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Ivy Bound versus Other SAT Test Prep Programs

Ivy Bound Full Class (Math+CR) Kaplan Princeton Review
Median class size: 9** avg 10-20 8-10, no more than 12
Mean Class Size: 7.8 neither Kaplan nor Princeton differentiated mean and median
Instructor SAT Standard Top 1% Top 10% Top 5%
Number of actual SATs used OSSG plus licensed College Board Tests Kaplan and Princeton Review use only those in the Official SAT Study Guide and at
Number of prior SATs available 14
(1995 - 2004)
0 0
Instructors available by phone yes no no
Nationwide conference calls yes no no
Total classroom hours 33-45 40 35
Real SAT Practice Tests given 3,4,5, or 6 0 (5 simulated) 4
Money-Back Guarantee1 Guarantees increase of at least 100 pts Guarantees increase of at least 10 pts Guarantees increase of at least 10 pts***
Avg Score Increase 2002-06 125.8* (CR and Math) ?* ?*
Avg Score Increase 2007-2010 171.7 + ?* ?*
Avg Score Increase 2010 173.3 + ?* ?*

*Methodology: Average Score Increase is based on highest pre-Ivy Bound combined SAT score to highest post-Ivy Bound combined SAT Math & CR score. Ivy Bound has not used Writing scores because it's not as widely studied for. Ivy Bound does not measure off the PSAT as it tends to be easier (on Math, by about 40 points) and students take the PSAT less seriously. Students in small groups or in tutoring who use Ivy Bound tend to skew higher than those in larger groups. However, among diligent students, we find virtually no difference between tutoring and class work. Ivy Bound’s Guarantee is 50% of class fee returned, or 50% or tutor’s fee if doing private / semi-private tutoring. Competitors’ methodology and/or records are unavailable to us.

** summer classes average 4-7 students

+“Diligent Students” are those who report their scores and for whom we know they did 90% of the assigned Home Study and at least 3 practice tests. This began being measured in 2007 based on incoming SAT or PSAT.

++Prior SATs from 2004 and earlier are for especially devoted students. They carry an extra charge, but are NOT necessary for success on the modern (post-2004)

1For those under a Guarantee Contract in a full regular tuition class that includes semi-private tutoring or extra monitoring, Ivy Bound guarantees a 100 point improvement so long as the student attends 90% of the classes and does 90% of the home study. All but the materials and monitoring fee($350) gets returned. Ivy Bound's understanding of competitors' "guarantee" is that enlistees can continue in their program longer, but that it is not a money-back guarantee unless students fail to improve even 10 points.
*** Princeton Review in 2011 offered a money--back guarantee that looks lengthy and almost impossible to take advantage of. Ask THEM how long it takes.