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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.

  • Price
  • Video Instruction
  • Live Class Hours
  • Practice Questions
  • Practice Tests
  • Content Access Period
  • Books
  • Kaplan GMAT Live Online DEAL: 15% OFF Sale Ends Today
    DEAL: 15% OFF Sale Ends Today
    Claim Offer
    • $1,599
    • 35+ Interactive Lessons
    • 27
    • 4,000+
    • 6
    • 6 Months
    • Hardcopy
  • Target Test Prep GMAT $100 OFF Applied in Cart
    $100 OFF Applied in Cart
    Claim Discount
    • $549
    • 1,200+ Short Lessons
    • None
    • 4,000+
    • 2
    • 4 Months
    • 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.

🚨 NOTE: When we reference Kaplan in this post, we’re also referring to Manhattan Prep, as the two companies merged their GMAT courses last year under the 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.

Kaplan GMAT Live Online

Kaplan GMAT

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


  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • Top-notch, interactive video lessons (best in the industry)
  • Multiple live class options (TTP does not offer any classes)
  • Engaging, funny instructors that know the GMAT inside and out
  • Comprehensive hardcopy prep books that add real value
  • 3x as many practice tests as Target Test Prep
  • More expensive than Target Test Prep
  • No score improvement guarantee
Kaplan GMAT Live Online
DEAL: 15% OFF Sale Ends Today

Why Kaplan GMAT Is Better Than Target Test Prep

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.

Video Lessons

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.

Manhattan Prep gmat lesson
We team loves the video lessons from Kaplan/Manhattan Prep

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.

Manhattan prep gmat practice lesson
The Kaplan GMAT books are packed with helpful drills like this

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.

Manhattan prep gmat practice test
Example question from Kaplan practice test

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.

➡️ Also Worth Reading: Kaplan vs Princeton Review GMAT

Target Test Prep GMAT

Target Test Prep

  • 5-Day Trial For $1
  • Score Improvement Guarantee
  • 5-Day Trial For $1
  • Score Improvement Guarantee
Our Score


  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • More affordable than Kaplan's GMAT courses
  • Personalized study plan for each student
  • Insightful learning modules that cover every GMAT topic
  • Helpful analytics and reports to help you identify weaknesses
  • Realistic practice problems with solid video-based solutions
  • No hardcopy prep books (digital only)
  • No live class options
  • Course becomes expensive if you plan to study for more than 6 months
  • Text-based lessons can become boring (not ideal for visual learners)
Target Test Prep GMAT
$100 OFF Applied in Cart

Why Target Test Prep Is Better Than Kaplan GMAT

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.

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

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.

👉 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 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+).

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

Kaplan GMAT Live Online
DEAL: 15% OFF Sale Ends Today

Verdict: Target Test Prep or Kaplan?

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. 

➡️ READ NEXT: Best GMAT Tutors 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, 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.