If you’re looking for support while you study for the GRE, you’re probably already looking for the best GRE prep courses to improve your test results. Though some people prefer a private study path, many will benefit from the structure and resources offered in a course. Two great brands that offer GRE prep today are Magoosh and Kaplan. Which of the two is best for you? This comprehensive article will explore all the areas needed to cover so you can make the best decision in your review study.
The article will discuss the major components of a good GRE course and how these two brands compare in each of those categories. Let’s get right to it!
|Magoosh Self-Paced GRE Course||Kaplan’s Self-paced GRE Course|
|Cost||1 Month Access – $129 |
6 Month Access – $149
GRE Live Online Course, $1,399
GRE Complete In-Person Course, $1,699
|Duration of Access||1 month or 6 months||6 Month Access|
|Course Formats||Self-paced||Self-paced, GRE Live Online Course |
GRE Complete In-person Course
|Practice Questions||Up to 3 Practice Tests |
1,200 Practice Tests
|5,000+ practice tests, with the help of Qbank|
|Books||N/A||Comes with 2 prep books|
|Video Lectures||Over 250 Video Lessons with Explanations||180+ hours of online lectures and practice kits|
|Teaching Style||GRE Math, Verbal and Analytical Writing |
Has Email Assistance Feature
|GRE Advanced Math and GRE Math Foundations, both self-paced |
What we will cover?
An Overview of the Magoosh Course
The first thing you should know about the Magoosh Course is that it doesn’t offer any in-person GRE courses. There’s no instructor-led online guide either. This is probably because it’s a newcomer compared to Kaplan that has already been in the industry for many years.
What sets Magoosh apart though is that it offers two types of self-paced GRE prep packages. Designed differently, these packages can be availed of via one-month or six-month programs.
Both programs are exactly the same in content, so it is only the duration of time to access them that differs. If you only have month left before your schedule exam, then go ahead of opt for the one month access. However, if you have time, most students will benefit from a more relaxed pace to provide reinforcement to the studied material.
Users also have the option to purchase six-month access for one type of course, to specifically focus on verbal, analytical writing, or math. It is advised by experts that the best bang for your buck right now would be to go for the six-month premium package.
An Overview of Kaplan Courses
The great advantage you get with Kaplan is that it’s a company that has already been time-tested. Its years of industry knowledge make it an abundant source of GRE-responsive knowledge that’s relevant for students.
There’s also a GRE Channel that provides live instruction to students, as well as a QBank platform for providing users with customized tests or quizzes.
If what you want is a diverse range of options for your prep courses, Kaplan is definitely a good recommendation.
The Rapid Review Live, Math Foundations, and even its Advanced Level of Math that it offers are some of the programs that offer the best value for students. Apart from that, Kaplan also makes some of the best books for students who need the fundamentals of all types of courses, business-related or not.
Between the two, Kaplan’s self-paced package will be more expensive than Magoosh, all hours of training considered. Kaplan’s program can cost you about $699 for 6 months of access to their GRE prep course.
Magoosh will only cost you $149 for the same duration. That said, Kaplan has a wide extensive collection, so you’re getting more out of the course even though it has a higher price tag. Kaplan adds more value in giving you GRE prep materials in a live classroom session. This online session will be at your own pace with materials that have already been selected for you.
There’s a premium feature for Kaplan that will cost you an additional $200, while the live online sessions will cost you about a total of $1,449. If you are on a tight budget, Magoosh still offers a great program, but at a much more affordable rate.
Duration of Access
Kaplan only gives you 6 month access as an option for their sizable library of GRE prep lessons, while with Magoosh, you can pick whether you need 1 month or 6 month access.
The ability of choosing only 1 month’s worth of access will be ideal for students who already have faith in their own self-study skills or are running out of time to study before their scheduled exam.
The one thing regarding style you should remember between the two is that Magoosh only offers video instruction. This is a bonus if you can’t be bothered to read long text, but might be more challenging for those who prefer reading to study. The one-on-one kind of training from Kaplan ensures that you can ask questions all the way through the last lesson in the program.
Magoosh will usually also offer its explanation via a PowerPoint presentation, with a voiceover from an instructor. There are no complicated animations or a tutor speaking to you live.
Kaplan makes sure that there’s a live instructor guiding you throughout the process, so if you want a real person to answer your questions during the prep course, then go for Kaplan. The email feature Magoosh offers is something that Kaplan doesn’t have. If you’re more of a hands-on learner, then the email assistance from Magoosh will make your study simpler and more organized.
An expert reviewer also saw that the videos from Kaplan are a bit slower, so you might like that if what you want is a detailed explanation of a topic given to you at a slower pace.
Overall, we need to emphasize here that you have more options of GRE prep programs if you go for Kaplan, compared to Magoosh. From questions, lectures, full-length mock exams, and filtered quizzes, Kaplan offers lessons that are closer to what will appear on an actual GRE exam.
The strength of Magoosh in this area is that it allows students to make a study plan. You can use the dashboard to organize a list of lessons you can plan to finish studying within a day. This is a feature that you will not see in Kaplan.
If you’re the type of student who requires an assistant to make the lesson plan for you, then it’s a definite plus for your prep to use Magoosh.
Kaplan has better sets of practice questions compared to Magoosh. Kaplan’s questions tend to be harder than Magoosh because they cover a wider scope.
If you want more intricately designed questions that will dig into a subject with more detail, go for Kaplan. Magoosh will be good for fundamental questions in math and language, but they’re not as in-depth as Kaplan’s.
With 250 video lessons and 3 practice tests for Magoosh, you’re already getting a solid core of study material. However, the Kaplan’s self-paced option will give you about 180 hours worth of video library lessons with textbooks included. You probably already know of Kaplan as a renowned distributor and maker of quality textbooks, so you’re getting that as an added bonus in your payment.
Refinement is the strength of Kaplan, as seen in their teaching style. If you’re looking for a more detailed and nuanced way of learning GRE topics, you’d be better off going for Kaplan. There are reviewers who claim that what Magoosh offers deviates sometimes from the test-taking format of GRE
The premium features and one-on-one assistance that Kaplan offers are more personal and curated to fit your unique learning pace.
If you want guaranteed score improvements for your GRE, you’d be happy to know that both prep courses offer money-back guarantee. There’s even a 5-point guarantee from Magoosh. If you completed the program, including watching the lesson videos and taking all the practice tests, and you didn’t see a 5 point improvement in your GRE score, then Magoosh will offer a complete refund.
Just make sure you have a PayPal account so you can easily get the refund transferred to your account. Very importantly, don’t forget to upload a screenshot of your “before” report at the beginning of the program or you will not be eligible to the refund.
Kaplan also guarantees that your score will be higher after completing the course (though they don’t put a number on the increase). If you do not improve your score, you can get your money back or choose to have your Kaplan course reactivated for 12 weeks with no additional charge. If you score higher after completing the Kaplan course, but still aren’t satisfied with the result, you also have the option of 12 extra weeks of study at no additional cost.
If you’re trying to master your verbal or writing skills, you’d have to go for Kaplan’s essay help assistant. It offers more detailed assistance in your essay writing skills assessed by certified Kaplan instructors.
These instructors can score your essay papers and give you feedback in a couple of days.
Magoosh, however, doesn’t offer essay help or any grading feature. There are, however, several videos at your disposal that you can watch at your own pace. Articles, blog posts, and tips are also available for the analytical writing assessment.
While these articles and tips help, these are not at par with actual grading and human feedback that Kaplan offers.
Kaplan vs Magoosh: The Winner
After careful analysis and comparison of duration, price, teaching style, and other factors as the criteria, the winner is: Kaplan.
We chose Kaplan because of its quality and quantity. Kaplan offers a higher volume of options and knowledge library compared to Magoosh, and their detailed teaching style will pay off for most people.
Magoosh might be enough for you if you’re taking the GRE prep course a few weeks before the actual test, so you’d have enough resources to cover the basics, but did cramming ever really offer good results?
Magoosh does have the cost advantage which some people may need to consider more seriously for budget constraints. However, if you want to be more prepared and have more options in your prep guide, Kaplan offers better variety.
So there you have it: you now have a comprehensive analysis of two great GRE prep courses. Which one ultimately works best for you will depend on your priority. Regardless of the GRE prep program you’re taking, it’s always important to be dedicated, committed, and diligent in your study plans for successful results.