In what is part marketing push and part of a push to expand its presence
online, The Princeton Review Friday said it was launching a free online SAT
The test is full length and consists of two hours of multimedia lessons and
drills. As with many things that take flight on the Internet, the heralded
testing company said it realized that many students would want to cut
through a lot of the offline, classroom environments, instructions and
nuisances to prepare online instead.
The Princeton Review’s Executive Vice President Steve Quattrociocchi said
his company looked at such rivals as Test University and TurboGrad, which
had already posted free online prep course, and tried to improve on what
those firms had done. He said he feels the SAT and GMAT versions launched in
July have better interfaces and dashboard set-ups than competitors. LSATs
and GREs will roll out this month.
If the students like what they see in the practice exams and decide The
Princeton Review is the right route to take, they can then register for the
Princeton Review Online course, which is $399, and features much more
exercises, drills and tests than the free version. Or they can get the
fullest package, LiveOnline with an offline/online collaboration featuring a
Princeton Review instructor, virtual classrooms and extra help sessions —
all for $799.
As to whether the firm plans to video stream instructors, as rivals such as
Stanley Kaplan’s course offer, Quattrociocchi said the firm would not
consider it until the technology improved.
“If you look at Kaplan’s, it’s just a talking head on a grainy, jumpy
screen,” Quattrociocchi. “I think right now it is better to hear the
instructor’s voice. When more people begin to have more reliable DSL
connections, visual streaming will be better, but right now it’s really
painful to watch.”
When the test-maker does plan to take the visual route, Quattrociocchi, said
he has no doubt the firm’s brand will attract users.
The SAT will be administered nationally on Oct. 14, Nov. 4, Dec. 2, Jan. 27,
March 31, May 5 and June 2.