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Kaplan Review

Thursday, May 23rd

2024 GRE Test Prep Company Reviews

Kaplan Review 3.5 Star Rating

Kaplan

3.5 Star Rating
  • On-demand course at $449
  • On-demand Plus at $699
  • Live-online course at $999
  • Live-online Plus at $1,299
  • Tutoring and on demand starting at $2,299
  • Free trial class offered
  • "Official test-day experience" in-person practice testing

As one of the longest running test prep businesses in the U.S., if you've studied for any kind of admissions or professional test, then you've likely heard of Kaplan. In the field of test prep, however, company size and experience doesn't always equate to quality. So, here's what Kaplan offers for the GRE.

Huge selection of test prep options

Kaplan has a wide selection of high-priced offerings, with GRE courses that range from on-demand to live-online, with tutoring available as well.

  • Kaplan's on-demand GRE test prep course priced at $449 includes 6 months of access to 180+ hours of online instruction and practice, 40+ hours of pre-recorded lessons in addition to drop-in live lessons offered 6 days a week, 7 practice exams, a customizable question bank with 2,500 questions, and Kaplan's GRE prep books.
  • Kaplan's on-demand plus course costs $699, and includes additional video instruction with their "GRE Math Foundations" and "GRE Advanced Math" lessons.
  • Kaplan's live-online course starts at $999, includes everything from the self-led class, in addition to 21 hours of in-class instruction in which one teacher leads class, and multiple assistants answer questions in chat.
  • The live-online plus option at $1,299 includes the live-online lessons, an additional three hours of one-on-one tutoring, and the aforementioned "GRE Advanced Math" and "GRE Math Foundations" video lessons.
  • Finally, Kaplan's tutoring plus on-demand course starts at $2,299, includes everything in the base on-demand course, in addition to one-on-one tutoring with personalized homework and lesson plans based on your goals.

Proctored tests offered

All of Kaplan's GRE prep offerings come with their "official test-day experience" , in which you can sit for an in-person proctored test mimicking GRE conditions. While certainly not pleasant, such practice could be a deciding factor for those looking for test day practice that simulates the actual conditions of the GRE.

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No refund for courses

Keep in mind that Kaplan does not offer any refund policies for their on-demand or live-online course options. However, Kaplan does have a complex schema for their tutoring refunds: if you request a refund within 3 days of purchase, you receive a 100% refund; within 4 to 7 days of purchase, you get a 75% refund; after 8 days or if you have already started tutoring, you can be refunded $75 per tutoring hour remaining (which does not include the cost of the on-demand course purchased as part of their tutoring packages). In short, Kaplan's GRE refund policies are simultaneously overcomplicated and disappointing.

Overall mixed reviews

Kaplan generally receives very good reviews from major review sites, but receives mixed feedback within communities and online discussion boards dedicated to GRE prep: such a split is common for companies with the capital to manage their reputation and surface primarily positive reviews.

A serious contender, but not the best

While certainly not a wallet-friendly option, Kaplan offers something for everyone. And if the structure of a self-led, live-online, or tutored course is what you need to keep you accountable, Kaplan is a reliable (if pricey) standby for GRE test prep. So, while it would be more economical to cobble together more budget-friendly tools and prep, Kaplan offers some integrated plans that might be worth your time to consider.

What's the Best GRE Prep Service Online?

It's a critical question, because if you're headed to graduate school, then the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is an infamous hurdle that you'll have to deal with one way or another. The GRE test plays a significant role in the admissions process for many graduate programs. It serves as a standardized measure that allows universities to assess applicants' academic readiness and potential to succeed in advanced studies.

For institutions, the GRE provides an objective tool to differentiate among applicants, especially when faced with a large pool of candidates. It helps in predicting how well students might perform in their initial year of graduate school, offering insight into their cognitive abilities and analytical thinking. Moreover, the GRE can assist in awarding merit-based scholarships, helping to allocate financial aid to deserving students.

The Best GRE Test Prep Companies Compare GRE Test Prep Companies Compare GRE Test Prep Company Reviews What are the best GRE Test Prep Companies Best GRE Test Prep Company Reviews

GRE Test Prep Company FAQ

GRE stands for Graduate Record Examinations. This is a standardized test required by many graduate schools in the US and Canada. The scores that a student receives on their GRE test play a role in whether or not they are accepted into a potential graduate program. Sometimes the GRE is taken multiple times until a satisfactory score is received.
The GRE tests students on critical thinking, analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. An individual score is given for verbal reasoning (130-170), quantitative reasoning (130-170), and analytical writing (0-6). The test questions consist of multiple choice, numeric entry, and essay writing.
There are six total sections on the GRE exam. It usually takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the test from beginning to end. For verbal reasoning there are two 30-minute sections, each containing 20 questions. For quantitative reasoning there are two 35-minute sections, each containing 20 questions. The third section is analytical writing with two separately-timed tasks. One asks you to analyze an issue and one asks you to analyze an argument. After the third section, there is an optional 10-minute break for test-takers to get refocused for the remainder of the exam. You may be asked to complete an unscored, research section at the end of the test.
Most people would agree that you can't cram for the GRE. If you do, you'll likely get an unsatisfactory score that reflects how little effort you put in. It is recommended that you heavily study for at least 4-12 weeks before attempting the GRE. Many test prep courses are designed to help you study over the course of a year, to make sure you are familiar with the material and are able to obtain a high score on your first try.
The cost for the GRE test can vary slightly year to year. Most recently, the fee was $213 for test-takers within the United States. If you are signed up to take the GRE and need to reschedule, you'll pay a fee of approximately $50 to have the exam administered at another time.
Many GRE test prep services offer some free resources to get you started with your studies. For tutoring services or monthly subscriptions to books, practice tests, flash cards and more, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $2,000. Some of the most expensive courses include access to materials for a year or more and usually guarantee a certain test score. They include everything you need to succeed and feel confident when you take the GRE.
Not all test prep services offer the same study materials for the GRE. You'll find a mix of resources like practice tests, one-on-one tutoring, practice essay questions, vocabulary flashcards, diagnostic tests, strategy sessions, and more. The tools that you need to get a good score on the GRE are readily available through many different GRE test prep services.
If you are unhappy with your GRE score, you can retake it every 21 days. However, you are only allowed to take it 5 times within a period of 12 months. Taking the test multiple times will not hurt your chances of getting into graduate school, since you can choose to only submit your highest score.
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Continued from above...

The GRE consists of three key components: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. These components collectively evaluate an applicant's cognitive abilities, communication skills, and analytical prowess. Such a comprehensive assessment is crucial in identifying candidates who possess the skills necessary for advanced academic work. By incorporating both quantitative and qualitative aspects, the GRE offers a well-rounded perspective on an applicant's intellectual capabilities, and offers a common benchmark for comparing candidates from various academic backgrounds and cultures.

Many institutions allocate scholarships to outstanding students as a way to incentivize excellence and attract top talent. GRE scores can play a pivotal role in awarding these scholarships, as they offer a quantifiable measure of an applicant's potential contribution to the academic community. High GRE scores can bolster an applicant's eligibility for financial assistance, making higher education more accessible to deserving individuals.

As it stands, the GRE continues to play a pivotal role in many graduate school admissions. With that in mind, the following factors can help you evaluate GRE preparation plans to achieve the highest score possible:

  • Cost: Paying for GRE test prep services can range from affordable to very expensive. Personalized instruction and tutoring can focus on specific problem areas that you've identified, but this tailored approach may cost more than you want to spend. Self-paced learning systems are more affordable, but are more generalized and rely on your dedication to study on your own.
  • Score guarantees: Many GRE test prep companies offer score guarantees but place significant caveats around actually getting a refund through that guarantee. Usually it will include restrictions around setting a baseline score (you have to have already taken an official GRE or a proctored facsimile), and completion of all course materials (which is sometimes made artificially difficult). In short, be sure to read the fine print.
  • Time: Be honest with yourself about how much time you have to study. Many students start out by purchasing pricey test-prep packages, and then find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of work. Take stock of your schedule, and choose a mixture of free resources, self-lead test-prep, or time-intensive live-online/tutored classes accordingly.

Top Consumer Reviews has done the preliminary research for you, so if you're going to be taking the GRE, and are overwhelmed by the high price and bold claims of most test-prep options, don't worry. We've found the best, most highly rated, and most economical GRE test prep options for your consideration. Before you begin studying, take a moment to browse our curated list, and find the GRE prep that best suits your budget and your needs.

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