Updated February 3, 2020
The Kranse Institute SAT Prep course is one of the newer options for prospective test takers, but it is backed by a lot of credentials. The creator of this prep course, Dr. Shaan Patel, worked himself up from a 1760 – a moderately above-average score – to a perfect 2400 on his SAT.
He attributes his success to his specialized, strategy-based method of approaching the SAT. And from his results, it’s hard to disagree. Kranse Institute reports, on average, an improvement in test scores by 210 points. Some of the students featured on the website improved their scores by as much as 680 points with the help of the course.
Though these numbers are promising, you might still wonder whether this program is right for your child. This article will attempt to give you a better understanding of what all the Kranse Institute has to offer.
1. Short, Focused Videos
Let’s break down the numbers: The Kranse Institute SAT Test Prep Course consists of a total of 204 videos, broken down into 12 distinct lessons. Each video is about 10 minutes long, making for a total of about 34 hours of content.
Each lesson, barring the first, introductory lesson, begins with a vocab quiz to review and enforce the vocab needed to do well on both the reading comprehension and writing sections of the exam. In each video, Dr. Patel guides students through the various strategies he has developed, along with a few SAT question examples that would best use this strategy. He alternates between the different sections fairly often, allowing students to prepare for the reading comprehension, math, and writing/essay sections at a relatively equal pace.
The videos are fairly short to ensure maximum engagement with the program. Each lesson “chapter” is a bite-sized morsel of information that is easy to digest. The short format allows for breaks and practice between each video so you can focus more.
2. Strategy-based Study Materials
The content is where it differs from other test prep courses. While there is some focus on vocab memorization, most of the videos address a unique way to approach the SAT questions themselves. For instance, Dr. Patel advises students to not work out a lot of the theoretical questions in the math section, but rather to substitute simple numbers to better conceptualize the problem. Similarly, he approaches the reading comprehension and writing questions with simple but overlooked strategies.
In this way, Kranse Institute teaches students the formula behind SAT questions, and tackles that rather than the typical rote memorization that is par for the course in traditional prep course programs.
3. Full SAT Walkthrough
In the Kranse Institute SAT Prep Course, Dr. Patel goes through a formerly administered SAT exam and demonstrates how his strategies play out on a real exam. Traditional prep courses tend to only teach students question by question, which can leave them unprepared if the course unintentionally skews toward easier questions. By going through a full exam, Kranse Institute avoids this problem by guiding students through what a full exam would look like.
4. Free App
The course comes with a free smartphone app as well. Sign in with your login credentials on the app, and you’ll be able to take the Kranse Institute video lectures on the go. This can be a great way to productively spend time on the bus to and from school, or when your child is waiting to begin an after-school club activity.
Only the iOS version is available, but the Android app is currently underway.
5. 18-Month Accessibility
Unlike other prep courses, which often allow for 3-6 months of access to their prep course, Kranse Institute offers a whopping 18 months. That means that you can enroll during your child’s junior year to help them with the PSAT and still use it for the first half of senior year. As its website puts it, this time span allows you to register for 9 possible test dates, so you will never lose access prematurely.
6. Money-Back Guarantee
Prep courses can be expensive, and despite the research you do, you can never tell if it’s the one that “clicks” for your child. Fortunately, Kranse Institute offers a “no questions asked” money-back guarantee. For the first seven days of enrollment, you and your child can go through as much of the course as you’d like, and if you aren’t satisfied, you can send an email to Kranse Institute and get a full refund.
7. Score Improvement Guarantee
Along with the money-back guarantee, Kranse Institute also offers a score improvement guarantee. If your child’s SAT score did not improve with Kranse Institute’s help, you are eligible for a full refund. To do this, your child must take the SAT before enrolling, and you must submit a picture of both the initial and current SAT scores before they will refund your money.
8. Free Complimentary E-Book
When you enroll your child into Kranse Institute, the page will show you your login credentials, along with a link to download a free e-book. This book is designed for parents to help guide their child through standardized tests, scholarships, and college applications. This brief but informative book gives invaluable tips on how to prepare your child for success, such as giving them resources to help focus and develop self-control.
Kranse Institute’s self-paced SAT course is priced at $599. Compared to some other prep courses, such as Kaplan or Magoosh, this is a rather steep price.
The biggest question is whether the course is worth its price. Remember, Kranse Institute focuses on teaching students the various strategies and to recognize patterns in the types of questions asked during the SAT, something not all courses do.
2. No Individual Practice Questions
The entire course is within the videos provided. That means that the course doesn’t provide your student with a number of practice questions and exams to take on their own time. Rather, Dr. Patel guides your student through each and every question that is brought up.
This approach is certainly different from the traditional prep course, which touts hundreds of practice questions along with half a dozen practice tests. However, Kranse Institute states a reason for this in its free e-book: The only place from which Kranse Institute recommends you procure practice questions and quizzes from is the College Board website itself. In fact, the founder states that questions provided from different sources can actually train your child incorrectly and hurt their scores in the long run.
3. No Captions or Transcripts of Videos
The biggest downside to the Kranse Institute SAT Prep course is that the videos are not captioned. There is also no transcripts or otherwise visual-only materials.
This fact limits this course to those who are not deaf or hard-of-hearing. It also requires that you study in public with a set of headphones, since the bulk of the content is audio, with visual supports. If your child doesn’t learn well from the traditional lecture format, that could also pose problems for their success in this program.
4. No Free Trials
Unlike some prep courses, Kranse Institute does not offer a free trial period. That means that you must put down a considerable amount of money before making a concrete decision on the program. And while most people are satisfied with Kranse Institute, this will likely deter a lot of people looking for a prep course for the first time.
This course is best for students who learn best with short, video-based lectures who are self-disciplined enough to study on their own time and without graded materials guiding them along.
Wondering whether the SAT is right for your child? Check out our SAT vs ACT breakdown.