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Kaplan GMAT Course

Joined: Aug 17, 2014
Purchased Course: Jun 4, 2014
College: UNC Chapel Hill
Industry: Advertising/Marketing
Verified Real Student Review

Re-takers beware - Money-back guarantee is impossible to invoke

August 17, 2014
  • Teacher: N.A
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: 690 After: 660

My issue is not so much with the course material itself as with the money-back guarantee. I scored a 690 on the test in April 2014, which is not terrible, but I had really been hoping to break a 700. The reason I chose to re-take with Kaplan was the money-back guarantee. I was willing to pay $600 to break 700 or at least improve my quant percentile.

First of all, their diagnostic exam is dubious at best. I called before buying the course to verify that the 690 could be used as my baseline score, and I'm glad I did, because I got a 550 on the diagnostic which is about 90 points lower than any of my previous practice exams. Towards the end of the course, though, all my practice exams were 710-740. So you can imagine my horror when I submitted the real exam and saw "660" pop up on the screen, with no improvement whatsoever in the quant section.

When I called yesterday to invoke the money-back guarantee, I was told that because I cancelled my scores, there was no way to prove that I actually scored lower. In order to get my $600 back, I'd have to pay $100 to GMAC to reinstate the scores, which would also be sent to all the schools. So basically it's a catch-22: if you do score lower, in order to prove it to Kaplan you also have to send your lower score to all the schools you're applying to and jeopordize your chances of getting in... which defeats the whole purpose of re-taking to begin with!

Even if i DID do that, the guy on the phone says because I didn't take the final CAT (which is listed as "Optional" on the syllabus), I was ineligible. If I had known that the "optional" tests are actually "required" then I would have just filled it out the night before. But I'm sure that even if I did do that, there'd be some other technicality on that they'd get me on.

I was so frustrated and work up I was literally in tears and asked if I could talk to the guy's manager. He said that his manager would call me back in "24 to 48 hours," and then, to add insult to injury, he offered to allow me to repeat the course for free. (How generous! Keep in mind that the on-demand program Kaplan offers is entirely pre-recorded, and granting someone access to it costs the company $0. And it doesn't work.)

I'm just so disappointed and disillusioned by this experience. I'd be interested to see the stats on what percent of people who do score lower on the exam after taking the Kaplan course, and attempt to get their money back, are actually able to get their money back. (I'm sure Kaplan's answer is that nobody scores lower so there are no stats on that.) I actually thought that the course material itself was helpful so it's possible that maybe nerves or just having a bad day caused me to score lower. Either way, if you're considering re-taking the exam I would definitely not be swayed by Kaplan's MBG because they have a lot of systems in place to make sure that it's not actually possible.
Joined: Apr 22, 2014
Purchased Course: Feb 4, 2014
Major: Computer and Information Sciences
Industry: Computers/Software
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

The practice tests were really useful

May 7, 2014
  • Teacher:
  • Recommended forVerbal: Yes  Math: Yes
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: 760

I took the on-demand course.
I'll list out some pros and cons below.

Pros -
- The 9 practice CATs were really useful. Helped me correct my timing issues, and build confidence as I saw my score go up from 640 to 700 during the CATs, and finally a 760 on the actual GMAT.
- You can take one practice test at a Pearson location. I found this experience really helpful. No surprises on test day.
- Quiz bank and other practice questions were of good quality.
- The little pocket reference book always stayed with me. I'd read a few pages every time I had a few free minutes

Cons -
- Website had a few issues when I was trying to use it. However, customer service was pretty good and helped resolve these issues within a day.
- Practice CATs are harder than the actual GMAT, especially the verbal section.
- I found the on-demand video lectures a little boring, but I didn't really need them.
Joined: May 24, 2010
Purchased Course: Oct 18, 2012
Verified Real Student Review

A disaster from a 620 to a 540

November 27, 2012
  • Teacher:
  • Recommended forVerbal: No  Math: No
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: 540

This course is not at all comprehensive . Verbal strategy threw me over. I should have stuck to my own strategies. However, i got my money back but it left a mark in my record.
I scored a 620 in actual gmat 1. I was confident i could boost my score by atleast a 50 points and purchased this course after reading reviews of kaplan.
It was a complete disaster.
I do not recommend this course.
Joined: Aug 7, 2010
Purchased Course: Jan 12, 2010
Verified Real Student Review

I highly reccommend Kaplan Live Online - GMAT

August 8, 2010
  • Teacher: Alana Ohana
  • Recommended forVerbal: Yes  Math: Yes
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

As a former student of Kaplan's Live Online GMAT prep course. I would highly recommend the course to anyone interested in applying to business school. I found that the Kaplan course, although more expensive than its counterparts, offered the best practice resources.

The online classroom environment worked well, and better than expected. The instructor was well trained and her presentations were engaging.
All of the practice resources from the computer adaptive tests, to the quiz bank materials offered the most extensive prep material available. Upon completing all of the required work as directed by Kaplan, I felt confident and prepared to master the Exam.

My online course instructor was the most valuable asset to my Kaplan course. Alana offered valuable insight on what to expect on the test, as well as the best methods for preparing for the exam. She was engaging, creative, and knowledgeable.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with the online classroom environment, the on demand access to practice materials and course instructor.