Can this man boost your SAT score by over 200?
Shaan Patel is such a driven and high-achieving person that his claim to boost anyone’s SAT score by 200 points or more carries some credibility. From humble beginnings growing up at his parents’ motel in Nowheresville, Nevada and attending the local public school which had a dropout rate of 40%, he graduated from Yale with an MBA and USC with an MD. And his own SAT score on the way there? A perfect 1600, after starting out with only an average score. This lends weight to his claim that he can boost anyone’s SAT score by 200 or more, because he boosted his own by several hundred points.
During his studies he somehow found the time to develop an SAT preparation company and pitch it – successfully – to TV’s Shark Tank. Four of the sharks didn’t bite, saying that he couldn’t devote himself to entrepreneurship and be a medical student at the same time. But one shark did bite – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. And Patel has proven the other sharks wrong. His company, Prep Expert, netted $10 million before he had graduated from medical school.
Largely helped by the Shark Tank appearance, Prep Expert has continued to grow, feeding on the desire of parents and students to ace their SATs and get to their college of choice. You don’t buy a house from the homeless, so Patel’s perfect score gives him a powerful aura in the SAT prep world. Using his entrepreneurial flair to capitalise on this, he has created a real honeypot for students and their parents.
The courses aren’t cheap – the 6-week, instructor-led online course weighs in at a thousand dollars – but the stakes are high enough to ensure Prep Expert does a brisk business.
Also on offer from Prep Expert is preparation for the ACT (American College Testing), a competitor to the SAT that has now surpassed it in terms of the number of students who take it annually. U.S. colleges accept both tests.
Naturally enough, Prep Expert’s website is populated with glowing testimonials from students. But the only way to really find out is to borrow your parents' credit card, sign up, put your phone in airplane mode, gather plenty of snacks and drinks around you, and take the plunge.
Here is an interview with Shaan Patel on Forbes.com about Prep Expert and another of his ventures: A site called ClearHat which teaches entrepreneurs how to do what he did. The man is unstoppable. And he’d love to help make you unstoppable, too.