Kaplan GRE Review

By Rachel Shapiro Updated February 01, 2021
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Kaplan is one of the most well-known test prep companies out there, and they’re renowned for offering high-quality online content and live classes. In this review, we’ll go through the good and the bad of Kaplan’s GRE course to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Kaplan GRE at a glance

Ease of use
Value for money

Kaplan’s GRE course features a mix of engaging video lessons, live classes, and thousands of practice questions. They also have a question bank that allows you to create customized quizzes. There are a few negatives to the course, such as higher prices than other GRE courses and a limited mobile app. Still, overall Kaplan is a great choice for GRE prep.

Recommended for...

Kaplan’s GRE prep course is perfect for students looking for a mix of live classes and online study materials. It’s also great for those who learn best through watching videos. Plus, with their question bank, the course is good for students who like making customized quizzes.

What we love

We love that Kaplan includes instructor-led videos with each of their lessons, and we like that they have so much supplemental content on their GRE Channel. We also like that they have live classes and tutoring. Plus, we love that they provide a question bank, seven full-length practice tests, and hardcopy books.

Keep in mind

Kaplan’s prices are a bit higher than some of their competitors. Kaplan also doesn’t have too many computer adaptive practice questions. Their mobile app also doesn’t have much content, and it’s difficult to do their online course on a smartphone.

Plans and pricing

Value for money: 8/10

Kaplan offers plans at a wide variety of price points. If you want to do a fully online course, try the Self-Guided course. This course costs $449. It includes 180+ hours of online video instruction and practice, 40+ hours of video lessons on the GRE Channel, and the official test day experience.

If you want to work on your math skills, try the Self-Guided Plus course. This course costs $699. The course includes everything in the Self-Guided course, and you also get access to the GRE Math Foundations and GRE Advanced Math classes.

If you’d like to take a live course, try the Online Course or Online Course Plus. The Online Course costs $999. The Online Course Plus costs $1,299. Both courses offer 21 hours of live classes, 180+ hours of online video instruction and practice, 40+ hours of video lessons on the GRE Channel, and the official test day experience. In addition, the Online Course Plus includes three hours of 1-on-1 tutoring, GRE Math Foundations, and GRE Advanced Math.

Kaplan also offers a plan with tutoring. This plan is called the Tutoring + Self-Guided course. The cost ranges from $2,299 to $4,699 depending on how many hours of tutoring you choose. With this course, you’ll get everything in the Online Course Plus plan, and you’ll get a personalized tutor.

Kaplan also has a few inexpensive plans that provide access to certain parts of their course. This includes the $69 QBank plan. This plan gives you access to Kaplan’s 2,500+ question quiz bank. There’s also the $149 Practice Test Four-Pack, which features four realistic practice exams. Or, for $199, you can get the QBank & Practice Test Bundle, which also includes four practice tests.

While Kaplan’s courses with live classes are expensive, the price is comparable with other courses that include live classes, like Princeton Review and Manhattan Prep. We also like that Kaplan has plans with so many different price points. This makes their course accessible for more students. With the thousands of practice questions and video lessons you get, this course is overall good value for money.

Ease of use

Ease of use: 9/10

Within just a few minutes of logging into Kaplan’s online dashboard, you’ll be able to navigate it. When you log in to your dashboard, you’ll see tabs on the left-hand corner of the screen. These tabs take you to your practice tests and lessons. When you go onto the lessons screen, you’ll see the title and length of each video.

You can also easily find your class schedule on your dashboard, and you’ll see your score report if you’ve taken any practice tests. Everything is easy to find and clearly labeled.

Kaplan also provides hardcopy books with their courses. These books include more useful practice questions, and they’re a great supplement to the online lessons.

The one negative to Kaplan’s dashboard is it’s a bit clunkier than many of their competitors’ online platforms. For example, every time you click on a new video or quiz, it opens in a new tab. While this is a small issue, it can get confusing to have so many tabs open.

You can also access your online GRE dashboard on your phone, and you’ll be able to watch videos. You can also do quizzes on your phone. However, the quizzes aren’t mobile adaptive, so the answers are hard to click and the text is tiny.

What students think

Popularity: 8/10

Students were mostly happy with Kaplan’s prep course, and many students gave Kaplan four or five-star reviews. Many students reported that their GRE score increased after taking the course. Students who took live classes had positive feedback for their instructors. Other students said that they liked the live videos on the GRE Channel.

Most of the negative reviews were from students who felt that the Kaplan practice tests were harder than the actual GRE. Some other students felt that the quantitative lessons were a bit confusing—they said more time should have been spent on teaching fundamental concepts.

Our experience

We found Kaplan’s course to be easy to navigate. We loved how detailed the videos were, and we liked that the quizzes after each video helped reinforce what we just learned. We also thought the practice tests were comparable to the real GRE. Plus, we found the QBank easy to understand, and we liked that there were so many customizable options.

It was frustrating that the online dashboard didn’t work well on a smartphone, and having each video open in a new tab was a bit unwieldy. But other that, everything with Kaplan was easy to use.

Why take the Kaplan GRE prep course

Detailed and Engaging Video Lessons

If you’re a visual learner, Kaplan’s video lessons are perfect for you. Most of Kaplan’s lessons follow the same structure. You’ll start by watching a video taught by one of Kaplan’s GRE expert instructors. These videos range in length from a few minutes to over an hour.

In the video, the Kaplan instructors will stand in front of a whiteboard or behind a pane of glass, and they’ll write notes as they talk you through the lesson at hand. They’ll give you helpful test-taking strategies and they’ll do a few practice questions.

After you finish the video, you’ll do a short practice quiz to reinforce what you learned. These quizzes are typically about five questions long. After you finish the quiz, you can read through detailed explanations of how to solve the problems.

In total, Kaplan offers over 180 hours of video instruction. These helpful videos will leave you feeling ready for test day.


One of Kaplan’s unique selling points is their question bank, which they call QBank. This tool features over 2,500 practice questions, and it lets you create customized practice question sets. You can choose the question type, the number of questions, and if you’d like the quiz to be timed. Plus, you can decide to include easy, medium, or difficult questions. You can also choose to do all new questions, or you can do questions you flagged before.

After you finish a set of questions, you’ll get detailed explanations of how to solve the problems. You’ll also get a score report that shows you your strengths and the areas you need to work on.

Seven Full-Length Practice Tests

Kaplan provides seven full-length GRE practice tests. This is more than most other major GRE prep courses offer. The only GRE prep company that has more practice tests is Princeton Review, which provides eight.

Kaplan’s practice tests are all computer adaptive, just like the real GRE. This means that if you do well on one section, the next section will be more difficult.

Over 5,000 Practice Questions

Between the QBank, practice tests, and practice quizzes, Kaplan has over 5,000 practice questions available. This is more than many of their competitors. With so many practice questions, you’re sure to feel ready for test day after doing Kaplan’s course.

Live Essay Grading

Kaplan offers live essay grading for their GRE course. You can submit up to two essays at a time, and a GRE expert will go through and score the essay. They’ll also provide personalized feedback. You’ll typically be emailed your feedback about three to seven days after you submit your essay.

Hardcopy Textbooks

Kaplan is one of the only GRE prep courses that provides hardcopy textbooks. After you purchase the course, Kaplan will send you the two textbooks. Or, if you’d prefer, you can download the books as PDFs.

The textbooks work as a supplement to the course, and they help reinforce the online lessons. Plus, there are more practice questions and detailed explanations in the book. If you like working with physical study materials, these textbooks are great for you.

Six Months of Access

After you purchase Kaplan’s GRE prep course, you’ll get six months of access. This is more than some of their competitors, like Princeton Review. With six months of access, you’ll have plenty of time to go through Kaplan’s material.

Score Increase Guarantee

Kaplan has a generous score increase guarantee—if your score doesn’t go up after taking their course, you can get a full refund. To use this guarantee, you’ll need to send Kaplan your ‘before’ score report if you took the GRE before doing Kaplan’s course. If you haven’t taken the GRE yet, you can take a Kaplan practice test and use that as your baseline score.

If your score doesn’t go up after doing Kaplan’s course, send them your new score report within 60 days of taking the GRE. You’ll then be given your money back. Or, you can choose to retake Kaplan’s course for free.

Live Classes

Kaplan has both live online and in-person GRE classes. These classes are all taught by GRE experts, and they’ll leave you feeling prepared for test day. You can choose to do a once-a-week class or one that meets twice a week. During the class, you’ll be able to ask your instructor any question you have. Kaplan’s live classes are top-notch and great for students who like learning with an instructor.

Free Trial and Free Content

If you’re unsure if Kaplan is right for you, try some of their free content. They offer a 15-day free trial. During the trial, you can take one free practice test. You can also watch two video lessons—one quantitative and one verbal. You’ll also be able to do two quizzes.

Kaplan also frequently offers free 90-minute online GRE workshops. These workshops give you a good sense of what their classes are like. Plus, they have a blog with tons of articles with tips and tricks for studying for the GRE.

Official Test Day Experience

With all of their plans, Kaplan offers an official test day experience. With this, you’ll be able to go to a Prometric center and take a practice test under the same conditions as the real test. Kaplan recommends doing this about two weeks before your real test so it’s still fresh in your mind.

GRE Channel

Another one of Kaplan’s unique selling points is their GRE Channel. Every week, instructors host live video sessions on Kaplan’s website, and you can chat with the instructor as you watch. These videos are recorded and archived, so if you miss a lesson, you can always watch it later. You can also filter the recorded videos—you can choose to watch easy or difficult lessons, and you can filter by instructor. In total, there are over 40 hours of GRE video lessons available on Kaplan’s website.

Keep in mind

Higher Price Point

The cost of Kaplan’s GRE courses with live classes is comparable to similar prep courses. However, their fully online course costs more than other online courses, like Magoosh. You do get a bit more for your money, including more practice questions and practice tests than Magoosh. But this comes with a much higher price tag.

No Adaptive Technology on Practice Questions

Kaplan doesn’t offer practice questions that use adaptive technology in their QBank. They only use adaptive technology on their practice tests. Since the real GRE uses adaptive technology for all their questions, Kaplan’s practice questions aren’t an exact match for what you’ll find on the GRE.

Limited Mobile App

While Kaplan does have a mobile app, it only includes flashcards. These flashcards are useful, but it’s not a substitute for the online platform.

The final grade

Overall: 4.5/5

Kaplan’s GRE course offers thousands of practice questions and hundreds of hours of video content. Their live classes are taught by GRE experts, and they’re also one of the only test prep companies to have an official test day experience. While Kaplan’s prices are a bit higher than other courses, they give you a lot for your money. Kaplan goes above and beyond to get their students ready for test day.

Frequently asked questions

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