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The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a test that predicts how well students might perform in their MBA (Masters in Business Administration) program. The test scores are sent to graduate schools to assist with admission decisions. Students are assessed in their algebra, arithmetic, geometry, grammar, and multi-source data analysis skills.
For students hoping to get into certain business schools, their performance on the GMAT is critical. Having to retake such a long test - to improve a score - quickly adds up over time.
Monday, October 18th
The term "Magoosh" may seem like a silly, unrelated word that has nothing to do with test taking. However, we learned that there is an old Persian word "magush", which means one who is highly learned, generous, and wise. The name of this test prep platform is simply a fun play on words.
Claiming the spotlight
Magoosh has been highlighted by many media outlets including the San Francisco Chronicle, The Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and WireAcademic for their study plans that help students taking the GMAT, MCAT, GRE, TOEFL, SAT, LSAT, and other comprehensive tests.
Magoosh has a score guarantee that promises students will increase their GMAT score by at least 50 points if they get the premium membership. If not, they receive all of their money back. There is zero risk when trying out their services because of their 7-day free trial that lets students test out their platform. The trial gives students access to materials for a week to see if they like the teaching and review style before paying the full subscription price to continue using Magoosh.
3 membership options
For those who decide to commit to a membership with Magoosh, there are three membership options to choose from. They include:
If you have plenty of time before taking the GMAT, you might want to keep your eye out for sales at Magoosh. Every once in a while they will provide a discount code to give deals on their courses. At the time of this review, students could get 20% off of all their courses at checkout. This is a great way to save money if you have the time to wait for a sale!v
We like the flexibility of the three plan options for students taking the GMAT. They cater to different learning styles and work well whether you like studying online by yourself or with face-to-face help from a tutor. Their content is affordably priced, considering how much information is given to the students along with a score guarantee. We were also happy to see that Magoosh has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
People who have used Magoosh say they increased their test scores with the study material and felt that explanations of concepts were clear and concise. Magoosh is definitely building confidence in their students by teaching them what they need to know for the GMAT. We highly suggest using Magoosh to study for the GMAT over any other test prep service.
Target Test Prep helps students succeed on the quantitative section of the GMAT. They sell one course for students to use when studying for the GMAT and also offer private tutoring. The average GMAT score of users is a 720, with 84% of students scoring 700 or higher. They have been ranked the #1 GMAT prep course the last two years by MBA Insight and #1 by the GMAT Club.
Try before you buy
For $1, students can try out Target Test Prep for 5 days and decide if they want to buy the full course. Unlike some of their competitors, Target offers only one GMAT course option for students to use. There are three price options, and the only difference between them is the length of time that students have access to the material. The flexible preparation course is $99/month. This price will be billed monthly until the plan is cancelled. The second option is called GMAT Dedicated Study and customers will pay $74.75/month ($299 total) for 4 months of access. The last plan is the GMAT Maximum Learning Plan which comes out to $66.50/month ($399 total) for 6 months of access.
GMAT test prep features
The GMAT course offered by Target Test Prep includes the following features:
The score guarantee ensures that if a student's official GMAT quantitative score does not increase after using Target Test Prep's course, they are entitled to a full refund. To qualify, students need to email a copy of their first GMAT score to the customer service team within two weeks of signing up for a course. Once the GMAT is taken again, the new score also needs to be submitted within a two-week time frame. All modules of the course need to have been completed before retaking the GMAT in addition to the practice tests, example problems, reading material, and videos.
The other option outside of purchasing a study course at Target Test Prep is to hire a one-on-one tutor. The cost for this is $300/hour and it is completely non-refundable. Tutoring is done through video conferencing software in private and real-time. For specific details on tutors, we suggest you contact customer service directly.
Those who have completed the course have great things to say about their results. We like that the pricing is flexible depending on how long students want access, because it allows customers not wanting to spend too much money to put in the time and only pay $99 for one month if they choose. Overall, Target Test Prep seems like a great place to find study assistance for the GMAT.
For over 35 years, The Princeton Review has been providing test prep materials for students taking exams such as the TOEFL, ACT, SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, DAT, and others. K-12 students can work one-on-one with tutors to get help with AP tests and review their class materials. Although The Princeton Review is known for being expensive, they have highly-recommended test prep courses for just about everyone.
The Princeton Review is one of the most expensive GMAT test prep sites we have reviewed. To get the best deal, we recommend the self-paced course for $374. The next least expensive option is $1,099, which will be out of reach for many students looking for GMAT review material.
4 GMAT program options
The four paid study options for students include:
The GMAT 700+ course guarantees a score of 700+. Getting a score in this range is imperative for getting into a top 25 MBA program. By getting a 700+ score, this guarantees an 88th percentile GMAT score. The private tutoring course allows the student to set their own goals, make a plan, and succeed. Each course comes with plenty of instruction, tutoring help, and videos to make students capable of achieving a better GMAT score than they would have otherwise.
Plenty of information available
The Princeton Review receives an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau. Most customers who have used the platform have positive things to say about their experience and GMAT performance. Students report that there is plenty of information in different mediums to cover all the concepts on the GMAT. Students say that their scores improve after using the Princeton Review, so it is definitely a service that works!
Great choice - if you can afford it
The main concern we foresee for students will be affording the GMAT test prep at The Princeton Review. However, the self-paced course might be the most reasonable option for many customers really wanting to try out The Princeton Review materials. For those able to spend the money, The Princeton Review has expert instructors and a comprehensive amount of course review to cover all the topics you'll see on the GMAT. They are a fantastic option for anyone willing to spend the money for GMAT test prep.
The idea for Manhattan Prep was born in 2000 when Zeke Vanderhoek, a Teach For America alumnus and Yale graduate, started scouting the best teachers for course studies. His vision was to have the best educators in order for students to achieve the greatest success. Teachers who were recruited scored in the 99th percentile in whatever test they are teaching on. At Manhattan Prep these include the GMAT, GRE, LSAT, SAT/ACT, and EA.
Helped over 1 million students
Manhattan Prep boasts that they have helped over 1 million students, taught over 16,000 classes, sold over 1 million books, and served over 190 countries. Their complete courses range from $549 - $2,699, so they are on the more expensive end of GMAT test prep services.
1st session is free
To try out the GMAT prep courses that Manhattan prep offers, students are able to attend the first session of any class for free. This way, a student will know if they are really willing to commit the time and money here.
6 GMAT study options
There are six options for GMAT study materials at Manhattan Prep. They range from being really flexible, to super intensive. The six courses include:
Rather than signing up for one of the courses listed, students also have the option of paying for a private tutor. The cost for this is between $225 and $255 per hour. These tutoring sessions are completely customized to meet a student where they are in the learning process and reach their goals. Another paid option for students needing a refresher in a specific area would be the Foundations of Math course for $199. This includes 7 hours of instruction, a math strategy guide, online math drills, and a detailed syllabus.
Now that we've covered all the ways you can empty your pockets at Manhattan Prep, we will cover some of the free resources they offer. There is a free GMAT practice test offered, the GMAT navigator to identify your strengths and weaknesses, GMAT events, and a blog and forum. These aren't going to give you the tools to get a great score on the GMAT, but they may be insightful if you're looking to get a better feel for what to expect on the test.
We really like that all the instructors at Manhattan Prep are extremely smart and qualified. To know that your teacher scored in the 99th percentile on the GMAT means you'll likely get lots of good tips and explanations of concepts for the money you're spending. There are quite a few course options, which is nice to see, although they are definitely expensive.
To say that students like what they get at Manhattan Prep is an understatement. People rave about the different teachers, the course structures, and their performance after going through the GMAT prep here. It is extremely hard to even find anything negative from a student who studied at Manhattan Prep. For this reason, we are surprised to find that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) only gave Manhattan Prep a D+ rating. However, their profile is new and there isn't enough to go off of yet to get an accurate score long-term.
On other independently verified sites they receive hundreds of positive responses from students who really like their services. The hundreds of people who "love" Manhattan Prep helped pull their rating toward the top of our charts for GMAT test prep services.
Kaplan has GMAT prep courses in the form of full courses or practice tests and questions. Kaplan advertises on their platform that their services are used in over 36 countries by 2 million+ students each year.
GMAT study options
Students can choose one or more of the following options when signing up for Kaplan:
Over 140 hours of instruction
The Kaplan courses include over 140 hours of instruction and practice material for members. As you go through the material, the program recognizes your strengths and weaknesses, to adapt to your level and build from there. In addition, students are able to take 9 different full-length practice tests to identify areas they need to work on and experience what the GMAT might be like. They also have access to over 5,000 practice questions and GMAT prep books with extra practice and review.
Higher score guarantee
As the GMAT is modified every few years, the Kaplan study course adapts to these changes to keep their content relevant to the most updated test. Kaplan guarantees that you'll get a higher score on your GMAT if you are taking it again after becoming a first-time Kaplan student. If you don't score higher than your baseline proctored exam score or official test score, they will either let you continue using their platform for free or give all of your money back. This should be reassuring for students paying a lot of money to use Kaplan's program.
We were concerned to see that Kaplan only has a C- rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We found quite a few complaints from students that paid money and adjusted schedules for test prep classes that were later cancelled. However, as far as course material and the effectiveness of using Kaplan to prepare for the GMAT, they receive overall great responses from users.
Improve scores quickly
Our main hangup with Kaplan is that we found them to be expensive. If you have other resources up your sleeve for reviewing GMAT material before taking it your first time, this might not be a price-friendly starting place. We are disappointed by their low BBB rating, but we see the appeal in the materials offered here for students who need to improve their scores quickly. If you are needing to improve your GMAT score and aren't concerned about the cost, Kaplan is a good place to go.
GMAT Hacks was created by Jeff Sackmann, who has been helping students prepare for the GMAT and apply to business schools since 2000. He scored in the 99th percentile when he took the GMAT, so he provides books that help others build content knowledge and have realistic practice materials.
Sackmann claims that GMAT Hacks are virtually indistinguishable from the actual GMAT test, so students are more prepared with their materials than by using any competitor. However, we found that the materials are unavailable, essentially making GMAT Hacks a useless avenue for students to find GMAT study material.
Out of date
Rather than offering full courses or one-on-one tutoring like some other GMAT prep websites, GMAT Hacks sells books (or at least used to sell books), provides free articles, and used to publish a "Question of the Day" that gave students insight into a realistic problem they might find on the GMAT. The last time one was published was in 2014, so it doesn't seem that GMAT Hacks has been actively updated for years. This is also obvious based on the design of the website. It is nothing fancy and definitely looks outdated.
3 GMAT books
The GMAT Hacks bookshelf shows three books that students used to be able to purchase for study preparation. They include:
Unfortunately, the links to purchase and get more information on each of the listed books is broken, so customers may only be able to purchase the books from other third-party sites. It is important to realize that the GMAT is updated every few years, the last time being 2018. Because of this, any books and study materials published years beforehand may not be relevant anymore. Based on different articles and pages on the GMAT Hacks website, it seems that these materials were definitely created years ago.
The only part of this website that might prove even slightly useful is the articles section. Here, students can find hundreds of test taking topics and read tips for taking the GMAT all for free. The categories of articles include general study tips, goals and planning, CAT strategy, the mental game, GMAT math strategy, GMAT math topics, mental math, data sufficiency, critical reasoning, reading comprehension, sentence correction, and many others. If there is a specific area of weakness that a student has identified when it comes to taking the GMAT, there may be something insightful within one of the free articles found on the GMAT Hacks website.
Just keep walking
There isn't much more to the GMAT Hacks website than we already discussed. On this unsecure site you'll find broken links to books published over 10 years ago and some free help articles with tips for studying. Most importantly, there aren't actual study materials that students can obtain here, so GMAT Hacks has earned our lowest rating for GMAT test prep services.
Each GMAT test costs around $250 and scores are sent to five different schools. Students will want to be well-prepared and get a satisfactory score the first time so they don't have to deal with the time and money it takes to complete the GMAT again.
The best way to secure a good GMAT score is to study all the relevant material ahead of time so you know what to expect. There are many fantastic online test prep resources specifically for helping students be successful when taking the GMAT. It may cost some serious time and money to use the materials found through a professional online program, but the confidence and knowledge you'll gain will be well worth it.
There are quite a few GMAT test prep services to choose from out there. Before buying a membership for one of them, we suggest you keep the following criteria in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best GMAT test prep programs available today. We hope this information helps you feel confident and improve your score when you take the GMAT!
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