Kaplan GMAT Prep Course Review 2021: What You SHOULD …

Kaplan In-Person
Our Rating
4.12/5
Course Effectiveness90%
Price60%
Ease of Use90%
Student Reviews90%
Highlights
  • Provides a test day experience
  • A good amount of practice questions
  • Wide range of options for packages

Kaplan’s experience in preparing students for standardized tests like the GMAT is reflected in their quality materials and well-trained instructors. However, its great quality comes at a high price.

Course Effectiveness
4.5/5

With its number of practice tests and quality of instruction, the Kaplan GMAT prep course is an effective prep course. Its curriculum was designed to help students improve their skills on all topics covered in the GMAT.

Price
3/5

Kaplan is not the cheapest option out there. It is fair to say that its packages, particularly the live courses, are quite expensive. However, it offers a wide range of course options for students.

Ease of Use
4.5/5

This prep course is really user-friendly. The instructional videos are designed for efficient learning. However, it does not have a mobile app, which would have made the course more accessible.

Student Reviews
4.5/5

Many students who took Kaplan prep classes can attest to how effective it is. Most of them got high scores after taking the course, and some even improved their GMAT scores.

  • Provides a test day experience
  • A good amount of practice questions
  • Wide range of options for packages
  • The GMAT Channel
  • Qbank feature
  • Score improvement guarantee
  • Packages are expensive
  • No mobile app

About Kaplan and Their GMAT Prep Course

Kaplan is a household name when it comes to standardized test preparations. It is one of the most trusted and longest-running prep course companies nationwide, and its GMAT prep course is proof of this. 

Kaplan prep provides practice questions and tests, instructional materials, and even tutoring services to help boost your GMAT preparation. Is the Kaplan GMAT test prep course worth it, however? 

In this Kaplan review, we take a close look at the course’s overall effectiveness, value for money, and ease of use. We’ll also learn what other students who took the Kaplan prep think about the course. 

What Makes This Prep Course Unique?

Kaplan’s Qbank

One thing I liked about Kaplan’s GMAT course is the Qbank. It’s a storage of practice questions on the topics covered by the test. What is impressive about this feature is that it segregates questions that you answered correctly, answered incorrectly, and have not used yet. You can also bookmark practice questions, so you can easily go back to it.

GMAT Channel

If the Qbank is the storage of practice questions, the GMAT channel is the storage of instructional videos. This feature is exclusive to Kaplan, and the videos in it are delivered by their experienced, well-trained instructors. 

I personally think that the GMAT channel is one of the most effective features in this prep course. It has over 30 hours of instructional videos, and they are organized based on topic and difficulty. The videos were easy to understand and really helpful when I was confused about a topic or how to arrive at a correct answer. The GMAT channel is a very good way to work on your weaknesses on the GMAT.

Test run of test day

There’s no better way to prepare yourself for the actual test day than to go on an official trial run, which Kaplan provides. Its GMAT Official Test Day Experience allows you to take a full-length GMAT practice test at a real testing center under the same conditions you’ll experience on test day. The seating style, the time pressure, the proctor – you name it. It will definitely prepare you for the actual exam. 

Curriculum Overview & Effectiveness

Kaplan offers a wide range of options for students. It has live, in-person, and self-paced courses. They even offer tutoring services. Let’s look at what Kaplan courses have to offer. 

Once you enroll in a Kaplan GMAT prep course, you’ll cover all sections of the GMAT. Here’s what you’ll cover each session:

Quantitative 1

This covers problem-solving, data sufficiency methods and strategies, and Algebra. After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand the Kaplan methods and apply them to Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions
  • Identify opportunities in which you can use Kaplan strategies, such as picking numbers and backsolving
  • Perform algebraic operations commonly tested on the GMAT

Quantitative 2

This covers Arithmetic, Number Properties, and Geometry. At the end of this session, you’ll be able to apply Kaplan methods and strategies to questions related to the topics covered. 

Quantitative 3

In this session, you’ll cover and solve problems on proportions, math formulas, and statistics.

Verbal 1

For the first verbal session, you’ll be tackling Critical Reasoning and Introduction to Analytical Writing Assessment. At the end of this session, you’ll be able to:

  • Learn and apply strategies to different types of Critical Reasoning questions
  • Break down and analyze Analytical Writing prompts
  • Understand the scoring for Analytical Writing Assessment

Verbal 2

Here, you’ll cover Reading Comprehension and Introduction to Integrated Reasoning. After this session, you’ll be able to:

  • Learn and apply strategies on answering Reading Comprehension questions
  • Identify and recognize question types that appear on the Integrated Reasoning section
  • Understand the scoring for the Integrated Reasoning section

Verbal 3

This session covers everything about Sentence Correction. At the end of this session, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify grammatical issues commonly found on the Sentence Correction section
  • Learn how to solve Sentence Correction questions more efficiently

I personally find this curriculum effective. I liked how Kaplan organized the study sessions in such a way that quantitative and verbal sections are separated. This way, I got to focus on one topic at a time. It’s balanced overall, too. I did not get overwhelmed in any session. 

Kaplan GMAT prep also provides a score improvement guarantee (1). Meaning, they guarantee that your score will be higher than your diagnostic test or your previous GMAT. Otherwise, you would be eligible for a refund, or you can reactivate your account. 

Course Pricing Options

Kaplan GMAT In-person Course: $1449

This package includes:

  • 18 hours of Live In-person instruction
  • 30+ hours of elective live instruction via Kaplan’s The GMAT Channel
  • 140+ hours of online instruction and practice
  • 9 full-length GMAT practice tests
  • Official Test Day Experience
  • Qbank with 5,000+ practice questions
  • 2 GMAT prep books plus an MBA admissions guide

By adding $400 (total of $1849), you can upgrade this package to Live In-person Plus and get 3 extra hours of 1-on-1 coaching and the GMAT Math Foundations Self-paced Program.

Kaplan GMAT Live Online Course: $1249

This package includes:

  • 18 hours of Live Online instruction
  • 30+ hours of elective live instruction via Kaplan’s The GMAT Channel
  • 140+ hours of online instruction and practice
  • 9 full-length GMAT practice tests
  • Official Test Day Experience
  • Qbank with 5,000+ practice questions
  • 2 GMAT prep books plus an MBA admissions guide

By adding $400 (total of $1649), you can upgrade this package to Live Online Plus and get 3 extra hours of 1-on-1 coaching and the GMAT Math Foundations Self-paced Program.

Kaplan GMAT Self-paced Course: $799

This package includes:

  • 14 hours of recorded instruction
  • 30+ hours of archived video instruction via Kaplan’s The GMAT Channel
  • 140+ hours of online instruction and practice
  • 9 full-length GMAT practice tests
  • Official Test Day Experience
  • Qbank with 5,000+ practice questions
  • 2 GMAT prep books plus an MBA admissions guide

By adding $200 (total of $999), you can upgrade this package to Self-paced Plus and get 30+ hours of elective live instruction on The GMAT Channel and access to the GMAT Math Foundations Self-paced Program.

Kaplan GMAT Tutoring: starts at $2499 (depending on the number of hours)

This package includes:

  • 10, 20, 30, or 40 hours of private, 1-on-1 tutoring 
  • 9 full-length GMAT practice tests with score analysis
  • Prep books
  • Official Test Day Experience
  • Access to the GMAT Channel
  • Qbank with 5,000+ practice questions

Kaplan GMAT Study Pack: $299 (3 months) or $399 (6 months)

This package includes:

  • 14 hours of recorded instruction
  • Short quiz after every lesson
  • 8 full-length GMAT practice tests
  • Qbank with 2,300+ practice questions
  • 2 GMAT prep books plus an MBA admissions guide

Kaplan GMAT Practice Pack: $149 (3 months) or $199 (6 months)

This package includes:

  • Access to Qbank
  • 4 full-length GMAT practice tests

Looking at Kaplan’s GMAT course pricing options, it’s fair to say that all the options are quite expensive. Kaplan is a reputable prep course, and all the materials they give out are of great quality. Plus, Kaplan’s instructors are all well-trained and experienced. It all explains why the prices for the course are high. However, it can still be very expensive for some. 

If you’re willing to invest in a prep course that provides great-quality materials and instruction, then you can go for the In-person or Live Online packages. If you’re looking for cheaper options, you can avail of the study pack or the practice pack. You’d just miss the live instruction, which Kaplan is known for. 

Platform’s Ease of Use

The Kaplan online course for GMAT is user-friendly. To give you a glimpse of what you can expect, I’ll show you some screenshots of the course’s practice tests and video instruction.

The screenshot above was grabbed from a video lesson on Data Sufficiency. You can see the video lecture is very user-friendly. The words on the whiteboard are easy to read. The instructor can also write on the whiteboard for a more effective explanation. There is also an option in the lower-left part of the screen that allows you to turn on the captions. 

Here is another screenshot from the video lectures:

Now, let’s look at the course’s ease of use in terms of practice tests. Here are screenshots from a Kaplan GMAT practice test:

You can see that the test is similar to the GMAT’s structure. As you start the test, you will be given a set of instructions.

Here, you can see how the practice questions are structured. The text is placed on a white background, making it easy to read. On the upper right corner, you can see the time remaining on the particular section you are answering. It is also indicated there which number you are answering, so you can manage your time better. 

Overall, I find Kaplan’s video instruction and practice tests easy to use. The only downside the Kaplan review course has is that it does not have a mobile app for GMAT. It could have been easier if you can access the materials and videos on a mobile app. It would have made the course more accessible. Beyond that, however, this prep course has a very user-friendly online platform.  

Is Kaplan a Reputable Online GMAT Prep Course? (Not a Scam)

With Kaplan’s experience in standardized test preparation and based on my own experience, I can say that Kaplan is definitely NOT a scam. Let’s look at some testimonials from other students who took Kaplan courses for GMAT.

Reviews and Real Unbiased Text and Video Testimonials:

This video is a Kaplan review of a student who took the Kaplan GMAT prep course. He shares how the course helped him reach his goals on the GMAT:

Here are other testimonials from students who took Kaplan’s GMAT prep course:

Final Verdict & Recommendation

For this test prep review, I give the Kaplan GMAT prep course a 4.1 out of 5.

Overall, the Kaplan GMAT course is great. The materials it provides, from the Kaplan GMAT prep book to the online videos and practice exams, are of great quality. The online platform was very easy to use and free from technical issues. However, it does not have a mobile app like most prep courses. 

Kaplan has figured out how to give the students the right strategies and skills they would need to ace the GMAT. However, the great quality service and materials they provide do come at an expensive price. Then again, you can’t put a price on the best score you can possibly get. So be ready to invest in this prep course.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Kaplan updated their CATs to match the shorter test length announced in April 2018. You can also choose the order of the exam test sections, just like on the actual GMAT. 

Kaplan GMAT has one free practice test on its official website (2). All you have to do is register, and you can take the free practice test.

Kaplan guarantees that you’ll improve your score from your diagnostic test or a previous official GMAT test. Otherwise, you’d be eligible for a refund or an extension of your account. Click here for more details on Kaplan’s policy on the Higher Score Guarantee.

References

  1. https://www.kaptest.com/hsg
  2. https://www.kaptest.com/gmat/free/gmat-practice-test-options
Kaplan In-Person
4.12