By Tech Powered Dad | May 27, 2020
Some links on this site are affiliate links, meaning a percentage of your purchase will support my work at Tech Powered Math at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!
In this post:
- Best Classroom GMAT Prep: Princeton Review
- Best Live Online GMAT Prep: Princeton Review
- Best GMAT Prep on Demand: Kaplan
- Best GMAT Prep on a Budget: examPal
- Best GMAT Prep Book: Manhattan Prep
When an MBA is in your future, you are most likely planning to take the GMAT. Almost 90% of MBA applicants take the GMAT, meaning that along with your undergraduate GPA, it’s one of the most easily quantitative measures an admissions officer has to consider on your application. For anyone who cares about getting into the best MBA program they can qualify for, squeezing out a few extra points on the GMAT can make a big difference during the admissions process.
I’ve reviewed some of the most popular GMAT prep courses available today, and I’ve brought together my recommendations of what I think are the best courses for getting that extra boost. These recommendations take into account factors such as the cost, technology, and materials available with each of these prep providers. Each has a proven reputation in the GMAT prep space offers some of the highest quality materials available in GMAT prep. Worth noting for 2020, my previous pick for Best GMAT Prep on Demand, The Economist, has (temporarily?) put their GMAT program on hiatus, leaving me to reevaluate who should take this “best of” pick.
Best Classroom GMAT Prep and Live Online Prep: Princeton Review
If you are less interested in a fully on-demand course and feel like you are the kind of person who needs a live course to bring out the best in your GMAT prep, take a look at Princeton Review. As of Spring 2020, they’ve just launched a new course, their GMAT 700+ Course, which comes with a guarantee of a 700 or better on the GMAT. These classes are normally available in-person or online, though currently all Princeton Review courses have been shifted to online due to the Covid-19 crisis. They also keep the courses at a very small number to make sure everyone gets individual attention from the course instructor, with the absolute maximum number of students being 10.
Here are some of the best features currently available in The Princeton Review GMAT prep, specifically their 700+ course:
- 4,400+ GMAT practice questions, including the GMAT official guide book bundle
- Max class size of 10
- 4 hours of 1 on 1 instruction from the course teacher
- 10+ hours of verbal and math sessions
- 10+ hours of instruction advanced GMAT questions
- 47 total hours of instruction
- 10 computer question-by-question adaptive practice tests
Which GMAT Prep Package from The Princeton Review?
After reviewing all of The Princeton Review’s GMAT prep options, I’d go with their 700+ Course. To be clear, you do need a previous score of at least 620+ to qualify for this guarantee. This means if you scored in that range, the score guarantee is fairly similar to the guarantees from the other providers mentioned on this list, and if you didn’t, this guarantee may not be of great help to you. That said, this course comes with one of their best lineup of features for the price.
Click here to check the latest pricing on GMAT prep from The Princeton Review.
Best On Demand GMAT Prep: Kaplan
With The Economist pulling their well regarded on demand GMAT prep off the market, I took another look at the various on demand options. I’m recommending Kaplan’s Self-Paced GMAT prep. Kaplan probably has the deepest bench of on demand content among the major providers of GMAT prep content. They provide a large number of practice tests, questions, and they also provide their “Official Test Day Experience”, which simulates the real test experience very closely to the real thing. They’ll send you to an actual GMAT testing center to take a practice test that will feel just like the real thing.
Here are some of highlights of Kaplan’s Self-Paced GMAT prep:
- 14 hours of recorded instruction
- 5,000+ practice questions
- The Official Test Day Experience
- 2 prep books and an MBA admissions guide
- 9 full-length computer adaptive practice tests
- Higher score guaranteed
Which GMAT Prep Package from Kaplan?
As of this review, Kaplan offers two on demand packages, Self-Paced, and Self-Paced Plus. Self-Paced Plus is usually priced a couple of hundred dollars more. For that extra money, you will get 30 hours of live instruction, and their GMAT Math Foundations course. These are pretty big additions. While they are worth the money, I’m recommending Self-Paced for most people unless you know you need the extra math instruction. There’s already a ton of content in the Self-Paced course without upgrading to Plus.
Click here to check the latest pricing on Kaplan GMAT prep.
Best GMAT Prep on a Budget: Exam Pal
What if you need a quality alternative to the choices above that’s slightly more affordable? In that case, I’d go with examPAL. While examPAL doesn’t offer quite the same number of on demand resources that the other two GMAT prep programs I’ve recommended here, they do have a very respectable library of materials, their programs are less costly, and many students swear by them. They also offer an unusual feature, the ability to meet with an MBA admissions consultant who can coach you through the admissions process and help with issues like your resume, interview prep, letters of recommendation and questions you have about your chances for admission at particular tiers of schools.
Here are some of the features to be aware of with examPAL’s Premium GMAT prep course:
- 70+ point score improvement
- 4 practice tests
- 3 essay reviews
- 1 hour with an MBA admissions consultant
Which GMAT Prep Package from examPAL?
examPAL’s most popular course is their mid-tier offering, the “Premium” course. That is the one I recommend. By stepping down to their cheapest “Quant” course, you’ll lose a lot, giving up the score guarantee, essay reviews, admission consultancy, and access to the access to Verbal + AWA materials.
You could pay more for the “Genius” course, which will give you additional features like some 1 on 1 tutoring, but at that point, this isn’t really a budget option any more, and I’d steer you back to Kaplan.
Click here to check the latest pricing for examPAL GMAT prep.
Compare GMAT Test Prep Options
|Available Options*||Kaplan||Exam Pal||Princeton Review|
|Live Online Option||Yes||No||Yes|
|Most Popular Option||Self-Paced||Premium||GMAT 700+|
|Premium Option||In-Person||Genius||Private Tutoring|
|Practice Tests||9 w/Self-Paced||4||10|
|Online Tutor Option||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Score guarantee||Improved score||70+ improvement w/Premium||700+|
* Not all options available with every package. Packages subject to change. See official websites for current details. Numbers based on most common packages at time of original publication.
Best GMAT Prep Book: Manhattan Prep: All the GMAT
When it comes to the best GMAT prep book, I would steer you to Manattan Prep’s All the GMAT. As of the time of this post, over 70% of the reviews for the current version of their All the GMAT prep book are 5 stars. Manahattan Prep is a well respected test prep company that was founded in 2000, and is known in particular for their GMAT and GRE prep guides. They go beyond tips and tricks and get into the meat of the material covered on the GMAT. With their prep guide, you get the following:
- Three volumes: GMAT All the Quant guide, GMAT All the Verbal guide, and GMAT Integrated Reasoning & Essay guide
- 1900+ pages of content
- Six full-length GMAT computer adaptive tests
- Full access to Manhattan Prep’s GMAT Navigator
Click here to get All the GMAT on Amazon.