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Kaplan vs GMAT Hacks

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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 HACKS

Right off the bat we were put off by the amateur appearance of the GMAT Hacks website. The main page is in the format of a piece of notepaper, complete with push-pin graphic, that contains a personalized welcome message from the author of the test prep materials, Jeff Sackman. There are 4 links on this page: books, articles, about us, and question of the day.

The 'about us' page is a short biography of Mr. Jeff Sackman, who it says was employed with a major test preparation company until 2005 when he broke out on his own to write his own test preparation course material. There is no other information, GMAT Hacks is just one person selling his test preparation books. There is no customer support number, no advisors to call, just Jeff selling his books.

The books themselves are just that...books. You can purchase the books in standard print form, or chose the e-book option which delivers the book in PDF format. To say this technology is behind the times is an understatement. There is no online material to access, no tablet or smart phone applications, no intuitive software, just old school soft cover text books. He offers a total of three books, one for the math section of the GMAT one for the verbal section, and a 'GMAT tips and tricks" book. Reviewing the details of each book contains chapters of lessons and then 200-300 test questions. It is very possible that some people prefer standard text books and static practice questions, so for anyone who learns best in this fashion, perhaps GMAT Hacks would be a good choice.

However the expense should deter even the most old school of text book student. The cost for just one of the three books is $59.95, or $49.95 for the e-book/PDF version. To purchase all three would cost you $150-$180 and you'd get at the most 900 test questions that don't change and are not customizable to each student. Due to the rudimentary technology, high cost and lack of content, we cannot recommend GMAT Hacks as a good value for GMAT test preparation.

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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 Kaplan and GMAT Hacks.

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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