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The Princeton Review Review

Friday, July 19th

2024 GMAT Test Prep Course Reviews

The Princeton Review Review 2.5 Star Rating

The Princeton Review

2.5 Star Rating
  • "Self-Paced" prep at $699
  • "Fundamentals" 27 hours of classroom time at $1,299
  • "GMAT 700+" with score guarantee at $1,699
  • Private tutoring starting at $167/hour

The Princeton Review offers a number of effective self-led GMAT test prep courses. They also give you an option for one-on-one tutoring for more specialized instruction. With that said, their heavy-handed marketing approach and price variations combine to bring down their overall score.

Stop it already

Let's get something out of the way: The Princeton Review's website and advertising practice are terrible. The website is plagued by ever-changing deals (that likely renew the moment they "expire" ), a horrendous pink-on-yellow color scheme, an annoying popup complete with a notification noise, formatting that makes it difficult to assess the differences between their expensive plans, and an aggravating countdown timer that follows you through the website meant to instill urgency that -gasp - the deal might expire! Not only that, but The Princeton Review's ads (like some kind of ancient curse) will follow you long after you've visited their site, and in 2015 it was found that the company would charge you more for the same service based on your zip code.

An extensive list of self-paced and classroom offerings

The Princeton Review offers 3 GMAT test prep plans for you to choose from, along with a personal tutoring option.

  • The Princeton Review's Self-Paced plan costs $699, and includes 10 practice tests, 83 adaptive drills curated by their proprietary algorithm, adaptive video lessons, access to The Princeton Review's "drill builder" , the latest edition of The GMAT Official Guide e-book edition, and access to live GMAT explanation sessions.
  • The Fundamentals plan costs $1,299, and includes 27 hours of live lessons from instructors, recordings of said lessons, a custom lesson plan, office hours, a higher-score guarantee, in addition to everything in the "self-paced prep" option.
  • The GMAT 700+ option has - you guessed it - a 700+ score guarantee, and includes 47 hours of instruction, 10 hours of focused instruction on advanced GMAT questions and "Verbal and Math" explanation sessions respectively, 4480 GMAT style questions and the official "GMAT guide book bundle" , in addition to everything included in lower-cost plans.
  • The Princeton Review also offers private tutoring starting at $167 per hour, and includes a score guarantee, and official GMAT practice materials. The Princeton Review does not state how many practice tests come with their tutoring packages, but they do offer access to their "adaptive lessons" and GMAT prep platform, so it is possible that - in crowding their interface with buttons to purchase tutoring - they simply forgot to mention the materials that came with it.
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Overpriced to average-priced plans

While The Princeton Review's self-paced prep is definitely overpriced, their live-online fundamentals and GMAT 700+ plans are similarly priced to competitors that offer highly-structured GMAT test prep classes. Even so, The Princeton Review's score guarantees vary for each plan; in general, they require the completion of all course materials, homework, and practice tests, and require that you set a baseline score. We appreciate that The Princeton Review lets you use their GMAT practice test as a baseline score, should you not have a previous GMAT score on hand.

Overall not the best value

The Princeton Review's GMAT test prep could be worth it if you wanted to save approximately $100-$200 with an intensive live-online test prep plan. However, their self-led plans don't seem to have any justification for their higher price than competitors. In addition, The Princeton Review's terrible site design, annoying ads, and past disrespectful zip code-based pricing scheme all combine to earn them a generally lower ranking than comparable competitors.

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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