Looking to bring your A-game on the SAT? A prep course is what you need. Throughout the years, SAT prep courses have become a vital tool to prepare students for the admissions test.
With several options on the market, however, you might have a hard time choosing the right one for your needs.
Today we compare 2 of the most preferred SAT prep courses online: Magoosh and PrepScholar. What programs do they offer? How effective are they? Which one is best for your study style and budget? We answer all your questions in this PrepScholar vs Magoosh SAT Review. Let’s begin
PrepScholar vs Magoosh: The Basics
PrepScholar and Magoosh are relatively new prep courses compared to other courses out there. PrepScholar is a purely online course developed by Allen Cheng and Fred Zhang (1) in 2013. Magoosh, on the other hand, emerged as an online SAT prep course in 2009.
Before diving into the full details on each course, let’s first look at the curriculum overview of both courses.
1 month, 3 months, 1 year
Magoosh vs PrepScholar SAT: A Closer Look
From here, we will be looking at both prep courses’ features and identify which course is better at particular areas.
- Ease of use
- Student reviews
1. Magoosh vs PrepScholar SAT: Effectiveness
Both prep courses are purely online-based. So which one is more effective?
Magoosh offers only a self-paced course (2), and it is 100% online. This prep course can be effective for busy students who are comfortable studying at their own pace without any help from an instructor or a tutor.
What makes Magoosh an effective prep course is that it lets you personalize your own study plan. In this course, you can set up a study plan that is suitable to your needs and goals.
Once you login to your Magoosh account, lesson videos will be suggested based on your progress. This way, you will be able to work on your weak spots.
Source: SAT Magoosh
Another impressive thing about Magoosh is that each question comes with a video explanation. For every incorrect answer, there’s a video lesson that will explain your mistakes and how to correct them.
A transcript of the video is also available, so you can get back to the solution or explanation easily.
Source: SAT Magoosh
PrepScholar’s prep course is also purely online, so physical materials such as books and DVDs are not provided in this course. Practice questions, practice tests, and video lessons are all accessible online. Depending on your preference, this can be an advantage or not.
An online-only prep course like PrepScholar is effective for busy students. However, there are still some students who prefer to study with traditional books and paper-based tests. Unfortunately, PrepScholar does not provide these.
PrepScholar sends weekly email reports to both parents and students, showing them how many hours a student studied for the week. When a student performs well or is slacking off, compliments for good performances and warnings will be sent as well.
Source: Prep Scholar
PrepScholar follows an hour-by-hour program curriculum:
- First 10 minutes: Sign up and prepare
- First Hour: Take a Smart Diagnostic test
- Hours 2-10: Take Lessons/Classes
- Hours 11-14: Take a full-length practice test
- Hours 15+: Continue your customized prep
How are PrepScholar classes structured? Each class is divided into 3 parts:
- Teaching portion (first 20 minutes) – This includes text and video lessons, core concepts, and SAT strategies.
- Practice quiz (middle 20 minutes) – Includes 20 questions that will test your understanding of the lessons.
- Review portion (last 20 minutes) – The last 20 minutes will be allotted for reviewing your mistakes in the practice quiz. Detailed answer explanations are available for each question.
This structure of classes is effective for students because it is balanced. Unlike some classes that focus so much on the teaching portion that the importance of testing your progress is disregarded.
What’s good about this structure is that it has a review portion. If ever you make mistakes on the practice test, you can correct it right away.
The two prep courses are similar in a lot of ways. First, both are 100% online. However, PrepScholar offers more packages such as SAT classes and tutoring. In terms of effectiveness, we give the PrepScholar SAT Prep Course a very slight edge.
PrepScholar’s hour-by-hour structure is effective because it makes the course more organized. This also helps you study more efficiently.
Both are really effective, and PrepScholar only has a small edge over Magoosh. If you want a self-paced program and want to follow your own style of studying, Magoosh is ideal for you. If you want to follow a particular pattern in preparing, like PrepScholar’s curriculum, PrepScholar is better for you.
PrepScholar also has a higher score guarantee than Magoosh. It provides a 160+ Score improvement guarantee, which is a bit higher compared to Magoosh’s 100+ score improvement guarantee.
2. Magoosh vs PrepScholar SAT: Pricing
PrepScholar provides more options than Magoosh. With its packages, you will surely find a program that is suitable for your needs. Do you want to work on your own? Take the Complete package. Do you want to have instructors or get a classroom experience? Take the PrepScholar Classes package. They also offer tutoring services, which is an upside.
Magoosh, on the other hand, only provides self-paced courses. No live instructors, no tutors, just video-centric instructional materials. If you’re looking for more options than just self-paced, PrepScholar is the way to go.
Magoosh SAT Prep Course
Duration of access
PrepScholar SAT Prep Course
Package (1-year access)
Complete SAT Online Prep
Complete + Tutoring
With Magoosh, you’ll have access to its prep materials for one whole year for just $129. What’s impressive about Magoosh is that although its pricing options are among the cheapest in the prep course market, the quality of its instruction and materials are still of high quality.
One downside of PrepScholar is that its courses are a little expensive. For a newcomer, its prices are already close to the experienced and proven SAT prep courses online.
For a fair comparison, let’s look at Magoosh and PrepScholar’s self-paced courses. As you can see in the chart above, a one-year access to Magoosh costs $129. That is relatively low if you compare it with PrepScholar’s Complete package, which amounts to $397.
If you do the quick math, PrepScholar’s pricing is more than double Magoosh’s. It’s a huge margin, considering that Magoosh offers quality video lessons, explanations, and practice questions. In terms of affordability, there’s no question that Magoosh is the better choice.
3. Magoosh vs PrepScholar SAT: Ease of use
With Magoosh, your preparation for the SAT has never been easier. First of all, the course is video-centric. Hundreds of video lessons are available to teach you the concepts behind the topics covered in the SAT. All you need is a device with an internet connection, and you’re ready to go.
What makes Magoosh one of the most user-friendly SAT prep courses online is its mobile application (3). It has developed a downloadable app for iOS and Android, which will make it easier for you to access the course.
Once you are registered for the course, you can access thousands of practice questions, video explanations, and video lessons more conveniently. Plus, Magoosh has flashcard apps to make your preparation fun.
PrepScholar’s platform is also easy to use. However, its accessibility and adaptive technology are far from what Magoosh provides.
One quality of a good SAT prep course is if students find it easy to use and access it. In terms of ease of use, no doubt that Magoosh gets the nod. With the mobile application for the prep course itself and the app for flashcards, your preparation for the SAT has never been easier.
4. Magoosh vs PrepScholar SAT: Student Reviews
Magoosh is commonly found on top prep course lists and is used by thousands of students worldwide. This is primarily because of its accessibility, the quality of the videos, and affordability.
PrepScholar, on the other hand, is a new prep course. It has also helped a lot of students with SAT preparation. However, Magoosh has remained on the top spot as the most preferred prep course online.
One quality of a good SAT prep course is if students find it easy to use and access it. In terms of ease of use, no doubt that Magoosh gets the nod.
What makes each prep course unique?
- For Magoosh:
- Mobile app: This allows you to study for the SAT anytime and anywhere. Unlike other prep courses that are only software- or browser-based, Magoosh will make your SAT preparation much more accessible.
- SMS Reminders: Magoosh will consistently remind you to answer the practice questions or review your lessons. This just shows the course provider’s enthusiasm and dedication to help you prepare for the SAT
- For PrepScholar:
- Hour-by-hour program: This curriculum is designed for you to get the most out of the prep course. This curriculum includes a diagnostic test at the beginning of the course and a couple of practice tests along the way. Unlike Magoosh, PrepScholar provides a curriculum to follow in taking the prep course.
- Weekly email report: At the end of every week, PrepScholar will send you and your parents an email report showing how many hours you studied that week. This is a good way to track your progress.
Magoosh vs PrepScholar: Which one is the best?
It comes down to your needs and goals. Each prep course can be effective, depending on where you are in your preparation and what your study style is.
- Take Magoosh if:
- You are looking for an affordable course
- You want to study at your own pace
- You prefer video-centric courses
- Take PrepScholar if:
- You want to take live classes
- You prefer to have a tutor
- You want to follow a certain curriculum in studying for the SAT
Frequently Asked Questions