It’s no secret that your GRE score is a critical factor for whether you get into the grad school program of your choice.
What’s your plan for getting a great GRE score?
Two of the most popular online GRE prep services are offered by Magoosh and Kaplan.
Are either of these prep programs right for you?
*Some of the links included in this article are affiliate links for The Graduate School Site, which means that I will get paid a commission if you purchase something using the link. This commission will not increase your price for the service.
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The links I have included in this article are for the free/trial services offered by the companies, so you can try their products without paying anything.
Magoosh GRE Prep – 7 Day Free Trial
Kaplan – Free GRE Practice Test
*You might also be interested in an article discussing the important differences between the GRE and GMAT tests.
Magoosh vs Kaplan: What are the Similarities?
Magoosh and Kaplan have the same core goals, to increase the GRE scores of their students, so their offered services have a lot of overlap.
Watch at Your Own Pace Videos Lessons
Both Magoosh and Kaplan have an extensive library of teaching videos which discuss test taking strategies for the GRE test in general and for specific question types.
According to their sales pages, Magoosh’s online program has 200+ video lessons while Kaplan’s video library has 18+ hours of recorded instruction.
Most of Magoosh’s videos are ~5 minutes long, so their video library is about the same size as Kaplan. If the average Magoosh video is 5 minutes long, then 200+ videos is ~17 hrs, which is about the same as Kaplan’s 18+ hours.
Score Improvement Guarantee
Both Kaplan and Magoosh have a “Score Improvement Guarantee” that could be helpful if you have previously taken the GRE test.
Magoosh will refund your money if you do not improve your overall GRE score by 5 points.
In order to qualify for the guarantee, you have to watch all of the lesson videos, complete all of the practice questions, and watch all of the video explanation videos for the practice questions that you answered incorrectly. You will also need to email them a copy of your previous score report to prove that you did not improve your score by 5 points.
Kaplan’s score guarantee is for any number of points, so if you improve by 1 point then you are not eligible for a refund.
They have a similar requirement to Magoosh, so you will need to watch all the video lessons and complete all the practice questions and practice tests to qualify for the score improvement guarantee.
Can I Study on My Phone or Tablet?
Both services offer a mobile app that includes their video lessons and quizzes.
The mobile features might be convenient if you are trying to cram studying into whatever spare moment you have.
Differences Between Kaplan and Magoosh GRE Prep
The features and pure content of these two services are starkly different.
Kaplan offers a higher level service compared to Magoosh, but that service comes with a much higher price point.
How Many Practice GRE Questions are Included in the Programs?
Kaplan has significantly more practice questions than Magoosh.
They have 5,000+ practice questions compared to Magoosh’s 1,000+ practice questions, so if practice problems are your favorite route for learning then Kaplan might be a better choice for you.
Kaplan also includes more full length practice GRE tests in their program. They have 7 practice tests compared to Magoosh’s offering of 3 tests.
Does Either Program Include GRE Essay Practice?
Kaplan’s Self Paced GRE prep program includes the ability to complete practice essays and have them scored by certified instructors. You can submit two essays at a time and they are scored and returned within a week.
Magoosh’s standard program does not include a scored essay feature. They include essay grading and review in their premium tutoring package, but it is significantly more expensive than the self guided online prep program ($600 instead of $149).
Are Additional Bonuses Included with Magoosh or Kaplan’s GRE Prep Services?
Kaplan’s GRE prep service comes with some bonuses. Every student that signs up for their GRE prep self paced online program also gets 4 physical Kaplan GRE prep books.
The books are:
Kaplan’s service also includes a flashcard app for additional review.
Magoosh does not offer any extra materials beyond their core review product.
Magoosh Cost vs Kaplan Cost
Kaplan’s self paced program is significantly more expensive than Magoosh’s service.
In 2018, Kaplan’s program costs $699.00 for 6 months of access to their prep program. Magoosh only costs $149.00 for the same 6 months of access.
Is Magoosh or Kaplan Right for You?
The most important question you can ask when deciding how to prepare for the GRE, is what are your goals?
Have you taken a free GRE test to see how you would do on the test today? What score do you need to get into the grad school program of your choice?
If you don’t need to boost your GRE score much, then you don’t need to invest a lot of time, energy, and money into increasing your score.
Also, how much time and energy can you afford to spend on preparing for the GRE?
Kaplan’s program includes many more practice questions, practice tests, and practice essays than Magoosh, but do you think you will have time to complete the 1000+ practice questions included in Magoosh’s program?
If you don’t have time to complete 5,000+ practice GRE questions, then paying more for Kaplan’s service might not make much sense.
It all depends on what will work best for you.
Either way, you should take advantage of the free help offered by both services here:
Magoosh GRE Prep – 7 Day Free Trial
Kaplan – Free GRE Practice Test
Looking to Upgrade Your Grad School Efforts?
Check out our Resources page. The resources include helpful websites, books, and proven study tools to give you every advantage in your graduate school program.
Getting a good GRE score is critical to getting into your top grad school choice. What is your GRE prep plan? This page is a collection of our GRE articles including test FAQ's, top tools, and GRE test strategies. When possible we link to free tools and...
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