Princeton Review PSAT Prep Course Review


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The Princeton Review PSAT prep course could be your ticket (or, if you’re a parent, your child’s ticket) to a higher score that will set you on the path to entry into your first-choice college.  

Let’s explore the essential elements of the TPR programs and how they compare to competing PSAT prep companies’ courses.

PSAT Test Prep | The Princeton Review PSAT Test Prep | The Princeton Review

Includes 18 hours of live instruction and 5 full-length practice tests.

  • Handy and unique flashcard creation tool
  • Leading, popular test prep company
  • Live instruction from certified PSAT experts
  • Higher score guarantee
  • No physical books with online course
  • No self-paced option available
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

All About The Princeton Review PSAT Prep Course

princeton review psat prep course

The Princeton Review (otherwise known as TPR) has been around since the early 1980s and has helped 400 million preppers worldwide in that time achieve higher scores on various exams. For the PSAT, TPR offers both a live online course and one-on-one tutoring.

My Thoughts on The Princeton Review PSAT Prep Course

There are important differences between the PSAT (which stands for the “Preliminary SAT”) and the SAT to understand, as laid out in this brief explainer video from The Princeton Review:

Perhaps most critically, how you or your child perform on the PSAT will determine qualification for the National Merit Scholarship. It also predicts future performance on the SAT or ACT. So, how well you or your child scores really matters.

The five full-length practice tests are designed to ready you or your child to thrive on game day by mimicking the actual exam as closely as possible. See our page for more free PSAT practice tests.

kaplan psat practice test

Following the conclusion of each practice test, TPR offers a detailed logical work-through for each question, so you can not only see the correct answer but also better understand why that answer is right.

princeton review psat prep

When reviewing questions you got incorrect, there is an in-depth Question Explanation that provides a bit more insight on why the answer is correct. You will know what concept is being tested and be able to filter through those concepts for even more strategic studying.

(You can test-drive a free online practice test here.)

The 2,000+ practice questions and drills work the same way as the practice tests, accompanied by thorough explanations and customized study strategies as you move through, so you’ve got plenty of material to work through.

The live online element in the Essentials Course is particularly beneficial for many students, as some preppers absorb material best in an interactive, well-structured learning environment like the one fostered by The Princeton Review.

The Princeton Review periodically hosts live events free to the public, including, PSAT Scores…Now What?, to help test preppers “understand what your PSAT results mean and gain insider information on how to improve your score.”

The Princeton Review PSAT Prep Course & Tutoring Options

Here’s a side-by-side overview of the two Princeton Review PSAT prep course options to select from.

The Essentials Course

Price: $799

Here’s what you get with The Princeton Review Essentials PSAT course, the bread and butter of TPR PSAT prep:

  • 18 hours of live instruction
  • 2,000+ practice questions with full explanations
  • 5 full-length practice tests
  • Better score guaranteed (with conditions; see upcoming section on refund policy)
  • Customized study plans
  • Full score reports on practice tests to identify and hone in on weaknesses in your game

The Essentials Course meets for 3 hours either once or twice per week, meaning the course can take about one month or ~2 weeks, depending on which schedule you choose.

I recommend booking your spots ahead of time, as they are quick to sell out during test prep season.

Full-Service PSAT® Private Tutoring

Price: $150-$180/hr

If a fully immersive experience is what you’re after, The Princeton Review’s Full-Service PSAT Private Tutoring delivers an extra level of intensity to you or your child’s test prep, connecting you with a bona fide expert tutor for one-on-one instruction, either in-person or online.

In addition to the tutoring hours, you also get three progress meetings when you sign up for the PSAT Comprehensive Private Tutoring package (the most expensive one). You will receive PSAT prep books included with the Comprehensive Private Tutoring package (their books have made our list of the best PSAT prep books for 2023.)

The more hours you commit to, the lower the per-hour rate (hence the pay scale).

princeton review psat tutoring

Tutoring services come with all the same materials as The Princeton Review’s Essentials course, plus a set of PSAT review books.

For those considering help with the admissions process, The Princeton Review offers college admissions consulting (for an extra fee). You can learn more about these offerings in our review of the best college admissions consultants.

What’s the Refund Policy?

With the TPR score guarantee, the company ensures that you’ll either score higher on your PSAT than your previous test or you’ll be entitled to a full refund.

If you enroll in a Princeton Review PSAT prep course and simply change your mind, you can qualify for a full no-questions-asked refund within 7 days of your purchase, or after 8 days with certain critical caveats. For more detailed info, check out the legal jargon-friendly terms and conditions.

Keep in mind that refunds are only granted if you want the refund before the start of your program. If you start the classes and decide you don’t like it, then you’re out of luck.

princeton review psat refund

The Princeton Review PSAT Prep Course Reviews from REAL Students

As with any test prep program, you can find a wealth of both positive and negative reviews online. Take both with a grain of salt.

A common theme with TPR across multiple test prep programs is that their practice tests are more difficult than the actual test.

Reddit user ssn156357453 reports that The Princeton Review’s practice test score and his actual test score were wildly divergent. 

princeton review psat

Writing on TrustPilot (where The Princeton Review currently has a 4.6-5-star rating), Olivia Gleen says the course helped her develop the skill set and confidence she needed to thrive on test day. 

princeton review psat course

Another Reddit user asked whether he should go with The Princeton Review or Barron’s for his test prep. One user, graceful_ant_falcon, replied with some sage wisdom that he might not need to enroll in a paid course because there is a ton of high-quality, free content widely available on the web, including from Khan Academy. From an efficiency standpoint, you also might be better off just prepping for the PSAT and the SAT in one go. 

Unless you’re serious about qualifying for a National Merit Scholarship, you might not necessarily need a paid course; using an array of free online resources like Khan Academy on an ad hoc basis might get the job done.

Who Needs The Princeton Review PSAT Prep Course?

Consider purchasing The Princeton Review’s PSAT prep course if:

  • Live instruction is an important element to you (for example, if you or your child learns best in a social environment)
  • You or your child is striving for a National Merit Scholarship
  • You or your child is unsure of your weak spots and want to identify and focus on those with The Princeton Review’s impressive diagnostic tools

The Princeton Review PSAT Prep Course Alternatives

The free market has gifted preppers a wide range of companies to choose from for their PSAT training. Here are a pair of other high-profile course offerings.

PrepScholar PSAT Prep

prepscholar psat prep

PrepScholar’s PSAT prep tutoring option is a little bit cheaper per hour than The Princeton Review’s (about $100/hr compared to $150+/hr). Its online prep course comes with a 150+ score improvement guarantee, and it’s got way more practice questions (7,000+). At $397, it’s also significantly more affordable than the $799 Essentials course from The Princeton Review.

For further comparisons, check out the definitive Test Prep Nerds PrepScholar PSAT/ACT/SAT course review.

Prepscholar PSAT Prep Course Prepscholar PSAT Prep Course

A year's access to a customizable study plan with over 210 hours of content and a 150+ point score guarantee.

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Kaplan PSAT prep

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Kaplan is the other big hitter in the test prep industry. The Kaplan PSAT test prep courses are similar to The Princeton Review’s, except for the self-paced online version (with no live instruction) which only costs $299.

They also offer one-on-one PSAT tutoring packages, but they’re significantly more expensive than The Princeton Review’s options.

Kaplan Unlimited Prep PSAT/SAT/ACT/AP Kaplan Unlimited Prep PSAT/SAT/ACT/AP

On top of a 15-hour live online PSAT Prep course, you can also gain access to Kaplan's ACT and SAT live online courses as well as AP review courses.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

View our full list of the best PSAT prep courses for 2023

The Princeton Review PSAT Prep Course FAQs

Let’s briefly run down a few of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) that PSAT preppers and their parents have regarding The Princeton Review’s courses.

Is Princeton Review’s PSAT course worth it?

It depends. If you are shooting for a National Merit Scholarship, then yes. If not, you might be better off with free online resources.

Does Princeton Review have a higher score guarantee?

Yes. Score higher on your next PSAT or get your money back.

How long should I study for the PSAT?

The PSAT generally requires less intense studying than other standardized tests. 30 hours of studying in total should be plenty.

The Bottom Line on The Princeton Review PSAT prep course

To put a bow on this little test prep package, here’s what you should consider in your ultimate cost-benefits analysis when stacking The Princeton Review’s PSAT course against the alternatives:

  • High-quality, industry-leading tutors provide personalized instruction with tutoring packages
  • You won’t get physical books with the live online classes
  • Excellent flashcards for visual learners
  • Higher score guarantee
  • Less expensive and/or free PSAT prep options are available; not everyone needs more extensive training 
PSAT Test Prep | The Princeton Review PSAT Test Prep | The Princeton Review

Includes 18 hours of live instruction and 5 full-length practice tests.

  • Handy and unique flashcard creation tool
  • Leading, popular test prep company
  • Live instruction from certified PSAT experts
  • Higher score guarantee
  • No physical books with online course
  • No self-paced option available
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.