Knowing that your GMAT score is highly likely to affect your chances to be admitted to a top MBA program, there is no doubt that you would want the best GMAT prep partner. Two of the leading names in GMAT prep are Kaplan and Manhattan Prep.
Kaplan GMAT had a long history of establishing its name. It offers a wide variety of packages for GMAT courses and provides one of the highest number of practice tests and practice questions as compared with other GMAT prep courses.
Meanwhile, Manhattan Prep is one of the top choices for GMAT prep because of its 99th percentile instructors and tutors and the variety of packages that respond to varied styles, targets, and availability. Further, its award-winning e-learning platform (1) ensures engaging and flexible learning.
Both have good reviews and interesting features but which one is the best? This is what we will find out in this Manhattan Prep vs Kaplan GMAT course comparison review.
Manhattan Prep vs Kaplan GMAT: Course Effectiveness
Practice Test and Questions
The practice tests and question bank are two of the important features of the GMAT prep course that you sure would be checking out when on the look-out for a GMAT prep partner.
It is therefore good to note that Manhattan Prep offers six full-length practice tests that are computer-adaptive. Meanwhile, Kaplan GMAT has a total of nine full-length adaptive practice tests, giving you more opportunities to identify weak points that you need to improve to boost your GMAT score.
Both Manhattan Prep and Kaplan have question banks as a repository of practice questions that range from skill-builder level to challenging, However, in terms of quantity, Kaplan offers way more with 5000+ practice questions.
You would see in the picture below how Kaplan GMAT organizes your practice questions.
Winner: Kaplan GMAT
In terms of practice tests and Qbank, Kaplan GMAT is a very clear winner. It offers more practice tests that are updated regularly to match the GMAT. There are also more practice questions to help build your readiness for the GMAT. All these tests and questions are computer-adaptive, based on your performance.
Deals and Learning Materials
Both Manhattan Prep and Kaplan GMAT offer a variety of deals that cater to students of various styles, availability, and budgets. Both have self-paced packages for busy and independent learners. They also have live and tutorial packages for those who need more guidance or personalized help.
GMAT prep with Kaplan is supported by instructional videos available through its GMAT channel, which is one of its exclusive features. Lessons in these videos were delivered by their expert instructors.
You will see in the picture below that you could even filter your videos from Kaplan’s The GMAT Channel so you could specify the subject and instructor you learn best.
Similarly, Manhattan Prep delivers lessons through Interact videos. From its name, you would know that Manhattan Prep videos are quite interactive. Delivered by its expert and engaging instructors, Manhattan Prep assures that interaction is not sacrificed when you opt for a flexible package for GMAT prep.
All of these features are available for six months for both Kaplan and Manhattan Prep so you have a lot of time to maximize these engaging and valuable resources. However, if you purchase a tutoring package with Manhattan Prep, your access is extended to 9 months.
You will see below a demo Interact video for which Manhattan Prep is recognized.
Source: Manhattan Prep
Winner: Manhattan Prep
I’ll be giving a nod to Manhattan prep for options variety and learning materials. First, its consideration for its course offerings exceeds Kaplan with its Boot Camp and GMAT Advanced.
Further, Manhattan Prep’s hard copy books plus their highly interactive and engaging video lessons are real winners. Interact videos react to your answers and push you to actually think, reconsider and reconsider your answers. Hence learning is flexible, and at the same time, engaging and individualized.
Manhattan Prep vs Kaplan GMAT: Pricing
Manhattan Prep and Kaplan offer packages to respond to the needs of students with different learning styles, budgets, and availability. Let us see how their offerings compare.
Pricing for Self-Paced Course
For a self-paced package, Kaplan has a GMAT self-paced Course that starts at $599. This is inclusive of video instructions, 9 full-length GMAT practice tests, 5,000+ practice questions, among other features.
Meanwhile, Manhattan Prep has the Interact GMAT Course for flexible learning that starts at $549. This is inclusive of 35+ interactive video-based lessons, GMAT Math workshop recording, 6 full-length computer adaptive practice tests, questions bank, along with other features.
Both include the basics of video lessons, practice questions, and tests. However, Kaplan offers more practice tests and questions.
You may also want to consider that at $549, Manhattan Prep’s Interact course only covers either Quant only or Verbal only. A full course for Manhattan Prep’s interact course actually starts at $999.
Pricing for Live or In-Person Course
Kaplan has separate packages for online and live courses. Kaplan GMAT Live Online Course is at $1249. This includes 18 hours of Live Online instruction, 30+ hours of elective live instruction through Kaplan’s The GMAT Channel, online instruction, 9 full-length GMAT practice tests, 5000+ practice questions among other features.
You could have the same features, except that the 18 hours of instruction is conducted in person, through Kaplan GMAT In-person Course which costs $1449.
Meanwhile, you could have either of the two set-ups with Manhattan Prep’s Live GMAT course for the same price of $1599. This is inclusive of 27 hours of live instruction that could be either in person or online.
Pricing for Tutoring Course
Kaplan and Manhattan Prep’s tutoring packages are pretty close. Kaplan’s GMAT Tutoring starts at $2499, based on the number of private tutoring hours (10, 20, 30, or 40 hours). This is inclusive of basic learning and practice resources.
Similarly, Manhattan Prep’s tutoring package starts at $2450 for a 10-hour package. 20- and 30-hour packages are also available, inclusive of all books and resources. Manhattan Prep also offers per hour of tutoring at $255/hour for a minimum of 2 hours.
Not only does Kaplan GMAT offer the deal for a few dollars less, but it also provides more extensive practice resources for its price tag, with 5000+ practice questions and 9 full-length practice tests. Not to mention the official test day experience.
Manhattan Prep vs Kaplan GMAT: Ease of Use
Kaplan prep course is very user-friendly. Its videos include an option that allows you to activate captions if you are more of a visual symbolic learner. The videos and practice tests are designed for effective learning. The downside, though, is that Kaplan does not have a mobile app, which might be a deal-breaker if accessibility through gadgets is important to you.
Similarly, Manhattan Prep’s dashboard is quite easy to navigate. Tools are simple icons whose functions are introduced in a brief tutorial. The design of the platform allows you to personalize your prep and to follow the listed resources.
Further, Manhattan GMAT prep has a mobile app that is quite easy to download and is available on iOS and Android.
Source: Manhattan Prep
Winner: Manhattan Prep
This round goes to Manhattan Prep, plain and simple. While both dashboards are user friendly, Manhattan Prep’s mobile app is an extra sweet deal for better accessibility. This allows you to literally take your review materials anytime, anywhere, enabling you to switch to the review mode even in the downtime at travels and work breaks.
Manhattan Prep vs Kaplan GMAT: Student Review
Both Kaplan and Manhattan prep GMAT prep have their fair share of the good, if not excellent feedback from students who rave about their helpful course materials and expert instructors, attesting how the courses helped improve their GMAT scores.
Source: GMAT Club
Winner: Manhattan Prep
While both GMAT preps were given a thumbs up by the majority of student reviewers, let’s use a more objective basis for declaring a winner in this section. Clearly, Manhattan Prep’s 4.8 beats Kaplan’s 4.4. out 5.
Manhattan Prep vs Kaplan GMAT: Additional Features
Deciding which of the two is the best might require taking into consideration other features. First, you might be interested to know that Kaplan offers a test run of the test day. In this official test day experience, Kaplan simulates the test day in a testing center with all the conditions to give you a feel of the GMAT.
Further, Kaplan GMAT prep offers a score improvement guarantee. This means that if your score does not improve as compared to your diagnostic test score or previous GMAT score, you could refund. This, however, is not available with Manhattan Prep GMAT.
With the Manhattan Prep GMAT course, they teach you, but you will drive. Hence, your score improvement is on you.
Finally, while Kaplan offers 2 GMAT prep books plus an MBA admissions guide, Manhattan Prep has a more generous offering which includes Comprehensive GMAT Guides, The Official Guide for GMAT, and GMAT Supplemental Resources.
With both GMAT prep courses positioning themselves on the more pricey side of the spectrum, Kaplan’s score improvement guarantee is an offer that I think should be considered as well by Manhattan Prep. Further, the official test day experience that Kaplan offers helps prepare you for the GMAT experience.
Which is the best GMAT prep? As much as I wish to declare a winner, Manhattan Prep and Kaplan GMAT prep make a tie. Nonetheless, we could tell which is the best GMAT prep for you.
Kaplan GMAT prep is the best if you:
- Want to have more extensive resources for practice questions and practice tests for a few dollars less
- Want a score improvement guarantee
- Desire an official test-day experience
Manhattan Prep GMAT prep is the best if you:
- Require a prep package that provides intensive training for less prep time or advanced GMAT prep to further improve your already good GMAT score
- Enjoy more interactive and engaging video lessons
- Value the availability of a mobile app for GMAT prep
I hope this comparison review has been helpful. Good luck with your GMAT.
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