Kaplan SAT Prep Courses

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: April 2004 Archive: Kaplan SAT Prep Courses
By Skolamaze79 (Skolamaze79) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 05:35 pm: Edit

I'm currently a sophomore in high school, and I took the PSAT last October and got a so-so score (181). My guidance counselor recommended that I take a Kaplan course to plan for the New PSAT's, the current SAT's, and then the New SAT's. I'm kinda skeptical because of all the money it costs, but I do hope to get into a competive college or university one day and therefore, need a score on par with the other applicants. I was wondering if anyone who took a Kaplan prep course for the SAT could possibly comment on how crucial it was to their success on the the test and if you think that it was worth all the money. Thanks

By Yoyomama04 (Yoyomama04) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 01:17 am: Edit

Does Kaplan have their course out yet for the new SATs? I would definitely not take a course for both the old SATs and the new one. That's a waste of time and money. Take a course for the new SAT only and don't bother with the old SAT. You're going to have to take the new one anyway.

And I wouldn't do Kaplan. Princeton Review is the runaway leader in SAT prep courses - they are much better at it. Go with them. It will be money well spent.

By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 12:25 pm: Edit

I don't know...i truly felt Kaplan was a BIG help.

I got a 200 on my PSAT
and my score on the SAT was 1370

obviously the most crucial practice is what you do on YOUR own and how much outside time you spend preparing...but i do think that Kaplan provided good assistance and was time well spent

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 02:00 pm: Edit

Will it be money well spent? No!

Try to visit the Kaplan center and ask them to attend a class for free. Any reputable company will allow you to do that. Discuss if they offer any guarantees and then make up your mind. Do not ask PR, their money back guarantee is a rip-off.

When it comes to the SAT, Kaplan is much better than the "runaway" leader Princeton Review. After all, Stanley Kaplan invented the SAT preparation business. That said, the generic 800-1000 classes are abysmal and taught by poorly prepared tutors who are barely more experienced than you are with the SAT.

Unless you can afford to hire the professional tutors and the more expensive services offered by Kaplan and PR, just save yourself the time and money. Buy the 20 dollar book -it contains all the same strategies- and do all the tests in 10RS ... you will come out WAY ahead.

By Forsakn4 (Forsakn4) on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 08:38 pm: Edit

see if they guarantee a 1400 or whatever and if they do take it, i think they wrote that somewhere on one of their ads
princeton review sux dont ever take that

By Yoyomama04 (Yoyomama04) on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 09:15 pm: Edit

PR offers an awesome money-back guarantee - if you don't want to take theirs, they'll honor Kaplan's or pretty much anybody else's.

I know that you absolutely hate prep courses and are determined to make sure everyone else feels the same way, Xiggi, but the bottom line is that they DO help people. Otherwise PR and Kaplan wouldn't still be in business and little companies wouldn't be popping up to try to get a piece of the action (if they were truly useless, the bottom would have fallen out of the market a LONG time ago).

Unless you have taken all of their classes, it isn't really fair of you to judge them so harshly. I personally can speak to PR's excellence but not Kaplan's so I wouldn't say anything negative about them because I don't share opinions on products I haven't used.

Some people do just fine with books, but most people do learn better with interactive instruction (which is why we go to school rather than just grabbing textbooks and sitting at home with them). If you can ace the SAT by studying on your own, more power to you. But if someone wants or needs to take a prep class to get to the score they want, then there's nothing wrong with that. You get a lot more personal attention and help on your weak areas if you take a class than if you don't. With PR you get customized lessons based on how you do on the tests you take during the course (4 diagnostics between the beginning and end). You don't just sit there staring at a clueless teacher like we sometimes do in school!

To each his own. But I don't think you're helping anyone with broad generalizations such as "the generic 800-1000 classes are abysmal and taught by poorly prepared tutors who are barely more experienced than you are with the SAT." You're always asking for specific strategies that make a course worthwhile, but what specific example do you have, that they are a waste of time and money? Most people on the board who've taken a class said it was worth it. You say it isn't. Did you take one? (Not trying to bait you into a flame war, seriously asking. You post so much I have no memory of whether you've actually taken one.)


By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 12:46 am: Edit

Most people on the board who've taken a class said it was worth it.

Yoyo, this the third of fourth time that you post the same type of rebuttal. Saying that "most" people say it was worth is absolutely false. The consensus on CC is that classes offered by PR have resulted in very small increases if any. The only positive comments have come from people who have taken the more expensive tutoring service.

In the past, I have given you the chance to illustrate the differences between the $800-1000 classes and the $20 book. Unless I am mistaken, your response was evasive. And for a good reason: you could not come up with one!

So, the situation is very simple: I say that the classes are NOT worth the extra money because you can get the same strategies by spending 20 dollars on the book. Spending money to sit down and taking PR tests is worthless as the test are simply a VERY poor substitute to the 10RS. I say that the qualifications of the PR tutors who teach the classes are primitive as they only have to take a class of the SAME length as the class they will lead.

I am not the one who is generalizing here. I give you very concrete examples why I consider the classes abysmal: poor results, very expensive, poor tutors, use of synthetic tests, and NO money back guarantee.

I have no incentive but helping people avoiding to spend good money on a poor service? I am wondering what your incentive is by defending PR with repeated efforts. As I told you before, feel free to present a rebuttal for every one of the arguments I present. Also feel free to start posting some tips, strategies. or overall guidance for the CC members. That would be a change!

By Yoyomama04 (Yoyomama04) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 11:12 am: Edit

Xiggi, have you taken a class? You have never answered that question.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 02:21 pm: Edit

I have answered that question many times.

My experience would only represent one person. On the other hand, many people have reported their lack of results with the organized classes. I assume that you have not been long enough on CC to have read the countless posts that reported the abysmal results.

In addition, since you are such an avid supporter who HAS taken the class, why don't you start writing about what you learned and how it could SPECIFICALLY help the members of this board. Does it get any simpler than that? Is it difficult for you to describe one or two things you would have learned while spending 20-30 hours at the PR center?

We have had tutors and employees of PR and Kaplan posting on CC and they have NEVER been able to describe a single strategy that is not in the 20 dollar book. The only thing we have been provided are nebulous and evasive answers. After a few posts, the posters quickly vanish. You have the chance to set the record straight by providing some concrete exmaples... seize it!

Didn't you say: "I personally can speak to PR's excellence" ... well go for it and CC is all ears!

By Jm2006 (Jm2006) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 05:36 pm: Edit


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