Magoosh vs Manhattan GRE Prep Course 2021: Who Is The Best?

Are you looking for a GRE prep course that will effectively help you reach your target score? If your answer is yes, then join me as I compare two of the most preferred GRE prep courses online–Magoosh and Manhattan Prep.

In this comparison review, we’ll take a closer look at each course’s effectiveness, affordability, and ease of use to determine which one is most suitable for you. Plus, we’ll look at some screenshots of the prep courses for a solid overview of the content.

Ready? Let’s begin.

Magoosh vs Manhattan GRE: The Basics

Magoosh and Manhattan Prep are considered two of the best GRE prep courses online. Established in 2009, Magoosh emerged as a popular prep course specializing in standardized tests. Manhattan Prep, on the other hand, was founded about a decade earlier in 2000. 

Magoosh

Although it offers tutoring options, Magoosh is a video-centric GRE prep course. Most of the instruction and strategies provided are delivered through videos. Magoosh also provides study plans, practice questions, and full-length practice tests in addition to the video lessons. 

Manhattan Prep 

Manhattan Prep offers a more flexible set of options for students preparing for the GRE. The prep course has self-paced options, in-person classes, tutoring services, and even special prep courses just for the Quant section. 

To have an idea of what Magoosh and Manhattan Prep have to offer, take a look at this comparison table: 

 MagooshManhattan Prep
Live instruction (online and in-person)NoYes
Self-pacedYesYes
Tutoring servicesYesYes
Practice questions2300+100,000+
Practice tests36
Subscription length1 month or 6 months6 months
Video LessonsYesYes
Score improvement guarantee+5 score improvementNone
Student support optionsEmail, chat, forumEmail, forum
Free trial

Yes

Yes

As you can see, the difference in content quantity between courses is noticeable. This is not surprising in any way,  given that Magoosh is way more affordable than Manhattan Prep. 

To decide on which course suits your study style, goals, and budget, we’ll look into both courses based on the following criteria:

  1. Curriculum and Effectiveness
  2. Pricing
  3. User Experience
  4. Student Reviews

Magoosh vs Manhattan GRE: Curriculum and Effectiveness

Live Course

Only Manhattan Prep offers a live course for GRE. In its Complete Course package, you’ll get 24 hours of live instruction for 8 sessions. Plus, you’ll get full-length practice tests and a full access to the video lessons and drills. 

What I like about Manhattan Prep’s live course is that it has a relatively small class size. This means the instructor can focus more on individual student’s needs, strengths, and weaknesses.

For a more advanced live instruction, a GRE for MBA package is also available. This option is more intensive and has more content. Consequently, it costs higher. 

Magoosh, as stated earlier, does not offer live courses. 

Winner: Manhattan Prep

Self-paced course

Both Magoosh and Manhattan Prep have self-paced courses to offer. However, the amount of content they provide has a huge difference. This also comes with a huge price difference.

Manhattan Prep takes pride in the number of practice questions. Its self-paced course has 100,000+ practice questions, while Magoosh provides only 1400+. Manhattan Prep also provides 3 more full-length practice tests than Magoosh

Magoosh provides a +5 score improvement guarantee. On the other hand, Manhattan Prep does not provide any higher score guarantee. If you’re looking to boost your score to get to a particular graduate school, then you might want to go with Magoosh. 

The two courses have a huge difference in terms of the number of practice questions and practice tests. Their price difference is also huge. Magoosh’s 6-month course costs $179, while Manhattan Prep’s Interact for GRE course costs $499.

Magoosh Practice Test

It’s pretty tough choosing a winner for this category, given the difference in content and price. That being said, I still give the edge to Magoosh. 

It has always been considered one of the best GRE self-paced courses. At a very low price, the quality of instruction and the number of materials provided are very much worth it.

Winner: Magoosh

Accessibility

Both Magoosh and Manhattan Prep have mobile apps. However, I find Magoosh’s mobile app more comprehensive, particularly because you can watch GRE video lessons on it.

Magoosh Video Lesson App

Magoosh is considered the most accessible GRE prep course online. Whether you’re using a computer, a smartphone, or a tablet, you can access your GRE prep. The course also provides mobile apps specifically for vocabulary and flashcards (1).

Manhattan Prep also has a mobile app, where you can have access to thousands of practice questions and drills (2). 

Winner: Magoosh

Books

Between the two courses, only Manhattan Prep provides hardcopy books for GRE. When you enroll in their GRE for MBA, Complete, and Just Math packages, you’ll receive strategy books for both the Verbal and Quant section, as well as the 5 lb Book of GRE Practice Problems (3).

Magoosh, as mentioned, does not have any hardcopy books included in their packages.

Winner: Manhattan Prep

Magoosh vs Manhattan GRE: Pricing

Magoosh

Duration of access

Price

6 months

$179

1 month

$149

 

Tutoring option

Price

Starter (2-3 focus areas)

$100/hr

Verbal

$350 for 4 hours

Quant

$350 for 4 hours

Manhattan Prep GRE

Course

Price

GRE for MBA

$1599

Complete

$1399

Just Math

$799

GRE Interact 1 month

$299

GRE Interact 3 months

$399

GRE Interact 6 months

$499



Private Tutoring

30 hours

$225/hr

20 hours

$230/hr

10 hours

$245/hr

Generally, Magoosh is way more affordable than Manhattan Prep. The downside is that it only offers self-paced and tutoring options. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly GRE prep, then I think Magoosh is more ideal for you. For just $179, you already have 6-month access to great quality video lessons and thousands of practice questions. 

If you’re willing to invest more in a live instruction type of preparation, then go for Manhattan Prep. Looking at the two courses’ price ranges, however, it’s clear which course is more affordable.

Winner: Magoosh

Magoosh vs Manhattan GRE: User Experience

For this section, I provided some screenshots to give you a good glimpse of what you’re going to get from each of the prep courses.

Dashboard

Magoosh Dashboard Page

Here is Magoosh’s dashboard. In this prep course, your schedule uses a day-by-day approach, so your tasks for the day are on full display on the dashboard. Access to practice tests and video lessons are also just a click away. 

Magoosh also allows you to join some live classes on chosen topics. You can quickly register for the available class schedules right from your dashboard, too. 

Manhattan Prep Interact Dashboard

Now, this is Manhattan Prep’s Interact Dashboard. Unlike Magoosh, Manhattan’s dashboard has a calendar-like design. In this dashboard, you can easily distinguish what level you are in. In addition, it’s very easy to locate the topic you need to study since all the topics for a particular level are already displayed.

The two dashboards are user-friendly and are both designed for efficient studying, so I’ll make it a tie for this category.

Winner: Tie

Video Lessons

Magoosh Video Lesson

Above is a screenshot of Magoosh’s video lessons, which I consider among the best in the GRE prep scene. What I like about Magoosh’s videos is that they are straightforward and fluff-free. 

Other video lessons from other courses tend to get comical at times, making the lesson a little confusing. That is definitely not the case with Magoosh.

Magoosh’s videos use a white screen with the question displayed. With a background voice, the instructor tells the step-by-step process while writing important information on the screen. The instructor in the videos also often use different ink colors for their markers to highlight important texts. 

Magoosh’s videos are simply the best. They really are straight to the point and designed for efficient studying. 

Manhattan Prep’s video lessons have a different style. They’re made a bit comical, which added some entertainment value to them. I, however, am not a fan of making video lessons too comical. I find it a bit distracting but to each his own. Here are some screenshots of the video lessons. 

Video Lesson Screenshot 1

Video Lesson Screenshot 2

Most of the content in Manhattan’s videos are simply flashed on the screen and not written by the instructor. I personally prefer Magoosh’s style more, in which the instructor writes the whole process on the board rather than simply flashing the steps on the screen. Videos from both courses effectively take you to the step-by-step process, however. 

Both video lessons are effective. If I were to choose one, I’d still take Magoosh’s video lessons. They have a simpler style, but they give you what you need.  

Winner: Magoosh

What makes each prep course unique?

  • For Magoosh:
    • Score Predictor: Magoosh predicts your GRE score by using data from about 200,000 students. This is a terrific tool for you to assess the areas you need to focus on.
    • Score improvement guarantee: Unlike Manhattan Prep, Magoosh guarantees that you’ll improve your GRE score by 5 points or more after taking their course (4). This is a good advantage for students who are taking the GRE again to reach a particular score for a graduate school.
  • For Manhattan Prep:
    • Authentic practice tests: Manhattan Prep has one of the best sets of practice tests in the GRE prep scene. They are popular for being authentic and a little more difficult than usual. The practice tests they provide give students a confidence boost before taking the actual GRE.
    • 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems: This book by Manhattan Prep is what many consider among the best GRE prep books in the market. It contains 1800+ practice problems on both Verbal and Quant. The book also includes math drills to improve your skills in the Quant section.

Magoosh vs Manhattan GRE: Which one is the best?

Here is a summary of everything that has been covered:

Area

Winner

Live course

Manhattan Prep

Self-paced

Magoosh

Books

Manhattan Prep

Pricing

Magoosh

Video lessons

Magoosh

Choosing the winner for this comparison review is a tough call. This is mainly because the two courses seem to have different markets. If you’re the type of student who likes to study at your own pace, then I suggest you take Magoosh. If you like having a live instructor as you prep for the GRE, then Manhattan might be more ideal for you.

Considering all areas of the prep, I give Magoosh a slight advantage overall. I just find the content quality of instruction the course provides very much worth it for its affordable price. 

This comparison review does not take anything away from Manhattan Prep’s effectiveness and quality instruction. If you want to invest a lot of money for more practice questions, more practice tests, and a hardcopy book, then it might be ideal for you.

Overall winner: Magoosh

FAQ

Yes, both prep courses provide 7-day free trials. You can check out the content and the quality of materials they provide by trying the courses for free for 1 week. 

Magoosh guarantees that you’ll improve your GRE score after taking their course (+5 score improvement). Otherwise, you’ll be eligible for a refund. Check out their full score improvement policy here.

References

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