Kaplan GRE Prep Course Review 2020: What You SHOULD …
Kaplan provides a solid GRE study structure that is conducive to a good learning experience. Students will find Kaplan to be even more effective thanks to its generous provision of course materials.
With its progressive conceptual learning experience, the Kaplan GRE course offers effective study materials but also lacks a few essential fundamental teaching points, specifically in the Mathematics section and Qbank test questions.
Kaplan’s price offers come at a high bargain but, in return, provides an abundance of GRE resources for its students.
Ease of use
I find the review platform and website to be two of the greatest strengths in the Kaplan GRE test prep program. Both are user-friendly with well-structured lesson plans.
Kaplan GRE Test prep reviews rank as one of the highest in the market. Many students praise Kaplan for its great online resources and exam preparation support.
We are supported by our readers. When you buy through links on our site (at no extra cost to you), we may earn commissions from our partners. Learn more
About Kaplan and Its GRE Prep Course
Founder Stanley Kaplan began his journey in 1938 with the belief that the right preparations could make more than a difference in a student’s potential.
He brought that belief into Kaplan’s prep course offers, which is evident in Kaplan’s GRE course program that provides students with a lot of study materials and resources to help them prepare for the exams.
Kaplan also has a of team of teachers to mentor and coach students in the best way possible, providing them with a higher focus and personalized guidance.
What Makes This Prep Course Unique?
The Qbank includes over 2,500 questions to help students assess their strengths and weaknesses while studying for the GRE. Also, students can personalize their testing experience by customizing the test content, question type, and difficulty.
You also have the option to improve your pacing by choosing the timed mode or tutor mode to see explanations to your answers as you go along.
While the Qbank is one of the best features Kaplan’s GRE course offers, the questions aren’t very realistic. If we compare the Kaplan GRE practice test vs. real GRE questions, Kaplan’s questions are easier than the actual GRE’s.
That being said, it would help to use Kaplan’s Qbank features along with an additional practice test resource like EST Powerprep practice tests.
With the GRE Chanel, you’ll be given live instruction access for 5 days a week to any GRE lessons, including past archived videos you can watch anytime you want to.
The GRE Channel offers versatility in a student’s learning experience, especially for those who are new to the program and are looking for a less “traditional” method of learning.
The presentation of videos through the GRE Channel also makes you feel as if you’re in the same room with your instructor rather than simply watching from a screen. This, in effect, provides even better engagement between the student and teacher.
With this diversity available at Kaplan’s GRE course program, it’s highly beneficial for students who are looking for a flexible learning experience.
Official Test Day Experience
The Official Test Day Experience is a unique offer in the Kaplan GRE course program.
Students have the opportunity to take a full-length GRE at a testing center and have their Analytical Writing section scored as well. The testing process will simulate or mimic the experience of what it’s like during the actual exam day.
This environmental preparation will give students the chance to get a better feel of what the GRE is like and to help them find ways to ease their fears or anxiety before the actual test date.
Curriculum Overview & Effectiveness
Kaplan GRE offers 4 types of prep courses to choose from and will suit different learning styles.
- Live Online
The GRE Math Foundations, Advanced Math, and 35 hours of elective live instruction are available only for the Self-paced plus course option at a higher cost.
With 2 prep books and 7 practice tests, the Kaplan self-paced GRE course option can provide a student with plenty of material available to practice on and get a better feel of the actual GRE test date.
The downside to going with the Kaplan self-paced GRE review option is that it can be inflexible at times. The explanations provided assume every student has solid familiarity on the subject. Feedback is also lacking, especially with the practice tests and Qbank.
You’ll need to use other platforms and resources that provide better feedback. This isn’t a gamechanger for some, however.
Choose Self-paced if:
You are most comfortable studying on your own and are confident that you have a solid understanding of the GRE fundamentals, especially in Mathematics or the Quantitative section in general.
This prep course is also suitable if you have the discipline to follow your study plan diligently, and you can manage your time wisely. If you’re easily distracted or tend to procrastinate, it’s best that you enroll in a course where you’re held accountable by an instructor or mentor.
The features offered in the Live Online prep course option are similar to the features offered in the Self-paced course except for the hours of live instruction that you have access to.
Having access to the GRE Channel is also a great feature and is highly beneficial to the student’s overall learning experience.
Live online offers also bridge the gap that students might experience with the Qbank and practice tests. This is because they can refer to instructors for expert guidance.
Live online is also considered to be the most flexible course option that provides a good balance between self-study and traditional classroom learners.
You can also opt for the Live Online – Small Class option, where it follows an online classroom setting with your teacher and classmates.
Unlike the Live Online option, your live instruction will be a one-on-one session. The cost is also higher.
Choose Live Online if:
You prefer a learning style where you can study on your own and, at the same time, have access to a mentor or instructor if you have questions along the way.
You prefer to study in the convenience of your home.
The In-person course option follows a rigid and traditional learning experience which, to some, is the most beneficial and best environment they can work in.
You’ll also have access to the GRE Channel; however, you’ll also have scheduled classes in actual classrooms or centers provided by Kaplan.
Going with the In-person course options will make you feel as if you’re back in college all over again.
This option isn’t suitable for those with a busy schedule and cannot fully commit to showing up for a scheduled class.
Missing one class alone means losing valuable hours of guidance and discussion time between your teacher and classmates which is essential to covering gaps, answers, and lessons in an In-person course option.
Choose In-person if:
You prefer a rigid, traditional classroom learning experience and can fully commit to attending class sessions throughout the months of studying for the GRE.
GRE Tutoring comes either in Online or In-person options and is highly beneficial for students who want a deeper focus into a GRE section or subject area.
What’s great about Kaplan’s GRE tutoring option is the flexibility in hours you can choose starting at 10 hours and 40 hours at most.
It’s also the most expensive to choose from among all the Kaplan GRE class review course options on this list.
Choose GRE Tutoring if:
You prefer a more personal or private learning experience and approach. If you’re looking to dive deeper into a certain GRE subject area and want maximum support, this could be a great option as well.
Course Pricing Options
Kaplan’s price options are hefty and not easily accessible for all students. This can be a primary concern for most students when choosing a GRE prep course that suits them best.
Despite the steep price, the diverse range of resources provided make the prep course highly valuable for students. This is especially true for those who already have a good, solid foundation on the GRE sections or their pre-requisites. The new materials will provide new challenges and help students learn something different.
Platform’s Ease of Use
Kaplan’s online platform and website hardly pose any problem for the user. It provides a well-structured and clear outline of each GRE section and the lessons, making the browsing and selection process an easy task.
The Qbank and the GRE Channel follow a simple format and user-friendly design.
This makes it easy to identify how to go about the whole process, whether it was accessing videos on the GRE channel or customizing the test in the Qbank section.
Is Kaplan a Reputable Online GRE Prep Course? (Not a Scam)
Kaplan has proven for more than a decade how its course program offers have helped students reach their academic goals.
This is also evident in various student reviews that claim how the prep course has helped them significantly.
Various instructors and teachers in the program are also previous GRE test takers and provide more than 10, 12, and even 15 years of experience teaching students how to earn high GRE scores.
This alone proves Kaplan to be a credible and reputable online GRE prep course.
Reviews and Real Unbiased Text and Video Testimonials:
Kaplan has made a great impact on students and how much it has helped them by providing access to its resources and instructor guidance.
Alternative Resources for the GRE
While it’s worth noting that the Kaplan GRE Prep 2020 book offers invaluable information to study for the Verbal section of the GRE, the practice tests and Mathematics sections can feel lacking.
If you need a good refresher course or need a better review of the basics, the Ultimate Math Refresher for GRE, GMAT, and SAT prep book (1) is the perfect alternative. You’ll easily learn the fundamentals needed to score well in the Mathematics Quantitative section of the exam.
For Quantitative Reasoning, go with ETS. Their Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning prep book (2) is a solid comprehensive guide to help you through the Quantitative sections of the GRE.
The Manhattan 5 Lb. prep book and Barron’s GRE 21st edition book are also great resources to use if you want the highest possible score for the GRE.
Final Verdict & Recommendation
How good is Kaplan? I give it a total score of 4.25/5.
Although the program has some drawbacks, it’s a solid test prep with flexible learning options and plenty of course materials.
I recommend going for the Live Online prep course option if you aren’t too sure about your level of familiarity or competence for certain GRE subject areas.
While many students consider the Quantitative section to be a key element in scoring high for the GRE, the reading comprehension section alone makes up 50% of the Verbal section.
It’s important to balance your time and resources when studying for the GRE. To be safe, don’t just rely on one type of course material. You should also practice at a pace you know you perform best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the Kaplan GRE course program is worth it, especially if you’re looking for a diverse set of resources and want flexible learning options.
Kaplan’s tests are relatively easier than the GRE. Using Kaplan’s practice tests are ideal if you want to improve your test-taking and pacing skills. Use ETS Powerprep practice tests alongside Kaplan’s for a more effective preparation plan.