Our Review Process
Our team follows a strict and rigorous process when reviewing different prep courses and products. We will outline the processes that go into making our product recommendations that result in the trustworthy and unbiased reviews our users have come to expect.
We maintain a strict independence between the editorial process in which products are evaluated and the development of financial relationships with our affiliate partners. The relationships we have with our affiliate partners have no influence over the scores and rankings of the products on our site.
We do make money on some, but not all, products that we recommend on our site, if you click a link.
We have a dedicated team of staff members that oversee and are responsible for all product reviews. Our staff has decades of experience in the test prep industry across multiple types of exams.
We have multiple team members who work on each review. This allows for multiple points-of-view, healthy discussion, and different perspectives when we are finalizing our reviews.
You can learn more about our team on our about us page.
Why You Can Trust Us
At Test-Guide we take pride in being the largest provider of free practice tests and prep course reviews. Our dedicated team has a combined 50+ years of experience in the test prep industry.
When constructing our reviews, we ensure that ample time is spent in the research process. We go into these courses ourselves and look around for things that actual users would find useful.
Our reviews are constantly updated to reflect changes in the marketplace, new players, and updates made to products or prep courses. You know you are reading updated information when using our product reviews.
Our Complete Review Process
The following describes our review process:
1. Research Different Providers
This is the first step of our review process. We look at the popular products and providers on the market that people are talking about, as well as the lesser-known providers that people may not know about.
We create a master list of all potential products and providers we may want to take a deeper look at in this step.
2. Narrow Down Providers to Take a Deeper Look at
After doing some initial research, we narrow down our list. This narrowed down list will be the courses that we take a deep dive into.
We have a proprietary process we use to narrow down which products and providers we decide to review but some things we consider are:
- Search Volume
- User Sentiment (What people are saying)
- Interesting Features
- Test-Guide User Feedback (If our users are asking about a certain provider)
3. Get Hands on With the Products or Courses
This is where the majority of our time is spent. Members of our team will go into the products or courses and use them like they were actually studying for an exam.
We have developed numerous relationships with different providers throughout the years. These relationships allow us to gain access to different courses and provide a hands-on review for our users.
If we are unable to gain access to a course, we will either utilize a free trial or purchase the course ourselves to get an inside look.
4. Give Out a Proprietary Score Based on Our Findings
We talk about our proprietary scoring process in-depth below. In a nutshell, we have 5 different criteria that we use to assign a score. Each criteria is weighted differently, which allows us to provide a more accurate score as not all test categories are the same.
4 of the criteria are the same for all product reviews while the 5th criteria is a “test-specific” criteria that changes based on the test category we are reviewing.
5. Craft the Product Review for Our Users
This is where we begin the editorial process. We have specific team members who spend a lot of time ensuring the content is presented in a way that makes sense to users and helps them make an informed decision.
Our main goal is to help users learn about the different options that are available to them and help them make an informed purchase if they are planning on purchasing something.
6. Update Content and Reviews as Needed
The test prep industry is an ever-changing industry. Providers are changing their offerings and features all the time. We keep track of these changes and update our rankings and scores to accurately reflect those changes.
If you have any questions about our review process, feel free to contact us.
Our Proprietary Scoring Process
We take pride in providing ratings and rankings you can trust. We have developed a proprietary rating system designed specifically for each category on our site.
Our team starts off the review process by finding all of the providers of a product. The team then digs into those products and begins our in-depth process. We have 5 criteria that we provide a score on:
- Test Specific Criteria
The team gives a score for each provider. Each criteria is assigned a weight – the criteria weight may vary from test category to test category. The weight may vary because certain crtieria may be more important for one test versus a different test.
The test specific criteria also varies from test category to test category as we wanted to have something specific for each test. Every test is different and there are certain features that are more prominent for certain tests – this test specific criteria allows us to give out more accurate ratings.
After all of the 5 criteria are scored, a weighted score is assigned to each provider. In order to help users quickly visualize the scores, we also provide a corresponding star score. The star scoring system is as follows:
- 5 Stars – Score of 90+
- 4.5 Stars – Score of 80-89
- 4 Stars – Score of 70-79
- 3.5 Stars – Score of 60-69
- 3 Stars – Score of less than 60
We believe our proprietary scoring system offers an accurate representation of the best products and providers on the market. Our weighted scoring system allows for flexibility between categories as there is not a one-size-fits-all method for reviewing products across completely different testing categories.