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Target Test Prep vs Kaplan GMAT

Determine which GMAT course is best for you in this detailed comparison of Kaplan and Target Test Prep

Kaplan has been one of the biggest names in GMAT prep for decades, but recently combined their GMAT prep program with sister company Manhattan Prep’s to form a new, more powerful GMAT Focus prep course. In this post, we explore how this new combined GMAT course compares against one the other most popular courses out there—Target Test Prep.

  • Price
  • Video Instruction
  • Practice Questions
  • Practice Tests
  • Content Access Period
  • Books
  • Manhattan Prep GMAT On Demand Course $100 OFF Applied in Cart
    $100 OFF Applied in Cart
    Claim Discount
    • $850
    • 25+ Hours
    • 4,000+
    • 6
    • 6 Months
    • Hardcopy & Digital
  • Target Test Prep GMAT Deal: 10% OFF Code: INSIGHT10
    Deal: 10% OFF Code: INSIGHT10
    Claim Discount
    • $229/month
    • 1,200+ Short Lessons
    • 4,000+
    • 2
    • Month-To-Month
    • Digital

Outline: Kaplan GMAT vs Target Test Prep

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

🚨🚨 Update: When we reference Kaplan in this post, we are also referring to Manhattan Prep, as the two companies merged their GMAT prep courses last year under the “Manhattan Prep Powered By Kaplan” brand. 

Video: Which GMAT Prep Course Is Better?

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

Manhattan Prep GMAT On Demand Course


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


  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • Video lessons efficiently deliver everything you need to know
  • Six mock exams with official questions from past exams
  • Detailed prep books that cover everything you need to effectively prep
  • Organized course structure that is intuitive and easy to follow
  • Foundations of Math pre-course for those weak in quant
  • Navigator portal contains in-depth explanations for every problem
  • Must jump back and forth between books and portal to review problems
  • Progress tracking log is cumbersome to fill-in and follow
Manhattan Prep GMAT On Demand Course
$100 OFF Applied in Cart

Why Kaplan GMAT Is Better Than Target Test Prep

In this post I am going to focus on the key areas where I see each company having an advantage over the other (as opposed to a broad overview of each GMAT course). So with that in mind, let’s start with Kaplan. I have them winning in four key categories.

Video Lessons

The greatest highlight of the Kaplan course is the video lessons. To put it simply, they’re just better than the video lessons from Target Test Prep. I know Target Test Prep likes to make a big deal about the number and quality of their “video lessons,” but in reality, these videos are just practice problem explanations

Manhattan Prep GMAT Video Lesson
Kaplan/Manhattan Prep GMAT video lesson

The videos from Kaplan, on the other hand, are actual lessons, not just short problem explanations. The Kaplan lessons are in-depth, engaging and offer tons of useful content review.

The content in the Kaplan videos is on point and the production quality is first rate. Thus, if you’re more of a visual learner, take note. 

Live GMAT Classes

While we’re on the subject of visual learners, Kaplan also wins when it comes to live classes.

With Kaplan’s live online, you get nine, three-hour classes for a total of 27 hours of live instruction.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Foundations of Math Workshop
GMAT Foundations of Math workshop

I was personally very impressed by the Kaplan GMAT instructors. They are some of the best in the business. Not only do they know their stuff inside and out, but they also do a really good job of keeping the live sessions engaging and fun too.

GMAT Prep Books

Kaplan also beats Target Test Prep when it comes to prep books. Frankly, this is another easy win for Kaplan as Target Test Prep does not offer its students any hardcopy prep books whatsoever.

Now, to be fair, Target Test Prep does offer a digital eBook, but really this doesn’t even compare to Kaplan since they provide their students with a bundle of comprehensive prep books packed with substantive instruction, test taking strategies, practice problems, and more.

In my opinion, these prep books together make for a very powerful prep resource, especially if you’re more of an old-school type of learner like me that likes to read through actual physical books, highlight key points, and dog-ear pages to revisit later.

GMAT Practice Tests

Lastly, Kaplan beats Target Test Prep when it comes to practice tests. Kaplan offers six (6) full-length simulated exams, whereas Target Test Prep only offers two (2). Not to mention, the Kaplan exams are official exams from past administrations of the GMAT Focus.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Practice test
Kaplan GMAT practice test

Therefore, Kaplan effectively offers 3x as much opportunity to practice under exam-like conditions, and considering the fact that students often make the biggest gains by taking and reviewing practice tests, this is pretty big advantage for Kaplan.

👉 Read Also: Kaplan vs Princeton Review GMAT

Target Test Prep GMAT

Target Test Prep

  • 5-Day Free Trial
  • Monthly Subscription Available
  • 5-Day Free Trial
  • Monthly Subscription Available
Our Score


  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • More affordable than Kaplan's GMAT course (monthly subscription is great value)
  • Thorough GMAT lessons in the form of 47 digestible learning modules
  • Highly realistic practice problems with top-notch video and text solutions
  • Helpful analytics and reports to help you identify weaknesses
  • Love the test taking strategies for new GMAT Focus Edition
  • Wish there were more content-based video lectures
  • Could use more emphasis on Verbal (heavy Quant focus)
Target Test Prep GMAT
Deal: 10% OFF Code: INSIGHT10

Why Target Test Prep Is Better Than Kaplan GMAT

Now that you have a better understanding of what Kaplan has to offer, let’s discuss Target Test Prep. I have the company beating Kaplan in three categories. 

GMAT Prep Cost

The first area in which Target Test Prep beats Kaplan is extremely important: cost.

Target Test Prep offers several different plans, ranging from just $229 per month to $1,600. However, the one I most want to discuss is their month-to-month recurring subscription.

Target Test Prep GMAT study plan
A look inside the Target Test Prep course

At $229/month, this is a killer value. Given that it only takes 60-90 days to effectively prep for the GMAT Focus (when you can dedicate the time), your all-in cost will be somewhere between $460 and $690. This is a great value.

Compared to Kaplan, you’re looking at $200-$400 in savings by opting to go with Target Test Prep.

👉 Side Note: If you are working with a limited budget, you may also want to consider the GMAT course from Magoosh.

Score Improvement Guarantee

The second win for Target Test Prep is their score improvement guarantee. Essentially, after completing the Target Test Prep course, if your GMAT score does not improve by at least 130 points, the company will issue you a refund.

Now there is some fine print behind this guarantee, so you’ll definitely want to read up on that before purchasing, but with that said, it’s still a nice insurance policy, especially considering Kaplan does not offer the same type of guarantee with their GMAT courses.

For the record, Princeton Review also offers some pretty stellar GMAT score guarantees (like 645+).

Performance Reports

Lastly, Target Test Prep does a really good job with performance data and analytics. I was very impressed with the level of detail included in their reports.

Target Test Prep GMAT problem
Detailed reports based on practice problem performance

The company’s tech is able to identify your behavioral tendencies, answer habits, and subject area weaknesses so that you know what topic areas to focus on and how to tweak your test taking strategies moving forward in order to keep improving.

👉 Also Worth Reading: Target Test Prep vs Magoosh GMAT

Manhattan Prep GMAT Live Course
$100 OFF Applied in Cart

Verdict: Target Test Prep or Kaplan?

Although there’s a lot to like about the GMAT course from Target Test Prep (namely its affordable price, score improvement guarantee, and performance insights), I ultimately have to give the win to Kaplan and Manhattan Prep here. 

Yes, their courses are more expensive, but all in all, I just think that their program is far more comprehensive and effective. Kaplan pretty much beats Target Test Prep in every category that truly matters: video lessons, practice tests, live classes, prep books, and more.

Therefore, if you’re serious about scoring high on the GMAT, our team recommends Kaplan

👉 Next: Best GMAT Prep Courses Guide


What is the difference between Target Test Prep and Kaplan for GMAT prep?

Target Test Prep takes a streamlined, digital approach to GMAT prep that revolves around practice problems and a heavy focus on quant, while the Kaplan GMAT courses are more comprehensive in terms of features and study materials (e.g. live classes, prep books, video lessons).

Which GMAT prep course is better, Target Test Prep or Kaplan?

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

Do Target Test Prep and Kaplan offer live GMAT classes?

Both companies offer live GMAT classes. After using both courses, we found the Kaplan/Manhattan Prep classes to be more insightful and useful.