Kaplan GRE Prep Course Review (2024's Online Curriculum)

William Cohen
Published by William Cohen
Last Updated On: March 14, 2022

Are you getting ready to take the GRE for graduate school? Are you hoping to get into your dream school? Well, you might want to look into taking a GRE prep course to strengthen your score. Or else, that dream school could be just that - a dream. Most college students know about Kaplan.

Well, we decided to check out their GRE prep course to see if it’s worth it. Keep reading to see our full review.

What Is Kaplan Test Prep?

Kaplan GRE

Kaplan is a GRE prep course that uses a combination of in-person, live online, and self-study courses to help students achieve their best possible GRE score.

They have a wide range of study materials available to students that are preparing for the GR.

Kaplan, or Kaptest, has been around for nearly 80 years. They provide testing advice, courses, test review, and practice materials for over 120 tests.

They are headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and have offices all around the world. Kaplan has testing and review services in over 36 countries.

Ranking 3
FREE TRIAL Free Practice Test
12 Free Practice Questions
Free Question of the Day
GUARANTEE Higher Score Guarantee
FORMAT Self-Paced
COURSE BOOKS 3 Workbooks + Pocket Reference
YOUTUBE CHANNEL 40+ GRE Related Videos
LIVE TUTORING Live Online Course $999
In Person Course $1199
STUDENT SUPPORT Only for premium options

Benefits And Highlights

The Kaplan test prep course offers full-length practice tests, prep books, practice questions, and additional course materials. Kaplan offers live online sessions, self-paced online courses, private tutoring, and in-person courses. They also offer financing options for students who qualify.

You can pay for 6 months of access to the self-paced option. The live online and in-person sessions vary in duration and price. The private tutoring sessions range from 10, 20, 30, or 40 hours of one on one instruction.

  • Money-back score guarantee
  • Financing options available
  • Option to try a free class
  • Personalized study plans
  • Expensive private tutoring
  • No GRE quantitative only course

Kaplan GRE Prep Course: Need To Know

4 Course Options

1. Self-Paced Prep Courses

This GRE prep course is ideal for busy GRE test takers who want online access to GRE prep materials at any time and in any place. With your purchase, you’ll have access to the materials for 6 months. They offer a Self-Guided Course and a Self-Guided Course Plus. Each course offers online resources, but the latter offers additional test-taking score boosters.

The Kaplan self-paced course offers expert guidance and over 180+ hours of instructional videos. This GRE prep course has 40+ hours for students to tune in to live, computer-based, and instructor-led lessons on the GRE Channel. You can also keep these videos for review later.

Kaplan’s GRE Channel has live online video lessons 6 days a week. If you need more help with certain GRE areas, such as analytical writing or math, you can hone in by watching additional videos targeting those areas.

The self-paced GRE prep course includes 7 practice exams that simulate real test-day conditions. Kaplan maintains 2,500 practice questions in a Qbank that students can customize for their study plan. You also get the most recent Kaplan prep books.

The Self-Paced Prep Course Plus offers everything that we mentioned above, plus two additional on-demand prep courses to help you master math. The first course is the GRE Math Foundations, and the second one is GRE Advanced Math. These courses might be best for students who haven’t had any math review since high school or early college.

Recommended Article: How Long Does it Take to Study for the GRE?

2. Live Online Course

Similar to the self-guided course, Kaplan offers a live online version and a plus version. This GRE prep class is ideal for people who want to experience live, instructor-led courses at a set time per week. This GRE course type helps keep students accountable by assigning homework and due dates.

It is an ideal combination of structure with some flexibility. Most of these GRE prep courses meet once a week for 7 weeks. Each session is 3 hours long for a total of 21 live instruction hours. Each class is taught by one on-screen teacher and several teachers answering questions in the private chat boxes.

This GRE course comes with 40+ hours of targeted videos on the GRE Channel. It also comes with unlimited access to GRE practice tests and questions from the bank. You will receive an official practice test day run by sitting at an actual test center for a full-length computer-based test.

The online plus advantage includes an additional 3 hours of one on one tutoring with an expert instructor, the GRE Quantitative Foundations course, and the GRE Advanced Quant course. You will also get access to a customized study plan, practice exams, and GRE prep books.

3. In-Person Prep Courses

While in-person GRE prep courses are arguably the most beneficial, they are often the most expensive. They also have to be taken at a center, which isn’t always feasible. These GRE prep courses are ideal for students who want the full classroom experience. It will keep students accountable for homework assignments.

The in-person GRE course instructors will provide a detailed study plan to each student with content customized to their learning style. You will get 40+ hours from the GRE channel and 21 hours of core classroom instruction in small class sizes.

You will also receive GRE practice exams and a bank of practice questions.

You will sit for an actual test under the same conditions as the test day, which is a great way to get rid of the nerves and jitters. The educational testing service provides this as part of your package.

4. Private Tutoring

Kaplan offers private GRE tutoring for students hoping to get an edge when taking their best GRE test. It is recommended for students looking to raise their GRE section score with the help of a personal GRE expert.

In our opinion, Kaplan’s private tutoring sessions are very expensive. They are offered both online and in-person.

You can purchase among 10, 20, 30, or 40 hours of private lessons. You’ll also have access to the full on-demand course 24/7.

They will provide you with GRE practice tests, practice questions, and video lessons. According to most reviews, this is the best way to score higher on the GRE test.

Availability of Classes

studying online

Kaplan GRE prep offers courses at a variety of times and days of the week. Obviously, the most efficiently and readily accessible option is the self-paced course.

If that’s not for you, you can choose from a range of other available classes.

Most of the online and in-person GRE prep courses are offered once or twice a week for a total of 7 online sessions. The sessions are all 3 hours long, and they offer them during the day and at night.


teaching in class

We were very impressed with the Kaplan GRE prep curriculum. The instructors seem to take the time out to prepare a strategic plan for each student to help raise their GRE scores.

The inclusion of an online customizable GRE question bank is helpful for students struggling in specific areas.

We were also big fans of how Kaplan broke down student’s answers into separate categories. This is one of the best ways for test-takers to bring their score up in certain areas.

For example, if you take a practice test, Kaplan will give you a full breakdown with each question category and how you scored.

It allows you to tailor your practice sets to fit your problem areas.

Study Materials

student mediums

This GRE prep course offers a multitude of different resources to help students succeed with their target GRE score. They offer over 7 different practice tests bases on a real previous GRE test.

They offer a huge bank of GRE questions for students to review.

They also offer the latest GRE books and guides. You can purchase study material packages from their website for cheaper than the courses.

Kaplan also offers numerous free resources such as GRE questions of the day, free online practice exams, and questions for specific sections.

You can try out practice questions for each section and see where your weak areas are for review. They’ll even let you sit in on their free events.



In general, we found that Kaplan fell right in the middle in terms of pricing. It beat out some of the competition, but not others.

We found their online courses and in-person prep options were reasonably priced, but private tutoring was a lot more expensive than some of the competition.

So, is this GRE prep course worth it?

It could be worth it if you are willing to shell out the cash.

They offer financing options for students who qualify, which can make it more reasonable. You would make monthly payments until your course is paid off.


student thinking

We thought Kaplan shined in this category. They offer a higher score guarantee, or you get a full refund. To qualify for the full refund, there are stipulations, of course, that could be difficult to deal with.

They do not specify those score guarantee stipulations on their website.

It gives students a little more peace of mind, though, as Kaplan promises to increase your score on your next GRE test.

Any Downsides?

One potential downside to Kaplan GRE test prep is that their one on one tutoring is overpriced. If this is something you are looking for to help with grad school admissions exams, you might want to look elsewhere.

Another possible downside is that they don’t offer a shorter, cheaper access time for the online self-guided course. The 6-month option is the only choice.

Real Student Results from Taking the Kaplan GRE Prep Course

We wanted to find out whether students who took the Kaplan GRE prep course saw a real improvement in their GRE test scores.

Accordingly, we had students take a GRE prep test before and after taking the Kaplan GRE prep course. We obtained each student’s Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning results from each test and compared them to determine a percentage improvement.

Although students saw their GRE test scores increase after completing the Kaplan GRE prep course, their percentage improvement in test scores was small. For example, one student achieved only a 16.5% improvement in score, while another saw only a 6.3% improvement.


Baseline (Before taking the course)
After studying the course
Student 1
Student 2
Smallest Improvement
Student 3
Student 4
Largest Improvement

GRE Logo

How Accurate Is The Kaplan GRE Prep?

There is a rumor that the Kaplan prep test is actually harder than the official GRE.

It may sound that it is a good thing, but if you had a lower score practicing, it could negatively affect your confidence in the real exam. So, we decided to do an experiment.

Four of our students studied only with the Kaplan GRE prep course and, as a final preparation, took the Kaplan prep test. After a few days, they took the real GRE, so we could see what was exactly going on.

Here is the comparison of their results:



(Test score
GRE Test
Student 1
Student 2
Student 3
Student 4
(Test score
GRE Test

GRE Logo

Although one of our test subjects had a significantly lower score on the Kaplan verbal test than on the GRE, we can’t say it is harder in general.

On the contrary, some students had better scores on the prep test than on the real one.

The conclusion is that the Kaplan prep practice test just isn’t that accurate when compared to other GRE prep courses on the market.

Social Proof

We found many positive customer reviews that spoke very highly of the practice tests, test review methods, and test prep strategy. Many students seemed to think that they achieved their best GRE score because of Kaplan test prep.

I had a great experience with Kaplan. All the instructors were excellent, you can tell they all really want you to succeed and do well. 10/10 recommend, I couldn’t have done it without them. [1].


What are my payment options?

You can pay by credit or debit card on Kaplan’s payment portal. You are allowed to make partial payments, but you cannot start your course until your balance is paid in full. They also accept checks and money orders. If you choose the financing option, you must make monthly payments through Kaplan’s partner company Affirm.

How long does it take to receive my books?

Once your payment is received in full, your prep books and the test materials will be shipped out within one business day. You should receive your books within 5 - 7 business days.

How much does it cost to ship my books?

Standard shipping costs about $25 within the US. Express shipping costs around $35 and international shipping costs about $75.

Can I extend my course?

Yes, you can extend your course anytime within the initial 60 days before the expiration date. We recommend extending your course if you are only a couple of days away from your test date and want additional study time. Each extension will allow you access to your course for an additional 24 weeks.

How much does an extension cost?

A course extension for the GRE test prep costs about $50 per 1-week extension.

What do I need to do to prepare for my first class session?

We recommend finding your baseline GRE scores by answering practice questions before arriving at your first session. This is the best way to make sure that your instructor can get to help you straight away.

If you are taking online classes, then we recommend arriving at the virtual room 15 minutes early.

Is A Kaplan GRE Course Worth It?

After our review of the Kaplan GRE Prep Class, we think that it is a good option compared to some of the more expensive competition. We like their approach to catering to all the practice questions for each student. One thing we also liked is the review options.

However, we think there is a cheaper and better alternative out there. We still trust Magoosh as the best GRE prep course, and here you can read our detailed Magoosh GRE course review.

They offer lower prices and more free practice questions to help students who might not afford a full one on one session. Magoosh offers the best options for people preparing for the GRE.


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