Kaplan vs. Magoosh GRE

So you’re taking the GRE and looking for a prep course to help you get your best score. There’s lots of online test prep for the GRE available, but how do you find the right one? We know that comparing two different course platforms head to head is a great way to understand which would be best for you.

In this article, we’ve looked at Magoosh vs. Kaplan in their prep course GRE offerings and compared each of their elements to identify which will make your score better.

Magoosh is a learning platform that’s based entirely online and provides learning for standardized tests, including GRE, GMAT, LSAT, SAT, and more. Founded in 2009 and based in San Francisco, Magoosh brings together education and software experts to support students worldwide with online learning.

Magoosh GRE

Kaplan is an international company with a great reputation for its online learning for standardized tests, including the GRE, GMAT, and SAT exams. Over the years, they have helped thousands of students worldwide get a great score and be accepted into the college or graduate school they desire. Kaplan has a considerable pool of resources, including practice questions, full-length tests, and live or on-demand video lessons and is staffed by teaching professionals.

Kaplan GRE

Key Differences

These may seem like similar companies – both Magoosh and Kaplan are online, and both offer a range of courses, but it’s the quality of learning material that sets them apart.

Live Teacher Sessions – Kaplan offers live online lessons from experienced teachers within the course timetable. Magoosh does not offer any direct from teacher support.

Quality of Resources – Kaplan has a more experienced staff base and a higher quality of learning resources than Magoosh.
Practice Questions – Kaplan offers 5 000 practice questions, vs. Magoosh offers 1,200 practice questions.

Practice Tests – Kaplan offers SEVEN full-length practice tests and an Official Test Day Experience. Magoosh offers neither of these practice test options.

Physical Resources – Kaplan provides you with two GRE prep books that cover Verbal and Math. Magoosh sends out no prep books.
Course Options

Let’s compare Magoosh vs. Kaplan and take a look at the course options offered by each company.


Kaplan’s instructor-led course is a series of live online lectures that take you through a scheduled GRE test prep course plan. This GRE prep course is available for $999, and includes lessons hosted online by experts teaching you and a group of classmates.

These sessions are 3 hours long, totaling 21 hours of live instruction sessions. These types of courses require a time commitment from students, so make sure you’ve got the capacity for GRE practice and scheduled sessions.

Magoosh does not offer a course that includes classroom-style learning directly from teachers, either online or in person. The course is entirely online and does not include a tutor or guidance from a teacher.

Self Paced

Kaplan Self paced

The Kaplan Self Paced GRE course gives you access to all online materials to complete at your own pace. This includes 180 hours of video lessons, over 5 000 practice questions, and practice tests. You also get the Official Test Day Experience, access to 7 full-length practice tests, and 2 GRE Prep books sent to your home. No other self-paced online course offers this many resources for such a low cost, making Kaplan better than the rest, including Magoosh.

Magoosh offers six months’ access to their online prep courses for GRE, including ‘comprehensive coverage’ and ‘helpful video lessons’ without being specific about the format or number of videos available. You’ll also have access to 1,200 practice questions and a range of study plans to guide you, from 1 week to 6 months.


When comparing Magoosh vs. Kaplan on their packages’ price, it’s important to remember that Kaplan offers more resources and better value for money.

Kaplan’s cheapest course is self-guided and runs for 6 months with a cost of $449, which is a great price for the number of resources included. Kaplan’s Live Online course is a series of live lectures that take you through a scheduled GRE test prep course plan. This GRE prep course is available for $999 and has 21 hours of live instruction and all the materials included in the self-guided course.

Magoosh pricing can be difficult to understand as the standard six-month course is $894, but they always have discounts or offers running. Most students pay in the region of $180 – $250 for the course, and using the heavy discount makes it seem like Magoosh is not worth the extra money. Make sure you use a discount, $200 for 6 months access to the resources is a pretty good deal, making Magoosh popular with students.

Although Magoosh vs. Kaplan is nearly half the price for a self-guided course, you’re only getting half the materials compared to Kaplan’s course. If you have the budget to spend $450 on this course, we’d advise choosing Kaplan. Go one step further and enroll in the live-online GRE Prep course, which will boost your score.

Quality of Resources

When considering Magososh vs. Kaplan for GRE prep courses, it comes down to the quality of resources. Although Magoosh is cheap and popular, they are not offering a lot of material, and the quality does not stand up to that offered by Kaplan.

Kaplan has over 180 hours of video lessons available, which can either be accessed online or through scheduled Live Online sessions. Both routes are led by expert teachers that have experience in the GRE prep and supporting students. All aspects of the GRE will be covered in these lessons. You will see an increase in your scores while studying with this program.

In comparison, Magoosh is vague on the learning resources provided, including the format and length of videos. Other courses advertise the number of lessons or hours of videos included, while Magoosh has used phrases like ‘comprehensive coverage’ and ‘helpful video lessons,’ which, to be honest, doesn’t fill us with confidence.

Practice Questions and Tests

Kaplan GRE practice test & questions

Kaplan has created a practice question platform called QBank, a quiz platform that hosts practice problems across all GRE prep sections, including the math and verbal section. The quizzes total to around 5 000 practice GRE questions and are customizable to choose to work on your weaknesses.

There’s a detailed explanation for each question and answer that teaches you if the answer was correct or incorrect – and why. Kaplan offers seven full-length practice exams for you to complete on top of this vast practice question resource.

Seven! If you studied across 6 months, you can achieve a test per month and still have one to spare! Full-length practice tests give you the ultimate test prep and help to calm anxiety and nerves so that you can perform your best on test day.

Kaplan also offers an Official Test Day Experience – which we’ve explained later on in this article.

Practice questions and tests are an important factor for students to consider, especially if you have not taken a standardized test like the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT before. Full-length computer-based practice tests are a great way to understand the test format and your strengths and weaknesses.

When comparing Kaplan and Magoosh, the second falls short in this department. Magoosh offers 1,200 practice questions, which is a great amount, but it comes with a catch. Magoosh recommends that you take 3 practice tests throughout your study, but any practice tests that you want to take are using questions from this pot of practice problems.

The practice tests are around 90 questions per test, reducing the number of questions you have in the pot by 20% and putting a cap on your test prep. Magoosh is one of the only platforms to limit their practice questions in this way and cut into student resources.

Furthermore, even when you have set aside 230 practice questions to use in your test, they won’t appear in a GRE Test format. Magoosh does not offer a full-length GRE test simulation like Kaplan does, which can give you the feel of a real GRE test.

Teaching Quality

When considering Magoosh and Kaplan, you need to consider the staff who sits behind the learning materials and how they’ll interact with students. At Magoosh, staff provide tech support and answer queries. At Kaplan, the teachers guide you through lessons, help you to build your understanding of concepts, and their experience enhances the learning materials.

Kaplan provides learning to students across the world, and their teachers are great and have a good track record for students scoring well in the GRE. If you’re looking for additional tutoring to accompany your study, Kaplan has tutor sessions available at an extra cost with their experienced teaching staff. It is great for getting feedback on your latest GRE test.

Magoosh seems to have good staff, with some experience in teaching and testing. However, as this course is self-guided, you will not contact a tutor or expert throughout your course.

If you’re the type of student who can self-motivate and follow a set study plan, this course could be ideal for you. Magoosh GRE offers to tutor, too, delivered by the teachers and tutors included in their San Francisco staff.

Additional Resources

When comparing Magoosh vs. Kaplan GRE, each brings some additional features that the other does not. This is why it’s great to bring Kaplan and Magoosh side-by-side to assess GRE courses’ quality of test preparation GRE. These features include Mobile Apps, Prep Books, and Official Test Day Experiences and are offered either by Magoosh or Kaplan.

Magoosh – Mobile App – Firstly, one of the great features of using Magoosh is the quality of its online platform, which is easy for students to navigate and track their progress. The Magoosh GRE interface is easy to use, intuitive and accessed from your PC, tablet, or phone with the mobile app. Not many GRE courses offer a mobile app, so if learning on the go is essential to you, this can be a good selling point for GRE’s Magoosh prep courses.

Magoosh GRE app

Kaplan – Prep Books – Kaplan supports your learning offline with GRE prep books sent to your home when you enroll in the course. GRE prep guides are great for adding extra materials, explanations, and test questions to your study, and Kaplan offers two GRE books that cover Math and Verbal sections. Physical resources like study guides are ideal for students that like to make notes, read and highlight or prefer not to always work from a computer.

Kaplan GRE prep books

Kaplan – Official Test Day Experience – Furthermore, as part of the Kaplan GRE course packages, they also organize an official GRE test day experience. Before you take the actual test, you’ll have an opportunity to visit a certified test center and take a practice exam.

You’ll get an understanding of what to do on GRE test day and experience where you’ll be sat, what the equipment is like, and the pressure that comes with the exam. This is a great opportunity if you’re anxious about the GRE test and want to take a full practice test to understand the experience.


Overall, when comparing Magoosh vs. Kaplan, there are very few similarities and many differences. Kaplan and Magoosh, on the surface, are offering the same course at a similar price. However, it’s the quality and quantity of resources that make Kaplan stand out as better in this Magoosh vs. Kaplan battle, and is the one you should choose. It’s important to choose a course that will be right for you and boost your score.

Kaplan offers a brilliant online course with a wide range of resources, including 7 full-length practice tests, over 5,000 practice questions, and one Official Test Day Experience! Kaplan courses’ cost starts at a relatively accessible price of $449, which most students can afford.

This self-guided course is from Kaplan GRE is overflowing with fantastic resources to make your GRE score better. If you can go the extra mile and provide the live online course for $999, this will significantly improve your learning and overall score.

Magoosh, on the other hand, is not a bad GRE course; it just doesn’t have the same substance as Kaplan. For around $200, you can get 6 months of access to GRE practice questions, video explanations, and build on your GRE score, which is better than no resources. If your budget is tight, then Magoosh is a brilliant option. Magoosh offers a free trial and some free resources on their blog, so check them before enrolling in the course.

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