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APStudyNotes.org has been around for over 10 years now, and we have not conducted a review of this organization, because it is not a writing service in the strict sense of the term. Rather, it is an organization dedicated to helping high school students who are looking toward college admissions and taking Advanced Placement exams, in order to “test out” of some of the general education requirements of their early college years. As a result, the same criteria that we use to review other writing services do not necessarily apply to AP Study Notes. There are no on-site testimonials, no writing products offered for sale, and no customer reviews to guide our review. We can, however, offer the following by way of evaluation. We hope this information helps students to determine whether or not this is a reliable and safe site from which to obtain academic advice.
Factor 1: Types of Writing Services Offered
As we stated above, APStudyNotes does not offer writing products or services. Instead, it provides high school students with study guides to prepare for Advanced Placement college exams. As well, it has a number of other resources, specifically examples of college admissions essays that were “winner” and examples of essays that were submitted to major American colleges and universities in response to their specific prompts.
While not providing specific writing products, students can contract with recent college grads to have their admissions essays edited and proofread, and there are three fee-based plans for this service. These are proofreading which is the lowest priced option, standard which is the mid-tier option, and premium which is most expensive. Pricing is based on 1000 words maximum.
Factor 2: Trust/Reliability
APStudyNotes.com has been in business for a number of years and has provided valuable information and study materials to students. Students can register on the site to access the study guides and sample essays. Once they do, however, they are subject to a lot of third party marketing and advertising. Some users of the site have complained about this. This mostly because these third party advertisements are integrated into the site. Students report clicking these, thinking they are the services offered by AP Study Notes, only to be routed to third party websites. This is an issue because students have no way of knowing if these sites are secured, or if they can be trusted.
In terms of reliability, the company does stay current on essay prompts, both for the common essay application and for specific institutions. This is helpful for students as they craft their own admissions essays.
Factor 3: Level of Quality
The only assessment in terms of quality is the editing and proofreading services that users can purchase as they are crafting their college admissions essays. The feedback we have received is mixed. Student expectations are perhaps higher than what is provided, based upon the editing plans that are available.
There are three editing plans to choose from – and they range from basic proofreading to actual phone consultation with an editor.
We purchased the basic package and submitted an essay with a number of grammatical and sentence structure errors. When we received the edited product, not all of the errors had been caught and corrected.
Factor 4: Pricing/Payment
The company has three editing plans – basic, standard and premium. And the prices are $99, $199, and $399 respectively. Each plan adds additional services, from basic proofreading and an email from the editor up to phone consultation and much deeper editing help.
There are no discounts and users should not look for any kind of promo code for a break on pricing.
Payment methods are via major credit card.
Factor 5: Additional Important Considerations
There are some very valuable resources for students on this website. The study guides have been put together by teachers, professors, and recent college grads and are therefore current and relevant.
And the sample winning admissions essays can provide lots of ideas for students as they write their own.
As we look at the pros & cons of this organization, we do see that there is value to students who take advantage of their free content and examples. On the con side, however, students should not expect to get an admissions essay written for them. The editing services are strictly that, and they are pretty pricey for what is offered.
Students can get the same help from other writing services at far less cost. This is especially true considering that the proofreading services almost appear to be an afterthought.
We have provided an overall rating of “Fair” to the fee-based services offered by this company. Students looking for writing and editing services should probably consider other options to get the best possible results. On the other hand, if you are in search of a free, educational resource, you might consider bookmarking this page. There really is some good stuff here.