In this article, you will find a full Kaplan GRE Course review. We will talk about the course options and features and give you some useful tips to get the most out of the GRE prep course and successfully master the GRE test.
Getting into some of the top Graduate School programs in the United States requires excellent grades and a high GRE score. As such, there is no shortage of GRE Prep courses to choose from. Next to Kaplan, PrepScholar, and Magoosh is the best GRE prep companies that promise students a higher score guarantee.
Choosing a GRE prep course from the many options available can be overwhelming. We will look at one of the best GRE Prep courses today, from GRE Test Prep. We will take an in-depth look at the Kaplan program and get feedback from students who have used the Kaplan online prep course.
About Kaplan Prep Courses
Kaplan is a well-known name in education. Having been in business for over 80 years, Kaplan has built a solid reputation for providing quality programs, prep books, and GRE prep courses. Founded in 1838 by Stanley Kaplan, the company was primarily a tutoring resource for individuals entering college.
Over the years, the company expanded to include tutoring sites around the country. Kaplan became a familiar name in education and tutoring. They expand their business to include professional training, their own higher educational programs, online university programs, test prep classes, prep books, and computer programs. They run many different GRE prep courses such as GRE, ACT, MCAT, and LSAT GRE prep courses.
With their diverse experience in the Education industry, Kaplan is the leader in the market. As the first test GRE prep company in the country and one of the primary online educational resources, Kaplan has often been the model or standard for other companies and programs that have since followed suit.
In that regard, you can expect any of the tutoring programs, GRE prep books, and GRE prep courses – whether a live online course or in the classroom, to be a solid choice. They have been doing this for a very long time, and as such, have a good understanding of what works in terms of test prep and consistently score higher marks from students.
What is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?
The general GRE, or the Graduate Record Examination, is a comprehensive exam that measures verbal reasoning (2 25-question sections), quantitative reasoning (2 25-question sections), analytical writing (1 section, two writing samples), and critical thinking. It is a standardized, computer-generated test that many colleges & universities weigh when determining school admissions to graduate programs.
The verbal and quantitative reasoning portions of the GRE are scored on a scale from 130 – 170, in whole numbers. The analytical writing section is scored between 0 – 6, in half-point increments. There are additional GRE practice tests for specific study schools, such as Biology, Chemistry, Literature, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. However, the General GRE is the most widely taken and, for some programs, can make the difference between an application being accepted or denied.
For reference, here are some of the GRE scores required for admission in the School of Engineering for some of the top programs in the US:
|University of Pennsylvania||155||166|
Each graduate program has different GRE requirements. However, the numbers above are fairly standard for maths and science-based fields of study at the top US graduate schools.
What can make the GRE challenging is the low number of GRE practice questions? With four sections of only 25 practice questions each, even one or two questions can make the difference between a good score and a great one. It can also make a difference between an average score and a disappointing one. This factor, along with many graduate programs’ competitive nature, can make the GRE test-taking process quite intimidating.
Is a GRE Prep Course the right decision for me?
I think it may not be easy to decide whether or not to take a GRE prep course for many. After four years of Undergraduate experience, some students aren’t sure if they need it. Also, let’s not forget; GRE prep courses may be expensive. Money can be hard to come by as a college student. Therefore it is important to be sure that you are getting value for your money.
It is important to do all of the necessary research. Some schools use GRE as a major factor when making admissions decisions. For other schools, or specific programs within a school, it may not be as important.
For some areas of study, the GRE is critical. I would recommend to any student trying to decide if a GRE prep course is for them to compare different schools’ admission requirements throughout the country. Talk to students in these programs. Talk to an admissions counselor at your top picks, and talk to your friends who have taken GRE prep courses.
A few points on the GRE can make an enormous difference for some programs and schools. If a GRE prep course can help you meet your goals, it may be money well spent.
If you decide a GRE prep course makes good sense for you, it’s time to find the right one.
Kaplan GRE Prep Course Options
Students find several options for GRE prep courses.
Kaplan GRE Self-Paced Online Complete Course
The fee: from USD 449.00
Probably the most popular GRE course is their 6 months Self-Paced GRE Online prep course.
It is a comprehensive study plan that includes
- 6 months access to all test prep course materials
- over 180 hours of online instruction
- access to QBank, with over 5000 GRE questions for study
- self-paced GRE courses with Math programs
- 2 GRE test prep books
- Seven full GRE practice test (online)
- and access to 35 hours of live online instruction on the GRE Channel.
Finally, the GRE prep course also allows students to do an “official test day experience” GRE practice test, simulating the real thing. This GRE prep test allows participants to work out all their test day jitters beforehand.
GRE Live Online Complete and In-Person Course
The fee (Online GRE prep Course): USD 999.00 USD 799.00
The fee (In-Person GRE prep Course): USD 1200.00
This GRE prep course includes
- 21 hours of live instruction
- 3 hours of one on one tutoring
- self-paced GRE math programs
- over 180 hours of online instruction
- access to QBank and over 5000 practice test prep questions
- 2 GRE prep books
- Seven full practice tests online
- access to 35 hours of live instruction on the GRE Channel
- and the “official test day experience” practice exam.
180 Hours of Online Instruction
The online instructions are pre-recorded classroom-style lectures with demonstrations and self-paced exercises. It feels very much like a typical class experience, and the information is taught well, with examples. The instructors have a nice presentation style, and the information is relayed in a clear, easy-to-understand manner. The video lessons also offer some helpful GRE test day strategies and hints.
Kaplan GRE Workbooks
The program comes with 2 GRE Prep workbooks. There are online versions as well as physical versions of the books. They are nicely laid out, including exercises, practice questions, and test-taking strategies for each section of the actual exam, quantitative, verbal, and written. The books are beneficial and can be purchased outside of the GRE prep program. However, they are better used in tandem with the online lesson. The Kaplan books are a great supplement to the lessons provided via online instruction.
Kaplan GRE Channel
The GRE channel from Kaplan is an optional portion of the program that is very helpful. The GRE channel includes both live and on-demand lessons on specific topics, with examples. They are accommodating when discussing mathematical topics, formulas, and test strategies.
QBank is a wonderful resource. It is Kaplan’s question bank of over 5000 practice questions. The users create self-quizzes to go over information that may be more difficult or for which the student needs additional practice. The user gets to select the topics for the practice questions and the skill level (easy/medium/hard). The user can work in; tutor modes, which are unlimited time, allowing them to work out each problem carefully, or timed mode, which simulates test day.
QBank is a beneficial resource, as students can start with easy practice questions in tutor mode, slowly work up to the harder questions, and ultimately move into timed mode. This gives users a great simulation of the actual test day experience and can help students prepare for the live test. The best part about Qbank is the point by point process of showing how a problem is solved, so if a user struggles with a particular problem, they can see step by step how the problem should have been solved.
Kaplan Practice Tests
Kaplan offers several full-length practice exams that give students a realistic test day experience, at least in terms of the type of practice questions they will see and the GRE time allowed per section. Between the QBank program and the practice exams, students have a ton of opportunities to test simulations, identify areas of weakness, make the necessary corrections, and finally, watch the pertinent video instruction to learn the topic better.
Test Day Experience Practice Test
This is probably one of the Kaplan program’s best features, and not everybody seems to take advantage of this. Kaplan includes their test day experience with every GRE prep program. Essentially, it is a replica of what the test taker will experience on test day. The practice exams are administered at a GRE testing center, and the user will go through the exact process, from check-in to test completion, that will occur on test day. This is an invaluable lesson, as it gives insight to the student that can’t be gained anywhere else.
Like on the real test day, participants should arrive at the testing center (the same center where they will be taking their test) 30 minutes early, sign in and bring their identification. The day will run exactly like a typical test day. Be aware that students can not bring any extra items into the testing room. The simulated test is a great way for students to understand what to expect on the GRE test day.
Tips on Getting the Most out of Kaplan GRE Prep Courses
All in all, Kaplan is on the list for the best GRE prep course with a strong prep program incl. Practice tests for students wishing to take the GRE. Even with the live online and classroom live programs, there are many online resources available with the Kaplan program. Since the online information is all self-paced, it is important to dive into the material and use its resources.
The online lessons from Kaplan are great, but they are only one piece of the overall puzzle. Many students who take self-paced programs make the mistake of only watching the lectures and focusing on the practice exams. With the Kaplan program having the bulk of material online for all students, whether classroom, online life, or self-paced, it is vital to use all the materials.
The study books provide a ton of information, strategy, and lesson assessments to prepare for the exam. Besides, the optional GRE Channel video lessons are beneficial. They cover one specific topic and are taught by one of the Kaplan instructors. They do an excellent job of explaining difficult concepts and solutions for the problems.
Students should also take advantage of QBank. Qbank has over 5000 practice questions and is adaptive to your skill level. Students can create endless practice questions and quizzes, and with any wrong answer, QBank will provide the appropriate solution. It is an excellent learning tool!
What do users say about the Kaplan GRE prep course?
- The online program by Kaplan is easy to use, works well, and is very user friendly.
- There is a ton of useful material included in the program.
- The practice tests are helpful, and the simulated test day experience is the best way to be completely prepared for what will happen on test day.
- Online customer support is sometimes slow to respond to customer inquiries.
- While Kaplan’s program is solid, there is no new or revolutionary to make it stand out.
All in all, preparing for the GRE is vital, so you want to make the right decision when choosing the best prep course. The Kaplan GRE course is well worth the money, time, and effort and has many practice problems and GRE questions. And should you not be happy with the result, Kaplan way give you a full refund. As is typical with Kaplan, this is a solid program that, if worked fully, will help students prepare and be well prepared for their GRE test day. However, the important thing to remember here is that Kaplan provides everything a student will need to prepare. It is incumbent on the student to truly do a deep dive into all the materials to truly get the most of the Kaplan program.