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Princeton Review GMAT Prep Review

Our comprehensive evaluation of the Princeton Review GMAT prep course and books

Princeton Review offers some of the most trusted GMAT study materials on the market, with live classes, prep books and a deep platform of digital content. However, should you opt to go with their GMAT course just because you heard that a friend of a friend had success with it? In this review, we take a close look at the Princeton Review GMAT prep course and help you make that call.

Princeton Review GMAT Core Concepts

Princeton Review

  • Multiple Course Options
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Multiple Course Options
  • Money Back Guarantee
Our Score


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  • Fantastic live classes for those needing structure and deeper coverage
  • Deep and well-structured curriculum with proven results
  • Engaging module-based approach to learning
  • 4 full-length practice tests that closely replicate the GMAT Focus
  • Detailed but easily understandable practice problem explanations
  • Some of the best GMAT instructors we've come across
  • On demand video lessons lack production quality (a bit dry)
  • Books are good, but aren't well integrated into the course
Princeton Review gmat fundamentals course
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Outline: Princeton Review GMAT Course

Given this review covers a number of topics, above find a helpful jump-to table of contents for easy navigation.

Video: Is Princeton Review GMAT Worth It?

In the video above, Test Prep Insight team member John (a 700+ scorer on the GMAT) walks you through the major pros and cons of the Princeton Review GMAT prep course. For more detail, be sure to continue reading our full written review below.

Princeton Review GMAT Pricing

Princeton Review offers three GMAT prep packages for students to choose from, which generally vary by format and level of resources. They include:

  • Self-Paced
  • Core Concepts
  • GMAT Focus 645+

For those students that prefer to study on their own schedule or on the go, the Self-Paced option will likely be your best bet. This prices out at right around $800, which is on par with self-paced course from rival Kaplan.

Princeton Review GMAT lesson plan
Example lesson plan for the Princeton Review GMAT Course

Next is the Core Concepts course. This option offers 18 hours of live instruction targeted at the new GMAT Focus Edition and will cost you right around $1,000. This is less than what Manhattan Prep charges.

Lastly, Princeton offers a fairly unique course, the GMAT 645+. This course is targeted towards students seeking scores in the top 15th percentile and aiming to get into a top-25 MBA program.

Held live online, it is much more intensive than the other course options and guarantees students a score of 645 or better (assuming some baseline metrics are realized). This will run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000. Top scores don’t come cheap.

👉 If you are seeking a more affordable GMAT prep course, be sure to read our reviews of Magoosh and Target Test Prep.

Our Thoughts On Princeton’s GMAT Coursework

The first thing that jumps out about the Princeton Review GMAT online content is the depth and nature of its coursework.

The Princeton course curriculum is broken out among exam strategies, data insights, quant and verbal, tracking the sections of the GMAT Focus. Within each section there are learning modules, with each covering a different topic that will be covered on the exam.

As you scroll through the various modules of the Princeton coursework, it seems like it will never end. You scroll, you scroll, and you scroll. They don’t say exactly how many individual topics are covered through these modules, but it has to be well over 100.

The takeaway from this is that Princeton Review covers every little niche that could possibly come up on the GMAT and you’re not likely to see something on the GMAT Focus that you haven’t seen somewhere in your prep.

With respect to the quality of the of the prep materials offered by Princeton Review, it is unquestionably good. The lessons are thorough, the problem explanations are detailed, and the adaptive drills are incredibly powerful for prepping the way you will test.

My only real negative with respect to the study material quality is with the production quality and delivery of their video lessons. They are just dry.

Unlike the Princeton Review GRE course (which we’ve also reviewed), the GMAT prep course utilizes video-based lessons that do not have onscreen instructors.

Princeton Review GMAT video lesson
Princeton Review GMAT video lesson

Rather than having an instructor looking back at you and working practice problems or explaining a concept, you instead watch a slide that is updated with notes as a teacher voices over.

It’s not an ineffective delivery of content (there are some nice interactive features around it), but it’s just not as good as we’ve seen with other courses.

The instructor’s voice is a little tinny and slides are somewhat pixelated, making for a dated appearance. Putting production quality and delivery method aside, the content is spot on though. I especially liked the interactive questions asked at the beginning of each module lesson.

The “quick review” lessons that precede many of the full lessons are great little snippets of information. They serve to provide quick hit refreshers on a topic so that if you’re just looking to brush up on material, you don’t have to dive in head first. I am a big fan of these little video and text lessons.

Princeton is not afraid to dig deep in their efforts to make sure you understand the material and have seen every problem type that may appear on the exam, even if just once. In short, the substance is fantastic but the quality of the video-based lesson delivery is not so much.

Princeton Review GMAT question explanation
Princeton Review GMAT practice question

As for quantity of practice, Princeton delivers over 4,400 practice problems, each with its own accompanied text explanation. This is more than competitors like Magoosh and Kaplan, as well as Target Test Prep. It places Princeton near the top of its class in terms of study material.

The text explanations that go hand in hand with each practice question are also of top-notch quality. Each breaks down the problem at large and thoroughly explains why the correct answer choices are correct and the incorrect choices, well, incorrect.

Another advantage of the Princeton Review course is the adaptive nature of the drills. Through Princeton’s “DrillBuilder” tool you can customize your own practice problem set, or simply click “optimize” and have one built for you.

Either way, Princeton’s proprietary algorithm will adapt the practice set as you work it. Meaning, just like the GMAT Focus, questions will get harder as you answer them correctly, or ease off as you miss some problems. This is a fantastic tool and adds real value to your studies.

Princeton Review GMAT Drill builder
A look at the “DrillBuilder” feature

Overall, I was impressed with both the quality and quantity of the Princeton coursework. I personally found the DrillBuilder to be of significant value, as well as the in-module drills. But I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the Princeton video-based lessons.

They just lacked the modern features you get with other courses, such as dynamic whiteboards and instructors working problems onscreen with digital markers. That said, you can’t knock the quality of the content—Princeton nails the substantive stuff.

Princeton Review GMAT Practice Tests

Along with the lessons, coursework, drills and other resources, every student gets access to 4 full-length practice tests. These tests are computer-adaptive (mimicking the GMAT Focus) and hosted through Princeton’s digital platform. And to be honest, the practice exams are dead matches for the official GMAT.

Princeton does an incredible job of nailing that 1990’s-style digital interface. Beyond the interface, the substance of the practice tests are on the money as well.

The questions are spot on in terms of content and structure, and I couldn’t tell the difference from practice questions and those on the actual test.

Princeton Review GMAT practice test
Princeton Review GMAT practice test

With respect to quantity, Princeton offers 4 tests in total. For the record, Manhattan Prep offers more.

Following each practice test, you will get a detailed report, outlining where you performed well and where you need work. These score reports hold huge value and should not be quickly scanned and filed away.

Princeton goes to great lengths to provide some great metrics around your performance, and you should take full advantage.

Princeton Review GMAT Prep Books

Rather than spinning their wheels designing their own prep books, Princeton Review goes straight to the source, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) for materials.

Princeton gives each student access to the GMAT Official Guide from GMAC, which contains over 1,000 real GMAT questions and strategies from the makers of the GMAT.

The GMAT Official Guide from GMAC is considered the written authority on GMAT prep and is very valuable to the Princeton prep course.

However, this book does not necessarily track with the Princeton Review curriculum and should be looked at as a complement to the actual prep course. Its primary value lies in its official questions, supplementing the practice questions already provided by Princeton Review.

In fact, I would suggest focusing on the Princeton Review questions first, and the GMAT Official Guide questions second. The Princeton Questions go deeper and often cover more ground. Overall though, I love that Princeton provides this guide to its students.

👉 Read Also: Princeton Review vs Kaplan GMAT Comparison

Digital Platform & User Experience

Princeton Review delivers the goods with its overall user experience and digital platform layout, but drops the ball at the 1-yard line with its dashboard.

The site structure is so intuitive and straightforward, a child could you use it. And to complement that, the interface is clean, snappy and very professional looking. However, the dashboard is a waste of space and missed opportunity.

Princeton Review GMAT lecture
A look inside the Princeton Review GMAT prep course

Other GMAT prep companies like Magoosh and PrepScholar maximize the dashboard by incorporating some awesome features right onto it and using it as a springboard.

However, Princeton’s dashboard is basically a welcome doormat with a couple target dates and basic info. With that said, I don’t want to make too big of a deal over their dashboard—it is only one aspect of an otherwise solid and engaging user experience.

Live GMAT Classes From Princeton Review

While Princeton’s video-based lessons are somewhat lacking, their live instruction classes are anything but that. Led by top GMAT scorers who have all undergone 37+ hours of training, Princeton delivers some top-shelf live classes.

Throughout the live instruction, you will be presented with some great GMAT strategies, all broken down by problem type.

In addition, the in-class problem breakdowns are especially helpful. The live class curriculum uses some great problems to help explain concepts and you are always free to ask questions.

Unlike some other companies’ courses, this material is different from and in addition to the online content, so there is real value in taking one of Princeton’s live courses. This is the reason the live courses cost more than the self-paced package—there is true added benefit and extra material.

Furthermore, the Princeton Review instructors are truly top-notch and some of the best in the GMAT game. The instructor in my class was crazy smart. She was a 99th percentile scorer and knew her stuff inside and out. She wasn’t the most outgoing person I’ve ever met, but she was still a great communicator.

She was all business in going about delivering us the course content but was always patient and was happy to slow down and take questions or explain something a different way. Overall, I was very impressed with the Princeton Review live course I attended.

Extra GMAT Study Resources

When considering which GMAT prep course is best for you, you should always consider what additional resources you get with your prep package.

While some prep courses just give you the base course and call it good, Princeton Review provides access to some helpful (and some just okay) resources. Among these extras you will get:

  • Live interactive GMAT explanation sessions
  • Teacher email assistance
  • Test taking tip sheets
  • Pacing chart

Of these bonus features, my favorite was definitely the GMAT explanation sessions. These extra live online courses occur about once or twice per week and take a deep dive into one particular problem type. The session is live and led by a Princeton Review instructor who discusses one particular topic at great length.

If you happen to struggle on the chosen subject matter, you’re in luck, because you are going to get a very custom lesson where you are free to ask questions. If the session hits a topic you’re already comfortable with it may be a waste, but for the most part, these sessions are great.

One other resource worth mentioning is the instructor access for live class participants. You can email your instructor about anything and they’ll get back to you within a day or so. I tested this promise and it works, so don’t be afraid to use it (but just don’t overuse it).

Private GMAT Tutoring From Princeton Review

Princeton Review offers private tutoring packages starting at around $1,800 (for a 10-hour package). While I personally didn’t utilize any personal tutoring in my course, if the tutor you get is as knowledgeable as my instructor, you’ll be in good hands. I would strongly expect all of Princeton’s tutors to be solid, as they are hand-picked and well trained.

It also worth mentioning that Princeton Review’s tutoring rates are among some of the most affordable. You might find tutoring options cheaper on Facebook or Craigslist, but good luck with that. Compared to some other GMAT prep companies whose rates run north of $200 per hour, Princeton looks pretty good.

Content Access Period

Despite all of its great features and highlights, Princeton Review offers a somewhat disappointing 120 days of access to its online content. This lags behind many of its competitors, such as Magoosh and Kaplan who each offer 6 months or more.

Generally speaking, 120 days of study should be plenty for most students, but for those studying at night or on weekends and taking it slow, this is a short enough fuse that you may need to think twice. Princeton offers a significant amount of study material, so you will need to move somewhat efficiently to get through it all in 4 months.

Does Princeton Have A Mobile App?

Princeton Review does not offer a direct mobile app to complement its GMAT prep course. They do give access to Conects Q&A, but this isn’t the most effective app. Conects more generally answers math and verbal problems, but isn’t necessarily tied to your Princeton GMAT coursework.

That said, through your GMAT Official Guide you will get access to GMAC’s mobile app, which is pretty decent. That app allows you to work problems from the GMAC book and provides problem explanations as well.

I personally found the GMAC app to be of more value and use than the Conects app, noting that the two are a little different in how they work.

Is There A Score Better Or Money Back Guarantee?

Yes. Princeton Review strands behind its prep course to the point that it will refund your money if you don’t improve your score. There are some technicalities about setting a baseline score to compare to, among other things (there is always fine print), but generally, Princeton will give you your money back if you don’t see your score jump after using their course.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to repeat the course because you feel you could do better a second time around, Princeton is happy to simply reactivate your account as well.

With that said, if you are looking for an elite score, Princeton Review does offer a 645 score guarantee with their 645+ course. Just make sure to read the fine print before purchasing to make sure you qualify.

What Is The Refund Policy?

Generally speaking, Princeton Review has a fairly liberal refund policy. If you’re not happy with your GMAT prep course for whatever reason, you can call them up and get a refund within 7 days of purchase. This is a pretty nice safety net, as some prep companies won’t even give you 24 hours.

Verdict: Princeton Review GMAT Prep Course

As expected, Princeton Review delivers a tried and true, traditional approach to GMAT prep. Their online content is highlighted by adaptive drills covering 4,400+ questions, each with a rock-solid text explanation following it.

In addition, the content covered is crazy comprehensive and covers even the most remote problem types. While the quality of their video-based lessons was lacking with weaker explanations and poor production value, the course structure around the videos was about the most robust we have seen.

In addition to the online content, Princeton delivers some top-notch live classes with instructors that we found to be gurus. The lessons were thorough and thoughtfully planned, with great use of example problems.

Overall, Princeton Review did not disappoint, even with high expectations to begin with. If you’re looking for a proven test prep formula at a reasonable rate, Princeton Review may be a solid fit.

👉 Read Next: Best GMAT Course Rankings


How much do the Princeton Review GMAT prep courses cost?

Depending on which course option you select, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 up to $2,000. The course varies widely in format and scope, so select a course that best fits your needs.

How many hours of live instruction do you get with Princeton Review?

With the Core Concepts course, Princeton’s main prep package, you will get 18 hours of live instruction. And with the GMAT 645+ course you will get 47 hours of live classroom time.

How many practice questions come with the Princeton Review GMAT prep course?

You will get access to over 4,400 practice questions with the Princeton Review course, including 1,000+ official problems.