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The Economist vs Kaplan

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THE ECONOMIST

The Economist GMAT preparation program uses the latest technology, features an interactive learning system that focuses on areas of improvement for each student, and has an impressive number of questions and quizzes. However it's a lot more expensive than other similar GMAT test preparation programs and this may turn some students away.

The technology offered by the Economist meets or exceeds that used by the other GMAT test prep programs we have reviewed. The system is fully mobile and can be accessed at any time on a computer, tablet or smart phone. The content consists of video lessons and then test questions for each, covering every area on the GMAT exam. After each quiz a score is given to the student and these scores are compiled on a personalized dashboard. The dashboard tracks performance and guides the study program towards areas that the student needs to work on. This automatic customization is found in all of the most successful online test prep programs and it helps students avoid wasting time studying material that they already know well. In addition to the lessons and quizzes, there are also complete GMAT text exams so students can practice the full GMAT test experience.

The Economist also offers e-mail support through their ask-a-tutor program. There are additional levels of personal assistance with this program, however, that we have not seen in many other GMAT test preparation programs. Every course in the program comes with one on one personal video tutoring sessions included in the price. If you're having trouble with a certain aspect of the GMAT you can conference in with a live tutor and they will walk you through a lesson. Each student receives 6 or 8 of these personal sessions depending on which plan is purchased.

Additionally you can send your writing samples from the writing section of the GMAT to get personal writing help from a tutor. They will mark up sample essays, provide tips on avoiding common errors, and even give suggestions on how to improve each students writing style. Each student can have 5 or 6 essays corrected in this way. This could be extremely helpful for students who learn better through human interaction, and the availability of such personal assistance is very likely the reason for the high cost of this program.

With either of the premium programs, The Economist offers a money back guarantee if your score does not improve by a full 70 points. This is higher than another other point guarantee we have seen in another other GMAT test preparation program, and for students who have a baseline GMAT score already this could be a powerful incentive to go with the Economist.

The Economist offers a great GMAT test preparation program. It's expensive, but it provides a level of personal tutoring and teaching that many of the other strictly online programs don't offer. We highly recommend this program to anyone who learns best with personal human contact. For anyone who has no such need for the one on one tutoring, there are other online programs that are much less expensive.

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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 The Economist 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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