Magoosh SAT / ACT (In-Depth Review)

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magoosh sat act prep courses review - featured image

 

Magoosh is known for its inexpensive courses for the SAT and ACT.

 

And in this review, you’ll quickly find out if it’s the right option for you.

 

 Below I list all the essential features, pricing points, comparisons, and screenshots  that will give you a better idea about the course and its effectiveness.

 

Magoosh has some interesting self-prep options, and even offers live-streams and 1-week long online SAT boot camps. The best thing is that you can sign up for a 7-day free trial to test the online materials and see how you like it for yourself.

 

Overall, these courses are effective, and the Magoosh online app and video explanations are going to blow your mind. I still can’t believe that this course is so cheap!

 

If you decide to sign up, I recommend choosing:

 

1. 12-month self-study SAT prep – only $99. There’s also 1-week online boot camp available (the seats are limited). For $79 it’s a steal if you compare it to the competition.

2. 12-month self-study ACT prep – only $99.

 

The prices for shorter access (3-6 months) are only a bit lower, so it’s always much better to go for the 12-month option. But let’s explore these options in more detail so you know exactly what to expect.

 

Related content: The 4 Best SAT Prep Courses To Take

 

magoosh ratings on trustpilot and consumer affairs
Magoosh gets great reviews on sites like Trustpilot and Consumer Affairs.

 

 

SAT / ACT Courses From Magoosh – Are They Good?

 

The results you can expect after taking one of Magoosh’s self-paced courses are well-documented. They are actually published on the company’s own web site.

 

Every student who completes the course is asked to give an honest opinion about the course and share their score improvements.

 

If you dig into some of these reviews you’ll find out that the vast majority of students have only positive things to say about the course.  Some of them improved their score by 10%-40%  depending on the starting point. These are great results, to say the least.

 

You can read what students who took the course have to say here:

 

 

Related content: The 4 Best ACT Prep Courses To Take

 

The main features offered by Magoosh for SAT and ACT prep

 

Sometimes it’s easy to get confused about all the features of the course. Take a look at the table below to see all of them at a glance:

 

Magoosh 12 Month Self-Paced SAT CourseMagoosh 12 Month Self-Paced ACT Course
PriceCheck the price here ($20 discount available)Check the price here ($20 discount available)
Live classroom time0h – fully self-paced0h – fully self-paced
BooksNo books – fully online-basedNo book included but you can buy it separately
Full-length online practice testsYes, 3 practice tests generated from the pool of 1500 practice questionsYes, 4 full-length tests
On-demand instructional videos200+ videos250+ videos
Practice questions with explanations1500+ practice questions1350+ practice questions
GuaranteeYes, 100 point improvement on your previous score (or your money back).Yes, +4 Points guarantee, 7 days risk-free trial
Email assistanceYes, prep assistance within 2 working daysYes, prep assistance within 2 working days
Mobile learning appYesYes
Personalized study planYesYes
Progress tracking and reportsYesYes

 

The pros and cons of taking a self-prep course

 

magoosh pros and cons

 

Moving forward with any test-prep option has its advantages and disadvantages. That’s also the case with Magoosh. Let’s quickly compare the pros and cons of their courses.

 

Pros:

 

1. Fantastic video explanations and an awesome SAT / ACT YouTube channel

 

These courses deserve a lot of praise for their awesome video content. The YouTube channel is updated on a regular basis, but that’s just one piece of a larger puzzle.  The thing that stands out is that all questions (1500 for each test) come with individual video explanations. 

 

In this way, when you answer incorrectly, you can actually watch a 1-3 minute video where an expert tutor explains the concept to you in detail. This is the number one feature appreciated by the students because it almost makes you feel like working with a private tutor.

 

Here’s are a few samples of video explanations for the SAT.  And here’s a sample video from Magoosh’s YouTube channel:

 

 

2. Great, intuitive mobile app

 

You’ll quickly realize that Magoosh has the best SAT and ACT mobile apps on the market. Use them to your advantage when you have a few minutes to spare. I suggest you check the mobile app section below for more details!

 

magoosh act app screenshot

 

3. The course is super affordable

 

Magoosh is changing the test prep landscape with its inexpensive courses. Nowadays, you don’t have to pay $1,000+ to get solid help with your standardized test prep. Rather, you can grab lots of materials for one-tenth of this price, and still get great results.

 

4. The accessibility and results-driven guarantee

 

First, you have a 7-day free trial to take advantage of. This will enable you to check the whole curriculum without taking any risk. And on top of that, you’ll get the performance-based guarantee.

 

 For the SAT, you’ll improve your baseline score by 100+ points, or you’re eligible to get your money back.  And For ACT, you’d get a guaranteed improvement of 4 points.

 

This shows that the company has confidence in its materials. If you look at comments from students, you’ll see that some of them knocked it out of the park in terms of score.

 

5. Personalized study plans for every type of scenario

 

In high school, you should have enough time to get two, three or even four attempts at passing SAT or ACT. But sometimes, depending on your situation, you can only have one week or a couple of weeks to give it your best shot.

 

Here Magoosh will have you covered as they provide multiple study plans for every type of situation imaginable. You have everything from a 3-day plan for a 6-month plan which you can pick depending on your time constraints.

 

These plans are fantastic as they give you access to supplemental resources you can use in your prep.

 

Cons:

 

1. You won’t be working with a tutor in a live setting

 

Working with a private tutor is one of the best ways to boost your score because of the one-to-one setting. Magoosh offers a course which is fully online-based and this means you won’t get this individual attention.

 

In-person courses or tutoring packages are much more expensive ($1000 – $3000) so you can’t expect to get this type of service for only $99. Fortunately, most of the practice questions from Magoosh’s dashboard come with short video explanations so that’s as close as you can get to working with a tutor.

 

2. It’s not a full-comprehensive course, so you’ll need some extra materials

 

Again, you cannot expect miracles for a course which costs only $99. You will receive three or four full-length practice tests in the package. But this may not be enough to get you fully prepped for one of the most important tests you will ever take.

 

That’s why you will need to invest in some extra study materials. I recommend signing up for the free course from the Khan Academy. You might also want to buy one or two prep books with extra tests and learning strategies.

 

And finally, never forget about the power of YouTube. The platform has hundreds of videos that will help you gain more understanding of the course.

 

The pricing of the SAT / ACT prep courses – are they worth the money?

 

Here’s where Magoosh outshines the competition. Both the SAT and ACT courses are only $99 for 12 months of access. You won’t get such a deal anywhere else, especially with this amount of professionally designed test prep materials.

 

Recently, Magoosh also launched a 1-week online bootcamp initiative. It allows you to study in an online classroom along with a tutor. That’s 6 hours of coursework for only $79. With other companies, you’d easily pay hundreds of dollars for such a service.

 

Let’s quickly compare the prices from Magoosh to other companies offering self-prep SAT and ACT courses:

 

MagooshPrinceton ReviewKaplanPrepScholarTestive
$99$150 – $250$299$397$399 / month

 

As you can see, you can’t beat the price you’ll get from Magoosh. Moreover, all the courses from the company come with a score improvement guarantee and a 7-day free trial. If you don’t get the improvement you desired, you’ll get your money back so the risk of the transaction is pretty low.

 

What about the books and the mobile learning app?

 

As of today, the self-prep courses from Magoosh are online-based. There’s only one ACT prep book produced by the company so far, and it’s actually great. It has a 5 out 5 scores on Amazon and you can download it on your Kindle app for a couple of dollars.

 

 

Other than that, the company doesn’t offer any other prep books you could use for your standardized test. So if you need any, check the “extra resources” section below.

 

But, when it comes to the mobile app, Magoosh really shines and crushes the competition. Other companies like Kaplan or Princeton Review only allow you to do basic stuff (like checking your stats) on their apps.

 

But with Magoosh apps you can:

 

  • Practice math, reading, and writing questions
  • Review questions with text and video explanations
  • Track your progress with online dashboards
  • Read prep-related articles from Magoosh’s blog
  • Watch video lessons

 

So basically, you can do all the things you’re allowed to do with the main desktop version!

 

This is fantastic because you’re probably always on the go. Now when you’re sitting idly and waiting for something, you can pull out your mobile device and start crunching the content of the course. Turn it into a habit and you’ll quickly boost your scores almost effortlessly.

 

The available apps (iOS and Android compatible) are:

 

  • SAT Test Prep by Magoosh
  • ACT Test Prep, Practice, and Flashcards
  • SAT / ACT Flashcards
  • English Grammar Practice

 

magoosh sat app screenshot

 

The main two apps give you access to full course features through your mobile or tablet.

 

The flashcard app is amazing because it’s using spaced repetition to help you remember the most important concepts in the area of SAT / ACT math, science, grammar, and vocabulary.

 

And the “English Grammar Practice” app teaches you exactly what you’d expect – English grammar. This includes word choice, punctuation, idioms, clauses, and exercise for improving the sentences and choosing the correct subject or verb. The app is expertly crafted by one of the pro tutors from Magoosh and it will surely boost your language skills.

 

magoosh sat act grammar app

 

All the apps receive mostly positive score from students and get solid 4 and 5 star ratings on a regular basis. You can even download them for free to get access to limited resources. And once you sign up for the paid course, you’ll get access to all materials.

 

Screenshots of the Magoosh app

 

The online dashboard is easy to use, as it gives you quick access to all the main areas of SAT and ACT prep. First, you’ll have a quick walkthrough, and then you can check the sections for math, reading, and writing.

 

 Everything is laid out in an organized way so you know exactly how to follow the course step by step.  In the main dashboard, you’ll also see how’s your average score on different sections of the test, so you’ll know exactly where you need to improve.

 

Here are a couple of screenshots to give you a better idea of how it looks like:

 

magoosh act screenshot

magoosh student dashboard

 

There’s also a quick video introduction to the self-paced ACT course:

 

 

Other SAT / ACT study materials to use along with Magoosh

 

If you’re serious about getting admitted to your dream school, you should do everything in your power to maximize your score. While Magoosh’s courses are great and definitely worth the money, you shouldn’t leave anything to chance.

 

So get your hands on some extra materials that will boost your score.

 

First, make sure to check out the free study materials from the Khan Academy. They have a course available only for SAT at this moment, but that’s still better than nothing. The best thing about this course is that it gives you access to 8 full-length practice tests created in partnership with the College Board.

 

Magoosh only has 3 or 4 full-length tests on offer which may not be enough. So here you have extra 8 right off the bat. Plus, you’ll get a ton of practice questions and study materials for PSAT/NMSQT as well.

 

act org free study materials

 

The second thing to use as a supplement to Magoosh are the materials from The College Board. They offer loads of free materials for SAT, AP, and PSAT. And if you’re preparing for the ACT, you should definitely check out free materials available on ACT.org.

 

Other than that, I recommend completing at least one free practice test from Princeton Review. After completing it, you’ll get a comprehensive score report which will give you a better idea of where you stand, and how much you need to improve.

 

Finally, you can take a look at SAT / ACT prep books on Amazon. They’re fairly inexpensive and they always give you more materials to chew on, including full-length tests and questions with detailed explanations.

 

Cracking the SAT Premium Edition with 8 Practice Tests, 2020: The All-in-One Solution for Your...
Amazon Kindle Edition; The Princeton Review (Author); English (Publication Language); 848 Pages - 07/16/2019 (Publication Date) - Princeton Review (Publisher)
$9.99
Sale
Official SAT Study Guide 2020 Edition
The College Board (Author); English (Publication Language); 1300 Pages - 05/07/2019 (Publication Date) - College Board (Publisher)
$17.89
Cracking the ACT Premium Edition with 8 Practice Tests, 2019: 8 Practice Tests + Content Review +...
Amazon Kindle Edition; The Princeton Review (Author); English (Publication Language); 831 Pages - 01/29/2019 (Publication Date) - Princeton Review (Publisher)
$9.99
Sale
ACT Prep Plus 2019: 5 Practice Tests + Proven Strategies + Online (Kaplan Test Prep)
Kaplan Test Prep (Author); English (Publication Language); 936 Pages - 06/05/2018 (Publication Date) - Kaplan Publishing (Publisher)
$3.21

 

Conclusion

 

In the final analysis, Magoosh is crushing the test prep competitors when it comes to the SAT and ACT courses. No other company will give you so many materials and long access for such a low price.

 

Of course, if you want to apply to some of the top colleges in the country, you may still want to use private tutoring or in-class courses. But on the other hand, a few students were able to get into colleges like MIT with the help of Magoosh.

 

It all depends on your level of perseverance and the amount of time you’re willing to put into your studies.

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