The Pisa Day Kaplan GRE Prep Review
Kaplan GRE is another well-reviewed course. It’s available in self-paced online, live online, and in-person formats and includes over 5000 practice questions, three workbooks, and seven practice tests. It also comes with a pocket reference book to keep up with your coursework on the move.
Kaplan is a veteran test prep services provider. The company was founded in 1938 by Stanley Kaplan and has helped millions of students crash their standardized tests and join the graduate schools of their dreams. Kaplan provides test-prep services for just about any licensing or entrance exam in 36+ countries.
Subscription to any Kaplan test prep program means expert help from 99th percentile scorers and countless practice problems to build confidence in test-taking.
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About Kaplan GRE Prep course ❓
Kaplan provides a wide range of study packages for GRE students. Even though the company charges a premium price for its services, students can purchase individual course components instead of enrolling in a complete program.
For example, a student who has already worked through the course books or gotten tutor services can purchase access to the company’s question-answer bank for practice problems and quizzes.
There are many other options depending on where you are in your preparation for the GRE. Their math package is one of the best if you want to build solid skills and crash the GRE quant section.
Features of the Kaplan GRE Prep course
Kaplan GRE is one of the most diverse test prep programs on the market. The company employs only 99th percentile scorers with teaching experience and has amassed countless exam questions for students to practice with; features of the program include:
- Three-course books plus a pocket reference: GRE Math Workbook, GRE Premier: Course Book Edition, and GRE Verbal Workbook
- Smart analytics to determine progress and focus on key areas of growth for maximum improvement
- On-demand, live online and in-person instructions
- Tutoring options are available via the company’s GRE channel
- Video instructions
- Over 5000 practice questions
- Computer simulated practice exams
- Flashcard app
The Kaplan GRE channel is where students get resources to prepare for their exams. This channel has live tutoring streams and a Qbank for customized exam quizzes.
Students get live instructions five days a week, ranging from basic GRE topics (such as reading comprehension, fractions, and algebra) to advanced ones (data interpretation and geometry).
Students will also be given access to a video archive sort by topic and level of difficulty. That way, it’s easier to find help for the specific concept you find tough. You can watch the videos any number of times.
The Qbank has over 5000 practice questions and a user-friendly interface. Students can choose between a “timed” mode for a test day experience and a “tutor” mode to see answer explanations. You can also select questions by content, difficulty, and type to focus on your key growth areas.
Kaplan GRE test-taking strategies
Apart from covering the GRE syllabus, students will also learn test-taking strategies. Kaplan calls these the “Kaplan Method.”
The only con is that students who want to learn instead of practicing won’t find this much helpful. In fact, some say the tips and strategies aren’t revolutionary.
For example, filling banks before looking at answer choices is a tip most people know about, and that’s what the company includes in their “Kaplan method,” so expect nothing new!
That said, students who feel good about test-taking already will love how the program doesn’t waste a lot of time on this section. The strategies are presented in short bullet point format for use by students to solve particular exam questions.
The company focuses on providing practice rather than a learning program; there are abundant practice problems, quizzes, and tests for students who are already good at taking standardized tests.
Is Kaplan harder than the GRE test?
Kaplan GRE provides students with seven full-length computer-simulated practice exams. The tests have an almost identical interface with the real exam. However, the questions are not produced by ETS, and thus, you may find them a bit substandard.
While some GRE test prep companies have the reputation of writing tests that closely mimic the real exam, or even harder, many students criticize Kaplan’s exams for being easier.
That said, Kaplan’s is one of the few GRE programs that provide invigilated exams to give students a feel of the real test day. The company calls it “The Official Test Day Experience.” You will sit for a full-length GRE exam, and the AWA section will be graded too.
This is enough to put other GRE prep companies to shame as most don’t provide true test day experience or grade the AWA section.
Advantages of Kaplan GRE 👍
Naturally, being 80 years old in the test prep scene, Kaplan has many satisfying features, and their GRE program is one of the best. Pros of Kaplan GRE include:
✅ Various courses formats plus tutoring option
Their in-person course is the most widely available on-site GRE prep with the best timing and location options. It’s offered in 46 states in the US.
But if you are not near any of their centers and still want instructor-led classes, you can get them online. You can schedule the live online classes at your convenience, be it during normal office hours, evenings, or weekends.
For self-driven students who like to study on their own, there’s the self-paced online package. You get two workbooks and access to the GRE Channel for pre-recorded video lessons and quizzes.
Furthermore, each course includes the option to get private coaching and extra on-demand lessons at a small extra fee.
You will love how the Kaplan GRE website is easy to use. The GRE materials have been organized into four verbal and four quantitative lessons, and each lesson pairs with a chapter in the PDF or hardcopy books. That way, you get a structured GRE test prep plan that’s easy to follow from beginning to end.
The Kaplan GRE Qbank is one of the program’s greatest features. While the average number of practice questions provided by most GRE prep companies is 2000, Kaplan puts this to shame by providing over 5000 practice questions so you will never run out of problem drills.
And far from the one-size-fits-all programs, you’ll find on the market, Kaplan allows students to customize their drills by topic, question type, and level of difficulty they want. Furthermore, you can simulate the actual test with “timed” mode or go with “tutor” mode, so the program reviews questions as you attempt them.
With Kaplan GRE’s seven practice exams that include one invigilated, students get the chance to build test-taking stamina. Most competitors offer just half the number of practice tests Kaplan provides and don’t even review the ANALYTICAL Writing section. Kaplan marks the exams and provides students with an individual breakdown of their performance.
Kaplan GRE is one of a few test prep companies that provide digital and hardcopy books to complement their online courses. You will get three coursebooks and one GRE pocket reference.
The course books are GRE Verbal Workbook, GRE Math Workbook, and GRE Premier: Course Book Edition. If you don’t want to subscribe, you can purchase the books a la carte.
✅ Smart Analytics
The Kaplan platform generates progress reports for each student after each exam. It’s a trademarked Smart Report that identifies your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunity areas for improvement.
It includes a chart illustration of your test score over time plus percentiles and section-specific performance analysis. Students can make use of the recommendations within the report to customize their GRE revision for maximum score.
✅ Free trial package plus extra resources
With the company’s GRE Prep Starter pack, students get the opportunity to try the course for a week without charge. The package comprises on-demand lessons, skill-building drills, and your own study plan.
If you decide to purchase, the company provides a whole lot of extra information for free to complement your subscription. These include sample GRE questions of the day, sample classes, strategy sessions, pop quizzes, access to live mock tests and graduate school application guidance
Kaplan backs its higher GRE score assurance with money-back guarantees. That means subscribers who complete the program but do not get a higher score can ask for their money back.
Furthermore, there’s a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that if you don’t feel ready to take the exam or don’t like your official score, you can retake the course free of charge. Plus, you will also get special discounts on tutoring options.
✅ Proctored exam
Kaplan is one of the few test-prep companies that provide invigilated exams in a real Prometric testing facility, so students get a feel of the official exam day. It’s a full GRE exam including Analytical Writing assignments which will be marked and feedback issued.
✅ iOS and Android Flashcard app
Students use flashcards to develop memory by practicing information retrieval. Kaplan provides a flashcard app that lets students access over 500 flashcards that include common GRE vocabulary, sample sentences, definitions, and synonyms. You can use the flashcard app to study while on the move, view performance stats, and monitor your progress.
Every Kaplan GRE course package includes a tutoring option. Even the self-paced online course grants access to pre-recorded video tutorials. If you buy a tutoring package, you can schedule it around your classes such that during class time, you take practice tests and quizzes to determine the areas you should ask your tutor for help.
What you may not like about the Kaplan GRE course 👎
❌ The “Kaplan Method” is not that revolutionary
Kaplan GRE includes a set of test-taking strategies the company calls “The Kaplan Method.” They are presented in short, bullet-point format. They are designed to help students attack exam questions. However, they are not that revolutionary or clever. They are the obvious methods you will find in other test prep courses.
❌ Expensive private coaching
Kaplan provides tutoring PLUS, a package that allows students to add private coaching to whichever GRE course they choose. However, tutoring services don’t come cheap. Private coaching starts at $2199 for a 15-hour package and maxes out at $4399 for a 35-hour package. What’s more, there’s no option to choose fewer tutoring hours and pay less; there’s no flexibility.
❌ No dedicated student app for the entire course
Sure, there’s an iOS and Android flashcard app, but there’s no mobile app for the entire course like the one Magoosh provides for theirs. Not that this is a deal-breaker, but a mobile app could have made it easier to access the course.
❌ Comparably higher starting price
Kaplan offers the option to purchase individual course components instead of enrolling in a complete program. But while this helps keep prices down, the company still has one of the highest starting prices for their courses, with the self-paced package priced at $449 compared to Magoosh’s $149.
What GRE study options do you have from Kaplan?
Kaplan provides a series of one to six months GRE study packages. Depending on your schedule, learning style, and target score, you can choose any of the following:
The live online course provides real-time classes wherever you are, led by superstar instructors, on-camera, while another team of experts off-camera answers your questions via private chat. You will also get access to the GRE channel for pre-recorded video instructions, practice problems, drills, and tests. This plan costs $999.
A full live online GRE study package with the “PLUS” advantage, meaning subscribers get one-on-one tutoring and extra on-demand lessons in GRE math. It costs $1299.
The Kaplan On-Demand GRE package is a full-structured course for students who like to DIY. You can do it at your own speed. It costs $449 and includes over 180 hours of online lessons and practice and access to GRE for video instructions and practice exams. Students with busy schedules will love how the course is not a hassle.
It fits into any schedule. Plus, you are really never alone because it has built-in live lessons, via the GRE channel, six days of the week. It’s a six-month subscription.
This is a full-on-demand GRE study package plus extra recorded lessons for those looking for more math help for $699.You can ask questions, solve practice problems in real-time, and seek clarifications. You also get an extra coursebook on GRE Math Foundations.
Subscribers of this package get a full on-demand course plus 1-on-1 sessions with an expert instructor starting at $2299. That way, you save up to $500 on live online and tutoring GRE prep.
You will get access to study materials on the GRE channel and work with a private GRE expert to discover your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunity areas for improvement. You can choose from 10-, 20-, 30- or 40-hours tutoring bundles provided online or in-person.
If you’ve gone through the workbooks or worked with a tutor already, you can purchase this package to practice with realistic exams. It costs $149 and includes an interface that looks just like the actual test.
You will get four full-length practice exams with realistic questions and detailed explanations. It’s a six months subscription.
Rapid Review Live
This is a $49 crunch time GRE math package for those looking to refresh their skills a few days before the exam. It could also serve as a great introduction to other Kaplan GRE courses. It’s a quick review of basic GRE math topics and specific exam strategies by expert instructors.
You can also simply buy access to the Qbank if you don’t want to enroll in any of the above courses. It will cost you $69 and provide practice quizzes to build confidence in test-taking.
The package provides over 2500 practice questions that you can filter by length, topic, difficulty level, etc. each question is accompanied by a detailed explanation. You’ll also get personalized feedback to identify your mistakes and improve on them. It’s a 6-month subscription.
Who is the Kaplan GRE prep course best suited for? 🤔
The Kaplan GRE test prep program will benefit just about any student since there are various courses to choose from. Self-driven students can choose the on-demand packages. They are comprehensive DIY GRE study packages with a few live online instructions on the GRE channel but no homework or class assignments.
But you will get smart analytics to keep up with your progress and identify opportunities for improvement. Students who want to work with instructors 1-on-1, ask questions, and seek clarifications can choose either the live online or in-person packages. There’s tutoring, too, for those who want private coaching.
Furthermore, the company provides both online and offline study resources to benefit both traditional and modern learners. However, all courses are six-month subscriptions and therefore suited for students who’ve scheduled their exams within the next seven months.