The following is a review of Kaplan GRE Prep, Kaplan GRE books, and Kaplan GRE courses.
Kaplan is a massive test prep and education company. They sell tons of books, courses, video courses, and tutoring. One of their main product lines is their GRE line.
So, is Kaplan GRE prep worth it? In short, no. Kaplan is great at marketing, but they’re not so great at GRE materials. Let’s go through their products, talk about their weaknesses, and discuss better options.
Kaplan GRE Prep Plus Book Review
Kaplan’s GRE Prep Plus book is not good. There are two parts to a test prep book: the practice material and the strategies.
Kaplan does not use any actual GRE practice material. Their practice questions are only imitations of GRE questions, and they’re not very good imitations. Practicing on Kaplan’s GRE questions will not make you better at actual GRE questions, and you will waste your time.
Kaplan’s test strategies are also bad. Kaplan tends to aim their strategies towards the middle of the pack. So, if you are particularly weak on a certain subject (like if you haven’t taken math for a decade), Kaplan will not provide materials for you to learn the fundamentals that you need. If you are looking to get a top score on a subject, Kaplan will also not provide you with the advanced strategies needed to get a top score. It’s really only suitable for people who are average, and want to receive an average score. Those people don’t really need a test prep book.
What I’d recommend instead for a GRE prep book
For practice materials, I’d recommend working with the free material from ETS. These are actual retired GRE questions, so they are guaranteed to be good practice.
Kaplan GRE Test Prep course review
Kaplan’s GRE courses are poorly taught. Their instructors receive no training, and don’t even have to have taken the GRE! I’ll repeat that: Kaplan’s instructors do not have to take the GRE in order to teach a course on the GRE. It’s terrible.
GRE prep courses that I’d recommend instead
Honestly, I wouldn’t really recommend GRE prep courses. I’m not a big fan of them. They’re pricey, and I don’t think they are an effective way to study for the GRE. There are much more effective ways to study for the GRE.
Instead, if you’re looking for an instructor in a group setting, I’d recommend a video course. They’re cheaper, you can do them from your home, and you can rewind when you’re confused. I’m a fan of Magoosh, which has pretty good instructors and pretty good questions for a good price. I don’t think it’s perfect, but it’s a great value for your dollar.
If you’re looking for personalized work and are willing to spend some extra money, I’d recommend a tutor. Trevor Klee, Tutor is a GRE tutor with 99th percentile scores, 5 stars on Yelp, and 5 stars on Google. Trevor Klee, Tutor is also the official instructor of the GRE for MIT.