your end, should get you to the PSAT score you desire! Happy studying! 

Have you tried one of these PSAT prep courses? Share your thoughts below!

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