The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review (TPR) is an American educational preparation company. It offers test preparation for standardized aptitude tests such as the SAT and advice regarding college admissions. Approximately 70% of the company's revenue comes from test preparation. [ [ Third Quarter Earnings] ] The company was founded in 1981 by John Katzman, after graduating from Princeton University, and is based in New York City. It is not affiliated with Princeton University or the Educational Testing Service.

Test preparation

The Princeton Review offers test preparation courses in various tests: [ [ Test preparation] ] [ [ More tests] ]
*SAT Subject Tests
*Advanced Placement Exams (AP Exams)
*Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
*Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
*Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
*Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
*United States Medical Licensing Examination
*Secondary School Admission Test

The company offers courses world-wide through company-owned and third-party franchises. Countries with Princeton Review franchises include China, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Singapore, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. [ [ International Offices of The Princeton Review] ]

The Princeton Review offers both private tutoring and classroom courses. SAT courses guarantee an improvement in scores. [ [ Our guarantee] ]

College admissions

The Princeton Review Bookstore [ [ College bookstore] ] publishes various guides to colleges, including "The Best 366 Colleges", the "Complete Book of Colleges", and the "Parents' Guide to College Life". It also publishes test preparation books for various exams.

The Princeton Review website provides free advice and tools for college admissions. [ [ Colleges and careers] ] It also provides the rankings from "The Best 366 Colleges", including "Top 20" lists in categories such as "Professors Get High Marks", "Happiest Students", and "Dorms Like Dungeons". [ [ "Best 361 Colleges" rankings] ]

The admissions division also offers services to high school guidance departments [ [ Guidance support & test preparation] ] and colleges [ [ Admissions center] ] .


The Princeton Review's K–12 and Admissions Services division provides assessment, intervention and professional development programs to school districts. [ K–12 Educators]

August 2008 Data Exposure

In August 2008, the New York Times reported that a flaw in the company's web site exposed data about 34,000 Sarasota, Florida students to the web, including FCAT test scores. [] In addition, names and birthdates of 74,000 Fairfax County, Virginia students were exposed, as well as some documents regarding Princeton Review's internal procedures. After being notified of the problem, the company shut off access to the data and conducted a review of procedures.

Recent Internal Criticism

The company has recently come under fire for its decision in early 2008 to reduce hourly wages and monetary compensation for its teachers to such a degree that many tenured employees experienced up to a 40% pay reduction for in-classroom duties. The company explained to those affected that "some of the current policies, while generous, were not sustainable. These changes were not made lightly, but before we can fix the Princeton Review house, we must fix the foundation." This reformulation of pay practices ostensibly contravenes what employees were told in early 2007 -- that teachers have always been the company's most important asset and that monetary compensation must properly reflect this belief. Proper compensation, many teachers have recently argued, is rhetoric at first blush noble but ultimately vacuous, as the company shows little remorse or restraint in redefining this term in whatever way necessary to appease shareholders. Because these recent compensation changes have most adversely affected those with the greatest teaching experience, some argue the company is transitioning to a more replicable product and away from intangibles such as great teachers that have historically differentiated its test preparation from that of oft-criticized companies such as Kaplan.

Misleading Claims of Instructor Qualification

The company's website claims that LSAT instructors must have scored "in the 98th percentile on the LSAT" to teach courses, even though actual company staffing practice seems to suggest otherwise. It is true that a majority of teachers have received official scores on actual LSAT administrations, but a large minority of instructors without qualifying scores have law degrees and were therefore unable to retest officially when the company changed its requirements in early 2008. To accommodate these instructors, the company decided in cooperation with the LSAC (Law School Admissions Council, publisher of the LSAT) to internally administer a previously unreleased test. "Scores" on this test could qualify a preexisting employee to continue teaching LSAT courses, despite the fact that it is unclear whether these teachers could perform at the 98th percentile threshold in controlled conditions. The company makes no such distinction to its clients, who make important preparatory and financial decisions based on the belief that instructors are similarly qualified.


External links

* [ Website]
* [ Company overview]

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