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 is a full-time instructor for Kaplan Test Prep and he loves preparing GRE students for Test Day. The classroom is Lucas’ arena. When he cannot be found in one of Kaplan’s cage matches of learning, he is very likely dancing around DePaul University’s College of Commerce/Kellstadt Graduate School of Business in Chicago professing various courses offered by the Department of Management, up to and including monikers such as: “Managing for Effective and Ethical Organizational Behavior,” “Entrepreneurship Strategy,” “Strategic Managements and Analysis,” “Human Resource Management,” “Recruitment and Selection,” and “Foundations of Business Thought and Theory.” (Although that last one was cancelled just before the quarter started and he’s still not gotten over it.) Lucas spent most of his formative years in North Carolina, but hit the long road as soon as he was able. A world traveler with a currently expired passport, he has lived on and wandered around three continents with the expressed intention of finishing the job. He holds a BFA with a concentration in sculpture as well as an MBA with dual concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Finance. When not challenging standardized tests to a duel or wondering how to corrupt the business students of America, Lucas can be found brewing delicious beers, riding-then-fixing-then-riding his motorcycle, hanging out with dogs, pretending he’s a good cook, and feeling like the luckiest guy in the world to have such a fantastic wife and endlessly amazing young son. He’s in Milwaukee now, but is in Chicago often. Email him anytime about anything at:

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