Kaplan and UWorld NCLEX are among most popular NCLEX prep companies in the market right now. But which one is better choice for your study style and knowledge level? In this thorough comparison, we’ll take a careful look and offer our unbiased opinions.
Here, we’ll contrast the NCLEX-RN test preparation offered by each organization. We believe it is best to first look into both Kaplan and Uworld’s summary before doing the feature wise comparison.
Video Lessons and Content
Kaplan stands head and should above UWorld as far as video lessons and content is concerned. And the reason for it is that while UWorld offers nothing of the type (apart from limited High Yield videos), Kaplan offers a ton of reliable content through live and recorded lectures, books and content review sessions.
- 300+ Videos covering various nursing topics.
- 500+ page ebook on selected packages.
- 8 hours of lectures/Nursing Channel
- NCLEX-RN Content Review Guide (You can buy it separately on Amazon as well)
As mentioned, the majority of your subject learning and review using UWorld happens through explanations of the problems. However, with Kaplan, practice and review only make up a portion of the comparison.
If you want to look beyond Kaplan for video lessons, check our Nursing.com review here .
Practice Tests and Questions
The majority of prospective nurses find that repeatedly answering practice questions is the best way to get ready for the NCLEX. As a result, the content, level of difficulty, and practice questions quality play a significant role.
We found Kaplan’s practice materials are more relevant than UWorld’s. Although both companies’ problems are generally good, Kaplan’s review program is simply a better and closer match for the real NCLEX exam. They closely resemble the examination, and Kaplan’s CAT program’s adaptiveness appears to be a little more effective than UWorld’s.
Both courses provide more than 2,000 practice questions. In the context of the test format for NCLEX-RN, Kaplan stresses particular decision-making techniques. The “Kaplan Decision Tree Method” is taught in their preparation classes as a logical approach to each topic. In the words of the organization, “critical thinking is a critical skill” for passing tests on a wide range of difficult subjects.
To help you get ready for the varied formats on the real test such as sorted lists and hotspot items), 30% of UWorld’s Qbank test questions have alternate formats. Additionally, UWorld’s courses include built-in proprietary analytics and graphics tools like performance graphs. These are useful tools that you can use to compare your performance to that of other test prep students.
While the options from UWorld offer two self-assessments, the 60-day course only offers one self-assessment (a practice test).
Explanations of Questions and Performance Metrics
Although Kaplan’s practice questions are generally of higher quality, we believe that UWorld’s problem explanations are superior. Their explanations for the answers are quite detailed and have fantastic pictures.UWorld NCLEX provides comprehensive explanations, detailing the medical reasoning behind every right and wrong answer. To enhance understanding, each explanation is also accompanied by a corresponding image or diagram, simplifying the grasp of complex concepts.
UWorld’s rationales are hard to beat even though we certainly liked Kaplan’s review materials and found them to be more than adequate. Additionally, we liked UWorld’s performance metrics and progress trackers. Just a little bit more analysis of your current skill level is done by their data. Even though UWorld is a much smaller organization than Kaplan, it has a track record thanks to the 700,000 students who have used its other courses and NCLEX RN prep course.
Due to their perceptiveness and visual components, UWorld’s Qbank practice questions in particular have received positive reviews. Google Play users have given the UWorld NCLEX mobile app, which is part of all courses, a 4.6/5 rating.
NCLEX Test Taking Strategies
Kaplan NCLEX is an excellent choice for those aiming to improve their test-taking strategies. Kaplan NCLEX is known for its ” Decision tree for NCLEX”. This method helps you interpret and handle the varied questions encountered in the NCLEX examination, which tests your ability to manage different nursing situations. Overall, you NCLEX performance is a reflection of your competency as an entry-level nurse.
Contrarily, while UWorld NCLEX offers in-depth explanations and detailed rationales with illustrations, it lacks a structured strategy to guide answering questions. It doesn’t emphasize test-taking tips and strategies much.
Kaplan NCLEX outperforms UWorld NCLEX in this aspect. Therefore, if you need to strengthen your test taking strategy, Kaplan NCLEX is recommended.
Duration of Content Access
The standard response to this question is “it depends”. Kaplan offers packages that range from a 30-day package of access up to a 180-day package.
For example, 6 months for those of you who aren’t good in a specific subject area. This one is tied if you purchase UWorld’s premium subscription which gives you full access to all of their features.
Prices and Available Courses
At first glance, it would appear that UWorld is winning in this aspect, thanks to its reasonable prices.
On closer inspection, however, we really believe Kaplan offers more value in this situation. While they are more expensive in terms of pure money in contrast to UWorld, they also provide access to pre-recorded class lessons, optional face-to-face sessions, and books.
We actually prefer the value you get with Kaplan for just a few hundred dollars more. Additionally, Kaplan actually has the advantage when comparing just Qbanks on an apples-to-apples basis with its $99 Qbank of 2,100 questions.
Additional NCLEX Study Resources
Once again, Kaplan wins this category with ease. While UWorld’s customizable flashcards were a great extra that we commonly used, it is purely impossible to match Kaplan’s additional materials.
Kaplan offers a sample book, a review guide, email and chat support, access to their NCLEX channel, and more. The NCLEX Channel is by far the most famous resource, with almost daily live classes and archived webcasts that go in-depth on certain topics covered on the NCLEX.
Refunds for products purchased directly from UWorld are assessed individually. Any refund amounts decided upon by UWorld are conclusive and non-negotiable.
So,this one is quite clear-cut: Kaplan offers a money-back guarantee (or free extension offer), but UWorld does not in the event that you fail the NCLEX on your first attempt.
User Interface and Experience
Kaplan offers a wide array of features and tools, including adaptive tests, strategy lessons, content reviews, round-the-clock access to the NCLEX Channel, and live online lectures from NCLEX experts.
UWorld offers a simple and user-friendly platform with practice tests designed to mimic the real NCLEX RN test experience. This design aims to boost your comfort and confidence during the actual examination.
Both Kaplan and UWorld offer highly-rated mobile applications to facilitate learning on the go. While Kaplan stands out for its extensive features and learning modes, UWorld shines in terms of ease of navigation.
So, It’s a tie in this case. Both have really attractive, clear user interfaces that are simple to use. In terms of aesthetics, their contemporary interfaces and usability are comparable, and both have blazingly quick load times.
Verdict: Kaplan vs. UWorld NCLEX
The difference between Kaplan and UWorld in terms of pure practice material is quite small, with Kaplan maybe holding a little lead.
We found UWorld’s problem explanations were better, while Kaplan’s practice questions were more like the real NCLEX questions. But there is no denying that Kaplan is the better option here when it comes to comprehensive NCLEX training.
Kaplan provides the superior overall NCLEX prep choice with high-quality pre-recorded lessons, optional face-to-face sessions, a hard copy of their review materials, and additional materials that are not offered by UWorld. This is particularly relevant given that their self-paced course costs less than $200 more and includes these features.
Choose Kaplan NCLEX if
- You have more than 2 months to prepare.
- You need to fine-tune your test-taking skills.
- Need comprehensive material for preparation.
- Need a money-back guarantee.
Choose UWorld NCLEX if
- You have less than 2 months to prepare.
- You are confident of concepts and just need decent practice questions.
- You are limited by budget. (Check Nurse Plus or Nursing.com if budget is your main concern)
- If you're on the lookout for live class options to give structure & NCLEX-like practice questions and mock tests, then Kaplan might be right for you.
- If you have limited time to prepare and basic concepts are fresh on your mind, Nurse Plus or UWorld practice questions would be a better fit.
- If you prefer the convenience of studying via your smartphone or tablet, then this course is tailored for you.
Comprehensive Content Review: Content provides an in-depth view of topics from physiology, and anatomy to pediatric nursing. This ensures that nursing students get a good foundation of necessary skills and knowledge in their careers.
Personalized Study Plan and a Progress Tracker: You get a personalized study plan that focuses on individual strengths and weaknesses. You can focus on the weak areas and put in more effort by requesting personalized help. Through the progress tracker, students can view other scores, areas of strengths, and weaknesses. This feedback is essential in enabling them to identify areas that need more concentration.
- Unique Decision Tree strategy: The Kaplan Decision Tree helps students to analyze NCLEX questions critically, enhancing their likelihood of providing correct answers by promoting deeper understanding over mere fact memorization.
Practice Questions: 3000+ practice questions in the Kaplan program are formatted in a way that simulates the real NCLEX exam. You have a chance to assess your knowledge of a particular topic and identify areas that need more hours of learning and practice.
- Diagnostic Tests: Kaplan provides a diagnostic test to identify students' weak areas, enabling them to customize their study plans accordingly, with some of these tests available for free on Kaplan's website.
- Full-length tests: You get 3 full-length tests that have pretty realistic questions.
Test-Taking Strategies: Kaplan's tutors help you with different approaches to the exam to clear the test. These strategies include critical thinking and time management and will help you eliminate incorrect answers depending on a specific situation.
Live and On-Demand Classes ( via NCLEX Channel): Kaplan understands that students' schedules might not always align with the hours given for lessons. As such, the program offers the flexibility of live and on-demand classes that will accommodate all students. Students have the chance to interact with the instructors and other students for social growth and convenience purposes.
Mobile App: Kaplan’s mobile app enables students to study on the go. Through the app, students can access study materials and resources and stay on track with their studies.
- 7 Days Free Trial Option
- Money Back Guarantee: Kaplan NCLEX Review offers an option of a money-back guarantee for students who do not pass the exam on their first trial. This is a nice option since it gives you a chance to redeem yourself and work hard for a second attempt.
- Best Live Classes in the category.
- Includes in-person lessons in particular locations.
- Some students find Kaplan's Decision tree strategy useful.
- Realistic practice questions.
- Offers some of the best and most flexible pre-recorded videos with expert tips.
- Includes printed prep materials and 500+ page e-book.
- Money-back guarantee.
- Not Cheap for the Self-paced Course
- Overwhelming amount of information might not be suitable if concepts are fresh in your mind.
- Harder practice tests might be discouraging to some users. However, it helps you mentally prepare for the test.
You can also check our top NCLEX prep picks here.
Is Kaplan NCLEX harder than actual test?
It is hard to judge computer adaptive tests as every students face different level of questions. But yes, it has been widely reported by students that Kaplan CAT is harder than real NCLEX. Note that this also helps you breeze through real NCLEX as it feels easier. You should not get discouraged by one bad score in full length Kaplan test.
Is Kaplan or UWorld better for NCLEX prep option?
Following a thorough analysis of both preparation options, we recommend Kaplan over UWorld for NCLEX preparation. With the exception of issue explanations, we assess Kaplan’s NCLEX preparation materials as being superior in almost every category.
Is Kaplan good to pass NCLEX?
Yes. Unless you are very weak in concepts, Kaplan NCLEX should be enough to pass NCLEX. If you are very weak in basic concepts,you should try one of the popular NCLEX review books.
Which is superior between Kaplan Qbank and UWorld?
Since Kaplan’s NCLEX sample questions are close to actual NCLEX issues, we find them to be preferable. On the other hand, we prefer UWorld’s problem explanations over Kaplan’s since we think they are more thorough.
Which NCLEX study guide is less expensive, Kaplan or UWorld?
Kaplan is more affordable than UWorld when comparing the pure Qbank price. Although UWorld’s NCLEX preparation options are less expensive than Kaplan’s self-paced course, this comparison is not apt as Uworld is mostly a question bank rather than comprehensive prep course.