Magoosh is one of the more well known test-prep companies, but it has a smaller team than most. For all intents and purposes, they are a company that feels like a mom and pop shop over a big corporate chain. The reason I say this is because they are very upfront with the fine details of their program such as return policies and what the courses do not include. Also, their website is simple and sleek, with a playful feel.
Magoosh’s goal is to provide test prep across the globe in a fun, easy to access, and affordable way. I would say they’re doing a good job.
Magoosh is a relatively small test prep company, compared to others, and they do not offer instructor-led online or in-person GRE courses. Speaking of which, you can see the photos and bios of their entire team on the website. This makes the program feel more personal, even though the courses themselves are self-paced.
There are two different online self-paced GRE prep options offered by Magoosh. There is no difference between the one month and six month packages, minus the length of access.
The one-month program is marketed to students who need last minute prep. With that said, many students plan on taking the GRE once before the reality of needing to take it a second, or third, time sinks in. So keep this in mind when deciding how long you will need to retain access.
Also, you do not have to sign-up for the complete course. You can choose to purchase just the Verbal and Analytical Writing resources or just the Math.
Full GRE Prep Course Includes…
Magoosh took a Silicon Valley approach when creating its GRE self-paced prep program. There are so many tech-savvy aspects to the course for students to utilize. For example, there are several areas on the interface that track your progress via a pie chart and compare your pace of answering questions to the pace of other students.
There were three characteristics that I found to be the most impressive.
1. Once you answer questions regarding your scheduled GRE date and level of expertise (beginner, intermediate, advanced) Magoosh will suggest a study schedule for you and display it on a day by day basis. The time to complete each video lesson and the total estimated time to complete that day’s studying will be displayed. For those of you who might be nervous about staying on track with a self-paced program, this resource is critical.
2. On the home page, there are tabs to get to your Dashboard, Lessons, Practice Review and Tutoring (they offer private tutoring for those interested). I found the practice review to be the most unique aspect of Magoosh’s program. Students are able to use numerous filters in order to create custom practice quizzes. They can choose the following when putting together their set of practice problems…
3. Every question has a video explanation. Therefore, if you do not like videos, this is not the course for you. Students also have the option to read the transcript of the video explanation and can actually click on a sentence in the transcript and be taken to that part of the video.
I will say, the videos are very basic. You do not see the instructor who is speaking and there are no animations. Also, I found some instructors to be more engaging and helpful than others. However, in true Magoosh fashion, there are an impressive amount of resources for students to access after watching a video explanation.
After watching a video explanation for a question you missed, Magoosh will suggest other video lessons along with written blogs for you to review that have to do with the subject matter of your missed question.
There up to three practice exams–written by Magoosh– for students to take. However, to create the practice tests, Magoosh uses the same questions that make up the program. Their algorithm will find the questions you have yet to answer and use them to create the exams.
Hence, it is important you make sure to create three practice exams and save the rest of the questions to tackle as practice problems. If this is something you forget to do, you might not be able to take full-length exams with questions you have not seen before.
Although Magoosh’s practice exams do not grade the Analytical Writing portion of the test, the prompts are still given to you. Several companies leave out practice prompts so this is definitely a bonus. Also, there are video lessons on general strategy that should be used when writing the essays.
Since the practice exams are written by Magoosh and can only replicate the GRE so much, it will still be imperative you complete the practice exams released by ETS: the POWERPREP and POWERPREP PLUS tests.
1. You need something that works around your schedule
One of the defining elements of Magoosh’s GRE prep program is that it is 100% self-paced. Therefore, it is a wonderful option for those who are too busy to commit to a fixed weekly study schedule.
2. You’re self-motivated
Considering the above, it is important to be self-motivated. Preparing for the GRE is something that many people have on their “to do” list. Although you might have a hectic calendar, you still want to schedule the time into your week that you will log onto Magoosh and work through the practice problems, videos, and exams. Even if it is for two thirty-minute intervals throughout the day: schedule it and treat that time as if you are going into work and cannot be late.
3. You enjoy videos
All of the explanations come in the form of a video. Therefore, you will like this program if you enjoy videos as opposed to reading through long explanations.
4. You have a reliable internet connection
This might be a little more obvious, but you want to make sure you have a reliable device and a consistent internet connection in order to complete the program since it is 100% online. If your laptop screen is cracked and resembles that of a spider web, you might be better off purchasing GRE books.
Overall, Magoosh might not have questions that fully mimic the GRE and their videos might not be the most engaging to watch, but they provide students with an affordable and effective GRE test-prep program with a wide variety of resources. However, if you are trying to earn a competitive GRE score, I would suggest enrolling in one of the programs offered by The Princeton Review, Manhattan Prep, or Kaplan (see their reviews here). These companies will provide you with a wider variety of effective strategies along with more accurate GRE like questions.