Kaplan’s GRE Review [2021 Update]- $500 Discount

Plenty of people say the Kaplan brand is one of the best in the test prep business. But can Kaplan help with your GRE preparation?

The Kaplan brand pretty much jump-started the entire test prep industry when they first started offering assistance to SAT test-takers more than 80 years ago. Fast forward to today, and it’s still a leading brand in the business.

In 2008, the brand was making $2.3 billion a year with more than a million students taking their prep courses for a wide variety of standardized tests. Today, they have more than 2 million students a year.

It’s not surprising if you’re thinking about going with Kaplan to prepare for the GRE, but there are a lot of great options out there now. Are you sure Kaplan is right for your needs? You’re the one who needs to answer that question, but we can offer you the facts you need to make an informed decision.

Course Feature Highlights

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) · 21 hours of live instruction

· At least 180 hours of online instruction and practice

· 35 hours of GRE Channel elective live instruction

· 5,000+ practice questions w/ Qbank

· 7 full-length computer-based practice tests

· Mobile app for flashcards

· 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

 

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.

Plenty of Full-Length Practice Tests

With Kaplan, you get 7 full-length computer-based practice tests with just the basic Self-Paced package. With other brands, you often get fewer of these tests.

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.

It’s also why Kaplan offers its “Smart Report” that offers a detailed review of your performance after each practice test. By knowing the areas that need more review, you’re able to tailor your study plan to improve your weak areas.

The GRE Channel

This is the channel that supplements your practice questions and online instruction. 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.

The Official 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, maybe you’re 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.

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.

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.

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