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Kaplan Review

Sunday, July 14th

2024 GMAT Test Prep Course Reviews

Kaplan Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating
  • Self-study toolkit at $359
  • On-demand course for $999
  • Advanced course for $1,399
  • Executive assessment course at $1,499
  • Live-online "GMAT complete" course offered at $1,599
  • GMAT bootcamp at $2,599
  • Tutoring offered at $2,450
  • Foundations of Math and trial classes offered free

Kaplan is a virtual leviathan of test prep: not only do they offer preparatory materials for almost any test you can think of, they have muscled their way into every bookstore and ad space out there to become a household name in test prep. Here's what Kaplan offers for the GMAT.

An extensive self-study toolkit

The "self-study toolkit" offered by Kaplan at $359 consists of 6 books of Manhattan Test Prep's GMAT prep, and includes books on quantitative sections, verbal sections, integrated reasoning and essay strategies, a Foundations of Math book, a Foundations of Verbal Reasoning book, and Manhattan Prep's "Official Guide for the GMAT Review" . In addition, they offer 6 full-length practice tests with assessment reports, a "GMAT navigator" that includes full explanations for every problem in the "Official Guide" , a 9-week study syllabus, and weekly reading and problem set assignments. In short, the self-study toolkit is extensive and comes with helpful supportive materials.

Interactive video lessons with "Interact"

Kaplan's more involved "On-demand" course costs $999, and takes place through Manhattan Prep's proprietary "Interact" platform: in essence, "Interact" is comprised of 35+ interactive video-based lessons, and a platform that tracks your progress to tailor both practice and lessons to respond to your needs. Kaplan's on-demand GMAT course also includes 6 full-length Manhattan Prep GMAT practice exams, a 7-hour Foundations of GMAT Math Workshop, the Manhattan Prep GMAT mobile app, in addition to all materials included in the self-study toolkit.

A high-powered course for 650+ improvement

For students who have already scored a 650 on the GMAT and are looking to further improve their score, Kaplan offers a "GMAT Advanced" course for $1,399 that includes 6 full-length Manhattan Prep GMAT practice exams, access to on-demand, interactive video lessons, everything in the self-study toolkit, and one-on-one post-exam assessments with an instructor: in short, Kaplan's "GMAT advanced" provides some more customized and instructor-supported self-led prep for those looking to further improve an already good score.

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Small classes at $1,599

Kaplan's "Live-online" course offers small personalized classes online starting at $1,599, and includes 27 hours of live instruction integrated with all the offerings of Kaplan's "on-demand" course. For those looking for more personalized instruction, Kaplan offers integrated tutoring plans at $2,450 for 10 hours of tutoring, $4,300 for 20 hours of tutoring, and $6,750 for 30 hours of tutoring. While definitely a premium service, Kaplan's tutoring services integrate with their on-demand classes, and could be an excellent choice for those with the cash to spare for high-quality tutoring.

Tailored Executive Assessment plans

Finally, Kaplan's "Executive Assessment" plans cost $1,499, and are tailored for the Executive Assessment exam (a GMAT for those with 10 years of business experience). Kaplan's Executive Assessment prep includes 15 hours of classroom instruction over 6 sessions, 2 hours of personalized one-on-one exam prep, everything in Kaplan's "self-study" toolkit, in addition to 4 official Executive Assessment practice tests and 300 official EA practice problems.

Excellent tutors and instructors.

Manhattan Prep is known for hiring high-quality tutors and instructors, and as Kaplan's GMAT offerings are routed through Manhattan Prep, you are definitely benefitting from said integration as well. In addition, Kaplan offers free GMAT events, a free GMAT math module, and a free GMAT "starter kit" . However, while we appreciate Kaplan's free offerings, their test prep plans are all fairly expensive when compared to competitors, and they offer no score guarantees. In addition, user reviews on GMAT study boards tend to be mixed in regards to Kaplan - primarily due to concerns about price.

A good service, an above-average price

While Kaplan offers a huge range of robust plans, and sources highly-qualified instructors through their subsidiary Manhattan Prep, their price range comes at a premium when compared to competitors. So, while Kaplan is worth your consideration, don't be overawed by their offerings, and remember that if you excel at self-led study prep, there are cheaper options out there than Kaplan.

What's the Best GMAT Test Prep Online?

The question is a critical one, because choosing the right study schedule and test prep materials can make-or-break your plans for a good GMAT score, and - subsequently - admittance into a prestigious (or even standard) MBA school. In fact, 9 out of 10 new MBA enrollments are made using a GMAT score, and it's accepted by more than 7,000 programs around the world.

Although it is still widely used, keep in mind that some MBA programs utilized the pandemic to phase out their standardized testing requirements. If you're focusing on one particular school, it might be wise to check their requirements. If they likely still use the GMAT, the materials you'll find here will go a long way towards simplifying your test prep decision making process.

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GMAT Test Prep Course FAQ

GMAT is short for "Graduate Management Admission Test". Most MBA programs require you to take this exam prior to admission, to assess the likelihood that you'll be successful as a student. It covers math skills that include algebra, arithmetic, and geometry; integrated reasoning like data analysis and interpretation; verbal reasoning which includes reading comprehension and editing abilities; as well as analytical writing.
That depends on where you take the exam. In the United States, it typically costs 4250.
The test is expensive, and you can only take it up to five times in any 12-month period. Using a reputable GMAT test prep program can help you get the best possible score, whether you're taking it for the first time or as a retake hoping for improvement.
Some GMAT test prep providers offer a guarantee that your score will increase, and they will refund your fees if it doesn't. You'll need to provide proof of your before-and-after test scores, and you'll have to demonstrate completion of the test prep program you chose.
Most of the time, yes. Whether you're cramming for a testing date in the near future or giving yourself ample time to prepare, you can probably work through the test prep materials according to your schedule. The most advanced GMAT test prep programs let you access your study materials from your laptop, tablet, or even a mobile phone app.
Both! Many have options for classes in major metro areas, virtual instruction sessions, or one-on-one tutoring. You can also choose a test prep program that is 100% online, for the convenience of 24/7 access and studying whenever (and wherever) you like.
Prices range from $99 for a basic study guide to $2699 for private tutoring. You can get a comprehensive study plan that includes initial skills assessments, practice tests, video lessons and plenty of practice questions from several different reputable providers for $250-$500.
Only you can determine how you learn best. Do you need the flexibility of being able to study on-the-go when you're not busy with work or school? Or do you learn more easily with live instruction? Once you know what delivery method you prefer, you'll have no problem finding an effective GMAT test prep program to guide your studies.
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Continued from above...

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is meant to assess an applicant's general suitability for graduate study, particularly in regards to business and MBA performance. The GMAT distinguishes itself from the more generalized GRE insofar as its quantitative reasoning assessments are much more in-depth, and it de-emphasizes verbal reasoning assessment.

The GMAT consists of four sections: an Analytical Writing Assignment (AWA) that lasts 30 minutes, a multiple choice Integrated Reasoning (IR) section that consists of 12 questions and lasts 30 minutes, a Quantitative section of 31 questions that lasts 62 minutes, and a Verbal section of 36 questions that lasts 65 minutes. In short the test is extensive, and as such it will pay dividends to make some common sense preparations and study plans beforehand.

In spite of what some of the advertisements might say, there is no magic bullet to an improved GMAT score. While some highly rated test prep materials can certainly help, they are only one half of the equation, the other half being a realistic assessment of your needs, your timeframe, and the work needed to reach your goals. As you search for some appropriate GMAT prep that fits your budget and timeframe, it is important to take a deep breath and remember that - as long as you put in the work - you will in all likelihood improve your score.

In any case, as you start preparing for the GMAT gauntlet, here are some tips we've found for you to keep in mind:

  • Time: How much time do you have available for GMAT test preparation? Do you have time for a class? One-on-one tutoring? Or would a self-paced study program work best? If you're honest with yourself about how much time you will devote to test preparation, you'll be more likely to succeed.
  • Cost: Preparing for the GMAT can be expensive. While personalized programs can give you tailored focus on areas of need, they also come with a higher price tag. Self-paced programs can offer a more rounded approach at a lower fee.
  • Know your schedule: Many companies on our list offer intensive (and expensive) GMAT study plans in the form of live-online and tutored test prep. While potentially an excellent resource, your success therein is likely dependent on whether you are able to dedicate the needed time to take advantage of the live-online format. If you are studying on the side or are just plain busy, consider avoiding the classroom format, and shopping for a mixture of self-led test prep and free resources.
  • Score guarantees: Many services offer score guarantees in the form of improvement promises or score minimums. While potentially reassuring, keep in mind that there are often requirements and caveats around the guarantee. Often, test prep companies will ask for pre-established baseline scores and the completion of all course materials before you can take advantage of such guarantees.

Searching for test preparation materials is often - let's be frank - a terrible experience. The field of GMAT test prep hosts an entire industry sustained by the dangling of higher-test scores in front of often financially-insecure graduates behind huge costs. Even so, there are good companies out there offering reasonably priced and well-supported GMAT materials. Here at Top Consumer Reviews, we've done the legwork to help you find them. So, while searching for GMAT test prep is certainly not fun, we're certain that our curated list of high-quality and well-rounded test prep will help make the process a whole lot easier.

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