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What’s the Best GMAT Prep?

Studying for the GMAT can seem like a daunting process, especially considering all of the prep options out there. To ensure you reach your target score, you’ll want to invest in the best GMAT prep available.

Most people spend about three months studying for the GMAT. Everyone has different learning styles, and you know best what kind of prep will work for you. Before deciding on a study plan or the type of GMAT prep to purchase, be sure to consider:

Once you’ve identified your needs and cemented a timeline, you can begin to weigh your options. Here are the best ways to prep for the GMAT.

BEST GMAT PREP COURSES

  • BEST GMAT PREP #1: Studying with a GMAT Private Tutor

    There’s really no comparison to studying for the GMAT with a private tutor. Your tutor will cater to your schedule and specific study needs, identifying your weaknesses, and focusing your prep on your personal highest potential for score gains. Because a tutor will be completely focused on you, you’ll maximize every study hour. Some private tutoring courses, like Kaplan’s and Manhattan Prep’s, also give you access to online lessons or a full live online GMAT course, allowing you to supplement your in-person tutoring with self-study in all of the concepts the GMAT tests.

  • BEST GMAT PREP #2: Taking a GMAT Live Online Course

    Skip the commute and take a Live Online GMAT course. You can go to class from the comfort of your home (or anywhere you have wifi) and get expert instruction from a team of teachers. The experience is just like taking a GMAT course in a traditional classroom, but it’s online. One teacher leads the class on camera, and additional instructors answer your questions in realtime. Interact with the material without waiting for an opportune moment to raise your hand. Studying with a team of teachers will provide you with structure and keep you motivated.

  • BEST GMAT PREP #3: Studying on Your Own With a GMAT Self-Paced Online Course

    If you study best on your own and know that you can hold yourself accountable to a consistent schedule, a Self-Paced Online Course is a great option. You’ll get a full on-demand course and online guidance to structure your studying. Kaplan’s Self-Paced Course comes with an Adaptive Qbank that personalizes the questions you tackle and an Official Test Day Experience—you’ll take a practice exam at a real testing center, under the same conditions as the real thing.

    Manhattan Prep’s Interact for GMAT is led by their top-1% GMAT teachers, who guide you through each interactive lesson. The program is entirely self-paced and available on all devices. If you just need to brush up one section, you can opt for the Quant Only or Verbal Only options.

  • BEST GMAT PREP #4: GMAT Bootcamps

    If you’re short on time, Manhattan Prep will get you ready for the GMAT in just 2 or 3 weeks with its GMAT Boot Camps. Classes meet generally about 5 times a week In-Person or Online, but you’ll want to make sure you also have time to dedicate outside of class to homework and self-study to make sure you are getting the most out of the intensive prep experience.

Types of GMAT Prep: Pros/Cons

Pros

  • One-on-one instruction
  • Completely personalized lessons and feedback for the most score improvement
  • Works with your schedule
  • Effective studying, since you’ll be focusing with someone else

Cons

  • More expensive than other prep options

Pros

  • Entirely online, so you can attend wherever you have internet
  • You also have access to recorded lessons, so you’ll be able to catch up if you need to miss class.
  • Taught by Kaplan’s best teachers, with other great instructors standing by to answer questions in the chat

Cons

  • No physical instructor present to keep you accountable and focused
  • Although it’s okay to miss class and watch recorded classes later, you’ll get the most out of the live, interactive classes. This means your schedule should be somewhat predictable.

Pros

  • Total flexibility. You can complete the course whenever and from wherever you want.
  • You can choose from an arsenal of study materials to completely personalize your prep.
  • You have total control over how long you prep, and you can cater your prep to your test date, even if it changes.

Cons

  • You’re the only one keeping yourself accountable, which makes it more difficult to keep on track for your test date.

Pros

  • You can prepare for the GMAT very quickly, meaning that you can choose a GMAT date in the near future and still be prepared.

Cons

  • Studying quickly makes it harder to retain information.
  • There’s little flexibility in bootcamp, so you should expect to spend most of your time in class or studying.

Who needs GMAT test prep?

Anyone studying for the GMAT will benefit from some kind of structured test prep. Since the GMAT tests huge amounts of information as well as skills, following an expertly-created GMAT prep schedule and practicing tried and true test-taking strategies will make a big difference in your score. Read on to learn which types of GMAT prep will be a good fit for you.

GMAT Private Tutor

Getting a private GMAT tutor is a great option for anyone preparing for the GMAT, but may be especially helpful if you learn best through one-on-one, face-to-face interaction. If you learn by talking through ideas and getting immediate personalized feedback on your work, a GMAT tutor is the best way to make progress towards your goal score. 

GMAT Live Online Course

If you learn by asking questions and taking notes, and enjoy the flexibility of attending class from your home, consider taking a GMAT Live Online class. If you’re comfortable making your home a study space for a few months, this will be a great fit for you. These classes are taught by the best teachers Kaplan has to offer, with additional excellent teachers on standby to answer any questions asked in the chat.

GMAT In-Person Course

UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, in-person prep options are on hold indefinitely. For those that prefer this learning environment, we recommend our Live Online Classroom options mentioned above.

Online learning is our new normal.

GMAT Self-Paced Online Course

If you’re an expert at organizing your time and/or have a schedule too hectic for GMAT class at a set time, sign up for our GMAT Self-Paced Online Course.

GMAT Bootcamp

GMAT Bootcamps are designed for anyone who needs to study as much as possible in a short amount of time. If you signed up for the GMAT last-minute, or if you’ve put off studying until 2-3 weeks before the GMAT, Manhattan Prep’s GMAT Boot Camp is for you. 


COMPARISON: BEST GMAT PREP COURSE REVIEWS (2020)

KAPLAN GMAT PREP COURSESMANHATTAN PREP GMAT PREP COURSESMAGOOSH GMAT PREPPREPSCHOLAR GMAT PREP
SELF-PACED COURSE ONLINE INSTRUCTIONup to 74+ hours of recorded and archived instruction available35+ interactive lessons340 videosDozens of lessons
LIVE ONLINE COURSE INSTRUCTIONup to 48+ hours of live instruction, plus 3 hours of 1-on-1 tutoring27 hours of classroom instruction, plus 3 hours of 1-on-1 coaching6 hours of tutoring with PremiumTutoring option available
GMAT PRACTICE QUESTIONS5,000+ questions (including Qbank)Thousands of practice questions1,3001,000+
FULL-LENGTH PRACTICE TESTS9624
GMAT PREP BOOKS2600
ONLINE COURSE ACCESS6+ months6-12 months12 months4 months
GMAT COURSE PRICING$599+ (as low as $50/month)$359+$219+$259+

Frequently Asked Questions About GMAT Prep Courses

Is a GMAT Prep Course Worth It?

Regardless of where you stand with your GMAT prep, enrolling in a GMAT prep course is the most reliable way to both stay sharp on material that may be older to you, and to learn all the new material necessary to reach your goal GMAT score. Live Online, Self-Paced, and Practice prep options have the resources you need to master all subject matter tested on the GMAT, like practice tests, study plans, practice questions, and more.

Which is the best online GMAT prep course?

The Manhattan Prep and Kaplan GMAT Prep Course options provide the greatest range of materials to get you read you ready for GMAT test day including hands-on instruction, self-prep, diagnostic exercises, and much more.

How much does a GMAT prep course cost?

GMAT prep courses cost as low as $299. Kaplan and Manhattan Prep offer low monthly payment options that can help make some of the more expensive GMAT prep course options become affordable for those who may otherwise have a lower budget for their GMAT studies.

How difficult is the GMAT test?

The GMAT test is difficult for many, though all GMAT test takers’ experiences vary. By purchasing a GMAT prep course to get you ready for test day, you’ll be sure to have the tailored prep needed to help you meet your goal GMAT score.

BEST GMAT PREP BOOKS

Studying with a book is a good way to delve into the GMAT. Look for books that not only have content review, but also provide you with plenty of practice tests and online practice resources—you’ll want to get computer-based practice before Test Day. Use a book if you’re looking for an introduction to GMAT prep before you begin a course or if you’re an exceptional self-starter with no time for a scheduled GMAT course.

  • BEST GMAT PREP BOOK #1: Manhattan Prep All the GMAT

    Manhattan Prep’s All the GMAT is a three-book comprehensive set that delves into each area of the exam, giving you detailed and specialized instruction beyond tips and tricks. The books are written by Manhattan Prep’s top-1% scoring GMAT instructors and are the top-selling GMAT prep books in the world. You also get six months of access to online resources including 6 computer-adaptive practice exams, 9 online question banks, 5 GMAT Interact Lessons, and the GMAT Navigator, which analyzes your performance and helps prioritize your studying.

  • BEST GMAT PREP BOOK #2: GMAT Prep Plus 2020

    Kaplan’s GMAT Prep Plus 2020 guides you through your GMAT prep step-by-step, with online practice and videos to ensure you’re ready for test day. Study Kaplan’s proven strategies, practice your pacing, and become an expert in the exam’s computerized format with six online practice tests.

  • BEST GMAT PREP BOOK #3: GMAT Complete 2020

    Kaplan’s GMAT Complete 2020 is your comprehensive guide to acing the GMAT—master our proven strategies with four best-selling prep books, review key content, practice your pacing, and become an expert in the exam’s computerized format with online practice.

BEST GMAT PREP ADD-ONS

If you’re looking to fine-tune your prep rather than taking a full course or studying with comprehensive books, consider these prep tools.  

  • BEST GMAT PREP ADD-ON #1: GMAT Adaptive Qbank

    Kaplan’s GMAT Adaptive Qbank not only quizzes you, but also adapts to you, so you’ll keep improving your skill level. Each of the over 2300 questions comes with detailed explanations, and you’ll get a progress report that shows you what to study next. Work on any device, when it’s convenient for you.

  • BEST GMAT PREP ADD-ON #2: GMAT PRACTICE PACK

    You can add up to 8 full-length practice tests to your Adaptive Qbank with Kaplan’s Practice Pack. You’ll get unlimited access to realistic, full-length practice tests for 90 or 180 days.