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Barron's Test Prep vs Kaplan

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BARRON'S TEST PREP

Barron's is a well-known test preparation company that has been helping students prepare for standardized testing for 70 years. They offer preparation courses for the SAT, PSAT, GRE, ACT, and GMAT exams. Their GMAT test prep course is customized to meet the individuals needs of the student and earns high marks.

The Barron's website is very well laid out and easy to navigate. The GMAT page advertises that preparing for the GMAT has never been easier than with the current Barron's program, and if the course prep is as simple and straightforward as the website, we would have to agree. There is a 'course tour' button which leads the user through a very brief outline of what the GMAT test prep course will offer. The student first takes a diagnostic test to determine the base level of knowledge on a variety of skills necessary to perform well on the GMAT. After this test, results are given in the form of detailed skill reports, and a study plan is created based on the individual performance of the particular student. If one or two skills are particularly lacking, the study plan will be created to dedicate more time to those skills.

We really liked this level of customization in the Barron's GMAT test prep plan. After that there are hundreds of instructional videos linked to each skill, and thousands of test questions also broken down by a certain skill required to pass the GMAT.

From a technology standpoint, Barron's offers the latest options for today's on-the-go students and professionals. The course preparation program is available on computer, tablet or smart phone so you can practice anywhere. As mentioned above, the test prep adaptive learning technology does not merely provide a static list of questions, but 'learns' what skills each student needs the most work on and highlights those skills in the training plan. The website offers live videos with trainers who explain in simple terms the answers and strategies to answer certain types of questions. This is more helpful for most students when compared with simply reading the answers and strategies. The website even has a blog where students chat back and forth, bouncing answers, tips and solutions off each other for interactive learning.

There is a basic level of test prep that Barron's will give you for free. This includes:

  • Diagnostic test
  • Custom preparation plan
  • Skill report

The full program costs $99 which gives the students the following additional resources:

  • 3 full length GMAT exams
  • 1 year access to the Barron's website
  • 850+ video lessons and solutions
  • 3000+ test questions

Barron's has been a trusted name in the standardized test preparation business for a long time, and the current program offers the most advanced technology at a very competitive price. For these reasons we give Barron's GMAT test prep program very high marks.

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KAPLAN

Kaplan is perhaps the oldest and most well-known standardized test preparation organization in the world. Since 1938 Kaplan has been training prospective students on how to improve their scores on the various standardized tests common to American students. Kaplan focuses primarily on classroom style training with real live teachers, but also offers the more common online "do it yourself" program. With Kaplan you can get professional quality personal training, but the expense is quite high.

The GMAT test prep page on the Kaplan website asks the question, how do you prefer to study? Then it provides you with 4 options based on your answer; with a tutor, in a live classroom, in an online classroom, or at your own pace. These descend in price from highest to lowest.

The tutor option is the most expensive at a whopping $2,599.00 for 15 hours of private tutoring. Kaplan's expert teachers are widely respected and there is no discounting what a private and personal teacher can provide a student over a self-study option. The costs increase all the way up to $4,799.00 for 35 hours of tutoring. If you have the money and want the private tutoring, this is the option for you.

The classroom setting is Kaplan's bread and butter. For $1,249.00 the student gets 13 interactive classroom sessions, 4 standard text books, 5000+ sample questions, and the option to receive all prep materials on the Kindle reading app via any device that supports it. Kaplan classroom prep is the classic test prep course we've all known about for years, and for students who learn best in a live classroom, this option is appropriate. The online classroom option is very similar offering the same number of classes, sample questions and text books, only the student views the classroom online via streaming video and the cost is reduced to $799 for the 13 sessions and related materials.

Finally the online at your own pace option will cost a student $599.00, and this is more like the other test prep courses we have reviewed with no live teachers or classrooms. The following is included in the price of $599.00:

  • 13 recorded video lessons
  • 5000+ practice questions
  • 9 full length adaptive computer exams
  • 160+ additional hours of instruction and practice
  • E-mail support from Kaplan's instructors
  • 4 standard Kaplan GMAT test prep text books.

Overall it's a nice list of materials, but with a $599.00 price tag we feel you can get a lot more for your money elsewhere in the world of online test preparation. On the other hand, if personal, live teachers are important to a student, and cost is not a factor, we recommend Kaplan's personal teaching options quite highly. For this reason we give Kaplan a middle of the road review overall.

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GMAT Test Prep

To help you find the Best GMAT Test Prep Programs, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Barron's Test Prep and Kaplan.

Going to graduate school is a big decision that many individuals are making today to help them get ahead. Having an MBA is one way to stand out from other candidates competing for the same job. It's also another way for employees to outpace co-workers when it's time for that promotion. An MBA provides business majors more training as well as the chance to get where they want to go.

An MBA requires getting into a decent business school which can be a challenge with the number of graduate students that apply each year. Having a strong GMAT score not only helps candidates meet the basic requirements of many colleges but it also highlights their knowledge to college admission professionals.

But getting a solid GMAT score takes practice and training and that's where GMAT prep classes become necessary. A GMAT test prep course is a great way to improve your overall score. These courses vary greatly in format, features and cost. Choosing the right GMAT prep program can be a hard decision. No one wants to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on a program that doesn't fit to their personal learning needs.

When choosing a GMAT test prep program, you should look for the following:

  • Instruction Method. Is it a classroom setting or online? Can you anticipate lectures, mostly reading or some other form of teaching?
  • Format. Is the program available online, in hard copy, DVD, audio, web enabled and more. Do they have Smartphone apps to reinforce concepts on the go?
  • Price. What does the program cost, how does that compare to the competition and what is included in the price?
  • Use. If you are purchasing an online program how long will you have access to the study materials? Will that period be long enough?
  • Guarantee. If you aren't satisfied with your test score will you have to re-purchase the study materials or does the company offer a guarantee?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best GMAT Test Prep programs available today. We hope these reviews help you score high with your next GMAT exam!



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