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Manhattan Prep vs Princeton Review GMAT

Determine which GMAT Focus course is best for you between Princeton Review and Manhattan Prep

When it comes to studying for the GMAT Focus, there are plenty of prep providers to choose from. In this article, we compare the strengths and weaknesses of the prep courses from Manhattan Prep and Princeton Review. That way, you can decide which GMAT course suits your specific budget and learning style.

  • Price
  • Video Instruction
  • Live Class Hours
  • Practice Tests
  • Content Access Period
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Manhattan Prep GMAT Live Course $100 OFF Applied in Cart
    $100 OFF Applied in Cart
    Claim Discount
    • $1,850
    • 25+ Hours
    • 27
    • 6
    • Length of Course + 6 Months
  • Princeton Review GMAT Core Concepts SALE: 15% OFF Code: AZTEC15
    SALE: 15% OFF Code: AZTEC15
    Claim Discount
    • $999
    • 50+ Hours
    • 18
    • 4
    • 365 Days

Outline: Princeton Review vs Manhattan Prep GMAT

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

Video: Which GMAT Prep Course Is Better?

In the above video, team member John explains the differences between the Princeton Review and Manhattan Prep GMAT Focus courses. Please keep reading for more detail.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Live Course

Manhattan Prep GMAT

  • Multiple Course Options
  • Free Trial Class
  • Multiple Course Options
  • Free Trial Class
Our Score

9.7

  • star
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Pros
  • Engaging video lessons (the best in GMAT prep)
  • Six full-length, adaptive practice exams
  • Detailed and helpful GMAT prep books
  • Excellent GMAT instructors that make the learning process fun
  • Custom 1-on-1 pre-and post-exam assessments
Cons
  • Courses are slightly more expensive than Princeton Review's
  • No GMAT score improvement guarantee
Manhattan Prep GMAT Live Course
$100 OFF Applied in Cart

Why Manhattan Prep GMAT Is Better Than Princeton Review

In order to keep this article actually helpful for you, rather than providing a general overview of the different GMAT study materials that each company provides, I’m instead going to focus on the key areas where I see each company winning and having an advantage over the other since I think that will ultimately provide more clarity.

With that in mind, let’s start with Manhattan Prep. Also, by the way, when I refer to Manhattan Prep, I’m also referring to Kaplan since the two companies merged their GMAT courses last year (that’s why you’ll see the tagline Manhattan Prep powered by Kaplan now). Anyways, I have Kaplan and Manhattan winning in four key areas.

Excellent Video Lessons

First and foremost, Manhattan Prep’s video lessons stand out. They are widely regarded as the best in the GMAT prep field. This is particularly notable because Princeton Review’s video lessons are also highly acclaimed.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Video Lectures
Example video lesson from Manhattan Prep

However, I prefer Manhattan Prep’s for several reasons. Their videos boast superior production quality and feature an on-screen instructor, which I believe significantly enhances engagement and retention of the material.

In contrast, Princeton Review’s video lessons are somewhat outdated, resembling a basic PowerPoint presentation with a voiceover.

Therefore, if you are a visual learner, I believe you will find Manhattan Prep’s video lessons particularly enjoyable and effective.

Small-Group Live Classes

When it comes to catering to visual learners, I believe Manhattan Prep excels in their live classes as well. While Princeton Review’s live classes are also commendable, I give Manhattan Prep the slight edge due to their intentional limitation of class sizes.

This approach enhances personalized attention and active participation, creating a highly effective format.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Foundations of Math Workshop
Our team loves the live online classes from Manhattan Prep

Moreover, Manhattan Prep’s Complete course offers 27 hours of live instruction, compared to just 18 hours in Princeton Review’s Core Concepts course, adding to its appeal.

Engaging GMAT Instructors

Another win for Manhattan Prep is their instructors. I’m a big fan of them. Not only are they all 99th percentile scorers, but they have also received additional teaching training from Manhattan Prep.

More importantly, they excel in using jokes and humor to make their video lessons and live class sessions fun and engaging. Sometimes, it doesn’t even feel like you’re studying; they are just that good at keeping the lessons light and playful. It’s definitely a big thumbs up from me for their approach.

More Practice Tests

Lastly, Manhattan Prep also excels in the realm of practice tests. They provide students with 6 full-length adaptive exams, whereas Princeton Review offers only 4.

Now, you might be thinking, “That’s just 2 more practice tests,” but studies have shown a strong correlation between the number of practice tests taken and score improvement. So, every practice test counts, especially when you have access to fewer than 10 in total.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Practice test
Manhattan Prep GMAT practice test

If we were discussing LSAT prep, for example, where every company offers 90+ practice tests, I’d be far less concerned. However, with so few practice exams available, these small differences are significant.

Additionally, with Manhattan Prep, you receive custom 1-on-1 pre- and post-exam assessments with an instructor to help you set a game plan, which is incredibly helpful.

➡️Want more detail? Read our full Manhattan Prep GMAT Review

Princeton Review GMAT Core Concepts

Princeton Review GMAT

  • Several Course Options
  • Higher Score Guarantee
  • Several Course Options
  • Higher Score Guarantee
Our Score

9.4

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Pros
  • GMAT course options are more affordable than Manhattan Prep's
  • Robust and well-structured curriculum with proven results
  • Adaptive practice drills that are extremely helpful
  • Detailed but easily understandable practice problem explanations
  • Weekly office hours with expert instructors
Cons
  • Video lessons not as engaging as Manhattan Prep's
  • Class sizes are larger than Manhattan Prep's
Princeton Review GMAT Core Concepts
SALE: 15% OFF Code: AZTEC15

Why Princeton Review GMAT Is Better Than Manhattan Prep

Now that you have a clear understanding of the strengths of the Manhattan Prep GMAT courses, let’s turn the tables and discuss the advantages of using Princeton Review to help you prepare for the GMAT Focus.

Affordable Pricing

The first important factor is pricing. Princeton Review’s self-paced course costs $800, while Manhattan Prep’s equivalent on-demand course is priced at $850.

Princeton Review GMAT Drill builder
A look inside the Princeton Review GMAT course

Comparing the flagship live class courses of both companies, Princeton Review’s is $1,000, while Manhattan Prep’s is $1,850.

Overall, opting for Princeton Review could save you anywhere from $50 to $850, which is a significant amount.

Live Office Hours

Another advantage is that Princeton Review offers appealing bonus resources for students. These include live office hours and email support from teachers.

In my view, both of these features serve as a valuable safety net if you’re struggling with a particular concept, testing strategy, or practice problem. Being able to email a GMAT tutor promptly or join an office hours session is certainly a significant benefit.

Content Access Period

The third advantage is Princeton Review’s content access period. When you purchase their Core Concepts GMAT course, you receive 365 days of access.

Princeton Review GMAT video lesson
Example video lesson from Princeton Review

In comparison, Manhattan Prep’s Complete course offers only 6 months of access.

If you intend to take the GMAT multiple times—whether because you’re a nervous test taker treating your first attempt as a trial run, or because you’re a working professional or busy parent studying over an extended period—Princeton Review’s Core Concepts course would be the superior choice.

Stellar Score Guarantees

The final advantage for Princeton Review is their score guarantees. For their self-paced and core concepts courses, Princeton Review offers a higher score guarantee.

Essentially, they guarantee that you will score at least 10 points higher on the GMAT Focus or they will issue you a refund.

More notably, they also offer a 645+ course, which guarantees that you will score at least 645 on the GMAT Focus, or you get your money back. To clarify, scoring a 645 on the GMAT Focus is roughly equivalent to scoring 700 on the previous version of the GMAT.

In contrast, Manhattan Prep does not offer any type of score guarantee. If you’re aiming for an elite score and admission to a top-tier MBA program, then Princeton Review offers some appealing course options to help you achieve that.

However, these guarantees come at a cost. For example, the company’s 645+ course is about $1,000 more than its flagship Core Concepts course. Additionally, there is some fine print behind the guarantee that you should review before purchasing. Nonetheless, it’s a great option if you’re looking for some insurance.

➡️Want more detail? Read our full review of the Princeton Review GMAT course

Manhattan Prep GMAT Live Course
$100 OFF Applied in Cart

Verdict: Which GMAT Focus Prep Course Is Better?

Honestly, choosing between these two options is very challenging, and either choice is solid in the end.

However, the decision really comes down to your budget and score target. If you’re on a budget, Princeton Review is the better choice due to the affordability of their self-paced and live class packages. If you’re aiming for admission to a top 25 business school, Princeton Review’s special 645+ course is a fantastic option.

On the other hand, if you’re a visual learner, prefer small group live classes, or want as many practice tests as possible, then Manhattan Prep is the way to go. That’s what I recommend basing your decision on.

Although, if I had to choose one, I’d probably lean towards Manhattan Prep.

➡️Read Next: Kaplan vs Target Test Prep GMAT

FAQ

How do the GMAT Focus prep courses from Princeton Review and Manhattan Prep compare?

Although the GMAT courses from Princeton Review and Manhattan Prep overlap in several areas, they do differ in a couple key categories. For example, our team prefers the video lessons and live GMAT classes from Manhattan Prep, while Princeton Review has the edge when it comes to pricing and score guarantees.

Which GMAT Focus prep course is better - Princeton Review or Manhattan Prep?

Although the GMAT Focus courses from both companies are similar in several respects, our team gives Manhattan Prep the slight edge thanks in large part to their engaging video lessons, and small-group live classes.

Are the GMAT courses from Princeton Review cheaper than Manhattan Prep's?

Yes, the GMAT courses from Princeton Review are slightly more affordable than those from Manhattan Prep. For example, Princeton Review’s self-paced GMAT course is about $50 less than the comparable course from Manhattan Prep.