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Magoosh vs 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.
Magoosh was founded in 2008 by students at Berkley who felt there must be a better way to study for standardized tests than static text books and expensive tutoring. The focus on new technology and excellent customer service in the Magoosh GMAT test preparation learning system reflects this modern approach.
Magoosh has a simple interface with a lot of content. The technology allows students to log in to the learning system from any computer, tablet or smart phone which is a big plus in today's mobile world. The system is set-up so that each student gets a personalized dashboard that tracks lesson progress and question results, and suggests additional lessons based on the performance of the student. This interactive tool allows the student to focus quickly in areas on which they need to improve, rather than wasting time studying topics on which they are already strong.
As a student works through each customizable practice session there are lesson videos for each topic given by one of the Magoosh GMAT expert tutors. Then there are quizzes to go along with each lesson, and within the quizzes each question has its own video. So if a question is answered incorrectly, the student can review the question video and it will explain in detail what the correct answer is and why. This is a nice detail and very helpful to providing a better understanding of each question being asked. After each lesson the student receives a detailed performance analysis, each of which adds to the overall performance summary on the personalized dashboard. It really is a very succinct, organized system.
The cost is $99.00 for access to the complete learning system for one year. There is also an option to purchase just the math section, or just the verbal section, for $79.00. The $99.00 includes:
This is a lot of content, though not quite as many practice questions as we have seen with some of the other top GMAT study programs. The video lessons and quizzes are the core of the learning process, and the video library is extensive. Magoosh also offers two money back guarantees. One is a standard 7 day money back guarantee where students can receive a full refund if they don't like the system after using it for 7 days. The other is a score guarantee. For anyone who has already taken the GMAT and has a valid score, Magoosh promises to raise it by 50 points or delivery a full refund. This is a nice feature that makes Magoosh even more appealing. We would have likely given Magoosh our top ranking if it wasn't for the fewer videos and questions in the package, but make no mistake Magoosh is an excellent option for GMAT preparation.
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:
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.
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:
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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