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UWorld vs Kaplan NCLEX
Our side-by-side comparison of the NCLEX prep materials from Kaplan and UWorld
As you wrap up nursing school and start looking ahead to the NCLEX, one decision every future nurse faces is what test prep company to study with. And commonly, the choice often comes down to Kaplan vs UWorld, two of the biggest and most popular NCLEX prep companies out there. So which one is better? We take a close look in this detailed comparison guide and provide our honest thoughts.
To provide you with the most helpful evaluation of these two NCLEX prep courses, we think it is best to see where each company excels, first starting with Kaplan.
Quality of Practice Materials
For most aspiring nurses, the best way of preparing for the NCLEX is hammering practice question after practice question. So the realism of a company’s practice problems in terms of content, difficulty and length is a huge factor.
It’s a close call, and we generally like the problems both companies offer, but Kaplan’s are just a better fit for the real thing. They closely mimic what you’ll see on test day, and the adaptive nature of their CAT program seems to be a bit better than UWorld’s as well.
Video Lessons & Content Review
While the first two categories were close, this is where Kaplan starts to distance itself from UWorld. And that is because Kaplan provides a ton of content review in the form of live and pre-recorded lectures, content review sessions, and books, while UWorld provides nearly nothing of the sort (Princeton Review offers more study materials than UWorld too).
As I mentioned, most of your content review and learning with UWorld comes through your problem explanations. With Kaplan though, practice and review are just one half of the equation.
The other half is high-quality live and pre-recorded video lessons, and content review sessions, all of which we found to be stellar in terms of effectiveness. Honestly, Kaplan’s videos are second only to those from Nursing.com.
However, upon a closer look, we actually think Kaplan provides the better value here. Yes, in terms of straight dollars, they cost more. But Kaplan also gives you access to video lessons, optional live sessions, a hardcopy book, and a few extras that UWorld does not.
So for a couple hundred more dollars, we actually like the bang for your buck you get with Kaplan. Plus, when doing an apples-to-apples comparison of just Qbanks, we think Kaplan actually gets the edge with its $99 Qbank of 2,100 questions.
Supplemental NCLEX Study Materials
Again, Kaplan easily takes this category. While we were big fans of the customizable flashcards from UWorld (a very cool extra that we used often), it is simply hard to beat Kapan’s bonus resources.
These include access to their NCLEX channel, a prep book, content review guide, email support and more. The most notable resource by far is their NCLEX Channel, with near daily live lessons and recorded webcasts that take a deep dive into certain topics tested on the NCLEX.
This one is a pretty open and shut case: Kaplan offers a money back guarantee in the event you don’t pass the NCLEX on your first attempt, while UWorld does not.
Now that you have a good idea of what Kaplan has to offer, let’s talk about the advantages of using UWorld to help you prepare for the NCLEX.
Problem Explanations & Performance Metrics
Although Kaplan provides the better overall practice question quality, we actually think the UWorld problem explanations are better. Their answer explanations are filled with awesome graphics, vivid diagrams and tons of detail.
Now, this is largely true because UWorld’s explanations are meant to serve as content review in lieu of true lessons.
To be clear, we really liked Kaplan’s problem explanations as well, and found them to be more than serviceable in breaking down problems, but UWorld’s solutions are just tough to beat here (being right up there with those from Hurst).
In addition, we also give the edge to UWorld’s progress trackers and performance metrics. Their data just goes a little deeper in analyzing your current skill level.
User Experience & Interface
This one is a dead tie. Both companies offer really sharp, clean interfaces that we found to be easy to use. Their modern interface and navigability are equal in terms of aesthetics, and both had lightning fast load speeds and responses.
Content Access Period
Who wins this category is the classic “it depends.” (I know, I hate that too). Kaplan comes standard with 6 months of access to your NCLEX prep materials, while UWorld offers packages that range from 30 days of access up to 180 days (i.e. 6 months, for those of you that aren’t great at math).
If you purchase the premier package from UWorld with full access to all their features, this one’s a tie, but any lesser package and Kaplan gets the win here.
In terms of straight practice material, the difference between Kaplan and UWorld is somewhat negligible, with perhaps Kaplan getting the slight advantage.
We found Kaplan’s practice questions to be more realistic of actual NCLEX questions, while also rating UWorld’s problems explanations out higher. But when it comes to full scale NCLEX prep, there is no denying that Kaplan is the superior choice here.
With high-quality video lessons, optional live classes, a prep book, and bonus resources (most of which UWorld does not offer), Kaplan offers the better overall NCLEX prep option. This is especially true considering that their self-paced course with these features is less than $200 more.
Which NCLEX prep is better, Kaplan or UWorld?
After our full review of both prep options, we give Kaplan the edge over UWorld when it comes to NCLEX prep. We rate Kaplan’s NCLEX prep material out higher in just about every category, with the exception of problem explanations.
Kaplan Qbank vs UWorld, who’s is better?
We prefer Kaplan’s NCLEX practice questions, finding them to be more realistic of actual NCLEX problems. However, we conversely like UWorld’s problem explanations to Kaplan’s, find them to be more detailed.
Which NCLEX prep package is cheaper, Kaplan or UWorld?
In terms of straight Qbank price, Kaplan is cheaper than UWorld. Kaplan’s self-paced prep course is more expensive than UWorld’s NCLEX prep options, but this is not an apples-to-apples comparison.