Once you’ve decided to take the GMAT, the next step is to prepare for the test… but where to start? There are many test prep companies that offer study guides, practice questions, and even mobile apps to help you get ready. Not all companies offer the same options in the same price ranges, however, so take some time to compare them. And since studying for the GMAT is stressful enough, we’ve done some of the work for you! Here are some of the most popular GMAT review courses, the programs they offer, and their strengths and weaknesses.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Magoosh (Best Value)
- 2 The Princeton Review (Most Comprehensive)
- 3 Kaplan Test Prep (A Name You Know)
- 4 The Economist (Superior Support)
- 5 Target Test Prep (Quantitative Quality)
- 6 Manhattan Prep (A Crammer’s Paradise)
- 7 Top 6 Online GMAT Courses
Magoosh (Best Value)
Why should I choose Magoosh GMAT?
At $149, Magoosh is the most economical choice. For less than half of the cost of the other featured review courses, you get access to 800 practice questions, two full practice GMAT exams, and various online resources for a full year. Those resources include video instruction, progress tracking, a course demo, a study plan, a mobile app, and essay grading.
All course books are available online and Magoosh provides email support as well as a forum for those who need a little extra help. The format of the online materials allows test takers to submit questions directly from a help tab on every page, rather than having to log in to a different email program, and the staff has a reputation for being knowledgeable in the subject matter and prompt in their response to questions. Magoosh also guarantees to add 50 points to your total GMAT score.
Additionally, Magoosh offers an option for people who only want to review the Quantitative and Integrated Reasoning sections of the test for $129. This plan for “verbal experts” guarantees an additional three points to your math (Q + IR) score.
What is Magoosh lacking?
In this case, when you pay less, you do get a little bit less. Magoosh offers fewer practice questions and full exams than other GMAT review courses. An extra tutoring and premium package is available for $680 for six hours of one-on-one guidance through video chat, but this price is comparable to the full package of some other review courses. The entire course is self-paced and Magoosh doesn’t offer live support in the form of phone or chat services, so it may not be the best option for test takers who need more structure or individual help.
Is Magoosh right for me?
For self-motivated test takers on a budget or those who want to spread their studying out over a longer time period, Magoosh offers excellent quality and flexibility for a very reasonable price. If you’re recently out of your undergraduate classes and have the study material fresh in your mind, you might not need the high number of practice questions that come with other review courses. However, if you think you’re going to need one-on-one assistance, you might consider spending a bit more for those services.
The Princeton Review (Most Comprehensive)
Why should I choose The Princeton Review GMAT?
The Princeton Review offers ten full-length practice exams, more than any other test prep program. With more than 4,000 practice questions, it offers plenty of content for the test taker who wants to spend the maximum amount of time studying. The Review’s website claims that its technology simulates the experience of taking the GMAT better than any other test prep, and personalized score tracking helps you identify which topics you need to study. Unlike other reviews, even the self-paced course offers grader feedback on essay questions.
Several test prep packages are available depending on your studying needs. The self-paced course gives you access to all the practice questions and tests, personalized score reports, and video lessons for $299. The Ultimate LiveOnline packages includes 27 hours of live instruction over the computer for $1,199, and the Ultimate In Person provides the same amount of instruction in classroom for $1,299. Personalized tutoring starts at $1800. All packages come with the Princeton Review Guarantee – if your score doesn’t improve, your tuition will be refunded.
What is The Princeton Review lacking?
While the self-paced option is reasonable, the price for live instruction at $1200-1300 can certainly be prohibitive. Additionally, access to all the online materials only lasts for four months. While this is about average for review courses, it’s a lot of content to get through if your study hours are limited or if you are easily overwhelmed.
Is The Princeton Review right for me?
This test prep is for the hardcore studier and the test taker who needs the most practice. Those who struggle with the essay section will benefit from personalized feedback. Be honest with yourself: are you committed to using all the available resources to improve your GMAT score? Can you make time to get your money’s worth out of this review course? If your answer is yes, then the Princeton Review is the best, most comprehensive way to study for the GMAT.
Kaplan Test Prep (A Name You Know)
Why should I choose Kaplan Test Prep GMAT?
Similar to the Princeton Review, Kaplan is a well-established name in the field of GMAT test prep that offers an immense amount of practice materials for the test taker. All courses include more than 5,000 practice questions, nine full-length computer adaptive exams, more than 140 hours of online instruction and practice, and two prep books with an MBA admissions guide. Unique to Kaplan is the Official Test Day Experience, in which one of the practice tests is taken at an actual testing facility under real GMAT conditions.
Kaplan also offers PLUS courses – add-ons to their main test review. You can sign up for GMAT Math Foundations for extra videos and practice questions focused on the math sections, or three hours of one-on-one live online coaching. A streaming GMAT Channel offers more than thirty hours of “episodes” on test content, allowing you to pick the topics in which you need the most help. Kaplan’s Higher Score Guarantee allows you to repeat the course or get your money back if your score does not improve on the official test.
What is Kaplan Test Prep lacking?
Simply put: affordability. Kaplan’s materials start at $799 for the self-paced course and quickly increase to $1249 for the live online option and $1449 for the in person option. One-on-one tutoring is available starting at $2799 for 15 hours of live online guidance that includes a personalized study plan.
Is Kaplan Test Prep right for me?
Kaplan offers two things that most other review courses don’t: two physical paper review books and the Official Test Day Experience. If either of those is worth the price to you, then consider it. However, the Princeton Review offers similar content and services for a lower price.
The Economist (Superior Support)
Why should I choose The Economist GMAT?
Right on its home page, The Economist promises a 70 point GMAT score improvement guarantee. It also offers a free seven-day trial. The Complete Prep option includes full access to the online courses plus three practice exams, 50 ask-a-tutor questions, four live one-on-one sessions, four opportunities for essay feedback, and a bank of over 5,000 questions. The Premium and Ultimate Prep options add progressively more practice exams, tutor questions, live sessions, and essay markings.
The live video tutoring, built-in opportunities to ask tutor questions, and chat support for its product all mean that The Economist offers a very responsive study course. And not only are the practice tests computer adaptive, but the practice questions are as well, leading to a top-notched personalized learning experience.
What is The Economist lacking?
Similar to Kaplan, The Economist doesn’t offer any low price points. The Complete package costs $799, Premium costs $899, and Ultimate costs $1099. Additionally, the Complete and Premium review courses can only be accessed for three months. And that 70 point improvement guarantee? That only applies to the Premium and Ultimate Packages. For the Complete package, you’re only guaranteed a 50-point improvement.
Is The Economist right for me?
Not quite as comprehensive as the Princeton Review or Kaplan, The Economist nevertheless offers some built-in one-on-one tutoring options at better prices than most other companies save Magoosh. If your test prep needs aren’t quite as comprehensive, but you know you will benefit greatly from some individual instruction, The Economist may be the way to go. Still not sure? Give the seven-day free trial a shot.
Target Test Prep (Quantitative Quality)
Why should I choose Target Test Prep GMAT?
Target also offers a trial period, though it’ll set you back $1 for five days of unlimited access to their course materials: more than 500 lessons, more than 3,000 practice problems, and more than 800 HD videos. If you like what you see, there are a variety of preparation options to suit your needs. The $99-a-month Flexible Preparation package allows you to keep studying as long as you need. If you’ve already got a study timeline planned out, the four-month Dedicated Study package is available at $299 and the six-month Maximum Learning package is available at $399. Additional tutoring services are available at $250 per hour.
The FAQ page on Target’s website proudly proclaims that it’s different from other online GMAT prep courses because “it’s GMAT math immersion, plain and simple.” The online program customizes itself as you go, pointing out areas where you need more practice.
What is Target Test Prep lacking?
Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. Target only covers the quantitative GMAT section, although it does so in great depth. There are no full-length practice tests to take.
Is Target Test Prep right for me?
This course review company is well-named, because it targets a very specific type of test takers: the kind who are comfortable setting their own pace while brushing up on math – and only math – problems. If that’s you, then you have a good variety of price points and flexible options to choose from. If it’s not, then the five-day trial or $99 for one month option might be a good way to get in some extra math practice, but it’s no substitute for a full GMAT review program.
Manhattan Prep (A Crammer’s Paradise)
Why should I choose Manhattan Prep?
Like some other review courses, Manhattan offers a self-paced online course as well as live, online or in-person classes. Unlike the others, Manhattan also offers a Math in a Day program, a one-day math workshop with six hours of live instruction and access to materials to brush up on what you’ve learned. For the extreme procrastinator, there’s also the GMAT Boot Camp, packing 35 intensive hours of online or in-person instruction into two weeks, plus 12 hours of practice testing and multiple hours of homework per day.
All courses come with both printed and online study materials. Private tutoring, either in person or online, starts at $255 an hour with a two hour minimum. Some of the online content can be downloaded if streaming isn’t practical. Manhattan’s biggest asset is the sheer number of practice problems available, which it lists in the thousands.
What is Manhattan Prep lacking?
While the Boot Camp option is certainly unique, it’ll set you back $2699 for the online course, and the in-person course isn’t offered outside of New York City and London. Also, while there’s nothing stopping you from taking the course two weeks before the exam itself (if it’s offered in that time frame), you won’t be able to take advantage of the other study materials meant to allow you to practice and review over a longer time period.
Though the self-paced course is more financially reasonable at $599, the live course is at the upper end of that scale at $1399. And unlike most other companies, Manhattan doesn’t offer any kind of score guarantee or refund for any reason.
Is Manhattan Prep right for me?
If you’re in a severe time crunch and money’s not a problem, the GMAT Boot Camp is an option. Similarly, if you’re in a time crunch and just need a math review, the GMAT Math in a Day package might be for you. And if you want the most practice problems out there, Manhattan has you covered.
Take the time to think through what you’re looking for in a course review – comprehensiveness? Individualized instruction? Value for the money? You certainly aren’t in lacking options. Carefully consider your timeline for studying, your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning, and your budget, and pick the GMAT test prep that’s right for you!
Top 6 Online GMAT Courses
|Magoosh||Value for the money||$149|
|The Princeton Review||Comprehensiveness||$299 – $1,299|
|Kaplan Test Prep||Official Test Day Experience||$799 – $1,449|
|The Economist||One-on-one instruction||$799 – $1,099|
|Target Test Prep||Focus on Quantitative Reasoning||$99 – $399|
|Manhattan Prep||Intensive short-term courses||$599 – $2,699|