Since 2001, Ivy Bound Test Prep has offered tutoring and classes for the SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests, SSAT, Academic Subjects, LSAT, GMAT and more. Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization that offers online lessons and instructional videos for free.

Khan Academy offers solid test prep for many students. Salman Khan is an excellent teacher, but you cannot get him live. As sophisticated as online tools can be, most students do better with a live instructor.

Benefits of a Live Tutor

The effectiveness of Khan’s videos are only as good as the attentiveness of the student. For the highly motivated student who is mature enough to schedule learning sessions with their computers each week, Khan’s canned videos can lead to success.

Our suggestion for frugal parents: Try Ivy Bound. Our tutors work economically; they are sensitive to your budget and get right to the point in their sessions. Ivy Bound’s tutors will use extra remedial tools – including selected Khan Academy videos – in case a high amount of learning is still needed. Thus, students will likely spend 20 – 30 hours with a tutor covering their SAT prep. By contrast, students wandering though video-after-video, and lacking a tutor to reply with specific answers, are likely to spend far more time learning SAT skills.

The final benefit of a live tutor is that the tutor can frame a strategy for a student who is making errors in a certain area. A computer program – even a highly interactive one – cannot. Even a 30-point difference can be huge, come college admissions time.

CompareIvy BoundKhan Academy
PricingHourly FeeFree
Live TutorsYesNo
Choice of TutorsYesNo
Available 24/7CloseYes
Pros (Not Peers)YesYes
Access to Practice TestsHighLimited
Live Practice Test SessionsYesNo
Online Sessions with Live TutorsYesNo
ACT Guarantee12 Section Point IncreaseNone
ACT PrepYesNo
SAT Guarantee100 Point IncreaseNone
Individualized Essay EvaluationsYesNo

Why Choose Ivy Bound?

For parents whose kids need a motivator: Commit to Ivy Bound. A live person is an instant motivator. Ivy Bound’s tutors teach to the test and propel students to better scores. You can switch tutors if you find the initial set-up is not the right fit. Whomever the tutor is, you are either guaranteed 100 points or 50 percent of your investment is returned. For ACT, the guarantee is 12 section-points. In 18 years, Ivy Bound has had only 8 students who were diligent but did not see at least a 100 point rise. Your commitment will almost certainly be rewarded.

The financial rewards from many colleges that see an applicant with a well-above-their-average SAT/ACT score are huge. Ivy Bound’s scholarship-seeking students report average awards exceeding $90,000 for a four-year degree.

Unlike an any-time-all-the-time video, a tutor’s visit is one the student can’t “put off till later”. The regimentation itself is good for many students. A tutor’s assessment, which a canned video can never do, can be priceless. Getting rid of frustrations is why parents often hire tutors in the first place. Enlisting a tutor can help avoid frustration, ensure confidence and propel higher scores.

Additionally, Khan Academy does not have a partnership with the ACT. There are no ACT videos on their site. For many students, Khan’s alliance with the SAT leaves them bereft of the ACT prep that could give them the best chance of admission and scholarships. Nearly 50 percent of Ivy Bound’s students targeting competitive colleges now prep for both the SAT and ACT. We believe this is a national trend that will continue.