If you are a prospective college student (or the parent of one), you may already be familiar with The Princeton Review, one of the oldest and largest test preparation companies in the U.S.
While some colleges and universities have downplayed or even eliminated standardized test scores as a criteria for admissions, it's still a major factor at many schools. Raising your ACT or SAT scores can make a big difference in being admitted to a particular school or in how much financial aid and scholarships you receive.
The Princeton Review SAT and ACT Prep classes are just two of the company's offerings. Both classes include performance-based money-back guarantees if you don't achieve a certain score on the ACT or SAT. The SAT and ACT Prep classes offered by The Princeton Review are offered in several different learning methods, though most are live-online classes.
- Several different courses including SAT and ACT Preparation
- In business for 40+ years
- Money Back Guarantee
The Princeton Review Details
SAT and ACT Prep Courses
What Is The Princeton Review SAT and ACT Prep?
The Princeton Review is a college admissions services company offering test prep and tutoring for prospective college students. The company was founded in 1981 by John Katzman, and was one of the first test preparation companies in existence. Katzman had been tutoring some of his classmates and had a vision for being able to help more students. Shortly after founding the company, Katzman began working with Adam Robinson, who was working as an SAT tutor.
Katzman served as the CEO of The Princeton Review for over two decades until 2007, when he was replaced by Michael Perik. Over the past decade or so, The Princeton Review has been bought and sold a few times, and is currently owned by Primavera Capital Group.
Despite its name, The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University, although its name does likely have its roots with the university. Princeton University is founder John Katzman's alma mater.
What Does It Offer?
The Princeton Review is best known for its ACT and SAT Prep classes, but they also offer individual tutoring for both the SAT and ACT as well as the following services:
ACT 31+ Prep Class
The Princeton Review's ACT 31+ Prep class targets students looking to get at least a 31 on the ACT. If you don't score a 31 or higher or improve at least 5 points (if your starting score was 26 or lower), you may be eligible for the company's money-back guarantee. The Princeton Review offers the ACT 31+ Prep class in a number of different formats, including in-person, live/online and self-study.
SAT 1400+ Prep Class
If you are looking to take the SAT instead of (or in addition to) the ACT, The Princeton Review has you covered. Their SAT 1400+ digital class offers a money-back performance-based guarantee that you can access if you don't get at least a 1400 on the SAT or improve your score by at least 150 points. Like the ACT 31+ class, the SAT 1400+ digital class is offered in a variety of formats.
Individual ACT and SAT Tutoring
The Princeton Review also offers individualized tutoring for students who are angling for a top 2% score. These tutorings are marketed for students looking to get at least a 34 on the ACT or a 1500 on the SAT. These services are marketed as individual tutoring, though you can tutor "with a friend" for a 25% discount.
Other services offered by The Princeton Review include tutoring for graduate-level standardized tests like the LSAT, MCAT and GRE, as well as homework help and essay feedback for high school students.
Are There Any Fees?
The Princeton Review does offer a small amount of free content or free sessions on their website, but the vast majority of their offerings do cost money. The costs for different sessions may vary over time, but at the time of this writing, we observed the following prices:
- ACT 31+ class: $1,899
- ACT 34+ tutoring: starting at $364 / hour
- SAT 1400+ class: $1,849
- SAT 1500+ Tutoring: $6,560
Most of the other courses, tutoring sessions, and other services also cost but the costs and fees are stated clearly. The Princeton Review SAT and ACT prep classes also come with a money-back guarantee. If you do not improve your scores by a certain amount after taking the prep class and doing all the work in the class, you can get your money back.
How Does The Princeton Review Compare?
While The Princeton Review is one of the oldest and largest SAT and ACT prep companies, it's not the only option out there. Two other companies worth considering are Kaplan and PrepScholar. Both of these companies also offer ACT and SAT prep classes, as well as other services.
PrepScholar offers test preparation for the ACT, SAT and other courses as well as a more comprehensive admissions counseling service. PrepScholar's online self-paced ACT prep class starts at $397 and instructor-led options are $895. PrepScholar also has other options that allow you to combine test prep with admissions counseling — read our full PrepScholar review here.
Kaplan offers both a live-online as well as a self-paced ACT course, with the live online version starting as low as $549. Kaplan's live-online SAT course starts at $799, with an unlimited prep option (featuring unlimited prepping for the PSAT, ACT, SAT and AP exams) at $1,999.
Not Yet Rated
Packages between $1,849-$6,560
$119 - $1,999
How Do I Open An Account?
If you're ready to open an account with The Princeton Review for either the SAT or ACT prep classes, you have a few different options. You can enroll online simply by visiting The Princeton Review website. When you enroll, you will see a list of the available sections for the course that you're choosing.
Most of The Princeton Review's courses are live-online courses, where you will have a class at a specific time over an online learning platform. However, they do offer some self-study classes and a small number of in-person classes. When you are opening an account and enrolling in a class, you'll want to make sure to have your schedule handy so you can pick the section that best suits you.
If you would prefer to talk to a customer service representative to enroll rather than signing up online, you can also do that with The Princeton Review. Simply call 800-566-7737 to enroll over the phone.
Is It Safe And Secure?
Yes, accessing The Princeton Review SAT and ACT Prep classes is safe and secure, as safe as browsing any website. They use HTTPS as a secure way of browsing and industry-standard security. While there is always risk with any company, there is no reason to believe that there is any more risk than normal with The Princeton Review.
How Do I Contact The Princeton Review?
There are several different ways to contact The Princeton Review, so you can choose the one that works best for you:
- If you are considering signing up for The Princeton Review, you can contact the Enrollment Advisor at 1-800-2REVIEW (800-273-8439) ext. 1. The Enrollment Advisor is open from 9am to 10pm Monday through Friday, and from 9am to 8pm on Saturday and Sunday.
- For current students, you can call 1-800-2REVIEW (800-273-8439) ext. 2, from 9am to 9pm Monday through Friday and 8:30am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.
- You also have the option to contact The Princeton Review via chat on their website.
The Princeton Review Customer Service
Most reviews of The Princeton Review are positive. The company has a rating of 4.4 on TrustPilot, with 70% of the reviewers giving the maximum of 5 stars. On The Princeton Review website, they also list a score of 4.6/5 based on 488 reviews from Google My Business.
Is It Worth It?
Deciding whether Princeton Review SAT and ACT Prep classes are worth it will depend on your specific situation. You'll want to take a look at your current baseline ACT or SAT score, the requirements for the college(s) you're looking at, and your own financial situation.
For both ACT and SAT prep, The Princeton Review offers two different courses, depending on where your current baseline score is. For the ACT, they offer a 31+ and a 34+ class, and for the SAT, they offer 1400+ and a 1500+ courses.
There's no doubt that raising your test scores can have a positive impact both on your chances of getting admitted to certain colleges and being approved for scholarships. And it is true that The Princeton Review has hundreds if not thousands of satisfied customers.
But it's important to understand that these courses focus primarily on the types of questions that are on standardized tests and how to do well on those tests. You are expected to have a basic understanding of the material itself - if you don't, you may not see as high of an increase.
The Princeton Review Features
SAT and ACT Prep Courses
96% of students improved their test scores (based on a 2016 survey of The Princeton review students - Tutor.com)
Customer Service Number
The Princeton Review SAT and ACT Prep Review
Variety of Packages
The Princeton Review is a college admissions company offering prospective college students test prep and tutoring services.
- May increase your chances of getting into your dream school
- Higher test scores can also lead to more scholarships and financial aid
- Small classes and access to 1:1 tutors
- Both live online courses as well as self-paced at-home courses
- Performance-based money-back guarantees
- High prices (even higher than some of the competition)
- There aren’t many in-person live classes if that’s your learning preference
Dan Miller is a freelance writer and founder of PointsWithACrew.com, a site that helps families to travel for free / cheap. His home base is in Cincinnati, but he tries to travel the world as much as possible with his wife and 6 kids.
Editor: Colin Graves Reviewed by: Robert Farrington