PrepScholar may not have the name recognition of other, larger test preparation brands, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a good option for students preparing for one of the hardest tests of their lives: the GMAT. Although there are plenty of great GMAT courses out there, PrepScholar’s GMAT program includes several features that allow them to stand out from the competition. Each of these features—such as a unique study plan algorithm, a top 1% instructor team, and accessible tutoring options—help PrepScholar accomplish their specific goal: to give students a high-yield personalized prep experience at an affordable price.
In this article, we’ll go through everything that makes PrepScholar GMAT a viable option for today’s prospective MBA students, but we’ll also discuss the aspects of their course that might make it a less-than-perfect option for you. If you read through this review and find that PrepScholar’s GMAT products aren’t the right fit for your needs, there are plenty of other options to choose from. Check out our comparison page of the best GMAT prep courses, where you can see GMAT services that come with tons of different features and prices.
Please note PrepScholar is one of our affiliate brands, and as such we receive a small commission at no cost to you if you choose to purchase this prep course. Only use our links if you find this review helpful.
1. Course Personalization
Across all their courses, one of PrepScholar’s main goals is to provide a personalized preparation experience. You’ll see how personalization is their priority from the moment you start the course: students begin by taking a diagnostic test, which then feeds their answers into PrepScholar’s CustomPrep algorithm. That algorithm determines your skill level in dozens of specific GMAT concepts, and then tailors your study plan to give you the most effective curriculum possible.
Once your skill levels have been measured, the lessons you receive each week will be specially curated to make sure you’re efficiently learning the exact lessons you need. That way, you’ll never find yourself too far outside or inside your comfort zone—instead, PrepScholar’s study plans stretch your abilities without stretching you too far, which is right where you want to be during the learning process.
On top of the custom study plan, you’ll be able to craft your own weekly study schedule. Their GMAT courses are self-paced, so you decide exactly how much time you want to dedicate to studying each week.
2. Most Affordable
That’s well-below average, though there are a couple other courses that sit in this budget-friendly price range. Magoosh GMAT offers their standard course for $249, which is more expensive than PrepScholar but includes a year of access. Another option, TargetTestPrep GMAT, provides students with a self-paced course for only $99 a month, so if you only need a month to prep, that’ll be the cheapest option for you.
One thing to note, however, is that PrepScholar doesn’t have the most comprehensive course when it comes to their amount of material. Other courses will cost more, but many of them include features like additional practice tests, AWA essay review and feedback, and even thousands more practice questions to study with. Still, when it comes to pricing, PrepScholar has everyone else beat.
Test prep companies use score improvement guarantees to show how confident they are in their courses—you’ll increase your score, or you’ll get your money back. However, many of these guarantees are so generic that increasing your score by a mere point will disqualify you for the refund, even if it isn’t the increase you wanted. PrepScholar, on the other hand, provides some of the best guarantees available. With their GMAT course, students are guaranteed to score at least 60 points higher on the GMAT than they did on a previous attempt.
A 60-point increase on your GMAT score can take you from being a below-average applicant to a highly-competitive candidate for your dream MBA program—it’s no small number when it comes to GMAT scores.
Each of PrepScholar’s GMAT packages also come with a 5-day risk free trial, so you can take the course for a spin to see whether it’ll be the right choice for you. If you know that guarantees are high on your priority list, you could also check out Magoosh GMAT and Varsity Tutors. Along with PrepScholar, they promise robust score improvements for their users (+50 total score guarantee).
If a guaranteed improvement is the most important item on your list, Economist Education offers a +70 score improvement guarantee – the largest guarantee of any GMAT prep course.
4. Practice Package
If you’re a prospective MBA student with a lot on your plate, you may have a tight budget and a tighter schedule. PrepScholar is one of only a few companies to provide a budget-friendly, entry-level version of their GMAT course for just those students: the Resource Pool package.
This package costs under $100 and provides you with a good amount of material from their standard course. You’ll get 500 practice questions with answer explanations plus 30+ GMAT skill lessons and 2 months of access to the content.
The practice questions and explanations that PrepScholar provides are some of their most valuable resources—each explanation goes in-depth to show how each answer option works, or doesn’t work, as a response. The skill lessons you’ll be reading also break down everything you’ll need to know about specific question types you’ll find on the exam, so you’ll familiarize yourself with the GMAT’s complex format and content. For anyone who needs to study for the GMAT but can’t afford the time or money needed to take a full prep course, this is definitely an option worth looking into.
5. Tutoring Options
Private tutoring is one of the most effective ways to study for a standardized test, though that also makes it one of the most expensive. The major GMAT companies out there today each provide some form of private tutoring option, sometimes as an add-on to their courses and sometimes as a completely separate product.
If you purchase PrepScholar’s most popular course, the Completely Customized option, you can add on an hour of GMAT tutoring for only $99. That’s one of the cheapest hourly rates you’ll find. You can also purchase one of their more expensive GMAT tutoring packages, which start at $799 for 4 hours of tutoring and go up to $3,399 for a total of 20 hours of tutoring.
Another option for tutoring is The Economist, which offers some free access to a tutor with all their plans.
6. Progress Reports
PrepScholar does a great job of communicating with its users about where they are in the test prep process. All across their student dashboard, graphics will provide you with valuable info about how you’re progressing through the course. This includes details like which skills you’re closest to mastering, which skills you’ve improved upon each day, and how much you’ve improved a specific skill every time you’ve taken a lesson in that area.
Beyond the reports you’ll see on the student dashboard, you’ll also receive email (or text) notifications that remind you when you need to study and show you how you’ve improved throughout each week. All of this material serves to show you where you are and where you need to improve, which is, of course, a significant part of the learning process.
7. Best Instructors
There are a few things PrepScholar really prioritizes with each of their courses: personalization is one, and quality instruction is another. They use an algorithm to make sure each student’s course is personalized, but how do they make sure you have great GMAT instructors? The answer is simple:
Each PrepScholar instructor is required to have at least a 99th percentile score on the GMAT. These people are in the top 1% of GMAT test-takers, which equates to scores above 760.
Scores like these are not easy to come by, and show that PrepScholar’s employees know just about everything there is to know about the exam—from its content to its question styles to the best test-taking strategies, and everything in between.
Though you won’t be interacting with these instructors directly (unless you go with a private tutoring package), they’re the ones who design each GMAT lesson and question explanation. And the content they provide is about as in-depth as you can get, so it isn’t like they’re giving you vague, general explanations and leaving you to figure things out. With PrepScholar, your course content is crafted by exam professionals, and it shows.
1. Access Period
PrepScholar generally has long access periods for their courses, which can last for several months or even years. Their GMAT products, however, are an exception. PrepScholar’s GMAT course packages last for 2 months, 3 months, or 4 months, depending on which you choose.
Most online GMAT prep companies offer 6 months or more of access, and both Magoosh GMAT and Varsity Tutors GMAT last for a whole year. That gives you plenty of time to study for the test as slowly or as quickly as you need, and might be long enough to let you prepare for and take the test twice. The GMAT courses PrepScholar offers just don’t give you as much time, although most students will be able to prepare well with 3 or 4 months of course access. If you’re trying to plan out your preparation alongside a busy schedule, this limited access period may be something to consider.
2. Limited Course Formats
Students learn best in a variety of ways—some prefer in-person interaction while others prefer to learn at their own pace. PrepScholar only offers their GMAT courses in a self-paced format that caters to this latter group. You’ll be able to choose when you study and what you study, so you’ll have the maximum amount of flexibility.
If you learn best with another learning style, though, you might be better off going with another course. Aside from their GMAT private tutoring packages, there are no versions of PrepScholar’s course that will allow you to interact directly with instructors or other students. Other companies, such as Kaplan, have live online courses that put you in a virtual classroom. The Princeton Review, along with a few others, even offers in-person GMAT classes all around the country.
With PrepScholar, you’ll have fewer options when it comes to how you study, but that probably won’t be a problem for many of today’s busy MBA candidates. And if you need to talk to a person 1-on-1 in order to get the most out of your prep, there’s always PrepScholar’s tutoring options, which are more expensive but far more likely to give you exceptional score results.
3. Course Material
There are over a thousand questions, dozens of lessons, and a decent number of practice tests in PrepScholar’s GMAT prep courses. When compared with other major GMAT options though, these numbers just aren’t the highest. Kaplan GMAT offers 5 times the amount of practice questions that PrepScholar does, and The Princeton Review GMAT has over twice their amount of tests. The fact is, PrepScholar’s GMAT course isn’t one of their flagship products, so they haven’t added as many lessons and overall course content as you’ll find with these more comprehensive options.
The quality of the material you’ll get with PrepScholar is still high, and it’s still guaranteed to bring pretty dramatic results. On top of that, it’s pretty rare that students find themselves exhausting all the material in a prep course. So while the amount of content is comparatively low, the content that is there is still enough for test-takers to get the prep they need.
For students who are looking for an affordable, personalized, expert-designed GMAT prep course, PrepScholar GMAT is a great option. They include some of the best guarantees you’ll find, and use an algorithm-based system to guide you through everything you need to know about the exam.
PrepScholar GMAT has an emphasis on instructor expertise and the personalization of your curriculum, and though the course doesn’t have the most content or come in the most format options, most students will be able to use PrepScholar to reach their target GMAT score thanks to its unique features—all at a particularly affordable price.
How much is PrepScholar GMAT?
PrepScholar GMAT starts at $139 for 3 months of access, making it one of the most budget-friendly options available. However, the amount of content available may not be as comprehensive as some of their competitors.
If you’re looking for a more broad GMAT prep experience, we think that Magoosh is the best value out there. For $249, you’ll get a full year of access to content including their mobile app for studying on the go.
Is PrepScholar GMAT worth it?
PrepScholar is extremely affordable, and they offer a 60-point improvement guarantee or they’ll refund your money. In addition, PrepScholar offers a free 5-day trial so you can see if it’s a good fit for your learning style. For these reasons alone, PrepScholar is worth trying out.
They also have some of the most affordable tutoring add-ons available. You can add one hour of tutoring for just $99. Again, this feature alone can make PrepScholar worth the investment, depending on your needs.
Does PrepScholar have a mobile app?
PrepScholar GMAT doesn’t have a dedicated mobile app, but their content is fully online, so you can access it from your browser while on-the-go. If a mobile app is something that’s important to you, then you should check out Magoosh, which has a fully-loaded mobile app for digital learners.
Every student is different, and though PrepScholar GMAT may work for some, you may not be convinced it’s the best option for you. We’ve put together a helpful comparison page of the major GMAT courses out there today—there, you’ll see how the best course options stack up against each other in areas like pricing, duration, features, and more.
Bryce Welker is an active speaker, blogger, and regular contributor to Forbes, Inc.com, and Business.com where he shares his knowledge to help others boost their careers. Bryce is the founder of more than 20 test prep websites that help students and professionals pass their certification exams.