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Wednesday, February 28th
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.
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.
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.
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:
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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