Kaplan GMAT Review
Kaplan is a longtime powerhouse in the field of test prep courses. Kaplan offers 3 ways to study for standardized tests: Classrooms, LIVE-Online and Self-Paced online. As a company with a physical network of classrooms across the US – The main focus with Kaplan is the classroom-based teaching or personal tutoring. The brand is less about innovative technology and online user experience.
While researching the ins and outs of the standardized exams, we found -- when it comes to selecting test prep courses - most students have three criteria: 1. Higher Scores in minimal Learning Time 2. Price 3. Enjoyable Process. Our reviews will examine each prep course in accordance to how well it delivers on these three criteria.
How does Kaplan meet the criteria?
Higher score in less time-
When it comes to companies such as Kaplan, it is hard to talk about “Less Time”, since most of the classroom-based learning programs are fixed by specific start and end dates. The “in-person” plans (Classroom & Live Online) include 48 Hours of Instruction, scheduled over a period of a little more than a month. The 48 hours doesn’t include the student’s practice time. In companies such as Kaplan, there typically isn’t any personalized technology that can shorten the students learning curve or adapt them to the student’s own strengths and weaknesses.
However, for students who prefer the traditional “Lecturer-student” way of study, Kaplan is a great option. Kaplan has over 150 classroom locations in the United States and more in 30 countries around the world, so it’s likely that most students will find a classroom within a reasonable distance from them. In Kaplan’s class, there is a strong focus on an individualized experience, with a low student-to-teacher, a ratio of 10 to 1.
Kaplan provides their student 5,000+ practice questions and 9 full-length computer adaptive practice tests, so their students get lots of opportunities to practice the material and experience with real GMAT tests. In the “in-person” (classroom & live) the students get 3 hours of private tutoring with one of Kaplan’s experts who will examine the student’s practice and test reports and together they will create a customized study plan that works on the student’s personal attributes. One of the most unique services Kaplan offers is called “Official Test Day Experience”. Kaplan has partnered with Pearson/VUE, the company that administers the GMAT exam, so they could provide their students the most realistic practice test experience available. Kaplan’s students can actually take the practice exam in the same location as they would take the real one, thus making themselves familiar and comfortable with the setting.
Price & Plans-
Kaplan’s plans are in the range of $799-$1,649. The highest rated Kaplan’s plans are “in-person” and “Live Online”. The “in-person” course, costs $1249, includes 18 hours of live instruction, The GMAT Channel with 30+ hours of elective live instruction, 2 prep books, an MBA admissions guide and all the practice material and tests. The student can purchase an upgrade program, costs $1649, and get also 3 hours of 1-on-1 coaching and GMAT Math Foundations-Self-Paced. If there aren’t any classrooms near the student’s physical location, the students can purchase the “Live Online” course and get the same things that are in the “In-person” program. The basic course costs $1049 and the upgrade program will costs the students $1449. The self-paced course costs $799, includes 14 hours of recorded instruction, 30 hours of archived episodes of The GMAT Channel, 2 prep books, an MBA admissions guide and all the practice material and tests. The upgrade program costs $999, the students get in addition 30+ hours of elective live instruction on The GMAT Channel and GMAT Math Foundations-Self-Paced. There is also an option to purchase separately the Qbank ($99/$149), the Practice Pack ($149/$199) or the Official Test Day Experience ($150).
An enjoyable learning process-
Kaplan created the “GMAT Channel”, which offers interactive lessons and one-on-one support from their GMAT experts. The students can use this “channel” live or on demand. The GMAT Channel was designed to give each student unlimited access to Kaplan’s GMAT faculty so she/he could focus on their areas of challenge. All sessions are available in the archive for 24 hour/7-day on-demand viewing, and students can attend as many sessions as they wish. Moreover, thanks to the GMAT Channel, Kaplan’s students can choose to keep in touch with their favorite experts and browse episodes by teacher name. Another noteworthy feature of the channel is the ability to post comments and share notes with other students. The GMAT Channel is included in all plans.