Kaplan ACT Prep Course Review 2023: My HONEST Testimonial

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Our Rating
Course Effectiveness80%
Ease of Use90%
Student Reviews80%
  • Plenty of course options
  • Tons of in-person locations
  • Higher Score Guarantee

Kaplan generally delivers a strong test prep experience, but it is somewhat undercut by several small issues. It is still well worth checking out, especially since it has been in the test prep business for around 80 years.

Course Effectiveness

While their live online classes give you a ton of material to pore through, your mileage may vary when it comes to the self-paced classes. These are much shorter compared to leading competitors.


Kaplan’s courses are quite expensive, especially if you go for additional private tutoring sessions. They do accept payment in installments, but only for 3 short months. While it does not significantly bring down the cost, it is certainly better than having to pay a large sum upfront.

Ease of Use

Kaplan’s learning platform is so easy to use that anybody can hop in without any problems. All you have to do is log in to your account, find your class, then click on the “Join Session” button. Simple.

Student Reviews

Students have given Kaplan ACT prep course overwhelmingly positive reviews, although some students were left unsatisfied.

  • Plenty of course options
  • Tons of in-person locations
  • Higher Score Guarantee
  • Substantial course inclusions and freebies
  • Courses are quite expensive
  • Short Self-Paced course duration and access
  • Installment option does not really bring down the cost that much

About Kaplan And Their ACT Prep Course

Kaplan ACT prep courses offer a lot of value, which is to be expected of this popular education company. Students can look forward to being taught by professional instructors and to dig into hours of study material.

On top of that, various Kaplan courses provide enough flexibility to accommodate even those with strict schedules. Is it the best ACT prep course out there though? Read on to learn more in this in-depth review of the Kaplan ACT Prep Course.

What Makes This Prep Course Unique?

Kaplan courses offer similar flexibility as its top competitors, but it is the course inclusions that make them stand out. On top of the base lessons, there are ACT books, online quizzes, and 9 practice exams—one of which was made by ACT officials. In addition, Kaplan offers a comprehensive course that covers the PSAT, SAT, and ACT.

Any dedicated student will no doubt appreciate the additional material that could give them an edge. The practice tests alone will help prepare you for the rigors of the official ACT. Plus, the Kaplan ACT prep course is designed so that each study plan can be customized to address each student’s strengths and weaknesses.

As if those were not enough, Kaplan also offers free practice tests, seminars, boot camps, and sample classes (1)

Curriculum Overview & Effectiveness

Just like other leading test prep services, Kaplan prep courses are broken down into two main categories: Live Online and Self-Paced. There are optional feature-rich versions of each course, too.

It goes without saying that these “upgraded” options are typically more expensive, but if you are looking to get more out of the Kaplan ACT prep program, these are worth looking into. Do not get me wrong though—the original versions of each course offer more or less the same features as their pricier counterparts. 

Check out the breakdown of their course offerings below to see what I mean:

Live Online

This course is taught by professional instructors online and is held over a span of 8 days. Students can see a live video feed of the instructor, and they can also interact with them during lessons. Unlike other test prep review courses, however, Kaplan throws in some on-demand lessons for good measure

Live Online Live Online PLUS

✓ 18 hours of live online classes
✓ 14 hours of elective live lessons
✓ 9 practice tests
✓ Online quizzes and tailor-made Quiz Bank
✓ 25+ hours of pre-recorded lessons
✓ Kaplan ACT prep books

✓ 18 hours of live online classes
✓ 14 hours of elective live lessons
✓ 9 practice tests
✓ Online quizzes and tailor-made Quiz Bank
✓ 25+ hours of pre-recorded lessons
✓ Kaplan ACT prep books

+ 3 hours of one-on-one coaching sessions
+ Math Foundations lessons
+ Bonus prep resources for the SAT

As you can see from the comparison table above, both versions of Kaplan online course are quite substantial. Both offer 18 hours of lessons with a live instructor, and more than 25 hours of on-demand lessons. Plus, there are 14 hours of elective live classes as well. In total, that is at least 57 hours worth of lessons.

While it is slightly shorter than the courses of competing services, you can still get a lot of mileage out of the Live Online course. As far as the Live Online PLUS course goes, the additional lessons and resources are very nice additions. However, not every student might find them essential to their goals. 

In terms of effectiveness, however, you could argue that the additional one-on-one coaching included in the Live Online Plus gives it an edge over the base Live Online course. However, if you require more than 3 hours of coaching, Kaplan’s tutoring services is a better option.

Kaplan also offers optional in-person classroom sessions, which is great for people who prefer physical classrooms over online ones. Even better, they are located in most states and major cities, so it is easy to find one near you.


Unlike the Live Online course, students who have enrolled in the Self-Paced course will not be following any predetermined class schedules. The lessons are all pre-recorded, and you can access them at any time within a 6-month period. This is perfect for students with erratic schedules, or those who prefer learning at their own pace.

Self-Paced Live Online Essentials

✓ 25+ hours of pre-recorded lessons
✓ 9 practice tests
✓ Online quizzes and tailor-made Quiz Bank
✓ Kaplan ACT prep books
✓ Access for 6 months

✓ 25+ hours of pre-recorded lessons
✓ 9 practice tests
✓ Online quizzes and tailor-made Quiz Bank
✓ Kaplan ACT prep books
✓ Access for 6 months

+ 14 hours of elective live lessons
+ Up to 9 proctored exams

Like the Live Online course, there are 2 versions of the Self-Paced course. As you can see above, however, the difference between the two is not that huge. However, if you can spare some time to attend a few live classes, then the Live Online Essentials course is a good option to consider.

The Live Online Essentials course is slightly better as it gives you access to 14 hours of live online classes. That is at least 39 hours of lessons in total. While still not up to par with competing services, it is a considerable step up from the Self-Paced course. 

Unlimited Prep

Kaplan online course offerings also include a comprehensive prep course that covers PSAT, SAT, and ACT. This is great for people who are looking to take all three tests. However, due to the expansive nature of this course, it is quite pricey. Again, there are two versions available: Unlimited Prep and Unlimited Prep with Tutoring.

The only difference between the two is that the latter includes 6 hours of one-on-one live tutoring. Both include:

  • Unlimited access to all classes and study materials for PSAT, SAT, and ACT
  • Enhanced personalization
  • Live classes with a team of highly-rated instructors
  • Round the clock access to SAT and ACT channels
  • Proctored PSAT, SAT, and ACT practice exams
  • Online quizzes and Quiz Bank

Kaplan also offers online tutoring sessions for people who are looking to supplement their studies with one-on-one coaching. Every tutoring session includes 8 practice tests, 2 prep books, on-demand practice questions, and test score analysis.

Course Pricing Option

Kaplan’s courses mostly fall on the pricier end of the spectrum, with the exception of the Self-Paced course. If you are lucky though, you might get some of these courses for much less if they have any ongoing promos. 

Check out the quick price breakdown below:

  • Live Online courses: From $499-$799
  • Self-Paced courses: From $299-$599
  • Unlimited Prep courses: From $1299-$1699

Meanwhile, the pricing for their tutoring service works differently as it depends on the number of hours you require. As such, you could be paying anywhere from $1699 to as much as $4299. 

If the one-time costs exceed your budget, it is a good thing that Kaplan allows you to pay in installments. That said, it is only for 3 months you will still be paying a substantial sum every month. 

Kaplan’s Higher Score Guarantee (2) allows you to get a full refund or free reactivation of your course access if your ACT score is not higher than your baseline. Alternatively, you can get free reactivation as well if you did score higher than your baseline but you are unhappy with it. 

Platform’s Ease Of Use

Kaplan’s course platform is incredibly simple and easy to use. Classes are quite similar to webinars, so if you have attended one before then Kaplan’s platform will instantly feel familiar. There is some interactivity involved, too—allowing students to chat with the instructor or each other.

Take a look:

If you want to get a feel for how their classes go, here is a sample class:

Is Kaplan a Reputable Online ACT Prep Course? (Not A Scam)

Kaplan has been offering training and test preparation services for individual students, businesses, and institutions for around 80 years. They have an A+ rating and accreditation from the BBB as well (3). Plus, in 2015, Forbes Media named them as one of the best 100 employers in America. 

If that still does not convince you, check out what their students have to say about their Kaplan prep experience below.

Reviews and Real Unbiased Testimonials

Students have been generally satisfied with Kaplan’s test prep method, with some expressing disappointment with their results or how lessons were conducted. Take a look:

Final Verdict & Recommendation

I score this ACT prep course 3.9 out of 5

It offers a lot of value, but it is somewhat undercut by its price and the shorter duration of some of its courses. Make no mistake though, Kaplan is still one of the more reputable test preparation services in the industry. 

Frequently Asked Questions

To qualify for the Higher Score Guarantee, you must be able to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete all requirements for your course
  • Pay the course fee in full
  • Take the official ACT test within 60 days of completing your Kaplan online course
  • Prove that your official score did not improve/exceed your baseline
  • Call Kaplan within 60 days completing your course, and provide all the necessary documents. 
  • Return all course materials if you request for a full refund.

Currently, no. It seems installments are locked to 3 months only.

You can get a free consultation with one of Kaplan’s experts if you want to get course recommendations based on your goals and learning style.

You can personalize the quizzes that you take through Kaplan’s QBank. This way, you can focus on the things you need to improve.

Kaplan does not disclose this information, but they do screen their instructors so that they pass the company’s teaching standards.

The prep books include over 1,000+ practice questions, so they will definitely aid you in preparing for the real deal.


  1. https://www.kaptest.com/act/free/events
  2. https://www.kaptest.com/hsg
  3. https://www.bbb.org/us/wi/la-crosse/profile/online-education/kaplan-professional-0694-25002444
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