Princeton Review Prep vs Kaplan GMAT Prep Course 2021: Who’s The Best?

A better GMAT score means better options for your MBA program. I understand therefore that you want the best deal for your GMAT prep. Well, who wouldn’t? 

Two of the brands that you must have come across during your search for the best deal would be The Princeton Review Prep and Kaplan GMAT which must be among the leading GMAT prep courses. But of course, we don’t go for names when your GMAT score is at stake. Hence, we will see which of the two offers the best deal in terms of: 

  • Course Effectiveness: Practice tests
  • Course Effectiveness: Learning Resources
  • Course Pricing
  • Ease of Use 
  • Student Reviews
  • Additional Features

 Princeton Review Prep vs Kaplan GMAT: The basics

Kaplan has a long history of establishing its name in the field of standardized test preparations, It is known for its extensive and adaptive practice tests and questions. 

Meanwhile, The Princeton Review is recognized for its comprehensive and adaptive materials, among other features. In 2018, it was even awarded by EdTech Awards for testing prep solutions.

Princeton Review Prep vs Kaplan GMAT: Course Effectiveness: Practice tests

At this point, let us compare the course effectiveness of Princeton Review Prep and Kaplan GMAT in terms of their practice tests.

Both offer extensive and adaptive practice tests that would be good if you are looking for more materials to monitor your preparation for the GMAT. However, Princeton tops Kaplan GMAT’s full-length practice tests by one point with its 10 full-length practice tests.

Verdict

Winner: Princeton Review Prep

For course effectiveness, we give the win to The Princeton Review that offers 10 computer adaptive tests. This test simulates the GMAT by adjusting the level of questions you would tackle next based on your performance.

Princeton Review Prep vs Kaplan GMAT: Course Effectiveness: Learning Resources

Princeton Review Prep offers 3000 practice questions, while  Kaplan GMAT’s Qbank holds a lot more with 5000+ practice questions. Kaplan also organizes the practice questions in such a way that you could easily see which ones you have already answered correctly, and which ones are left to be tackled. You will see in the image below how Kaplan organizes them for you.

Select Review Topics

Comparatively, The Princeton Review’s practice questions support adaptive learning through its DrillBuilder that assesses your strengths and weaknesses based on your previous tests and performance, in order to drill you in areas that need further improvement.  

Moreover, it is integrated with adaptive video lessons that help you through some challenging turns, should you opt for discussions to help you tackle the practice problem. While the videos are not as engaging as I’d like them to be, the explanations were quite systematic and helpful. 

You will see in the image below a sample of the video of Princeton Review that you could opt to watch or skip should you get to some tight spots.

Princeton Assumption Questions

Since video lessons are a staple of self-paced learning, Kaplan GMAT also has its storage of video lessons which is The GMAT Channel. This hosts over 30 hours of instructional videos of expert instructors. The videos are organized by topic and level of difficulty. You will see below an image of Kaplan’s The GMAT Channel.

GMAT Channel Site

Finally, where Kaplan GMAT has recorded instruction,  archived video instruction through The GMAT Channel, and online instruction and practice, The Princeton Review supplements learning in all packages with their GMAT Explanations which are live sessions.  

Verdict

Winner: Princeton Review

For course effectiveness in terms of learning resources, I give the score to The Princeton Review. Adaptive learning through the DrillBuilder is an exceptional way of packing your prep in one place. The program offers to drill you based on your assessed weaknesses and strengths and integrates video lessons to help you through tight spots.

Princeton Review’s Live sessions for GMAT explanations are also a good place to support learning, especially if you intend to avail the self-paced course. Even with a tutorial package, this feature could help you make better use of your limited one-on-one sessions for those questions that would not be answered in the GMAT explanations.

Princeton Review Prep vs Kaplan GMAT: Pricing

Self-Study Course

Kaplan GMAT offers a Self-paced Course for $599, inclusive of 14 recorded instructions, 9 full-length practice tests, and Qbank with 5000+ questions, along with other features. However, for features that make it more comparative with The Princeton Review Prep’s Self-Paced course’ GMAT Explanation Sessions, you need to upgrade this to Self-Paced Plus for $799.  

Meanwhile, for  $799, you could enroll in The Princeton Review’s Self-Paced course with 10 practice tests, 3000 questions, and live interactive GMAT explanations, among other features.   

In-Person or Live Course 

Kaplan has separate packages for in-person and live GMAT prep courses. For $1249, you get Kaplan GMAT Live Online Course which includes 18 hours of Live Online instruction, 30+ hours of elective live instruction plus other features. However, if you want to have this 18 hour deal in person, you need to pay $200 more.  

Meanwhile, you could get 27 hours of live instruction (plus other features) at The Princeton Review Prep through its Fundamentals at $1399. This GMAT prep course could be either online or in person.

Tutorial Package

Kaplan GMAT Tutoring starts at $2499 for a 10-hour package. If you need more, however, they also have packages for 20, 30, or 40 hours of private, 1-on-1 tutoring. This, of course, is inclusive of other basic features of  Kaplan GMAT  prep. 

Meanwhile, with The Princeton Review, you get private tutoring at $1800 for 10 hours. See the difference? Of course, this is also inclusive of all features of the self-paced package.

If you target a 700+ GMAT score to get into a top MBA program, you might want to check out The Princeton Review’s GMAT 700+ which starts at $1899. This is inclusive of 47 hours of instruction, 4 hours of 1-on-1 session with an instructor, among other features.

Verdict

Winner: Princeton Review

This round goes to The Princeton Review. Although Kaplan GMAT’s basic self-paced course is cheaper, you will be missing some live instruction features that make it comparable with the Princeton Review’s offering.   

More importantly, Princeton Review Prep offers one of the cheapest deals for private tutorials at $167/hr for18 hours of GMAT Comprehensive Private Tutoring and $180/hr for 10 hours of GMAT Targeted Private Tutoring. 

Princeton Review Prep vs Kaplan GMAT: Ease of Use

Kaplan GMAT’s prep course’s online is user-friendly. The videos even allow you to turn on captions, which might be useful if you are more of a reader. However, it does not have a mobile app. Nonetheless, its adaptive Qbank is available in mobile gadgets. 

Similarly, the Princeton Review Prep has a nice platform that is quite easy to navigate, with intuitive tools that takes you to your practice tests and course work. The system also ensures that you could proceed from where you left off, as it saves your progress. The image below gives you a peek at The Princeton Review’s dashboard. Just like Kaplan, however, it does not have a mobile app.

Adaptive Lesson

Verdict

Winner: Princeton Review Prep and Kaplan GMAT 

For ease of use, we give Princeton Review and Kaplan a tie. Both have user-friendly online platforms which are very nice because course materials, and practice tests, are mostly available online. However, it would have been much better if they have a mobile app which would have made the review much more convenient. 

Princeton Review Prep vs Kaplan GMAT: Student Reviews

Both Princeton Review Prep and Kaplan GMAT have their share of good reviews from students who have a lot of good things to say about the course materials and instructors.

Student reviews verified how Kaplan GMAT prep courses translated to increased scores. Similarly, Princeton Review Prep received the thumbs up due to the overall positive review experience of students, helpful tutors and staff,  and great materials.

Kaplan Number of Reviews

Verdict

Winner: Kaplan GMAT

With Kaplan’s better review ratings according to verified student reviewers, we give the nod to Kaplan GMAT. It had been consistently among the well-rated GMAT prep courses. Student reviewers testified of helpful instructors and prep courses that led to increased scores. They are therefore confident to highly recommend Kaplan GMAT prep.   

Princeton Review Prep vs Kaplan GMAT: Additional Features

Before we decide, we might also need to consider the additional features of each GMAT prep. 

First, it is great to note that both have a score improvement guarantee. Further, Princeton Review guarantees a 700+ score for their GMAT 7000+ prep course (for those who have a 620+ starting score.)  

In terms of additional packages, where Princeton Review has GMAT 700+ for those who aspire to get to top MBA programs, Kaplan GMAT also has other packages you could choose from. If all you need are some supplementary materials to brush up, you could purchase the Kaplan GMAT Study Pack at $299 (3 months) or $399 (6 months). You may also opt for Kaplan GMAT Practice Pack: $149 (3 months) or $199 (6 months). 

Further, Kaplan GMAT prep has an official test day experience as a feature of its packages. This simulates the GMAT, to help you prepare for the big day. 

Verdict

Winner: Kaplan GMAT

With both Princeton Review and Kaplan GMAT’s offer of score improvement guarantee and additional options, Kaplan snatches this win with its official test day experience which is a feature that was not matched by the Princeton review prep offerings.

Final Verdict 

Winner: Princeton Review Prep  

Princeton Review snatches the win in this match against Kaplan GMAT by a one-point edge. It offers extensive and adaptive practice tests and drills which are integrated with video lessons. Further, Princeton Review offers a very competitive rate for private tutorials which might be hard to find elsewhere. 

However, your best might still vary based on the specific feature that is most valuable to you, hence we suggest that you

Take Princeton Review Prep if you

  • Want a cheaper rate for private tutorials
  • Desire a special course that offers 700+ guarantee
  • Look for extensive practice tests

Take Kaplan GMAT Prep if you

  • Want an extensive and adaptive Qbank
  • Believe that you will benefit from an official prep day experience
  • Want supplemental study or practice packs

FAQ

Princeton Review Prep has a 14-day free trial (1). This is among the longest free trials you would find. However, Kaplan GMAT does not have a free trial. Nonetheless, it offers some free events (2) and practice tests (3). 

References

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