Magoosh vs. Manhattan Prep GRE Review

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Magoosh and Manhattan Prep are two test-prep companies that work to revolutionize how students can prepare for the GRE. They have created fun and effective environments for Graduate and MBA hopefuls to study for their exam anywhere, anytime.

There are some differences between the two companies, despite the fact they both have a  “Come on in, we are here to help you,” attitude.

This article will give you an overview of the courses Magoosh and Manhattan Prep have to offer and will highlight some major differences between them. Magoosh only has a self-paced GRE prep program for students to enroll in. Manhattan Prep, on the other hand, has several options for students who want to prepare for the GRE. They are a larger company with refined resources, strategies, and practice questions.

TPA "Check Price On" Button for Magoosh
TPA "Check Price On" Button for Manhattan Prep

Overall, Manhattan Prep is one of the best GRE tutoring companies in the industry. Their written practice questions are far better than Magoosh’s. If you can afford Manhattan Prep’s program, or go on their payment plan, I would highly recommend them for this reason.

Summary of Magoosh Courses

If you are looking for an instructor-led course, it is important to know Magoosh does not offer this. Although you can hire one of their tutors for private lessons, they only sell GRE self-paced online courses.

Magoosh has two options for students to choose from for their self-paced courses: a one-month or six-month package. These two packages are identical in what students will receive upon purchase. The only difference is the length of time they will gain access. These programs take students through lectures, sorted by GRE topics, and are followed by practice questions.

Furthermore, students do not have to sign up for the complete GRE course if they do not feel they need it. If this is you, you can purchase just the Verbal and Analytical Writing material or just the Math. With that said, enrolling in Magoosh’s Six Month Premium Package will get you the most bang for your buck.

Summary of Manhattan Prep Courses

Almost all big test-prep companies offer self-paced GRE online courses, but Manhattan Prep’s is one of my personal favorites. Their program is constructed in a way that truly takes into account how students learn.

The GRE self-paced class is made up of three levels that will cover GRE Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning along with the Analytical Writing sections. The levels will increase in difficulty as students progress through the course. Each level will have three components: Learn It, Drill It, and Prove It.

You guessed it! The Learn It section is where students will watch videos of instructors teaching them the content and strategies for a particular GRE topic. These videos are professional and highly interactive with clear audio, animations, and instructors who are good on camera. They are of higher quality than Magoosh videos, there is no way around it.

It is always important for students to take a moment to internalize new information before moving on to challenging GRE questions. Hence, The Drill It section will start with very basic questions that will provide students the opportunity to practice the strategies and content they just learned with straightforward questions. Once a student demonstrates they understand the concepts, they will move on to the Prove It section, where they will be given GRE-like questions to answer.

Magoosh vs. Manhattan Prep GRE Comparison

Below is a side-by-side comparison of Magoosh and Manhattan Prep’s self-paced online GRE courses. Unlike Magoosh, Manhattan Prep offers instructor-led classes. If you are someone who feels this is what you would need in order to stay on track, I have provided an overview of the other courses Manhattan Prep offers.

Magoosh Self-Paced GRE Course


Includes:

  • Coverage of GRE Math, Verbal and Analytical Writing
  • Over 250 Video Lessons + Explanations
  • Over 1,200 Practice Questions
  • Up to 3 Practice Tests
  • Ability to Create a Study Schedule
  • Score Predictor
  • Email Assistance

Cost
1 Month Access – $129
6 Month Access – $149

Manhattan Prep Self-Paced GRE Course


Includes:

  • Coverage of GRE Math, Verbal and Analytical Writing
  • 77 Interactive and Adaptive Video Lessons
  • 100,000+ Practice Problems
  • Detailed Video Explanations
  • Six full-length GRE Practice Tests
  • Ability to Track Progress

Cost
1 Month Access – $249
6 Month Access – $399

Manhattan Prep GRE Scheduled Courses

GRE Complete Course: Online or In-Person

Includes:

  • 8 sessions of classroom instruction, each 3 hours long
  • Daily vocabulary emails
  • 6 full-length section adaptive practice tests with explanations and assessment reports
  • On-demand class recordings to review course concepts
  • Manhattan Prep’s Complete Strategy Guide Set books
  • ETS Official Guide to the GRE book

Cost $1,199

GRE Just Math Course

If you have strong reading comprehension skills, and simply need to focus on GRE math, this class will be more economical than the GRE Complete Course.

Includes:

  • 4 class sessions, each 3 hours long
  • A comprehensive syllabus
  • Manhattan Prep’s Math Strategy Guide
  • The 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems
  • The Official Guide to the GRE by ETS
  • 6 Online GRE Practice Tests

Cost $699

GRE For MBA Course

This course, specifically designed for students applying to MBA programs, does cover all portions of the GRE General Test. However, there is an emphasis on advanced mathematics topics. MBA admissions are usually looking for competitive Quantitative Reasoning scores from their applicants.

Includes:

  • 9 live sessions of comprehensive content, with a focus on advanced math, each 3 hours long
  • Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides
  • The 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems
  • The Official Guide to the GRE by ETS
  • 6 Online GRE Practice Tests

Cost $1,399

Magoosh vs. Manhattan Prep GRE: Teaching Style

Manhattan Prep is known for their outgoing instructors emphasizing test-prep strategy. Even in the self-paced programs, their videos will consist of a filmed tutor interacting with animations. Magoosh’s videos are more simple than Manhattan Prep’s. A student might prefer Magoosh if they simply want to hear short, to-the-point explanations to problems. This could be you if you do not have very much time to dedicate, if you are naturally a good standardized test taker, or you have already learned GRE strategy.

On the other hand, if you are a student who feels you need a lot of help with test-taking strategy, I highly advise Manhattan Prep. They are going to emphasize approach over all else. This is good for students who have more time to dedicate to studying, who are far off from their target scores, and willing to work through the resources Manhattan Prep provides.

Magoosh vs. Manhattan Prep GRE: Program Resources

Manhattan Prep’s practice questions will be adaptive to your difficulty level. This is wonderful, but the biggest resource you will get from Manhattan Prep are their enthusiastic, fun instructors. I will admit it is much easier for me to watch a Manhattan Prep video lecture than Magoosh. The audio, visuals, and knowledge provided by the teachers are just simply better. However, Magoosh has several awesome aspects to their program I would like to point out.

If you are nervous about staying on track with a self-paced course, Magoosh will ensure you have a study plan put together. On the Dashboard of your account there will be a list of the lessons to finish on a day-by-day basis. The estimated time for the individual lessons, along with the time it will take to complete all of them for that day, will also be listed. Magoosh will make sure your tasks stay organized, you just need to find the time.

Magoosh might be a much smaller company compared to Manhattan Prep, but there are just as many tech-savvy aspects to their program. For example, Magoosh will statistically track your progress with a pie chart and compare your pace to the pace of other students in the course. Also, you are able to make custom quizzes where you can choose the question type, content, number of questions, time, and whether or not the explanations are displayed between questions or at the end.

Magoosh vs. Manhattan Prep GRE: Practice Questions

Magoosh takes a more hands-on approach than Manhattan Prep when it comes to offering assistance to students. Magoosh provides email assistance to anyone enrolled in their courses. As long as a student is asking about one of Magoosh’s practice questions, a Magoosh tutor will help them through the problem via email.

But Manhattan Prep’s questions are the most realistic GRE type questions you will find in the industry. They are as close to ETS GRE questions as you can get, outside of Official ETS material. Magoosh’s questions do a great job testing students on their fundamentals, such as Algebra and Geometry. Even though the questions are not as realistic to the GRE as Manhattan Prep’s, they will help you refine your math and basic reading comprehension skills.

Magoosh vs. Manhattan Prep GRE: Full-Length Exams

Manhattan Prep has several full-length practice GRE exams, written by them, for students to work through. The tests are section adaptive and visually look almost identical to the actual GRE. What makes Manhattan Prep’s written GRE questions the best is how accurate they are to the GRE in difficulty level. GRE questions are tricky and remind me of mini brain teasers. They do not require intense, advanced knowledge of Math or Verbal. Manhattan Prep’s questions are the same way.

Magoosh offers up to three practice exams–written by Magoosh–for students to take. However, the questions that make up the exams are pulled from the same questions that make up the program. Magoosh’s algorithm will put together a student’s practice exam based on the questions they have yet to answer. Therefore, students want to make sure they put together their full-length practice exams prior to working through all the material. If they are not on top of this, they might not be able to create full-length exams with questions they have not seen before.

Magoosh vs. Manhattan Prep GRE: Strategies

Even though Magoosh provides helpful test-taking tips, I noticed their instructors did not always take into account the online GRE format. For example, in a text completion lecture, the tutor was physically crossing off irrelevant information in the sentence. He went about this as if it was a strategy to utilize on test day, despite the fact this is not something students can actually do.  

Manhattan Prep offers some of the most effective test-taking strategies in the industry. They truly teach students how to approach the exam efficiently, allowing them to build the skills necessary to do well. Magoosh will breeze by a particular strategy, but Manhattan Prep will focus on it. They have taken the time to not only figure out the best ways to maneuver through the GRE, but they have created fun, easy-to-remember sayings to help students implement the strategies.

Final Thoughts

In summary, for students who are not trying to score in the top percentile and would like an affordable program that will introduce them to the GRE and various topics tested, Magoosh is a wonderful option. However, if you have several months to prepare and would like a higher percentile GRE score, Manhattan Prep will provide the resources, accurate questions and efficient strategies you will need in order to obtain it.