GMAT prep courses give you the resources and tools to succeed on the Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT. GMAT prep courses come in several formats, including in-person instruction, online courses, and book-based study courses. GMAT prep courses may help you prepare for your first GMAT attempt or help you improve your score for a retest.
The best GMAT prep courses can easily demonstrate good results for past students and offer a combination of lessons, practice tests, and study guides to walk prospective test-takers through a clear course with in-depth coverage of all test topics.
Best GMAT Prep Courses of 2021
Best Overall : Magoosh
Magoosh is our choice for the overall best GMAT prep course due to reasonable pricing for a full year of access to an extensive set of GMAT prep resources with a 50-point score increase guarantee.
One year of access to video lessons, practice questions, diagnostic tests, and study schedules
50-point score improvement guarantee
Free trial available
Option to pause your study program
No essay grading
Only two full practice exams
Magoosh is our top choice because it includes an extensive set of online study resources, an impressive 50-point score improvement guarantee, and a price point that’s far below top competitors. While you don’t get as many resources as some big-name test prep companies, the value here is tough to beat.
The Premium version is best for most self-study students and costs $249 for one year of access. Study content in the premium package includes all four GMAT sections with two practice tests, more than 300 video lessons, and 1,300 practice questions. Magoosh includes a score predictor, which helps you know if you need to study harder or if you’re on track for your target score.
A version that includes only the math and integrated reasoning sections is available for $219, or you can upgrade to a course that consists of six hours of tutoring with one-on-one video sessions for $799. While it would be nice to see more than two practice exams included, Magoosh customers get 40% off official GMAT practice exams if you care to add those on.
Best Free Course : GMAT Official Starter Kit
We like that the GMAT Official Starter Kit gives prospective test-takers access to two full-length GMAT practice exams and 90 practice questions for free and is made by the company that makes the Graduate Management Admission Test.
Includes two full practice exams in the GMAT format
Made by the creator of the GMAT
Not sufficient for full exam preparation
When studying for any exam, official prep materials from the exam’s creator are a great way to get a feel for the actual exam experience. We like that you get that for free from the GMAT Official Starter Kit at MBA.com.
After signing up, you get free, unlimited access to two full-length practice exams, 90 practice questions, and time-management reports to help you understand where you need to focus most during the real exam. The practice tests simulate the test-taking experience, so they are a good way to start your exam prep with an idea of what lies ahead.
While it is free, the resources are limited, and you’ll likely need an additional, paid preparation course to do well on the GMAT. More practice exams are available for purchase from MBA.com, but there’s little reason to skip this free option to improve your GMAT skills.
Best Online Course : Kaplan
- Price: $599 (self-paced) or $1,249 (live instruction)
- Duration: 4 months
- Guarantee: Score improvement
We chose Kaplan as the best online course because it offers two high-quality preparation course options with comprehensive GMAT prep resources.
Options for self-paced study or live instruction
Nine practice exams and more than 2,500 practice questions
Additional Kaplan resources can improve your study experience
One of the more expensive GMAT prep options
No guarantee of a specific score improvement
Kaplan is a huge test prep company, and we picked it as the best online GMAT prep course because of its depth of resources and various course-taking options. You can choose between a self-paced course or an instructor-led experience with live teaching. You get access to nine full practice exams and a bank of more than 2,500 sample questions in either case.
Kaplan’s course also includes the Kaplan GMAT prep books, which some students use to get ready for test day as a standalone study resource. Kaplan students can also opt for an official practice exam inside of an actual GMAT testing center.
The self-paced course costs $599 and includes some access to teacher support. The more expensive live online version costs $1,249 and includes sessions in an online classroom where you can ask questions to a team of teachers. While it’s one of the more expensive courses, the extensive resources included may make it worth the cost.
Best In-Person Course : Princeton Review
We picked Princeton Review because it offers multiple in-person course options as well as in-person private tutoring.
Two options for different in-person GMAT courses
High-end course with 700+ score guarantee available
The courses include essay grading
One of the more expensive course options
620+ starting score required for 700+ guarantee
The Princeton Review is a major exam prep company covering many more courses than the GMAT, and its GMAT courses stand out as a top choice for in-person exam prep. While it is a bit pricier than the GMAT Fundamentals course, the GMAT 700+ course, which guarantees you a score of 700 or higher if you start with a score of at least 620, is likely the best choice for most.
The GMAT 700+ course includes 47 hours of instruction and course content with a maximum class size of 12. That consists of 27 hours of regular classroom instruction and four hours of one-on-one instruction, plus about 20 hours of video-based lessons. In addition, students get the official GMAT guidebook bundle, among other resources, adding up to 4,800 practice questions and 10 practice tests.
These courses are not cheap, but you get what you pay for. The Fundamentals course currently sells for $1,299, while the GMAT 700+ course sells for $1,599, including public coupon codes. Limited class sizes and included one-on-one tutoring are major benefits when getting ready for your MBA program.
Best for Student Support : The Economist GMAT Tutor
We like that The Economist GMAT Tutor includes options for written essay reviews and a credit system to get additional personalized help where you need it most.
70-point improvement guarantee with top plans
Ask questions to live tutors
Use “credits” to customize your learning plan to your needs
The lowest-priced plan doesn’t include essay reviews or a score guarantee
Each plan has a different access time period
The Economist is best known for its magazine, but it also offers a highly regarded GMAT prep course. We picked The Economist Tutor as the best GMAT course for student support because it provides a combination of options for personalized, one-on-one help to ensure you’re in the best position to succeed on your exam.
The highest-priced Genius plan includes six months of access to a full set of exam prep resources, including six practice tests, six essay reviews, four one-on-one tutoring sessions, two expert assessments, unlimited questions with a tutor, and a large number of credits for the self-directed portion of the program.
Credits are used when you answer a question, download a PDF, take a verbal quiz, submit an essay for review, or take a practice test. You can opt to use credits for additional private tutor sessions, essay reviews, essay review upgrades, and expert assessments. Based on the offerings, most students could skip the lowest-cost $539 Quant plan and go with either the $789 Premium plan or the $989 Genius plan for the best results. As a bonus, all plans include a complimentary digital subscription to The Economist.
Best Score Improvement Guarantee : TestMasters
We picked TestMasters because it includes an impressive score improvement guarantee of 100+ points, the biggest guarantee of reviewed GMAT course providers.
Choose online, classroom, or private one-on-one courses
12-session course includes additional study materials
Score improvement guarantee of 100+ points
Not available in all states
The online experience uses a dated design
TestMasters offers a self-guided online course, in-person classroom course, and private one-on-one course instruction. The biggest unique feature is a score improvement guarantee of 100+ points, which is the biggest guarantee of any course reviewed.
However you decide to proceed with TestMasters, all courses include 12 class sessions plus an additional 1,200+ pages of study materials and a copy of The Official Guide for GMAT Review. The biggest downside is the online experience, which lags behind competitors. But while the design isn’t stellar, the content is solid.
You can take the online-only version for $899, the in-person classroom course for $999, or private one-on-one teaching for $2,999. The private one-on-one course is a bit pricey, but it could be the right choice for students who do best with personal attention.
Best Comprehensive Option : Veritas Prep
Veritas Prep offers an impressive 12 practice exams plus access to a live instructor for help for a year.
Includes 12 practice exams and 5,000+ practice questions
Access digital content for one year from signup
Options for live instruction and private tutoring
High cost for added tutoring
Live course pace may be slowed by other students
Veritas Prep offers self-paced online study as well as live instruction. If you choose the self-paced, on-demand version, you get a year of access to study materials, including 12 practice tests, 5,000 practice questions, interactive video lessons, and a self-diagnostic test, making it the most comprehensive option. The course also gives you access to a live instructor for questions seven days a week. Upgraded self-study options include tutoring and more one-on-one assistance.
The live online class is a six-week session where students see an average 140-point score increase, which is well above the 50-point guarantee. The tutoring program for more individual help is one of the more expensive options for personalized assistance, with packages starting at $2,650 for 10 hours.
The self-paced, online course is in the middle of the pack for cost but includes more test questions and practice tests than competitors. If that’s where you see the best success with exam preparation, Veritas could be a good option for your needs.
Best on a Budget : PrepScholar
We chose PrepScholar as best for those on a budget because it offers a low-cost $69 starting package and a comprehensive program for $259.
Online study packages starting at $69
The most robust program includes four practice exams
Five-day free trial on all plans
Dated online experience
Short access duration for lower-cost plans
PrepScholar is our top option for GMAT prep on a budget, as it offers courses starting at just $69. That’s less than 5% of what you’ll pay with some of the most expensive options. While there’s an option under $100, most students will do best with the $259 Completely Customized Online GMAT Prep course. It includes a 60-point score improvement guarantee.
The $259 version includes four months of access to more than 100 hours of content, 1,000+ practice questions, and four practice exams. Lessons focus on GMAT skills, GMAT strategy, and the content that makes up each of the four exam sections.
For an additional cost, you can add a tutoring package. Tutoring isn’t the cheapest around, starting at $799 for four hours (about $200 per hour), but for those who feel confident learning at their own pace, the self-guided online courses are very affordable compared to the competition.
Overall, Magoosh is our top choice because it offers an extensive GMAT prep course for a reasonable price. The $250 course includes a year of access to course materials and comes with a 50-point score improvement guarantee. It’s not the cheapest or the most robust course, but it does a good job of balancing cost and value for future GMAT test-takers.
If you plan to take the GMAT, a GMAT prep course or study guide may be an essential resource. Some students may get by with only a test prep book, but online classes with live help, practice exams, and large libraries of practice questions help others achieve a higher score. Magoosh does a good job of catering to various learning styles and needs without breaking the bank.
Compare the Best GMAT Prep Courses
|$249||Online||50 points||1-year access|
|GMAT Official Starter Kit
Best Free Course
Best Online Course
|$599 to $1,249||Online self-paced or live instruction (in-person also available)||Score improvement||4 months|
Best In-Person Course
|$1,299 to $1,599||Live online or in-person instruction||Score improvement or 700+ score (depends on course)||4 months|
|The Economist GMAT Tutor
Best for Student Support
|$539 to $989||Online||70 points||2 to 6 months|
Best Score Improvement Guarantee
|$899 to $2,999||Online, classroom or private one-on-one||100 points||4 months|
Best Comprehensive Option
|$699 to $2,650||Online||50 points||1-year online access|
Best on a Budget
|$69 to $259||Online||60 points||4 months|
How to Choose the Best GMAT Prep Course
To pick the best GMAT prep courses, it’s a good idea to look at course materials, the number of practice exams and questions, cost, score improvement guarantees, and duration as top factors.
- Course materials: The quality and type of materials are essential in learning what you need to succeed on the GMAT.
- Number of resources: Each provider has a varying number of practice exams, sample questions, and other resources.
- Price: Cost is a big factor in the course you choose, though it’s a relatively low factor due to the overall cost of taking the GMAT and earning an MBA.
- Score improvement guarantee: Score improvement guarantees indicate the quality of instruction and success of past students.
- Duration: Longer course durations give you more time to prepare and study.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a GMAT Prep Course Worth It?
GMAT prep courses are not the only way to study for the GMAT, but they are an important option for many future GMAT participants. GMAT prep courses are worthwhile to anyone who wants to do better on the GMAT exam and doesn't trust themselves to study well using only books and other non-course resources. Depending on your needs, there’s likely a GMAT prep course that meets your budget, schedule, and learning style.
What Is the GMAT?
The GMAT is the Graduate Management Admissions Test. This test is the standard entrance exam for Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programs worldwide. The GMAT is a computer-based test including multiple-choice questions and an essay section. GMAT scores range from 200 to 800, with an average score of around 565. Every university has different MBA admission requirements, so you should check your desired programs for typical undergraduate grades and GMAT scores for admission.
How Do GMAT Prep Courses Help Improve Test Scores?
GMAT prep courses teach both the content included in the GMAT test and test-taking skills to help you succeed with the GMAT format. Class-style instruction, practice tests, and sample questions prepare future GMAT takers with the knowledge and skills to earn their best possible score on the exam. Depending on the GMAT prep course you choose, you may get a score improvement guarantee of up to 100 points over past attempts.
How Much Do GMAT Prep Courses Cost?
While there are free GMAT preparation resources available, most GMAT-bound individuals would likely benefit from a paid GMAT prep course. Among the courses we reviewed, costs ranged from $69 for basic, self-guided online programs to around $3,000 for a one-on-one, personalized course experience. Quality courses start at about $250 for online, self-guided lessons and materials. Many course providers offer additional tutoring and one-on-one instruction for an additional cost.
To pick the best GMAT prep courses, we looked at the details of 10 popular course providers, focusing on materials, cost, duration, and learner outcomes. Courses with extensive question banks, multiple practice exams, and long durations fared best in our ratings. The cost was a factor but carried less weight, as MBA programs may cost as much as six figures, and GMAT prep is a relatively small expense, even in the $3,000 range. Only well-reputed test preparation companies were included in our final results.