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Kaplan vs The Princeton Review

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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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THE PRINCETON REVIEW

The Princeton Review is a test preparation and college admissions services company that has been in business since 1981. The primary focus of the Princeton Review is personal tutoring and traditional classroom training, although they do offer a standard online preparation course as well.

The primary decision a student has to make when deciding whether or not to use the Princeton review for their GMAT preparation is what kind of studying do they want to do? Do they want real live teachers, one on one, in a classroom, or online training only? The Princeton Review offers all options.

The most expensive option is obviously the one-on-one personal tutoring. This costs $3,530.00 to $7,150.00 depending on the course selected. All tutoring courses include 22 hours of private teaching and all the necessary materials, practice tests and questions.

There are two classroom options available, both of which include 27 hours of classroom time taught by one of the Princeton Review's expert tutors. For $1,299.00 you can attend a regular classroom course, and for $1,599.00 they offer small group classes so that no more than 4 students are with the teacher during the lessons. This is similar in cost to other live classroom test preparation courses.

Then there is the online only option, which consists of the standard online training tools. There are video lessons, practice questions and full length GMAT practice exams. The $499 price tag includes the following:

  • Video lessons on key test-taking strategies
  • 10 full-length proprietary computer-adaptive practice GMAT's
  • Adaptive practice GMATs
  • Access to the online portal with practice questions, drills and in-depth explanations
  • A complete set of study materials including The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition
  • Feedback on your GMAT essay with LiveGrader

It is a decent enough program, but we feel other less expensive online programs that we have reviewed are better. With the Princeton review there is no intuitive customization, performance tracking or on-the-go mobile applications. The learning videos, tests and questions are good learning tools, but the Princeton Review version is a good deal higher than other more modern online test prep options.

Overall, for someone who is looking to receive personal training from real live teachers, in either a one on one or classroom setting, the Princeton review is one of the best around. For anyone looking for online only test preparation, we'd recommend one of our other highly reviewed options.

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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 The Princeton Review.

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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