Test Prep

Test Prep

Test preparation (abbreviated test prep) or exam preparation primarily refers to educational courses, tutoring services, and educational materials/learning tools designed to increase students' performance on standardized tests, particularly entrance examinations used for admissions to institutions of higher education, such as college (e.g. the SAT and ACT), business school (the GMAT), law school (the LSAT), medical school (the MCAT), and graduate school (the GRE). Less commonly, the term is used to refer to studying for other types of tests.


Major companies offering test preparation services include:

  • College Board
  • C2 Education
  • Grockit
  • Kaplan
  • Knewton
  • The Princeton Review
  • Revolution prep
  • StudyPoint
  • Sylvan Learning

Resource providers

Most companies and educators that offer test preparation services also offer traditional (hard copy) and technology-based learning tools, such as books and other printed matter, software, websites, hand-held devices, or content for such devices. So do most test makers, publishers of self-help, instructional and educational materials, and makers of hardware and software. Some prominent resource providers in the United States include:

Test makers

  • ACT, Inc. - publisher of the ACT
  • American Council on Education (ACE) - publisher of the GED test
  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) - publisher of the MCAT test
  • College Board - publisher of the SAT test
  • Educational Testing Service (ETS) - publisher of the GRE and TOEFL tests
  • Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) - publisher of the GMAT
  • Harcourt Assessment - publisher of the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
  • Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) - publisher of the LSAT test

Third parties

  • Barron's Educational Series Test Prep - publisher of books and educational materials
  • CliffsNotes Test Prep - a publisher of study guides
  • The Complete Idiot's Guides - publisher of instructional reference books, such as The Complete Idiot's Guide to Acing the GRE (ISBN 978-1592575152)
  • For Dummies Test Prep Guides - publisher of instructional/reference books
  • Gary R. Gruber, PhD - educator and author
  • McGraw-Hill Test Prep and Study Guides - publisher of books and educational materials
  • Peterson's Test Prep - publisher of books and educational materials
  • SparkNotes Test Prep - a publisher of study guides
  • Texas Instruments Test Prep Solutions- technology company that offers test-maker approved calculators and a variety of test preparation and test-taking tools


Some test-preparation programs have been proven to help students improve test scores, but others may have little effect.

Test preparation for the SAT is a highly lucrative field.

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