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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, helping thousands of students to score 700+. However, new competitors in the GMAT prep industry like Target Test Prep are making waves with totally fresh approaches and unique learning frameworks. In this article, we cover the pros and cons that you need to know so you can pick the right GMAT prep course for your specific budget and learning style.
To keep this article to the point, I’m going to focus on the key areas where I see each company winning and 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.
The first win for Kaplan are their 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 their “video lessons,” but in reality, they are just practice problem explanations.
The videos from Kaplan, on the other hand, are actual lessons, not just short problem explanations. The Kaplan lessons are interactive, adaptive, and sprinkled with funny little cartoons.
Plus, 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. And really, this is an easy win for Kaplan since Target Test Prep does not offer any live GMAT classes.
With Kaplan’s Complete Course, you get nine, three hour classes (in-person or online, your choice) for a total of 27 hours of live instruction.
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 e-book, 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 6 full-length simulated exams, whereas Target Test Prep only offers two.
Therefore, Kaplan effectively offers 3 times as many opportunities 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.
Now that you have a better understanding of what Kaplan has to offer, let’s turn the tables and 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 three different plans: (1) month-to-month option for $180; (2) four-month plan for $550; or (3) six-month plan for $600.
In contrast, the Kaplan GMAT prep options start at $999 and go up from there. So all in all, you’re looking at $400 in savings by opting to go with Target Test Prep.
Now, to be fair, this is sort of like comparing apples to oranges since some of Kaplan’s courses include live classes, workshops, live post-exam assessments, and more. Plus, keep in mind that Kaplan regularly offers sales and discounts on their GMAT courses.
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 110 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 offers some pretty stellar GMAT score guarantees too (like 700+).
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.
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.
Is Target Test Prep the superior choice to help you prepare for the GMAT, or should you stick with the tried and true course from 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), ultimately I have to give the win to Kaplan and Manhattan Prep here.
Yes, their courses are more expensive, but all in all, I just think their courses are 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.
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, whereas 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?
Kaplan offers live GMAT classes, but Target Test Prep does not. This can be a deal breaker for some students.