Getting a higher score on the GMAT can be the advantage you need to get into your top choice business school. If you’re like most people, you’re not willing to go in blind without putting some time (and probably some money) into preparing for this important exam.
GMAT prep courses can help supplement your existing knowledge. They’re great for knocking some of the rust off the things you learned years (or maybe even decades) ago, and helping you refresh on skills you don’t use frequently.
When you start the process of trying to find the right GMAT prep course, you’ll quickly realize that there are way more options available to you than you ever could have imagined.
In this article, we’re rounding up the best GMAT prep courses out there to give you their strengths, weaknesses, and to show you how they stack up against one another.
After reading this in-depth review, you’ll have all the tools you need to choose the best GMAT prep course for you, and you’ll be one step closer to that MBA you’ve been dreaming about!
Our selection criteria
No matter how great the GMAT prep course may be, it doesn’t matter if you can’t afford it! Here, we evaluate the price relative to what the prep course offers.
Score improvement guarantee
Does the test prep company stand behind its products? We’ve considered whether the prep course includes a guarantee, and the stipulations that go along with it.
Everyone knows that practice makes perfect. So, we evaluated the quantity and quality of practice tests and questions in each GMAT prep course.
A big differentiator among GMAT prep courses is the content. How much content, how it’s presented, and whether it’s user-friendly.
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Our Recommendations for the Best GMAT Prep Courses
Best Overall: Magoosh GMAT
Best for Practice Opportunities: The Princeton Review GMAT
Best Content and Materials: Manhattan Prep GMAT
How We Selected the Best GMAT Prep Courses
Value Offered: GMAT prep courses are expensive. Some of them are really expensive. We looked at exactly what each course offers and what they charge for access to their content and materials.
We considered factors like length of access, quantity and quality of practice questions and tests, instructors, and so on. While the price isn’t everything, it’s a very important factor for most people, and we want to ensure you get what you pay for.
Guarantees: You can tell a lot about a GMAT prep company based on its guarantee. Many of these companies offer some kind of score improvement or satisfaction guarantee, and the ones that offer BIG score improvement promises are typically the ones that more frequently produce the best results.
Practice Opportunities: Many test-takers believe that the key to success is practice, practice, and more practice. We tend to agree that practice opportunities are an important component of GMAT prep.
As such, we looked at the number of practice questions the course offers, how many practice GMAT exams, and whether the practice questions or tests are adaptive. We also considered reviews discussing how the practice compares to the real test.
We also considered whether the course gives users an opportunity to practice essay writing.
User Friendliness: We looked at the company’s user experience, their platform, what kind of study plans they provided, and if they offer support to test-takers. We also considered the content delivery (videos, textual, live instruction, etc.).
Length of Access: The amount of time you have to access the prep materials is important, because it can be the difference between getting an early start on getting ready for the GMAT and waiting until the last minute.
Magoosh GMAT - Our Pick for the Best Overall GMAT Prep Course
Magoosh is one of the most popular GMAT prep courses on the market, and that’s not by accident.
Their GMAT prep course is one of the best values on the market. Magoosh offers comprehensive content, useful and engaging videos, an excellent score improvement guarantee, and a full year of access.
Magoosh’s Self-Study Premium GMAT prep course, priced at $249, gives you access to math, verbal, IR, and AWA content. With over 340 engaging video lessons, over 1,300 practice questions, and at least 2 practice tests, there are plenty of opportunities to practice your skills.
Magoosh even offers a Guided Study option that includes 23 hours of live instruction along with their Premium course for just $599. Their budget-friendly pricing makes their GMAT prep courses available to more students, which we think is highly commendable.
People love Magoosh because they started out being 100% online, so it’s something they do very well. They’ve mastered the digital realm for test prep, and they back it up with an easy to use platform and dedicated mobile app.
We were impressed with some of the added features Magoosh offers, like the ability to pause your plan. With the full year of access, there’s a good chance where you’ll have busy periods that you won’t be focused on studying for the GMAT. In that case, you can simply pause your plan and you don’t lose that valuable time.
They also give you the opportunity to practice using the online whiteboard, which is the same feature that you’ll see on the actual GMAT. It’s really helpful to familiarize yourself with the online whiteboard ahead of time.
Still, the main reason that Magoosh GMAT prep is such an excellent value and high-quality course is because of their video lessons and explanations.
Every question is accompanied by a detailed video explanation to help you understand how to get the answer, common mistakes, and tips and tricks for solving similar problems. These videos are some of the most valuable GMAT prep materials we found.
Pros of Magoosh GMAT
Cons of Magoosh GMAT
The Princeton Review GMAT - Best for Practice Opportunities
The Princeton Review (TPR) is known for their high-quality, comprehensive exam prep courses and other materials. They’re a major player in the exam prep industry, so they’re experts in offering exactly what test takers need to reach their potential.
The Princeton Review offers four different GMAT prep course options, with their fully online Self-Paced GMAT course starting at $699.
No matter which course you go with, The Princeton Review provides ample practice opportunities. They have a massive practice question bank, with the GMAT 700+ course offering access to over 4,480 practice questions.
If practice exams are important to you, The Princeton Review has you covered. With their courses, you get access to at least 10 practice tests to help you get a better idea of how you’ll perform come exam day.
Even more impressive is that their practice tests are adaptive, just like the real GMAT. That means that the questions will adjust in difficulty based on your performance. It’s something that’s difficult to describe or imagine without trying it out for yourself.
Better yet, The Princeton Review GMAT prep course doesn’t stop with just practice questions and tests. They also offer essay grading. Many of their competitors don’t provide this service, which can be extremely valuable to help boost your confidence and readiness for the writing portion.
Pros of Princeton Review
Cons of Princeton Review
Manhattan Prep GMAT - Best Content and Materials
In 2009, Manhattan Prep got the attention of exam prep giant Kaplan. Now, the two are partnered together to offer some of the best GMAT prep courses out there with amazing, comprehensive content and some of the top instructors in the business.
Manhattan Prep has an impressive array of course options, so there’s truly something for everyone. Plus, all they do is GMAT prep, so they’re dedicated to being the best at what they do.
The On-Demand option starts at $999 and includes 35+ interactive, video-based lessons, six practice exams, a 7-hour math workshop, multiple strategy and GMAT skills guides, an advanced quant eBook, access to their GMAT mobile app, and more.
Though their on-demand price is a little higher than some of their competitors, you get a lot more content and additional materials that you can’t get elsewhere.
Plus, you’ll have access to their online materials for six months.
The Live Online Course option includes everything you get with the on-demand course, but with 27-hours of live online instruction. Those courses are priced at $1,599.
The amount of content and materials that Manhattan Prep offers is extremely impressive, and their course offerings are designed to meet a variety of needs.
No matter which course you choose, Manhattan Prep’s curriculum and courses were designed by 99th percentile instructors, and any class or video that you watch will be led by these GMAT top-performers.
Pros of Manhattan Prep
Cons of Manhattan Prep
Other Good GMAT Prep Courses
Target Test Prep GMAT - Best Month-to-Month Option
Target Test Prep (TTP) offers a comprehensive GMAT prep course with the option for a monthly subscription. That means you’ll only have to pay for exactly what you need. Starting at $99 per month, it’s definitely an affordable option for most people.
Their GMAT course includes access to over 1,200 instructor-led lesson videos and over 4,000 practice questions. You’ll get a personalized study plan and valuable analytics and data to tell you how you’re doing.
TTP helps users study for the GMAT more efficiently by focusing them on the skills they need the most. Plus, they have a $1 full-access trial option, and a score improvement guarantee, showing that they stand behind their product.
According to TTP, 92% of their users reported a score of 700+, which is quite impressive for an online GMAT prep course.
PrepScholar - Best on a Budget
PrepScholar is a lesser-known GMAT prep course, but don’t let that fool you. They still offer a solid product for preparing for the GMAT.
PrepScholar is the cheapest GMAT prep course on the market. Their courses start at $139, meaning that they even beat Magoosh for lowest price.
This course does an excellent job of giving you personalized options to maximize your efficiency while studying for the GMAT.
It starts with a diagnostic test to identify your strengths and weaknesses, then PrepScholar’s CustomPrep algorithm gives you a completely personalized study plan.
Despite being less comprehensive than some of the other prep courses out there and being 100% online and self-paced, PrepScholar still offers a pretty impressive guarantee. They promise a 60-point improvement on your next GMAT or you get a full refund!
PrepScholar also backs up their product with a 5-day “risk-free” trial, so there’s really no reason not to try it out for yourself.
PrepScholar also offers tutoring options on a budget. For just a $99 fee, you can add-on an hour of private tutoring. That’s the lowest hourly rate we’ve found for such a valuable service. Not to mention, PrepScholar instructors have 99th percentile scores on the GMAT themselves, so they know their stuff.
Varsity Tutors GMAT - Best for Budget Private Tutoring
A few years back, Veritas Prep took their 20+ years of experience in the GMAT and GRE exam prep industry and partnered with Varsity Tutors. So was born the Varsity Tutors GMAT prep course.
Their formula is simple: the best instructors + the most effective strategies = the highest scores.
Their approach is different from many of their competitors, but their results speak for themselves. With over 5,700 reviews on Trustpilot, Varsity Tutors scores 4.9 out of 5 stars, so they must be doing something right!
All Varsity Tutors GMAT prep courses involve live instruction, whether it’s in a small group format or with 1-on-1 private tutoring. Their most popular course is a combination of small group instruction with included private tutoring.
Small Group, Live Instruction GMAT Classes start at $799, while their GMAT Bundle is priced at $1,599. Private tutoring packages are priced starting at $102 per hour.
Varsity Tutors adds a lot of value to their self-study courses, with dozens of diagnostic tests, hundreds of GMAT practice questions ranging in difficulty, two full-length practice tests, and access to their dedicated mobile app.
The Live Online GMAT class provides expert instruction in a small group format (6-9 students). It includes 20 hours of instruction and 5-weeks of live online classes. In addition, you’ll have access to their GMAT self-study resources, including flash cards, strategy guides, and dozens of practice tests and an extensive question bank.
The GMAT Class + 1-on-1 Bundle combines the benefits of small group classes, self-study resources, and personalized tutoring. This course includes 10 hours of private tutoring along with their instructor-led lessons.
With any of their offerings, you also get access to their self-guided online resources, which include hundreds of practice questions, strategy guides, and two practice tests.
Best of all, Varsity Tutors offers a simple, straightforward guarantee - a better score or your money back. They also offer a personal satisfaction guarantee and a pass guarantee.
However, since their courses are all instructor-led, live instruction, you’ll have to find one with a start date and schedule that works for you.
Unlike some of their competitors, Varsity Tutors doesn’t offer any self-paced GMAT courses for you to review on your own time. However, they do offer a dedicated mobile app for studying on the go.
Still, Varsity Tutors is an excellent option if you’re looking for the benefit of private, 1-on-1 instruction. There aren’t many other options out there which offer so much individualized instruction at their price point, making it a runner-up for one of the best GMAT courses available.
Economist Education GMAT Tutor - Best Score Improvement Guarantee
Economist Education isn’t as widely known as some of the other big names out there, but they’re a solid option for GMAT prep and they offer a stellar guarantee.
Economist has three different course package options with varying access lengths and pricing. The Essential package starts at $449 for four months of access to their content and materials. What makes Economist Education a great value is their “ask a tutor” feature.
Economist Education is adaptive in its approach, so the practice questions and lessons adjust based on your performance. This helps you maximize your study time and work more efficiently.
Economist Education is so confident that you’ll be successful with their program that they offer one of the best score improvement guarantees of all the prep courses we’ve reviewed. They stand behind their product big time.
Economist guarantees at least a 70 point improvement on your GMAT score or they’ll give you your money back on the course. A 70-point score boost can be the difference between getting into your top-choice business school or having to go with your backup.