Kaplan GMAT Course Reviews
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Kaplan -- Is it really worth all that money?
January 11 | 2012

4 out of 4 people found the following review helpful
  [ What's this? ]
       By GMATT73 joined: January 29, 2005 | 5252 | 139 | native speaker
Improvement: N/A  |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:  Kaplan GMAT Advantage Course | Location:   San Francisco, CA USA |
With all the hype about how Kaplan is the apotheosis of test prep, I recently forked out the cash for their classroom based course and have mixed reactions about the effectiveness of such service. Just curious if anybody else shares the same opinion....

Sure their textbooks provide extra practice, and easy to understand explanations, but is it really worth the $1400 for just eight classes??

First of all, my Kaplan teacher did not show up for the first two classes. He simply forgot he was teaching on those nights. So we were asked to agree on a makeup lesson, which really threw a cog in the wheel for those of us who were working and/or had other commitments. To add insult to injury, when the teacher finally did come, (he also happened to be a GRE and LSAT teacher) he frequently confused the subject matter that he was teaching. It was so frustrating getting responses like "let me get back to you on that", which by the way he never did. It was the details that we were interested in, and yet he just flat out froze up when confronted with questions like "Which comes first in the AWA, the Argument or Issue essay?" Or, when asked to explain the negation strategy for CR. Or even how to attack boldfaced questions.

I am not totally dissing Kaplan, but frankly they charge way too much for both a lack of specialization and limited services (no advanced PS or DS). $1400 for eight classes (the first class is a diagnostic paper test) boils down to about $180 per three hour session. One would expect to receive keen insight which can not be simply read in the answer explanations, but instead the instructor did just that- SIMPLY READ THE ANSWER EXPLANATIONS. I have paid a fraction of the price at a community college for much more difficult courses and received far better value for money.

Essentially, IMHO Kaplan is milking off it's research from a decade or so ago, not keeping pace with recent additions and changes to the test. True, the GMAT is standardized but it is and will continue to evolve (hence the experimental questions). Their course uses age old strategies and tips that one can easily obtain by actively reading a $25 textbook. Furthermore, Kaplan seems to prepare students for the 550-650 range, obviously sub-par for the course of the big leagues.
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Prep courses- my personal experience
December 29 | 2011

0 out of 1 people found the following review helpful
  [ What's this? ]
       By mim3 joined: July 21, 2008 | 9 | 2 | native speaker
Improvement: 100 Points |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:  Kaplan GMAT Advanced Course | Location:   San Francisco, CA USA |
Just wanted to share a quick story about my experience with test prep courses. I started studying for the GMAT about a year ago and enrolled in Manhattan GMAT a few months into the studying. I thought that the course was helpful in teaching the math concepts, but did little to really help with the actual test taking strategy. I took the test feeling mildly prepared and got a 640. I was beyond disappointed. I gave it another shot about a month later, thinking that the results of the first test could be attributed more to nerves than to ability, and got a 680. An improvement, but not the score I was looking for.

After being waitlisted at my top choice, I revisited the test one final time. I'm someone who needs a bit more direction and structure with studying, and I wanted to make sure I gave the test my best shot, so I enrolled in Kaplan advanced. From the beginning, the course keyed in on not only the test content, but also the strategies (mostly for quant). I already had a solid knowledge base from prior studying, but the Kaplan course was just what I needed to take it to the next level. I was testing in the mid 700's on their practice exams and ended up with a 740 (48Q/42V) on the real thing. I was beyond thrilled.

I post this to tell people that were in my position to consider the Kaplan course. I realize that it's pricey, but I really think it's worth it if you can swing it. It took over a year, but I finally got the score I wanted.
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