When it comes to prepping for your GMAT, it’s a safe bet that you should incorporate an online course into your studies wherever possible. Not only do they provide you with a clear structure, but with the right one you can receive key feedback on the areas you need to improve. They can also provide a sense of solidarity and community with fellow students – vital for those who thrive on a social atmosphere to get the most out of their studies. However, the sheer volume of GMAT online course providers can make choosing one quite overwhelming. It’s important to consider a number of factors – as well as your own personal study preferences – before making a final decision.
In this article, we plan to take a look at all the major GMAT online course providers, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how much you can expect to pay. In this way, you can make a truly informed decision after examining each and every one.
Without further ado, let’s dive into our GMAT online course comparison.
Note: all prices are given in USD.
Best GMAT Online Course Providers 2023
For a brief overview of the various courses outlined in this article, look here. If you’d like a more detailed breakdown, please refer to the individual sections on each course.
- Best Overall: Magoosh
- Best Prep Materials & Live Prep Support: The Princeton Review
- Best Online Class Format: Kaplan/ Manhattan Prep
- Best Score Improvement Guarantee: TestMasters
- Best Free Course: GMAT Official Starter Kit
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A fantastic combination of affordability and solid study materials make for the best overall course on the market.
Our verdict: Best Overall
Leading online GMAT course providers including Princeton Review and Kaplan have made quite a name for themselves when it comes to quality of materials – but also regarding high prices. That’s where Magoosh stands out as one of the more affordable options on the market. Therefore, Magoosh makes for a great budget option.
Magoosh offers a 50-point increase, irrespective of which of their courses you plump for. It’s nice to see a concrete score improvement guarantee, and it speaks to Magoosh’s confidence that they can get results out of any prospective student.
Speaking of Magoosh’s courses, they offer three types:
Math + Integrated Reasoning
This cheap and cheerful offering ($219) focuses purely on what it sounds like it focuses on – Math (Quant) and Integrated Reasoning. It comes with a year’s access to over 175 video classes and more than 720 practice questions. They also guarantee at least a +3 increase in your math score, and limited access to online instructors.
Add AWA and Verbal to the mix, go up to 340 online video lessons, and gain access to 1300 practice questions. You’ll also unlock 2 diagnostic tests and gain a score predictor, in addition to the same online access to instructors that you get for the more basic package.
These extras push the package up to $249, which is a great deal considering you’re only paying $30 more than the Math/IR course.
Live + Premium
If you’d prefer to have actual classes with flesh-and-blood instructors, then this is the package for you. You get 16 hours of class led by a 99th-percentile instructor, have a guarantee of a limited-size, cohorted online class, and receive adaptive homework after each class.
You’ll also get personalized assignments that are fully supported by video and text explanations that reinforce what you’re learning every step of the way.
This option is the most expensive, of course, and will set you back by $599. It’s still, nevertheless, much cheaper than those of Magoosh’s competitors – but does come with fewer live hours than the online classes that rivals offer.
What We Like
- A year’s access to 720+ practice questions, study schedules, online lessons and diagnostic tools
- Option to pause studies
- Guaranteed 50-point increase
- Far cheaper than competitors
- Free trial available
What We Don’t Like
- Only two full-length tests
- No essay grading offered
- Math + IR: $219
- Premium: $249
- Live + Premium: $599
All in all, Magoosh is the perfect option if you need some online prep, but don’t want to break the bank doing it. In return for a much lower price tag, however, do be warned that you’ll generally be getting less here and there – and the materials you’ll get may not always be quite as good as those offered by the pricier options. However, it’s safe to say that you get the best value for money available among the top GMAT online course providers.
One of the pricier options on the market that offers great live support and a fantastically generous supply of practice materials.
Our verdict: Best Prep Materials & Live Prep Support
The Princeton Review is one of the most esteemed and well-regarded GMAT online course providers out there, and it’s not hard to see why. They offer a number of options that suit different needs and budgets, making it easy to find a course that suits you.
Their course options are as follows:
The top pick for students who prefer to study in their own time and at their own pace, the self-paced course is one of the cheaper options from Princeton, coming in at $799.
The beauty of self-paced courses is that you can set the pace and intensity; for everything else, the Princeton Review’s proprietary adaptive algorithm will ensure that the lessons you take will be pitched for maximum efficacy. Their video lessons adapt based on your needs and wants, and they also offer adaptive drills and review exercises to make sure that you retain what you’ve learned.
There is also limited access to live instruction, for when something is truly stumping you and you need to talk to a professional.
All in all, the Princeton Review’s self-paced package isn’t the cheapest, but it comes in at around the same cost as that of leading rivals. It’s a great compromise between online classes and pure self-study without any online assistance at all.
The Princeton Review’s classic online course is great if you’ve got the funds for it. This option offers 27 hours of live instruction online, and you’ll have the class recordings so that you can go back and review them at your leisure.
What’s more, the Fundamentals course comes bundled with a whopping 10 practice tests, ensuring that by the time you walk into that test room, you’ll be ready for any conceivable question you might face.
You’ll also be given a custom online lesson plan that’s tailored for you and your needs, and their live chat means that you can talk to experts about any aspect of the GMAT whenever you need to.
Finally, this course is covered by the Princeton Review’s score guarantee – if you don’t score higher than you did at the start, you’ll be completely refunded. This guarantee is a little nebulous compared to the concrete numbers given by other companies, but it’s still nice to have.
The Fundamentals course isn’t particularly cheap – it costs $1399 – but you get what you pay for, and the abundance of materials offered, plus the live classes, make this a great choice.
Only open to candidates who start with a score of 620+, this course is the ultimate option when it comes to nailing those high scores.
It comes with 47+ hours of online instruction (the regular 27 hours offered on Fundamentals, plus 10 hours on verbal and math problems and 10 hours on advanced questions) and more than 4,480 practice questions. It also comes with 10 fully adaptive practice tests, as with the Fundamentals course.
The 700+ is, naturally, the most expensive course offered by the Princeton Review, given all the extra hours of tuition and the staggering wealth of practice materials. Expect to pay $1699 for the 700+.
What We Like
- 10 practice tests
- Live instruction and support
- Custom online classes available
- Advanced course for high-level students
What We Don’t Like
- Minimum base score required for 700+ course
- Self-paced: $799
- Fundamentals: $1399
- 700+: 1699
The Princeton Review: Conclusion
All in all, the Princeton Review is a very strong option, and will ensure you are well-prepped for the GMAT. However, that quality comes with a price tag.
An unparalleled web experience with one of the leading GMAT course providers, Kaplan/Manhattan Prep is the ultimate in premium online materials.
Our verdict: Best Online Class Format
Another of the biggest names on the block when it comes to online GMAT preparation, Kaplan are about as well-regarded as competitors the Princeton Review. They’re a little more expensive, but offer what is arguably a better online course.
Kaplan has recently merged with Manhattan Prep, and so their courses are now, effectively, one and the same. Their courses are as follows:
Kaplan/Manhattan’s self-study comes with more than 35 interactive online classes. You can start, stop and repeat these at your leisure, which makes them extremely accessible and handy for those who don’t want to stick to a rigid schedule.
It’s more expensive than rival self-paced packages, coming in at $999. However, the materials are of exceptional quality, and are fully adaptive, meaning that they’ll respond to your performance and adjust the difficulty of the next lesson accordingly. The video lessons are also interactive, which makes for a much more engaging lesson than simply passively watching a video.
Live Online Course
This $1600 course is Kaplan’s staple offering, and comes bundled with 27 hours of live classroom time, 6 full-length GMAT practice tests, and unrestricted access to the cheaper on-demand course.
While Kaplan/Manhattan’s live online course is more expensive than the Princeton Review’s equivalent, the extra cost has obviously been put to good use. The online classes are excellent, and formatted and prepped in such a way that ensures you’ll retain newly-introduced knowledge.
Private Tutoring Package
Kaplan’s private tutor packages are the ultimate in personalization. Because you are your tutor’s only student, you’ll get their 100% undivided attention, and they’ll build a course that’s specifically tailored to your needs and preferences, as well as offer personalized feedback that will help you hit the best score possible.
Private tutors, inevitably, do not come cheap. 10 hours will cost $2450, 20 hours $4600, and 30 hours $6750. All that personal attention will naturally pay dividends, however – so if you can afford it, private tutoring is highly recommended.
Is your test date looming and you still haven’t prepped for it? In that case, Kaplan’s Bootcamp might be your best option. This $2599 course isn’t exactly cheap, but it only lasts for a (very intensive) 2-3 weeks and includes 35 hours of instruction with 2 tutors, 6 practice tests, custom tests designed by your instructor, and all the on-demand materials offered by the other courses.
This niche course is for students who are already scoring 650 or higher and want to up their GMAT game. It costs $1399 and includes a wealth of materials, 6 practice tests, and access to an instructor who will conduct a pre-course interview and tailor the materials to your needs. The same instructor will also perform test post-mortems together with you after you’ve finished.
What We Like
- The best online materials in the business
- 6 practice tests
- Wide variety of courses
- Best self-paced course on the market
- Private tutoring offered
What We Don’t Like
- Expensive compared to other options
- No guarantee of a score increase
- On Demand: $999
- Live Online: $1600
- Private Tutoring: from $2450
- Bootcamp: $2599
- Advanced: $1399
Kaplan/Manhattan Prep: Conclusion
Kaplan/Manhattan Prep are, make no mistake, one of the most expensive options out there. But they’re aggressively priced for a reason – their materials are, without exception, the finest available from any source. If you buy a Kaplan/Manhattan Prep course, you can be assured of the quality of your lessons, instructors, and all supplementary materials.
Smaller and less experienced than some of the big names in the GMAT online course business, TestMasters nevertheless bring confidence and guaranteed results to the table.
Our verdict: Best Score Improvement Guarantee
TestMasters are not as well-known as some of the bigger fish in the pond, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t offer high-quality GMAT online courses.
TestMasters is unique in the confidence of its score guarantee, which assures you of an astonishing 100-point increase in your score by the end of the course. And while their courses are a little more limited than some of the GMAT heavyweights, they’re nevertheless very competitive.
TestMaster’s online course options are as follows:
TestMasters’ online course is a relatively cheap and no-frills approach to the GMAT. While it won’t win any awards for course design or visual presentation, the content is solid and is great for hardworking and diligent students who have strong focus and don’t need much in the way of supplementary support.
With an online course, you gain access to 12 online classes (that can be rewatched, paused and/or skipped at your convenience) and a wealth of supplementary materials, including more than 800 retired GMAT questions. You can also opt for telephone consultations with instructors for an optional fee.
TestMasters’ Online course costs $899, which makes it considerably more expensive than fellow budget option Magoosh.
The only other online option with TestMasters is a private course. A private course comes with all the materials that you’d get on the standard online course, but the 12 lessons will be taught by a personal tutor, who’ll be able to offer personalized feedback and homework throughout the duration of the course.
As with any other GMAT online course provider, private tutoring does not come cheap. Although TestMasters do not publicly post the cost of their online courses, previous students have reported that the cost of a private course comes in at around $2999.
This is a little pricey given TestMasters’ relative lack of pedigree and the comparatively few hours offered (Kaplan, who are a much better-established company with a proven track record of offering quality materials and instructors, provides 10 hours for about $500 less), and so you may be better off considering other options if you have the money for a private tutor.
What We Like
- Guaranteed score improvement of 100
- Good variety of courses
- 1200+ pages of study materials
What We Don’t Like
- Clunky and dated online experience
- Private courses not competitively priced
- Online course: $899
- Private course: $2999 approx.
With their minimum guaranteed score jump, TestMasters are coming out of the gate strong, and offer a wealth of study materials to supplement your online classes. However, if looking for private classes, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
For a great intro to the GMAT that doesn’t cost a penny, look no further than the GMAT’s official starter kit.
Our verdict: Best Free Course
When you’re prepping for a test, where better to start than with the kit offered by the very creators of the test?
The GMAT Official Starter Kit is not going to provide complete and comprehensive prep for every aspect of the GMAT, but it is – as you can guess from the name – a start. Bundled with the starter kit are 90 practice questions, and you’ll also have unlimited access to two full-length practice tests that you can visit and revisit at your leisure.
These tests fully replicate the experience that you’re likely to undergo in the examination room, and so they’re perfect to get a taster of what you can expect on test day. Taking the test also generates time-management reports, which will help you figure out where you’re taking too long and thus inform what sections of the test you should work on going forward.
What We Like
- Entirely free
- 90 practice questions
- Time-management feedback
- 2 practice tests included
- Made by GMAC
What We Don’t Like
- Not sufficient for full GMAT prep
GMAT Official Starter Kit: Conclusion
The Starter Kit is entirely free, and so you’ve no reason not to make use of it – particularly given how useful the materials provided actually are. That said, the resources are not as extensive as you’d find on a paid course (naturally), and so while it makes for a good starting point, it would be inadvisable to rely upon it as your sole source of GMAT prep materials.
As we have seen, there are a great many options when it comes to online GMAT course providers (and more still that we haven’t been able to cover in this article). Deciding which course is right for you is really a question of carefully considering your budget and study needs.
If you’re an independent student that doesn’t need a lot of direction, then you may be well suited to any of the self-paced courses that are offered by all of the companies detailed in this article. It would then just be a matter of deciding upon the quality of materials you’d like – Kaplan/the Princeton Review for better (but more expensive) materials, and Magoosh/TestMasters for more affordable options.
If you’d rather attend online classes with other students (or privately), then you’d be well-advised to consider any of the options except for the official GMAT Starter Kit and Testmasters. Magoosh, Kaplan/Manhattan Prep and the Princeton Review all offer solid online classes, and again, it’s just a matter of how much you’re willing to spend.
Which course you ultimately decide to go with, remember that it’s very much taking some form of online course in order to adequately prep for the big day. It’s simply a question of finding the right one for you.