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Kaplan vs Archer Review

Head-to-head comparison of the NCLEX prep courses from Archer Review and Kaplan

Choosing the right NCLEX prep course is crucial for aspiring nurses aiming to pass their licensing exams. In this article, we will compare Kaplan and Archer Review, two popular NCLEX prep providers, to help you make an informed decision. We will examine their course features, teaching methods, and overall effectiveness, offering insights into which program might best suit your study needs and preferences.

  • Price
  • Video Instruction
  • Practice Questions
  • Practice Tests
  • Content Access Period
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Kaplan NCLEX Self-Paced Sale: 10% OFF Code: PREP10NCLEX
    Sale: 10% OFF Code: PREP10NCLEX
    Claim Discount
    • $425
    • 300+ Lessons
    • 3,800+
    • 3
    • 6 Months
  • Archer NCLEX Rapid Review Shop Now Check Offers
    Shop Now Check Offers
    More Information
    • $198
    • 20+ Hours
    • 2,900+
    • 2
    • 180 Days

Outline: Archer vs Kaplan NCLEX

Given this is a lengthy, detailed comparison, we’ve included helpful jump-to links above for easy navigation.

Kaplan NCLEX Self-Paced

Kaplan NCLEX

  • Multiple Course Options
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Multiple Course Options
  • Money Back Guarantee
Our Score


  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • Engaging video lessons offer solid testing insights and tips
  • Awesome Qbank with highly realistic practice questions
  • Best-in-category live online NCLEX prep classes
  • Unlimited access to Kaplan's NCLEX channel
  • Detailed ebook for studying on-the-go
  • Slightly more expensive than Archer Review
Kaplan NCLEX Self-Paced
Sale: 10% OFF Code: PREP10NCLEX

Reasons To Choose Kaplan For NCLEX Prep

To kick this comparison off, let’s discuss the advantages of using Kaplan to help you prepare for the NCLEX.

Realistic Practice Problems

When assessing the quality of NCLEX practice questions, realism is paramount. The NCLEX is notoriously challenging, adjusting its difficulty based on your answers, so practicing under conditions that closely mirror the actual exam is essential.

Kaplan NCLEX Prep
NCLEX practice question from Kaplan

Kaplan excels in this area, offering practice questions that closely match the difficulty, word count, and style of the real NCLEX.

Additionally, the Kaplan Qbank’s customizable practice sets are a standout feature. You can tailor your practice sessions based on question topic, difficulty, and timing, enabling you to focus on your weaknesses and make significant improvements.

Lastly, it doesn’t hurt that Kaplan also provides more practice questions than Archer as well (3,800 vs 2,900).

Video Lessons

Next, our team also prefers the video lessons from Kaplan over those from Archer Review (and Hurst for that matter as well).

Kaplan provides over 300 video-based lessons, each focusing on a distinct topic or test-taking strategy. This is particularly beneficial for visual learners who gain a lot from video content. Personally, I find it challenging to self-study with just a book.

Kaplan NCLEX Prep Lesson
The lessons from Kaplan are very insightful

While some prep books work well on their own and include helpful graphics and diagrams, video lessons can make a significant difference for visual learners.

The lessons break down all necessary topics into video format, usually presented through slideshows with voiceovers, and guide you through each concept step-by-step.

Overall, I found these content review sessions very helpful. For most nursing students, relying solely on nursing school classes isn’t enough. You’ve likely forgotten a lot, and the NCLEX is a different challenge. These video lessons effectively reintroduce the material.

Live NCLEX Classes

In addition to the video lessons mentioned above, Kaplan offers a package that includes 18 hours of live class time for students who prefer live instruction.

For students who struggle with self-motivation and need the structure and accountability of a regular class schedule, these live classes are highly beneficial. The Kaplan NCLEX instructors are outstanding.

They possess deep knowledge of the material and excel at breaking it down into easily digestible pieces.

Considering that this package is only $100 more than Kaplan’s self-paced course, the value is clear. Eighteen hours of live instruction with top-notch teachers at about $5.50 per class is a worthwhile investment in our team’s opinion.

NCLEX Channel

The NCLEX Channel gives you open access to frequent live lessons from Kaplan’s instructors through online webcasts. Most evenings, one of the Kaplan teachers delves deeply into a specific NCLEX topic.

Kaplan NCLEX video
The Kaplan NCLEX channel

These sessions deliver valuable insights and practical advice, helping students reinforce their knowledge and gain confidence. Plus, the flexibility to attend live lessons on various subjects makes it a versatile tool for targeted studying.

Money Back Guarantee

Finally, Kaplan offers a money-back guarantee if you don’t pass the NCLEX on your first attempt, providing reassurance and reducing financial risk.

Archer also has a guarantee, but it’s limited to their pricier SurePass courses, and doesn’t extend to their other NCLEX prep options.

👉 Read our full review of the Kaplan NCLEX courses

Archer NCLEX Rapid Review

Archer Review

  • Several Course Options
  • Retake Guarantee
  • Several Course Options
  • Retake Guarantee
Our Score


  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • Slightly more affordable than Kaplan
  • Dozens of study bundles to choose from
  • Printable handouts for on-the-go-studying
  • Video lessons are good from a content perspective
  • Not as many practice questions as Kaplan
  • Money back guarantee only offered for premium SurePass packages
  • Video lessons are somewhat boring
Archer NCLEX Rapid Review
Shop Now Check Offers

Reasons To Choose Archer Review For NCLEX Prep

Now that you have an idea of what Kaplan offers, let’s turn the tables and discuss the major reasons you should consider using Archer to help you study for the NCLEX.

Study Bundles

Archer Review provides a variety of NCLEX study options and packages to suit diverse learning preferences (more options than what Kaplan offers).

These include self-paced courses, live online classes, bootcamps, and question banks. You can basically choose exactly what you want. That way, you don’t overpay for study materials that you don’t necessarily need or want.

Archer rationale
Example practice question from Archer

Moreover, they offer flexible subscription plans, allowing students to select the duration and intensity of their study regimen.

SurePass Review Sessions

Archer Review’s SurePass packages for NCLEX prep are tailored to offer thorough support and boost students’ likelihood of passing the exam.

A standout feature is the three-day live review classes, providing intensive, instructor-led sessions that dive into essential content and test-taking strategies. These sessions are particularly beneficial for students who need to cram last-minute or prefer a rigorous study approach. The live classes also facilitate direct interaction with experienced instructors, allowing students to ask questions and receive immediate feedback in real time.

Mobile App

The Archer Review mobile app offers a convenient and flexible study tool for students preparing for the NCLEX (similar to NCLEX Bootcamp). With the app, students can access practice questions, review materials, and detailed rationales anytime, anywhere, making it easy to fit study sessions into busy schedules.

The app also includes features like progress tracking and personalized study plans, helping students stay organized and focused on their goals. Its user-friendly interface ensures that students can efficiently utilize their study time, enhancing their preparation for the exam.

👉 Also Worth ReadingArcher vs NCLEX Bootcamp

Kaplan NCLEX Self-Paced
Sale: 10% OFF Code: PREP10NCLEX

Verdict: Which NCLEX Prep Course Is Best?

Although there are certainly attractive aspects about the NCLEX study bundles from Archer Review, ultimately our team gives Kaplan the win.

Yes, the Kaplan NCLEX courses are a little more expensive, but our team believes they are worth it. Not only does Kaplan offer more practice problems than Archer Review, but we also love their video lessons, live classes, and supplemental resources like the Kaplan NCLEX channel. Plus, let’s not forget that Kaplan also offers a money back guarantee in case you don’t pass.

All in all, we just think Kaplan provides the more complete and effective NCLEX study materials from top to bottom.

👉 Read Next: Best NCLEX Prep Courses Guide


Which NCLEX prep course is better, Kaplan or Archer?

Although our team likes the NCLEX study materials from both Kaplan and Archer, if we had to choose one, it would be Kaplan. Overall, we think Kaplan’s NCLEX courses are more well-rounded and effective.

Does Kaplan and Archer offer money back guarantees for their NCLEX courses?

Kaplan offers a money back guarantee if you do not pass the NCLEX on your first attempt. Archer Review only offers a guarantee for their more expensive SurePass study packages.