GMAT Prep options: What’s better? Online or On Site?

December 3, 2012
Lucas Weingarten

Part of my job as a Kaplan Test Prep GMAT instructor is to host events such as free practice tests and preview classes.  At the end, I like to cover the various prep options Kaplan offers just in case an attendee is interested.  We have four packages to choose from:

  1. Kaplan GMAT On Site
  2. Kaplan GMAT Anywhere
  3. Kaplan GMAT On Demand
  4. Kaplan GMAT One-on-One

At its most basic, the decision boils down to what kind of learner you are.  In this post, however, I’d like to focus on the differences between options 1 and 2 because that is the most common choice people weigh with me.

The first thing to keep in mind is that both the On Site (classroom in a brick-and-mortar, traditional environment) and Anywhere (classroom in our live online virtual Adobe® environment) have seven out of a total of twelve class sessions held online.  Here, I am referring to Kaplan’s Fixed and Flex class sessions.

Our six Fixed sessions are comprised of three Verbal and three Quant classes.  Each of these introduces the student to the Kaplan Methods for each question type and the major strategies our students put to use when cracking the GMAT as well as the primary content knowledge necessary for test day success.  If you are an On Site student, all six of these foundational classes are exactly what you are used to from back in school.  You have a classroom full of colleagues, a GMAT expert you can shake hands with, and a dedicated time and place to show up.

You might be surprised at the core differences between the On Site and the Anywhere course: you can’t shake hands with your Anywhere instructor.  That’s it.  Well, that and you can wear your pajamas to class since you can attend from home.

In all Fixed and Flex online classes, an on-camera instructor engages the class and coaches students through the course material.  Meanwhile, at least one other GMAT expert instructor (sometimes several, depending on class size) is off-camera fielding questions and interacting with the class.  Additionally, all instructors assigned to Anywhere classes are available outside of class for email correspondence.  Of course, On Site instructors continuously exchange emails with students even after the Fixed sessions are completed all the way to Test Day and beyond.

In upcoming posts, I’ll assess each of our Fixed and Flex sessions.  I don’t have the opportunity to delve into this level of detail at marketing events, and I am excited to be able to use the blog to do so.  In the mean time, if you have any specific questions about the various means of prepping for the GMAT with Kaplan, please post them below!


Lucas Weingarten Lucas Weingarten teaches students how to beat the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for Kaplan Test Prep and is proud to have earned “elite instructor” status. Lucas writes extensively for Kaplan’s GMAT blog, and in addition to the GMAT and business school as primary subject matter, he regularly explores topics within higher education, economic systems, sustainability, and current events. Lucas spent his formative years in North Carolina and currently resides in Milwaukee, WI, though he has not yet found the part of the world wherein to bury his roots. He has an MBA with a dual concentration in entrepreneurship and finance from DePaul University in Chicago and is fortunate to have secured an adjunct teaching position there out of the department of management. Family, friends, and a seemingly endless stream of new hobbies keep Lucas busy and happy outside of the classroom. You can reach out any time by email ( or through the comments thread after his blog posts.

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