Kaplan GRE Review [2023 Update]- $500 Discount

Kaplan is an undisputed leader in the test preparation industry, with a long and successful track record of helping students achieve their goals. However, their expertise and resources come at a steep price. For graduate school hopefuls, the question remains: does Kaplan’s premium GRE course justify the investment?

In this comprehensive review, we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of Kaplan’s GRE prep program. We will offer you the facts you need to make an informed decision  to help you pick best GRE prep course for you.

Course Features and Pricing

Kaplan offers various course formats with prices ranging from an affordable self-guided On Demand course at $450 to expensive private tutoring packages. Kaplan’s prices are similar to competitors like Princeton Review and Manhattan Prep, although Manhattan Prep’s self-paced course is about $100 cheaper. For more budget-friendly options, consider Magoosh or PrepScholar.

Here’s a quick look at your options if you decide to go with Kaplan for your GRE test preparation. The table shows the test course names, prices, and features for each course.

Self-Paced ($449) · At least 180 hours of online instruction and practice

· 35 hours of GRE Channel elective live instruction

· More than 5,000 practice questions w/ Qbank

· 7 full-length computer-based practice tests

· Mobile app for flashcards

· 2 prep books for the GRE

· Official Test Day Experience

· 6-month online access

Self-Paced PLUS ($699) · Everything included on the Self-Paced plan

· GRE Math Foundations – Self-Paced

· GRE Advanced Math – Self-Paced

Live Online – Lecture ($999) · Everything included on the Self-Paced plan

· 21 hours of live instruction

·  At least 180 hours of online instruction and practice

·  Official Test Day Experience

· 2 prep books for the GRE

Live Online PLUS- Lecture ($1,299) · Everything on Live Online – Lecture

· 3 hrs of 1-on-1 tutoring

· GRE Math Foundations — Self-Paced

· GRE Advanced Math — Self-Paced

Live Online – Small Class ($1,199) · The same as with Live Online – Lecture, but with face-to-face Zoom Classroom

· More engagement and participation

Live Online PLUS – Small Class ($1,499) · The same as with Live Online PLUS– Lecture, but with face-to-face Zoom Classroom

· More engagement and participation

Private Tutoring

· $2,299 for 10 hours

· $3,199 for 20 hours

· $3,999 for 30 hours

· $4,899 for 40 hours

· 10, 20, 30, or 40 hours

· Full-length practice tests with score analysis

· Prep books

· Access to on-demand practice questions

· Official Test Day Experience to walk you through every aspect of test day

· Hundreds of hours of on-demand instruction on the GRE Channel

· A full In Person or Live Online course

Course Overview

Kaplan’s GRE course provides high-quality video lessons that keep students engaged with compelling instructors, visuals, and strategies.

During each video lesson, a Kaplan instructor can be seen onscreen in front of a digital whiteboard. They guide you through the lesson, which can vary in length from a few minutes to over an hour, sharing strategies, explaining concepts, and solving problems. As they speak, the digital whiteboard updates with notes, text, and graphics.

All of Kaplan’s instructor-led and self-paced courses come with complete libraries of videos that cover all of the most important GRE topics.

Kaplan GRE Video lesson sample
                                                                                                                 Kaplan GRE Video lesson sample

Kaplan’s engaging video lectures showcase instructors occasionally shifting their approach, using a marker to work on problems directly on the screen. The combination of diverse instructional methodsdigital enhancements, and excellent production quality results in a first-rate video lesson experience. The lessons adeptly explain complex concepts and provide memorable tips to help the material “stick”. Students can follow along using comprehensive course books.

Short quizzes reinforce each lesson, with detailed explanations for every question.

Kaplan sectional practice test
                                                                                                                  Kaplan sectional practice test

For every problem, Kaplan provides a comprehensive written explanation that deconstructs the problem and clarifies why each answer choice is right or wrong. Kaplan’s GRE video lessons offer helpful text explanations that strike the perfect balance of detail. Unlike some courses that can overwhelm with excessive information, Kaplan’s explanations deliver the essential knowledge about a practice problem without any unnecessary content.

Answer Explanation sample
Answer Explanation sample

Students get over 2,500 practice problems and 180 hours of instruction. Additional PDFs provide further review, though they mainly reiterate the digital content.

The course impresses at every turn. The engaging video lessons deliver substantive, strategic content. Succinct explanations and customized practice sets further strengthen understanding.

In summary, :

  1. Engaging, high-quality video lessons with visuals and memorable strategies.
  2. Course books to follow along and take notes.
  3. Quizzes and over 2,500 practice problems with detailed explanations to reinforce lessons.
  4. 180 hours of comprehensive instruction.
  5. Additional PDFs for review, though largely duplicative of digital content.
  6. Substantive, strategic content and explanations that help the material “stick”.

For students seeking an interactive, thorough GRE course with prestigious instruction, Kaplan provides a compelling option. Their materials stand out not just for the quantity of content but the quality, engagement, and reinforcement throughout. For the right student, Kaplan offers a premier learning experience worthy of their reputation and cost.

Plenty of Full-Length Practice Tests

Kaplan GRE prep courses provide access to 7 full-length practice tests with each package. These tests closely resemble the official GRE platform, including its adaptive features. Kaplan’s practice tests give students a realistic testing experience, and their “Smart Reports” analyze performance by various factors like timing and question difficulty. The value of these tests goes beyond practicing and reviewing, or even to just familiarize yourself with taking the GRE test. These tests are diagnostic, which means you’re able to monitor your progress more frequently. While other test prep companies may offer more practice tests, Kaplan’s offering is still competitive and highly effective.

Video explanation of full length practice test question
                                                                        Video explanation of full length practice test question

The Official Test Day Experience

Kaplan offers an exclusive feature that allows you to take one of your practice tests at a Prometric center, providing an authentic simulation of the test day experience. As far as we know, no other brand offers this type of feature in their GRE test prep courses. It’s like a full-length practice test, but much more like the real thing.

With a full-length practice test, you may be in a comfortable room wearing comfy clothes, with snacks and drinks by your side. Maybe you’re taking the practice test at a time when you’re most relaxed and alert. But with the real GRE test, it’s much more stressful. This Official Test Day Experience mimics the entire event, with a set time and day. You also have to travel to an official test facility to take this “practice” test. But going through an accurate simulation of the real thing, you’ll be more familiar with the experience when the real GRE test day comes. You should be more relaxed by that day—it’s no longer a new thing for you.

Kaplan GRE Channel

Kaplan’s GRE prep course includes access to the “GRE Channel,” a bonus resource featuring live video lessons hosted by top Kaplan instructors. This channel offers live instruction, as well as lots of archived video lessons. You can pick and choose what you want to watch so that you can build confidence in areas you sometimes struggle with. This is a great option right after a practice test, as you can pick the video lesson you want to watch to strengthen your problem areas. The GRE channel also offers new programs and lessons, with new programs each week.

These lessons delve deeper into specific GRE topics, supplementing core instruction with examples, strategies, and practice problems.

Kaplan GRE Channel Sample
                                                                                                                Kaplan GRE Channel Sample

Students can participate via a message board. Over 40 hours of pre-recorded lessons are available, sortable by subject, difficulty, and instructor. While the GRE Channel is a valuable add-on, the core instruction already provides 180+ hours of content, so these extra lessons may not be essential for all students but are insightful for those who have the time and energy.

GRE channel interface

Kaplan GRE Prep Book

Kaplan GRE prep courses include two hardcopy prep books, which complement the online content and contain lessons, strategies, and practice problems. The books are available in PDF format for those who prefer e-books. While some may find the books lengthy and the material extensive, most students appreciate the high-quality, well-written, and thorough content provided in addition to the online resources.

Overall User Experience

Kaplan’s online platform offers a clean, professional, and user-friendly interface with a practical and pleasant experience. However, one minor complaint is that lessons and quizzes open in new browser tabs, which can be inconvenient when navigating through multiple lessons or quizzes, resulting in multiple open tabs. Despite this small issue, the overall user experience is positive.

Live Classes

With Kaplan GRE course options other than Self-Paced one, you receive 21 hours of live instruction, either online or in-person. Classes typically meet once or twice a week for 3-hour sessions, led by a consistent instructor. Many students prefer live courses for the personalized attention and face-to-face interaction.

In-person courses, when paired with a skilled instructor, can offer great value. The Kaplan class experience is generally pleasant, with knowledgeable instructors who effectively communicate the material while maintaining a light atmosphere. It is recommended to choose the twice-a-week sessions to stay engaged with the material and prevent the course from feeling too drawn out.

1-on-1 tutoring

Kaplan offers personalized 1-on-1 tutoring for those seeking additional support. Private tutoring packages start at around $2,300 and range from 10 to 40 hours, depending on your needs. You can also purchase individual tutoring hours as needed, although discounted rates are available with package deals.

While Kaplan’s tutoring rates may seem pricey, they are comparable to competitor offerings. Affordable GRE tutoring options may not always guarantee quality, so it’s worthwhile to invest in a reputable tutoring service for the best results

PROs

Here are some of the reasons why quite a few people go with the Kaplan GRE test prep courses:

Reasonable Prices

The prices start at $450 for the basic Self-Paced package, and in return, you get a lot. Add more money to your GRE prep budget, and you get a lot more value in return. Everything feels like you’re getting a good deal.

Even the seemingly expensive private tutoring options are bargains when you consider that you get the Live Online course with all the perks. You also get the full-length practice tests, on-demand practice questions, the Official Test Day Experience, and hundreds of hours of on-demand instruction on the GRE Channel.

You can also opt for paying monthly, without having to pay interest. So, if you’re not ready to pay the full $449 for the basic Self-Paced package, you can just pay $38 a month. Lots of students pay more for coffee each month than you will on this plan.

And if these prices aren’t enough, you can usually visit the Kaplan GRE site and enjoy discounts of up to $200 or even $300 off.

You Get A Lot for Your Money

Just the basic Self-Paced option is proof of how much value you get for your money.

Here’s a closer look at the features:

  • At least 180 hours of online instruction and practice
  • 35 hours of GRE Channel elective live instruction
  • More than 5,000 practice questions w/ Qbank
  • 7 full-length computer-based practice tests
  • Mobile app for flashcards
  • 2 prep books for the GRE
  • Official Test Day Experience
  • 6-month online access

These features rival that of the higher-tier GRE prep courses offered by other brands. You rarely find this many resource materials in different formats when looking at the cheapest GRE option from other brands.

More Than 5,000 Practice Questions

You have 6 months of access, which gives you enough time to deal with these many practice questions. Other brands offer only about 2,000+ questions, with a handful offering about 3,000.

With 5,000 questions, Kaplan offers one of the highest amounts of practice questions for their basic course. It’s the highest number of practice questions you can get, with the possible exception of the Princeton Review GRE. You won’t end up having to repeat questions because you won’t run out of new ones to tackle.

Quiz Bank

This feature lets you pick the type of questions you get to practice, so you can focus on the areas you want to improve in.

You can filter the questions according to the type of question you want to practice, or you can make sure you get practice questions with a particular level of difficulty.

With Quizbank, you can answer and do a review for each question (which is particularly helpful if you got it wrong). Or you can practice your time management by using the timed mode, which is similar to the real GRE.

CONs

The Kaplan GRE prep courses may be great, but they may not suit everyone. Here are some drawbacks that you need to consider.

It’s Not Cheap

The most affordable course here is priced at $449, and that’s a higher price than what many brands are offering for their cheapest GRE prep course. Some of their prices for their basic package are half that of what Kaplan charges.

Admittedly, there are brands that don’t offer as much as Kaplan does, since Kaplan offers a lot. But some of them argue that you can get by with fewer review materials and that you don’t need too many anyway.

It Requires Dedication on Your Part

With 5,000 practice questions, lots of hours of online instruction, 7 practice tests, and even an Official Test Day Experience, it’s safe to say that you’re not just investing your money with Kaplan. You also need to devote a lot of time and effort to make sure that none of these features go to waste.

What this means is that for 6 months, most of your focus will be on your GRE review. That can be difficult when you’re juggling your review hours with a full-time job.

Limited Mobile Platform

Kaplan offers an app for its flashcards, which should work for most people. When you have a few minutes free every now and then during the day, these flashcards offer short lessons to occupy your time.

But it would be nice if Kaplan offers a more mobile-suited website or an app that lets people access the site more effectively. It’s true that you can also use the site with your smartphone. Still, some of the features are more limited and you only get full value from the features if you use a desktop PC or a laptop.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Magoosh GRE

Magoosh GRE

  • One of the most popular GRE programs.
  • Free trial available. 6 months subscription.
  • 1400+ Practice Questions. 3 Practice Exams. 
  • Available online on-demand. No in-person classes.
  • 5 Points improvement guarantee.
  • $169-$499
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Princeton Review

Princeton Review

  • GRE test prep with live classes.
  • Free trial available.2700+ Practice Questions.
  • 8 High-quality Practice Exams which simulate real GRE experience and difficulty
  • 5 Points improvement guarantee.
  • 4 months subscriptions.
  • Self-Paced Course: $399, Fundamentals: $1,099, GRE 162+: $2,149,GRE 162+ Tutoring: $156/hour
  • Higher Score Guarantee. Curriculum centered on interactive learning modules
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Kaplan GRE

Kaplan GRE

  • Both Live and on-demand class options with a wide selection of courses.
  • Score higher or money-back guarantee/repeat the course.
  • 7 full-length practice exams and 5000+ practice questions.
  • On-Demand Course: $449 ,Online Course: $999, Question bank & Practice Test Bundle: $199, Practice Test 4-Pack: $149, Question bank: $69 ,Tutoring: $2,299

Get DealsRead Full Review
Prep Scholar GRE

Prep Scholar GRE

  • Provides a lot of free resources including a 5-day free trial.
  • Seven-point score increase guarantee or your money back.
  • Affordable pricing $38-$345.
Get Deals

FAQs

Can I get an extension on the course if I want to get a little extra studying in before test day?

Yes, it is possible to get an extension on your Kaplan course within 60 days of the expiration of your initial course. However, there will be an associated cost which varies depending on the individual course.

What are my options if I have a disability?

Kaplan works to provide materials in a variety of formats that are accessible even to students with disabilities. You can go to their website to learn more about their services and request accommodation.

Who Should Use a Kaplan GRE Test Prep Course?

You’re a prime candidate for the Kaplan GRE review courses if:

You Can Afford It

Sure, you get a lot of value for your money, and the Kaplan prices are reasonable. But quite a few brands offer more affordable GRE review options.

With live instruction, you can quickly get past the $1,000 price point. Private tutoring gets even more expensive (which is why some of the cheaper brands don’t even offer it).

You Want Varied Formats and Resources

There are actually people who just like practice questions, or who only want video lessons. But with Kaplan, you get the shotgun approach with different formats available for your review. If you like variety in the ways you learn and study for the GRE, Kaplan is your brand.

You Don’t Mind Practice Tests

Practice tests are great diagnostic tools, but they do require large chunks of your time. With Kaplan, you have 7 practice tests. That’s a large amount of time devoted to diagnostics. You better plan your schedule accordingly, so that you’re not disturbed when taking any of these tests.

You Want to Be Familiar with the Actual GRE Test Experience

Granted, the Official Test Day Experience isn’t as valuable for those who have already taken the GRE previously. But for the first time GRE test-takers, this is an invaluable feature that no other brand offers. You get to simulate the whole process and experience the stress, so you’ll be familiar with it.

You Trust Long-Standing Brands

Kaplan is the pioneer brand for the whole test prep industry. It’s the brand that started the idea that companies can provide tutoring assistance that actually works.

So, if you would rather pay more for a proven brand than go with the newer yet cheaper GRE test prep brands, Kaplan is certainly the smart choice. You can also check comparison with Manhattan, Princeton Review, and Magoosh.

Kaplan GRE
  • Both Live and on-demand class options with a wide selection of courses.
  • Score higher or money-back guarantee/repeat the course.
  • 7 full-length practice exams and 5000+ practice questions.
  • On-Demand Course: $449 ,Online Course: $999, Question bank & Practice Test Bundle: $199, Practice Test 4-Pack: $149, Question bank: $69 ,Tutoring: $2,299

Conclusion

Kaplan has been at the forefront of the test prep industry since the very beginning, and no one doubts its quality and effectiveness. You can see it for yourself. Each package offers a comprehensive set of review materials, including the entry-level Self-Paced option.

As you upgrade, you then get more varied formats, including live instruction and private tutoring. The prices are reasonable, you get a lot, and plenty of people attest to its effectiveness. If you want a solid investment in GRE test preparation, you certainly have a better chance of getting your money’s worth with Kaplan. If you want to explore other options, check our buying guide here.

Kaplan GRE’s Official Website