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Magoosh vs Kaplan GMAT

Determine which GMAT prep course is right for you between Kaplan and Magoosh

Kaplan is one of the biggest names in the GMAT prep industry, and has been for decades. However, there’s been a major shakeup recently, as they’ve merged their GMAT course with Manhattan Prep’s, giving the two companies a new, combined prep package. Find out how this new GMAT Focus prep program stacks up against the value prep provider in the space, Magoosh.

  • Price
  • Video Instruction
  • Practice Questions
  • Practice Tests
  • Content Access Period
  • Books
  • Manhattan Prep GMAT On Demand Course Sale: 10% OFF Code:PREP10MGMAT
    Sale: 10% OFF Code:PREP10MGMAT
    Claim Discount
    • $850
    • 25+ Hours
    • 4,000+
    • 6
    • 6 Months
    • Hardcopy & Digital
  • Magoosh GMAT Premium Sale: 15% OFF Code: TPI15
    Sale: 15% OFF Code: TPI15
    Claim Discount
    • $349
    • 200+ Lessons
    • 800+
    • 2
    • 1 Year
    • Digital

Outline: Kaplan vs Magoosh GMAT

Given that this is a lengthy, detailed comparison, we’ve included jump-to links above for your convenience.

👉 Note: For clarity, when we reference Kaplan in this article, we’re also referring to Manhattan Prep, as the two companies combined their GMAT Focus courses last year.

Video Review: Magoosh or Kaplan For GMAT Prep?

In the video above, John from the Test Prep Insight team compares the GMAT prep courses from Magoosh and Kaplan/Manhattan Prep. For more detail, be sure to continue reading our full written comparison below.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Live Course


  • Self-Paced or Live Classes
  • Includes Prep Books
  • Self-Paced or Live Classes
  • Includes Prep Books
Our Score


  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • Much more robust and comprehensive curriculum than Magoosh
  • Video lessons efficiently deliver everything you need to know
  • Engaging live classes with top-notch instructors
  • Well-written and detailed prep books that add value
  • Six mock exams with official questions from past exams
  • Organized course structure that is intuitive and easy to follow
  • Far more expensive than Magoosh
  • Must jump back and forth between books and portal to review problems
Manhattan Prep GMAT Live Course
Sale: 10% OFF Code: PREP10MGMAT

Why Kaplan GMAT Is Better Than Magoosh

To keep this article narrowly focused, I am going to cover the key areas where I see each company winning and having an advantage over the other, rather than simply providing an overview of each prep course (we have full reviews of Kaplan and Magoosh linked here if that is what you want).

So with that in mind, let’s start with Kaplan. I see them beating Magoosh in five important categories. 

Video Lessons

The first win for Kaplan over Magoosh is their video lessons. In short, they are just plain better than what Magoosh offers.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Video Lesson
Kaplan’s video lessons are better than Magoosh’s

The Kaplan lessons feature an instructor onscreen, use an engaging live class format, and the production quality is top-notch. Plus, the substantive material is point.

The Magoosh video lessons, on the other hand, are somewhat boring since they take the form an old-school PowerPoint-type presentation. Bottom line, if you’re a visual learner, our team recommends Kaplan.

GMAT Classes

The second win for Kaplan are their live classes. This is an easy one as Magoosh simply does not offer any live classes. With Kaplan’s live online course, students get access to nine, three-hour class sessions for a total of 27 hours of live instruction.

The best part about Kaplan’s classes, in my opinion, is that they intentionally limit the class size in order to maintain a healthy balance between personalized attention and active participation. Honestly, I think they are some of the best live classes in the entire GMAT prep space (along with the Princeton Review GMAT classes).

Stellar Instructors 

Related to the last two points, the third win for Kaplan are their instructors. All of Kaplan’s instructors are 99th percentile scorers and know the GMAT Focus inside and out.

However, it’s much more than just their knowledge level. It just seems all the Kaplan instructors are able to make the video lessons and classes fun and engaging by incorporating jokes and humor.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Video Lectures
We loved Kaplan’s/Manhattan Prep’s GMAT instructors

It’s almost as if they’ve been trained to keep the lessons light and amusing as opposed to just sitting there with a monotone voice rambling for hours.

All in all, I have to hand it to Kaplan and their training process. Their instructors are truly amazing.

GMAT Prep Books

Kaplan also beats Magoosh when it comes to GMAT prep books. Honestly, this is another easy win for Kaplan as Magoosh does not offer its students any hardcopy prep books.

Now to be fair, Magoosh does offer a few digital booklets, but really, the digital booklets don’t even compare to the hardcopy prep book bundle that Kaplan provides.

Manhattan Prep GMAT eBook
Manhattan Prep GMAT eBook

Not only are Kaplan’s books better integrated into their course (including the Official Guide), but they’re also more detailed and comprehensive. The books are packed with helpful lessons, practice problems, strategies, and other tips and tricks.

As such, if prep books are important to you, take note. I know personally, I’m a big fan of prep books. I love being able to take them with me on-the-go, highlight key points, and dog-ear pages to revisit later.

More Practice Material

Lastly, Kaplan/Manhattan Prep blows Magoosh out of the water when it comes to practice material. They offer over 4,000 practice problems and 6 practice tests, whereas Magoosh only offers 800 problems and 2 mock exams, respectively.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Practice test
Kaplan GMAT practice test

In other words, Kaplan provides 3x as much practice material as Magoosh, and considering the importance of taking and reviewing quizzes and practice tests during GMAT Focus prep, this ends up being a major advantage for Kaplan.

Magoosh GMAT Premium

Magoosh GMAT

  • Multiple Course Options
  • +70 Score Guarantee
  • Multiple Course Options
  • +70 Score Guarantee
Our Score


  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • Insanely good value (course costs less than $350)
  • Short, easily digestible video lessons
  • Text and video solutions for each practice problem
  • 24/7 email support with GMAT tutors
  • Admissions assistance available after taking exam
  • No live GMAT classes or printed prep books
  • Video lessons are somewhat boring
  • Only two practice tests available
Magoosh GMAT Premium
Sale: 15% OFF Code: TPI15

Why Magoosh GMAT Is Better Than Kaplan

Now that you have a good understanding of what Kaplan and Manhattan Prep offer, let’s discuss Magoosh. I have them beating Kaplan in five categories. 

Magoosh Is More Affordable

The first category in which Magoosh wins is very important: pricing. The Magoosh GMAT course costs around $350, whereas Kaplan’s courses start at around $850, and go up from there.

As such, you’re looking at around $500 in savings minimum by going with Magoosh over Kaplan.

Now to be fair, it’s kind of like comparing apples to oranges (or a Toyota Corolla to a Tesla). They’re just completely different. Magoosh is a budget, DIY course, whereas Kaplan provides everything you could ever want in terms of study materials and features.

👉 Also: If money is tight, you may also want to check out the GMAT prep courses from PrepScholar and Target Test Prep.

Video Solutions For Practice Problems

Although Magoosh offers far fewer practice problems than Kaplan, I have to give them credit for providing both text and video solutions for each problem.

Magoosh gmat problem explanation
Example video explanation from Magoosh

For reference, Kaplan only provides text explanations for most problems, so the fact that Magoosh one ups them by offering video solutions is a pretty big deal, especially if you are a visual learner.

Score Improvement Guarantee

The third win for Magoosh is their score guarantee. Essentially, if you complete the Magoosh course, the company guarantees that your score will improve by at least 70 points, or you get a full refund.

Now there is fine print behind that guarantee, so be sure to check that out prior to purchasing, but still, that’s a pretty nice insurance policy for a budget GMAT Focus course, especially considering Kaplan does not offer any sort of score guarantee.

Bonus Resources

Magoosh also offers some nice bonus resources, like 24/7 email support, for example.

Essentially, if you ever get stuck on a problem or don’t fully understand a specific concept or testing strategy, you can email one of Magoosh’s GMAT tutors, and they’ll typically get back to you with a detailed answer within a few hours.

Magoosh gmat review dashboard
A look inside the Magoosh GMAT course

I tested their speed and they generally back to me same business day. Overall, it’s just nice safety net in case you get stuck during your studies.

Content Access Period

The last win for Magoosh is content access period. The Magoosh course comes with 12 months of access, whereas Kaplan only offers 6 months.

Therefore, if you plan on studying over an extended period of time, or you know that you’ll need or want to take the exam multiple times, keep this point in mind.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Live Course
Sale: 10% OFF Code: PREP10MGMAT

Verdict: Magoosh or Kaplan For GMAT Prep?

It’s finally time to answer the big question—should you choose Magoosh or Kaplan to help you prepare for the GMAT Focus? Although there’s a lot to like about the Magoosh GMAT course (namely its ultra-affordable price tag), if you simply want the best course period between these two companies, then there’s no question Kaplan is the answer.

Their courses beat Magoosh in all the important categories—video lessons, prep books, live classes, practice materials, etc. Bottom line, unless you’re on a tight budget, our team highly recommends Kaplan for your GMAT Focus prep.

👉 READ NEXT: Kaplan vs Target Test Prep GMAT


What is the difference between the GMAT courses from Magoosh and Kaplan?

Price and study materials are the primary differences between the GMAT courses from Magoosh and Kaplan. The Magoosh course is a budget, DIY offering, whereas Kaplan’s courses are more expensive, but also much more robust in terms of study materials and features (i.e. prep books, live classes, practice tests).

Which GMAT prep course is better, Magoosh or Kaplan?

After testing and evaluating the GMAT study materials from both companies, our team thinks Kaplan offers the more complete and effective GMAT prep courses from top to bottom.

Do Magoosh and Kaplan offer GMAT classes?

Kaplan offers live GMAT classes; however, Magoosh does not. That being said, the Kaplan live GMAT classes are not cheap.