test prep

Best SAT Prep Courses for Every Budget

Written by: Kristine Thorndyke

You decided you’re going to take the SAT and we congratulate you on taking the time to thoughtfully consider the best SAT prep courses out there for you to reach your full potential on this exam!

Test Prep Nerds has done a bit of legwork for you and narrowed down the 8 best SAT prep courses for students looking to improve their SAT scores in either an online or in-class fashion.

8 Best SAT Prep Course Summary:

1. Kaplan – Best Overall
2. Princeton Review
– Best Score Guarantee
3. Prep Scholar
– Best Video Content
4. 1600.io
– Best Free SAT Course
5. Prep Expert
– Best Intensive SAT Prep
6. Peterson’s
– Best Study App
UWorld Best Qbank for Practice
8. Khan Academy
– Best Free Supplemental Course

8 Best SAT Prep Courses

Kaplan In Person / Live Online SAT Prep

Best Overall
Kaplan SAT Prep Course Kaplan SAT Prep Course

An all-inclusive online, live online, or in-person class with 18 hours of classroom instruction, a suite of prep resources (online and offline) and ample practice tests.

  • "Learn it, Drill it, Prove it" methodology helps reinforce learning
  • Entertaining, digestible lesson videos
  • Includes 4 official SAT practice tests
  • No mobile app
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Technology does wonders when it comes to the e-learning category, but the truth of the matter is, some people just prefer the look and feel of being in an actual classroom. Whether that is a virtual classroom or a physical classroom, you can benefit from that feel of being instructed by a teacher live.

Sometimes a live online or in person class is the best option for those who enjoy and get the most motivation out of showing up to a “classroom.”

The live online and in-person classes contain the same amount of live classroom instruction (18 hours), SAT Channel access, practice tests, Qbank, and physical test prep books.

Kaplan’s in-person and live online SAT course usually runs weekend classes at their learning center, meeting once on the weekend for about 9 weeks, or twice during the weekend for just over 4 weeks. Class schedules are posted before you sign up and you’ll know your baseline score on the first day, as you will take the simulated SAT practice test your first class. A second simulated course will take place about two thirds of the way into the course to gauge your progress.

As you can see, there are only 6 sessions of instruction, but each class lasts for about 3 hours. When enrolling in a Kaplan live online or in person course, it is imperative to supplement and reinforce your learning in the classroom with their additional resources, such as the previously mentioned SAT Channel as well as taking the additional SAT practice tests provided to you upon enrollment.

Top Highlights:

  • 18 hours live in person instruction
  • 16 hours of SAT Channel unique video content
  • 8 practice tests (4 of which are Official College Board Tests)
  • 4 Kaplan SAT prep books

This is the best SAT prep course for: students seeking a physical or “online” classroom experience for their SAT prep.

Princeton Review Digital SAT

Best for High Scorers
Digital SAT 1400 | The Princeton Review Digital SAT 1400 | The Princeton Review

Imagine having the confidence to land a 1400 on the digital SAT.. well now you have that opportunity with a guaranteed 1400 by The Princeton Review. Get 15% off with code: TPN15

  • Score guarantees or your money back can give you more confidence in your prep
  • 4 digital SAT practice tests + score analysis
  • Instructors were re-certified for the digital SAT
  • Score guarantee has a lot of terms & conditions that must be met (read the fine print)
  • The courses are pricey compared to other options
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With double the hours as the Kaplan Live Online / In person course (and at double the cost), the Princeton Review’s Digital SAT 1400+ course is able to guarantee a 1400 or higher on the Digital SAT or your money back (with a bit of fine print).

For those who really need to increase their score for admissions, this can be a big confidence boost to be guaranteed a score that will put you in the 95th Percentile or higher.

Although the number of classroom hours are higher than Kaplan’s, they are able to utilize AI to personalized practice drills that put the right questions in front of you to make efficient progress.

I have always been pleased with the platform that The Princeton Review is able to offer for its students, as they have been a top player in the test prep scene for decades. When you’ve logged into your course, you will be able to access your personalized study plan, practice tests, performance reports, as well as your tutor (24/7).

For those seeking an even higher score, The Princeton Review also offers a 1500+ Tutoring option that combines all of their SAT prep coursework on top of Expert tutoring and a study plan tailored to you.

Top Highlights:

  • 24/7 access to top 5% scoring tutors
  • Score guarantee or your money back
  • Access to the course upon enrollment (before class sessions begin)
  • 26 full-length practice tests

This is the best SAT prep course for: Students who need to hit a 1400 or higher for admission into their top choice university.

You don’t need a course to do well on the SAT – here are the best books for SAT prep for self-study

PrepScholar SAT Prep

Best for Visual Learners
PrepScholar SAT Course PrepScholar SAT Course

This is an ideal course for visual learners who need to improve their test-taking strategies.

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PrepScholar has invested a lot in their ACT and SAT course offerings, which is why we have added this into our list of the best SAT prep courses in 2024. Although their platform is decidedly more bulky than The Princeton Review, they are able to make up for it in their high-quality video library, making this course ideal for visual learners.

Among this list, they have the largest amount of high quality practice questions available (at 7,100) and more than 100 hours of lesson content!

Learn more about PrepScholar’s new SAT tutoring options.

Top Highlights:

  • 160+ point score guarantee
  • 7,100 practice questions
  • Custom prep program based on student’s needs
  • Progress tracking and weekly reports
  • Create-Your-Own-Quiz feature

This is the best SAT prep course for: Visual learners

Related: Kaplan vs PrepScholar SAT/ACT – Which is Best?


Best Free SAT Course
1600.io SAT Prep Course 1600.io SAT Prep Course

A low cost SAT prep subscription service that includes 27 real SAT test explanations!

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1600.io has come a long way since we first reviewed their course back in 2018. They still offer their free strategy course bundle, which features George’s SAT Strategy course, Tools & Resources, and his Analysis, Answers, and Explanations for SAT 1-4 (55 hours of content). His SAT Strategy Course Bundle includes hours of free videos on developing processes to solve SAT problems. Watching and working with George on these videos can be extremely empowering, as he shares logical techniques to solving questions, dispelling the myth that there is some “secret code” that cracks all of the SAT.  

In addition to this free strategy course, 1600.io now offers a couple of affordable SAT prep membership options for those looking for more comprehensive review. These plans can be paid monthly for $19/month or annually for $99/year. This paid-for membership includes the previously mentioned Strategy Course Bundle but also includes exclusive content including their 20 test-explanation courses (covering over 3,000 questions) and an essay course.

They’ve got a Tools and Resources module that includes an automated customized study schedule generator, reading lists, and college essay guidance. In addition to these on-demand courses, there are also ways to become more involved in the community through their webinars, which are hosted twice-weekly. During some of these events, students are prompted to take a timed-test section all at the same time with the section-timer on-screen. Upon completion (or when the time is up), they score the results and discuss the hardest questions live!

Top Highlights:

  • Affordable monthly subscription
  • Engaged community and access to founders
  • Access to 5-hour SAT Strategy Course
  • Customized study schedule

This is the best SAT prep course for: self-starters who don’t feel the need to enroll in an all-inclusive course.

Related: Is the SAT Hard?

Prep Expert

Best Intensive SAT Course
Prep Expert SAT Course Prep Expert SAT Course

Live online and on demand courses taught by top 1% SAT test scorers.

Get 30% OFF with code: NERDS30

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If you didn’t know Prep Expert was on Shark Tank, then you’ve probably been living under a rock this past year. In 2016, the founder of Prep Expert, Shaan Patel, won funding from Mark Cuban on the show Shark Tank, and since then, has been growing at an exponential rate.

Prep Expert offers 3 different test prep categories, ACT, SAT, and GMAT. The specific course we are highlighting as top of our list of the best SAT prep courses is the 3-week Fast Track SAT Prep Course. This 3-week fast track course is conducted over a live virtual online classroom, which means that your classes are being held over the internet with your instructor. The instructor and the whiteboard will both be visible, like in a typical classroom, where you can watch the teacher in the front of the room drawing on the board.

The 3-week fast-track SAT course meets four times a week, for 3 hour sessions each, as well as twice a week for 4 hours of proctored SAT exams. Over just 3 weeks, the course hours total over 60 hours of classroom instruction. This is a very intense SAT course, but for those with limited schedules, it could be a great way to get in a full 6-week SAT course in just half the time! There is a lot of time being spent in this classroom and you will get more than enough practice in to feel confident as you work your way towards taking the SAT.

All of the instructors at Prep Expert are 99th percentile scorers, meaning that when they took the test they are tutoring for, they scored in the top 1%. All of the coursework has been updated to reflect any changes to the SAT and include a 100+ score increase guarantee or your money back.

We listed this course at the top of our list of the best SAT prep courses because it is a hassle-free and proven method for studying for the SAT that clearly works. There is no requirement for classes besides being able to connect to the virtual classroom with your laptop, computer, or tablet. These courses are affordable, yet also effective, with a new test being taken after every 2 classes to help you learn how to test for the SAT along the way.

Also in their SAT category, they offer a 6-Week Flagship course as well as a 6-Week Advanced SAT course. These courses cost the same as the 3-Week Fast-Track course and are essentially just a more spread out version of the same curriculum. So, depending on your schedule, you can opt for cramming all your studying in a busy 3-week study schedule or a more spaced out 6-week study schedule. Either way, the choice is entirely up to you and your own timing needs!

Top Highlights

  • 60 classroom hours
  • 5 e-book set written by founder, Dr. Shaan Patel
  • Option for 3-week or 6-week course (depending on availability)
  • Actual people grade your essays

This is the best SAT prep course for: Students with a tight schedule who are looking for a bootcamp-style SAT course.

Begin prepping with these top SAT calculators

Peterson’s SAT Prep

Best Mobile App
Peterson's SAT Prep Subscription Peterson's SAT Prep Subscription

A useful SAT prep course that doubles as a subscription for practice tests across multiple standardized tests including PSAT, SSAT, ACT, and AP classes.

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Peterson’s SAT prep course is a really great value, especially if you have intensions on using it for ACT, PSAT, or AP exam prep! With an SAT prep subscription ($49 for 1 month, $45 for 3 months, or $39 for 6 months), you’ll receive access to over 185 different courses.

Where Peteron’s SAT prep stands apart is in their mobile study app, which not only allows you to practice on-the-go (like a few of the other SAT apps on this list) but also lets you take lessons, work through practice tests, and study flashcards. The app saves your progress so that you can continue wherever you left off when you’re back at your laptop or desktop computer.

petersons act prep

Top Highlights:

  • 9 full-length SAT practice tests that align with new SAT updates
  • Affordable subscription model pricing
  • Math and vocabulary flashcards
  • Math subsection review
  • Interactive lessons and videos

This is the best SAT prep course for: Students who prefer being able to study almost exclusively from their app.


UWorld can either be a great free resource (if you only intend on practicing for 30 days) or a great test prep option, especially for those who are working with a tighter budget. You may have heard about UWorld for their dominance in the medical and nursing testing industry, but they have expanded their proven methods into the SAT and offer a Qbank of up to 2,100 questions, full in-depth answers, as well as performance and improvement tracking that you expect and desire from an SAT prep course.

With UWorld’s Qbank of questions, you can personalize them to be either easy, medium, or hard difficulty. Each question comes with an in-depth explanation that shows you the rationale of solving the problem as well as illustrations, so that you are able to learn from your mistakes, which is the key to improving your SAT score. When working through the Qbank, you are able to flag difficult questions to go back to, ask for hints, as well as access them on multiple devices.

Additional features of this course include flash cards that you can create for quick review as well as performance graphs that will show you a tracking of time so that you can improve your speed, a portrayal of your strengths and weaknesses for improving skills, as well as the chance to compare yourself against your peers.

Top Highlights:

  • Customizable Qbank of questions
  • Can be combined with ACT prep (combo)
  • Self-assessment includes accurate score predictor
  • Affordable subscription model
  • High-quality questions developed by experts

This is the best SAT prep course for: Tech-savvy, price-conscious students who want a reliable and effective practicing platform for on-the-go study on any device

Khan Academy

Best Supplemental Practice
Official SAT® Practice | Khan Academy Official SAT® Practice | Khan Academy

Free official SAT practice tests that can be added to any SAT study plan, but is not exhaustive as a standalone prep tool.

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As mentioned earlier, the cost of the SAT prep course has much less impact on your SAT score as your willingness to roll up your sleeves and put in some quality and hard studying into the test. Countless students have been able to utilize Khan Academy as their main source of SAT practice materials and practice, as the majority of the content is in partnership with the College Board themselves.

When you get started with Khan Academy, you sign up and let Khan Academy set up a personalized study plan based on whether you have any experience studying for the PSAT or SAT. You create your own practice schedule based on your upcoming test date, where Khan Academy puts together a schedule of how many official practice tests you have the time to take as well as when to take them. They simply take the guesswork out of practicing for the SAT and saving you hundreds.

Once you choose the time for your upcoming practice tests, you will be prompted to choose what days you wish to study as well as for how long. Khan does some of the math for you and shows you the recommended amount of studying to meet their minimum of practice for the upcoming test.

After you have set up your study schedule, you will have full access to your dashboard, where you will find Practice, Tips & Strategies, Full Tests, and Review. We love Khan Academy’s free SAT practice because, unlike a lot of other commercial test prep companies, all of the material here is in collaboration with the College Board, meaning you are working on and practicing on authentic questions created by the test writers themselves. The 8 official practice tests are SAT tests that have been used in the past and are going to be the most similar in terms of difficulty and writing as you will see on the actual test day. For more practice, check out our full list of official SAT practice tests

This is the best SAT prep course for: Budgeting students who still want to enjoy the feeling of working through an SAT practice platform and have the discipline to stick to the schedule

Best SAT Prep Courses FAQ

Are SAT prep courses worth it?

If you’re seeking to improve your SAT score, you’ll definitely benefit from at least a self-paced SAT prep courses. If you’re attempting to be a top scorer, then an in-person or live online course is definitely a great investment!

How much does an SAT prep course cost?

An SAT course that includes lessons and practice can start at just $99 for an on-demand option and go up to $1499 for premium live online or in person courses.

How long should I study for the SAT?

We recommend studying for about an hour or two, 2-3 times per week for 2 or 3 months before your SAT test date.

When should I start studying for the SAT?

You should begin your SAT prep at the end of sophomore year if you are hoping to take the SAT at the start of your junior year.

Regardless of which of these you choose as the best SAT prep course for you, don’t forget to keep in mind that the deciding factor in how well you do on the SAT ultimately comes down to how hard you are willing to work at it. Good luck on your test prep journey and comment below with your experiences with these prep courses!