It was an extremely busy day for us so we’re still catching up with some news posts such as this one. Earlier today, ACT Inc. announced Kaplan Test Prep has become their exclusive, official partner for live, online ACT test prep. Presumably this is their response to the SAT partnership with Khan Academy. While the Khan Academy material is free for all test takers, the Kaplan material is, apparently, only free to those test takers who qualify for an application fee waiver. For everyone else, the fee is expected to be under $200.
We have a couple thoughts on this. First, it will be interesting to see if the online material fee shifts prospective test takers to the SAT. We are also very interested in seeing how the quality of the Kaplan material is perceived against the Khan Academy’s product. We’re naturally curious as to whether the decision to choose Kaplan was purely financial. (Perhaps ACT, Inc. receives a good percent of the fee and feels it can leverage Kaplan’s marketing muscle to boost their bottom line significantly?) And, finally, since ACT has tied its fate significantly to Kaplan, we are curious to see how long this exclusive partnership may last.