Are you planning on applying to graduate school and wondering whether to entrust your GRE test prep to Magoosh or Kaplan?

The Magoosh vs Kaplan competition has been ongoing for years, especially regarding their GRE prep courses, because both Kaplan and Magoosh are leaders in the test prep business.

Here is an overview of the Magoosh GRE and the Kaplan GRE prep courses, with all their key features, pros, cons, prices, and more, which may help you decide which course to sign up for.

About the Magoosh and Kaplan companies

Kaplan is one of the oldest and most popular test prep companies, helping students get into their dream schools and people landing their dream jobs since 1938. Kaplan offers a wide variety of prep programs, including online prep courses, in-person classes, on-demand self-paced study programs, mobile apps, private tutoring, and some of the best test prep books.

Magoosh is a much newer test prep company founded in 2009 by several Haas School of Business students who came up with an idea to improve the test prep process. Today, the company is growing in size and popularity and offers an affordable and comprehensive online, self-paced prep program based on a user-friendly platform, with a more millennial approach.

The Kaplan GRE courses and classes offer more practice questions, full-length tests than Magoosh.

Then again, Magoosh offers an inexpensive in-depth study plan for building the fundamental math and critical reading skills of the students.

Key features of the Magoosh GRE course

The Magoosh GRE prep platform offers access to over 250 on-demand short video explanations and lessons, more than 1,200 practice questions, 3 full-length practice tests, study schedules, comprehensive coverage of the basic verbal, math, and writing skills, email assistance, and a precise score predictor.

The company offers a 1-month package and a 6-month package that offer access to the same features and study and practice materials.

The Magoosh prep course for graduate school is inexpensive, allows for setting a self-paced study plan and schedule, and is perfect for students on a tight budget, and those who are motivated and organized enough to study by themselves without live instructors.

The courses come with higher score guarantees and a 7-day money-back grace period for the first week of the course.

Key features of the Kaplan GRE courses

Kaplan has a huge database of test prep resources, including a GRE Channel with live instructions and videos, and a customizable Qbank.

The company offers different types of prep courses suitable for all study styles. You can sign up for one of Kaplan’s self-paced prep programs or enroll for online live-instruction classes or in-person classes if you need more guidance and motivation.

Kaplan also offers specialized prep courses for the various sections of the GRE exam, including Advanced Math and Rapid Review Live courses.

Magoosh vs Kaplan GRE self-paced programs comparison at a glance

Magoosh GRE self-paced course

  • Comprehensive coverage of verbal, math, and analytical writing
  • More than 250 short but useful video lessons and explanations for the questions
  • More than 1,200 practice question
  • An opportunity to take up to 3 full-length practice tests
  • A score predictor which adjusts itself as you go based on your performance
  • Useful email assistance from the Magoosh team for any questions about the program
  • A customizable study plan
  • The 1-month plan costs $129
  • The 6-month plan costs $149

Kaplan GRE self-paced course

  • 35 hours of live online instructions and lessons at the GRE channel
  • 18 hours of pre-recorded lessons
  • 7 full-length practice exams
  • More than 180 hours of practice and online instructions
  • 2 Kaplan GRE prep books
  • Customizable Qbank and more than 5,000 practice questions
  • GRE Math Foundations and GRE Advanced Math
  • One official test day experience at an actual test location
  • The price of a 6-month plan is $899

Kaplan live online or in-person GRE prep courses

  • 35 hours of live instructions on the GRE channel (or in-person)
  • 21 hours of live online instructions
  • 180 and more hours of instructions and practice online
  • 5,000 practice questions, and a Qbank
  • 2 prep books for the test
  • 3 hours of one-on-one tutoring
  • 7 full-length practice exams
  • Self-paced Math Foundations and Advance Math lessons
  • The official test day experience
  • The price of the live online course is $1,399, and the in-person course is $1,699

Magoosh vs Kaplan GRE prep resources

Kaplan offers a wider variety of GRE prep resources and tools than Magoosh. These include more practice questions, a customizable Qbank for quizzes, on-demand or live lessons, one-on-one counseling, practice test, and the unique official test day experience.

On the other hand, Magoosh has a more user-friendly and tech-savvy online platform. It includes a customizable dashboard that will keep the student informed of their progress, the current score prediction based on the performance with the practice questions, customizable study plans and quizzes, and more. Also, Magoosh has shorter video lessons and explanations for the questions, which is a plus for students who prefer studying by listening and watching rather than reading or searching for answers and explanations themselves.

Magoosh vs Kaplan – the price comparison

As mentioned earlier, the Magoosh prep program is one of the least expensive and favorite prep courses available at this price range.

For only $149, students will gain access to all of these resources for a month, and for $179, the access is prolonged to 6 months. You can also pause the program if you need to stop studying for one reason or another, and then continue from where you left and use the resources for the remaining time without losing days.

Kaplan’s services are much more comprehensive and are offered in a wider variety of options, including self-paced, live instruction, in-person classes, and private tutoring.

The self-paced Kaplan Premium class costs $700, and the Premium Plus costs $899. The online live courses start from $1,399, and the in-person classes cost $1,699.

Magoosh also offers its clients a 7-day money-back guarantee if they are not happy with the prep platform during the first week of use, while Kaplan doesn’t offer this opportunity to cancel your subscription.

Magoosh is the definite winner in the Magoosh vs Kaplan GRE prep price comparison.

Magoosh vs Kaplan – practice resources

Kaplan is the more expensive option of the two, and one of the reasons is because of the much wider number of practice resources it offers to its clients.

The Kaplan GRE prep courses offer access to 180 hours of video lessons, 5,000 GRE practice lessons, 7 full-length tests mimicking the GRE test, 2 of the latest GRE prep books, and more. Also included in the self-paced Premium Plus option are 35 hours of live instructions, added Math and Advanced Math resources with added 200+ questions, and 7 hours of lessons. The quizzes which you will get suggested will be based on your performance and will stress on the areas and types of questions that you need to work more on. Plus, there is an official test day experience where you can take a practice test in a real-life testing center.

At the same time, Magoosh offers the same GRE prep resources for both its 1 and 6-month plans. These include 250 video lessons and explanations for the questions and lessons, which are a total of 21 hours in total, 1,200 GRE practice questions, and 3 full-length practice tests.

The practice questions on the Magoosh GRE prep platform are ranked from easy to very hard, and the program offers quite a precise score predictor, which calculates your GRE score as you practice, in accordance with your performance.

Overall, Magoosh does still offer enough questions and lessons sufficient for students to prepare for the GRE if they have only a few months to go and if they don’t need a comprehensive study of the material covered by the GRE.

Kaplan has much more prep resources available, so it is more suitable for people who want a longer and more comprehensive preparation for the important test. In case you will be using the Kaplan prep course and have only a few months left to the test date, chances are you will not get to use all of the available GRE prep resources made available by the company.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a course offering more realistic and challenging GRE practice quizzes and questions, then Kaplan is the winner in the Magoosh vs Kaplan GRE resources competition.

Magoosh vs Kaplan – the GRE practice tests comparison

Kaplan offers 7 full-length practice tests, which are very similar or retired GRE tests by the ETS for its students. The company also provides a proctored full-length test called The Official Test Day Experience, which is held at an ETS testing location and will be timed and proctored like the real GRE. This is one of the most useful of all resources offered by Kaplan and will give the students a real feel of what the actual test will be like.

Magoosh offers up to 3 practice tests with questions included from the practice question database of the company. The practice tests are automatically customized for each student based on the questions already answered and will consist of only new questions.

This means that you should create your 3 practice tests before going ahead and solving all 1,500 practice questions on the Magoosh GRE platform.

Overall, when it comes to the full-length test competition, Kaplan is the clear winner with 7 tests and a proctored and times Official Test Day Experience practice GRE test.

Magoosh vs Kaplan – the GRE prep test-taking and score improvement strategies

Magoosh offers its clients some very useful test-taking tips and strategies, but they are more general and not so GRE-focused. At the same time, Kaplan offers more sophisticated strategies designed explicitly for the GRE test than Magoosh.

As a whole, if you are looking for a prep course that will teach you specific tricks and strategies to perform better on the GRE, then you should opt for Kaplan.

Magoosh vs Kaplan – the GRE essay prep and assistance

Even though the composite score of the GRE is mainly based on the math and verbal sections of the test, students will also need to prepare for the writing section of the standardized test. Preparing for the GRE essay may require more guidance and expert reviewing if you are looking for a way to perform at your best on the GRE test.

Kaplan offers its prep course students an opportunity to submit up to two essays and then receive detailed feedback and grades for the essays by a qualified instructor.

Magoosh doesn’t offer essay grading and reviewing. The platform does provide access to videos, articles, and blog posts with tips on getting a better grade at the Analytical Writing Assessment, but this cannot be compared to actually get real essays written by you graded and sent back with constructive feedback.

So, when it comes to the Analytical Writing Assessment prep for the GRE, the winner in the Magoosh vs Kaplan competition is Kaplan.

Magoosh versus Kaplan – the improved score guarantee

Both Magoosh and Kaplan offer money-back guarantees for their students in case there is no improvement in the GRE score after the course.

Magoosh offers a 5+ point guarantee to its clients, and Kaplan offers a higher score guarantee.

To be eligible for the 5+ guarantee for the Magoosh prep course, you will need to provide a valid report from a previous GRE exam when signing up for one of the courses. You also need to complete all of the lesson plans and practice questions and tests throughout the course in order to be eligible for the money-back guarantee, in case you don’t achieve a result at least 5 points higher than your previous one.

For the Kaplan higher score guarantee, you don’t need a previous official test score. Instead, you can take a diagnostic test offered by Kaplan, and this result will be considered your baseline.

You will also need to complete all 5,000 practice questions, 7 full-length tests, 18 hours of lessons, and content in order to be eligible for the money-back guarantee.

At the same time, Kaplan offers that you retake the entire course for free instead of getting your money back if you prefer, which is an alternative to prep even more for the next GRE test.

As a whole, if you are interested in the money-back guarantee in case that your score doesn’t improve, and if you have already taken a GRE test and are not happy with your score, then the Magoosh GRE prep course’s guarantee is more easily accessible and more motivating because of that 5+ score improvement guarantee. Plus, Magoosh offers a 7-day money-back satisfaction guarantee, so you can try the program out first.

Kaplan and Magoosh – the conclusion

The Magoosh GRE prep course is the more suitable option for people looking for the most budget-friendly and safest GRE prep course. It does offer a higher 5+ point score improvement and has guided video explanations for each of its questions, as well as a score predictor, which makes it an excellent choice if you want to improve your GRE score from the first time you took it.

If you want to end up with a top percentile GRE score and you need more thorough prep covering all sections and aspects of the GRE, then Kaplan is the one to choose.

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