Magoosh vs Manhattan: Which one is Better?

As you finish up your bachelor’s degree and start considering your career path more seriously, you may realize that down the road a graduate degree can help you. That graduate degree may be the deciding factor that gives you a higher position or better salary you’re after.

Graduate degrees can be expensive, but if you see those costs as part of your investment, eventually, you’ll recoup what you spent with the higher salary.

That also means that spending for your GRE exam and the study preparation for the exam is also an investment. The right GRE score can get you into the graduate school program you want to make sure you have the skills and training you need for your dream job.

In this review, we will look more closely at two GRE prep courses: Manhattan and Magoosh. Manhattan is a premium brand when it comes to test preparation so its GRE prep courses aren’t exactly cheap. Magoosh has quickly made a solid reputation for itself by proving that you don’t have to spend a lot to get assistance for your GRE preparation.

Which one is better? We compare the two brands directly according to various factors so that you can decide the matter for yourself.

Cost

You know what they say about any consumer item—you get what you pay for. That’s certainly true for Manhattan. It does not come cheap, but it offers a high quality program.

On the other hand, this is the factor that established the Magoosh fame in the online test prep industry. Magoosh demonstrates that even with a little bit of money, you can end up sufficiently prepared for whatever the GRE throws at you.

Manhattan Prices

Manhattan offers a wide range of study options and packages. That has resulted in a wide range of price points to consider. Take a look:

  • $249 (access for a month)
  • $349 (access for 2 months)
  • $399 (access for 6 months)
  • $510 (Private tutoring, 2 hours)
  • $699 (Just Math)
  • $1,199 (Live Online Summer Complete Course)
  • $1,399 (GRE for MBA Course)
  • $2,450 (Private tutoring for 10 hours, with all books and resources)
  • $4,600 (Private tutoring for 20 hours, with all books and resources)
  • $6,750 (Private tutoring for 30 hours, with all books and resources)

Some of the other premium brands like Princeton Review and Kaplan tend to offer discounts on their prices on a regular basis. That makes those brands more competitive.

But not Manhattan, which seems to have a brand identity based in charging the most. They don’t seem to lack for clients, which tends to justify the prices they’re charging. After all, the right price of anything is whatever the people are willing to pay. In this case, plenty of people are willing to pay these prices for proven results.

But clearly, not everyone can afford these prices. Even the basic $399 Manhattan online self-paced course can seem expensive to students on a budget.

Magoosh Prices

Magoosh only offers 2 price points.

  • 6-Month Premium for $179
  • 1-Month Premium for $149
Magoosh Manhattan
1-Month Premium for $149 $249 (access for a month)
6-Month Premium for $179 $399 (access for 6 months)

 

With these packages, Magoosh is clearly the more affordable. The 6-month access is the best deal because you can save $220. With the single-month access, you save $100 a month going with Magoosh instead of Manhattan. For some students, that’s a handy amount to keep in their wallets.

If the Manhattan basic price of $399 is already too much for you, then there’s no need to discuss the higher prices that Manhattan charges for their premium packages.

For affordability, Magoosh is the clear winner here.

Advantage: Magoosh

GRE Course Plans and Formats

Do you get a lot more when you go with the more expensive Manhattan? Do you get enough with the inexpensive Magoosh? You can probably answer that for yourself when you check out the various packages available from the 2 brands.

Magoosh

With Magoosh, there’s actually just a single basic plan. The only difference between the 2 plans they offer is the length of the access period (1 month vs 6 months).

The basic plan has these features:

  • Comprehensive coverage of Math, Verbal, and AWA
  • 250 video lessons
  • Over 1200 practice questions
  • Video and text explanations to the answers of each question
  • Up to 3 practice tests
  • Flashcards
  • Mobile app
  • Study schedules
  • +5 total score guarantee
  • Email assistance
  • Score predictor
  • Pause your plan

There are special custom plans, though, which cost $149. You can go with either just the Verbal and AWA coverage, or just the Math coverage. These last for 6 months, and you get a +2 score increase guarantee. However, these plans don’t even come with the practice tests, and there’s no score predictor either.

Manhattan

Going with Manhattan, you get an extremely wide range of options to pick from.

Interact ($399) · “Thousands” (at least 100,000) of practice problems and drills

· 6 full-length GRE practice tests

· 77 interactive video lessons

· Detailed video explanations

Just Math ($699) · Live instruction from a 99th-percentile GRE Math expert

· 12 hours of classroom time over 4 class sessions

· A comprehensive syllabus to guide your studies

· Manhattan Prep’s Math Strategy Guide

· The 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems

· The Official Guide to the GRE

· 6 Online GRE Practice Tests

GRE Complete Course ($1,199) · 24 hours of classroom instruction over 8 sessions

· Daily vocabulary emails

· Learning science integrated throughout the course

· 100,000+ practice problems

· 66 interactive video lessons

· Detailed video explanations

· 6 full-length, computer-adaptive GRE practice tests

· On-demand class recordings so you can review concepts anytime

· Manhattan Prep’s GRE mobile app (available on iOS & Android)

· Interactive online syllabus

· Challenge problems

· Vocab flashcards

· 4 books

Private Tutoring · 10, 20, or 30 hours

· Full access to Interact for GRE, our comprehensive, on-demand learning experience

· 66 interactive video-based lessons taught by our expert instructors

· 100,000+ practice problems

· Detailed video explanations

· All lessons available on computer, tablet, and mobile devices

· 6 full-length, computer-adaptive GRE practice tests

· Manhattan Prep’s GRE mobile app (available on iOS & Android)

· Interactive online syllabus

· Challenge problems

· Vocab flashcards

· 4 books

 

As you have seen, the Magoosh plan isn’t bad, but it only gives you the bare bone basics. You even have a few special features you don’t see in the Manhattan packages. For example, with the Magoosh plan, you have the special “pause” feature. Let’s say you’ve studied hard for 3 months, and they you feel like you’ve burned out and want to take a break. You can then “pause” the plan, and ski for 2 months in Colorado. Then you can come back and resume the rest of the remaining 3-month access.

There’s also the guarantee that you increase your score by 5 points, or else you get your money back. You just have to have taken the GRE fairly recently before.

However, with Manhattan you get everything but the kitchen sink. They offer live instruction and 1-on-1 online tutoring. They have books and other resources that Magoosh can’t offer.

The practice tests are even computer-adaptive for Manhattan, while with Magoosh these tests are pooled from your unanswered practice questions.

It’s plain to see that with the wider range of formats available with Manhattan, it wins almost by default.

Advantage: Manhattan

Course Access

With both brands, you can go with the cost-effective 6-month access for the basic package. Manhattan also offers 6-months access for their other packages. Both also offer 1-month access for “last-minute study”.

Still, Magoosh does have that convenient pause feature that can extend the access period way beyond 6 months. You can “pause” the plan, goof off for a few months, and then come back refreshed for the remaining feature.

With Manhattan, you don’t have that feature. You need to stick to their study schedule, or else.

Advantage: Magoosh

Practice Questions

Magoosh gives you 3 practice tests. You only have 1200 or so practice questions to work with, and then you can practice on the remaining practice questions after you’ve reserved enough of those questions for the tests.

With Manhattan, you have more than 100,000 practice questions to work with. That’s not even a typo—it really is a hundred thousand practice questions with 6 full-length computer-adaptive practice tests.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to determine which brand wins this round.

Advantage: Manhattan

Flashcards

Both offer flashcards, but in different ways.

With Magoosh, you get a mobile app that lets you access video lessons through your smartphone. This is also the way to access the flashcards. But at least the flashcards come with the basic plan.

With Manhattan, it’s a separate purchase which you’ll have to pay more for.  Manhattan goes beyond Magoosh though and offers flashcards for math and not just for the verbal section. With the Manhattan flashcards, the vocab section has 2 difficulty levels so you can deal with the essential and advanced questions.

So Magoosh wins here if you’re considering the cost of the flashcards, since the flashcards are “free” with the purchase.

Manhattan wins if you can afford the flashcards, as their flashcards are just superior in quality.

Advantage: TIE (it depends on your priorities)

Video Lessons

This is the core component of the Magoosh GRE prep. You get nice video lessons, and there are 250 video lessons in all.

Manhattan offers less content in this area with just 77 interactive video lessons, but the quality seems to be higher. That’s subjective, of course, but we do have to point out that the hand-picked instructors working with Manhattan come with very impressive resumes.

Still, we do have a definitive advantage here with Magoosh when it comes to the number of lessons available.

Advantage: Magoosh

Live Classroom or Tutoring

Only Manhattan offers these options. They’re quite expensive, especially the tutoring. A single hour of tutoring with Manhattan costs more than the 6-month access with Magoosh.

Advantage: Manhattan

Books

Manhattan offers 4 books for you to check out, to supplement the video lessons and live instruction.

With Magoosh, there are no books. Everything’s online.

Advantage: Manhattan

Free Trials

Both Manhattan and Magoosh offer a 7 day free trial. This is great if you are still uncertain about if it will really work for you. However, there are some differences in what is offered in the trial period. Magoosh offer 20 video lessons and 20 practice questions. Manhattan only offers 15 video lessons with practice questions, but they also offer a full length practice test, which can be a valuable resource!

Advantage: Manhattan

Refunds and Guarantees

In addition to the trial period, Magoosh allows you seven days after making a purchase to decide if it really is the best fit for you. If you contact them within the seven days, your money will be fully refunded for any reason. Manhattan’s service are nonrefundable, once you’ve already taken advantage of the free trial.

Magoosh offer a 5 point increase guarantee, which can give you the peace of mind that you aren’t wasting your money. Manhattan, on the other hand, does not offer a score increase guarantee.

Advantage: Magoosh

Conclusion

Let’s check out how the brands fared in the different factors:

Factor Winner
Prices Magoosh
Course Plans and Formats Manhattan
Course Access Magoosh
Practice Questions Manhattan
Flash Cards TIE
Video Lectures Magoosh
Books Manhattan
Tutoring and Live Instruction Manhattan
Free Trial Manhattan  
Refund Magoosh  
Score Guarantee Magoosh  

If your priority is to save money, then go with Magoosh. You even have a money-back guarantee if you don’t increase your previous GRE score by 5 points.

But if you want more content, more formats, and lots of high quality materials, Manhattan is the clear winner.

Either one can help you meet your goals, but it is important to consider your budget as well as your learning style and preferred means of study before choosing the right prep course for you.