Kaplan is a large company that has built a good reputation over the years for helping students through some of the toughest US standardized tests. In this Kaplan GMAT review article, we’ll break down the highs and lows of studying with Kaplan GMAT, and why these courses are a cut above the rest.
Their courses are comprehensive, lead by expert teachers, and highly recommended by students. Each year Kaplan supports over 2 million students through tests like the GMAT exam. They have a huge pool of resources, including practice questions, full-length tests, and online video lessons.
Kaplan is a premium brand that offers a high-class service, with two main price and course options. They offer a self-paced program, which gives you access to all the online resources for six months, for around $600, which is a great price for these resources. Kaplan also offers a ‘live online,’ GMAT prep course, which means teachers run online classroom sessions. This comes in at around $1250, so it’s more of an investment.
When we review, both of these options make Kaplan stand up against cheaper firms like Magoosh. Kaplan offers better resources at slightly higher costs. So if you have a slightly larger budget, consider using Kaplan for your GMAT prep to get a great score.
Here are the top pros of using Kaplan’s GMAT Prep Courses, which we’ll break down in this article:
Kaplan offers two price packages, which are both great options for students wanting to study GMAT prep and get ready for test day. Firstly, there is a Self-Paced course that gives you access to all the online resources for six months.
The cost of this course is around $600—a pretty good deal in comparison to some other large company courses. The next level of the GMAT prep course is the Live Online course, which is a scheduled study plan with online lessons, in addition to online resources.
This course is $1250, but it’s well worth the cost. Furthermore, Kaplan is one of the only companies to offer a payment plan where you can spread the cost over six months of learning. In this Kaplan GMAT review, we look closely at these packages and the resources offered.
If you’re a focused and motivated student who can work to their schedule, then a self-paced program is probably your best type of prep for GMAT. Kaplan has heaps of resources that have been created by expert teachers and are available on demand.
There’s a total of 14 hours of recorded instruction videos and lessons, and on The GMAT Channel, there is access to 30 hours of teaching episodes, which helps you to develop in specific areas of learning. Kaplan GMAT provides over 5000 practice questions, including some which are adaptive to your answers, just like in the real GMAT exam.
Finally, this GMAT prep course is one of the best for practice tests. Kaplan provides nine full-length computer adaptive tests – which is the most offered – and an Official Test Day Experience.
The Live Online course builds on all the resources included in self-paced learning and has some added extras. Firstly, you’ll get 18 hours of live online instruction, led by experienced teachers. These sessions are interactive, and you can ask questions, just like in a classroom. You also have access to over 30 hours of online videos through The GMAT Channel.
Finally, this course provides you with physical resources, including two GMAT prep books and an MBA admissions guide. Also, you’ll have nine full-length practice CAT tests to complete at various intervals and an Official Test Day experience. Kaplan GMAT offers a perfect package if you like online classroom-style learning.
These live sessions are scheduled, so when you’re signing up, you’ll need to select some dates that will work for you. Generally, they span over four weeks and have six sessions that are 3 hours long. This course requires dedication and time commitment, so make sure you factor in these elements before signing up.
The Live Online course is a brilliant blend of interactive online videos and physical resources. It’s great for learners that enjoy having a support group, a teacher to reach out to, and someone to help hold you to account. It’s a great price too, at $1250, and provides a lot of resources for the cost.
Kaplan GMAT also offers other learning blocks that can be purchased separately from the main course. These are QBank Access, Practice Pack, and Study Pack and range from $99 to $299. These are good options if you need something specific or have a short amount of time before your GMAT exam, but they’re not as comprehensive as the courses.
One of the main reasons why students think Kaplan is the best prep for GMAT is the practice questions and practice tests. Kaplan GMAT has a huge range of practice questions – over 5000! This means you’ll always get new and fresh questions to challenge yourself and test your learning and skills.
Other courses offer around half the number of practice questions, and students find themselves answering the same questions again and again, so this is a big selling point of Kaplan GMAT. Also, these questions are designed by teachers with experience in coaching high school, college, and MBA students, so the questions are realistic and true to the GMAT test.
Kaplan understands the importance of practice and testing, which is why they allow you to take the GMAT practice tests nine times – each time with a different set of questions. The nine practice exams offered by Kaplan are not just unique in their questions.
They are also CAT (Computer Adaptive Tests), just like the real GMAT test, when it comes to the GMAT math and verbal reasoning sections. Using the practice exams will give you an experience of test day and what to expect from each section of the test.
Practice tests are a great way to complete test prep and the actual practice test. You get a score at the end of it. You can review and monitor your scores and see the improvement. Kaplan gives you nine opportunities at this testing process, which is way higher than other leading companies.
When choosing a prep course, you need resources that will help you fully prepare for the exam, and this is why CAT exams are so important. The GMAT is a Computer Adaptive Test in two key sections – the Math and Verbal Reasoning. This means that the test questions will change depending on your answers, and your questions will be different from the next person.
If you’re answering questions correctly, the exam will give you more difficult questions, which, in turn, will boost your score. And the opposite if you’re not doing so well. This scoring model can only be replicated by having CAT practice exams to get an accurate score and experience of the test.
Other course providers that only give static practice tests are putting their students at a big disadvantage, as they can’t accurately predict scores. The student won’t have a true experience of the GMAT before test day.
Kaplan understands this and goes above and beyond by providing nine practice exams. These all have computer adaptive elements. They also go one step further by offering a full day in the testing environment to prepare their students fully.
On top of the nine full-length practice tests, with Kaplan GMAT, you complete a full test trial run at a GMAT testing center. This is a unique opportunity many other companies or courses don’t offer. Completing a full exam, in a testing center, in exam conditions, just like test day, is the full and whole experience for any GMAT student.
You’ll also get a score from its exam, which you can review in line with your practice exams, and see if the test conditions made a difference. The experience is excellent if you have exam anxiety or haven’t taken a standardized test before, as you’ll understand what will happen on the day. You’ll take the GMAT exam with less anxiety and nerves, helping you to get a better score on the day.
With a wide pool of expert teachers from all backgrounds, you’ll be supported throughout your studies. All of the tutors working for Kaplan have experience in taking the GMAT for themselves and getting a great score. They understand the pressure, the techniques, and timings and are ready to pass this knowledge onto you, as they have with many other students.
Kaplan GMAT teachers are experienced, usually with over ten years of teaching at high schools, colleges, and graduate schools. Kaplan GMAT courses have online sessions led by teachers. They also have pre-recorded on-demand video lessons that break down and explain each section of the GMAT. This knowledge transfer includes writing techniques, problem-solving, and logic. You’ll learn how to complete the full GMAT exam in the given time.
The teachers are also available by email to help guide you. You may need some support to review your study plan, or need further explanation following a live online session. Reach out to them during your course through email.
The Kaplan GMAT teachers are there to support you as tutors, too, and private tutoring at an additional cost. You can add private tutoring to your course by using the Plus bundle, which is available for both Self Paced and Live Online Courses, and adds 3 hours of 1-2-1 tutoring to your course. It bumps up the price by $200 in the Self Paced course, and $400 in the Live Online program.
The Kaplan Plus packages also come with additional on-demand instruction and a GMAT math course. If you’re someone who benefits from direct teaching, then this could be a great option. Make sure to use the time wisely, be specific about the areas you need support with and what you’d like to get out of each session.
To boost your studying and score, make sure you use the personalized study plan that’s included in each of these courses. Study plans are the best way to plan and keep track of your learning to make sure that you are reaching your goals. If you stick to your study plan, you will see an improvement in your knowledge, answering strategies, practice questions, and overall score.
Kapan has integrated answer strategies into their lessons and learning, as these are an essential part of understanding the GMAT. With less than a minute to complete most questions, you need to have several methods up your sleeve. You’ll learn how to use logic and critical reasoning to find solutions quickly, and get the right answer. This will be an essential part of your prep.
Kaplan is a large company and offers one of the best GMAT prep courses, which is why they’re confident with their score guarantee. They know that you will score higher after completing the online course, or you can have your money back. To be eligible for the score guarantee, you need to have completed the GMAT exam in the past and prove your score to Kaplan. This is best suited to those who are concerned about retaking the test and scoring lower.
Many students that have completed GMAT test prep with Kaplan have gone on to score really well, and have made significant improvements from their starting point. You can read the student review quotes on their student review page, and see for yourself the positive student comments.
A resource that’s unique to Kaplan is The GMAT Channel, where they host all of their content and learning resources in one handy place. This resource is included in the Self Guided and Live Online programs and gives you unlimited access to teachers and tutors through online videos. You can pick and choose the elements that you want to watch and work on, so you can use your time wisely to benefit you the most.
You can also choose activities and lessons based on difficulty so that you can continue to challenge yourself and boost your score higher. When lessons are being live-streamed or broadcast, you can interact with the instructor and students, which again boosts your learning and understanding.
If you’re opting for the Kaplan Live Online program, then you’ll also be sent three resource packs to accompany your study and help to prepare your application and admissions material. You’ll receive two Kaplan GMAT prep books, which are brilliant for learners that like to make notes, highlight, and work with a physical resource.
These can really help to boost your learning and your score. Kaplan will also send you an MBA admissions guide, which is full of useful information to boost your application for graduate management and get noticed by the admissions teams.
To get you started on your GMAT journey, Kaplan offers a free full-length practice exam to help you get to grips with the GMAT exam. Once you’ve completed the test, you get a detailed report of your score, strengths, and weaknesses. This is a brilliant and free way to get a baseline understanding of what your score could be and the areas you need to focus on.
You also get two weeks of access to a limited amount of Kaplan GMAT resources, including instructional videos and practice exercises on the most critical GMAT areas. This is a great way to see if the Kaplan GMAT resources suit your learning style and if this is the right prep course for you.
In this Kaplan GMAT review, we’ve looked at all the benefits and materials included in these Kaplan packages, so it’s time to break down the drawbacks. Kaplan is one of the best companies offering GMAT courses, so there are only two negatives we could find.
Firstly, Kaplan does not offer a face to face learning experience directly. Kaplan has, however, piggy-backed on the face to face learning that is offered by The Princeton Review. They include this as one of their packages. If real-life lessons are what you’re looking for, then go straight to the provider. The Princeton Review offers several brilliant packages that have face to face sessions.
The only other drawback of Kaplan GMAT is that it does not have a mobile app. In this day and age, a mobile app is a basic expectation for many students, and, surprisingly, a company as large as Kaplan has no provision for this.
Although the mobile interface can be difficult to answer questions and complete test prep, many students like to track their progress or watch videos on the go – on the bus, at home, or in the library. If having an accessible app is an important factor for you, then consider our Best GMAT Prep Courses article.
Overall, Kaplan offers a very comprehensive set of GMAT prep packages that are flexible to different students, learning styles, and budgets. They are one of the best and biggest companies that offer GMAT prep and have helped thousands of students over the years. Kaplan is made up of experienced tutors that have created online content, proven to increase your understanding of all elements of the exam.
Kaplan’s GMAT courses stand out for their resources, which include a large number of practice questions and exam opportunities. These trial runs are brilliant for students who have exam anxiety, need score validation, or work best when they know exactly what to expect – so basically all students!
We highly recommend the GMAT courses offered by Kaplan, with only a few cons and loads of plus points. It should definitely be in your top three course considerations. They also offer a range of prices, and hopefully, you can find a course that matches your budget.