If you go onto Magoosh and The Princeton Review’s websites, you will definitely notice a difference. Magoosh’s site is straightforward and easy to navigate, while The Princeton Review’s will feel more like a department store with a plethora of test-prep options.
This is very reflective of the differences between the two companies. The Princeton Review is massive, and will provide students with lots of GRE resources in order to prepare them for their exam. However, due to its size, students might feel they are missing a level of personal attention needed for success. Magoosh does not have as many resources as The Princeton Review, but they offer assistance that can be critical to mastering GRE fundamentals.
This article will review the courses Magoosh and The Princeton Review have to offer. I will also discuss in more detail their similarities and differences so you can determine which company will work best for your GRE prep.
Overall, The Princeton Review will provide more realistic practice questions, full-length exams, and refined strategies than Magoosh. If you are trying to score in the upper GRE percentile, I highly advise enrolling in one of The Princeton Review’s programs. Although you will not get much personalized attention, you will still be better prepared for your GRE for the reasons mentioned above.
If you do not need the highest GRE score and are on a tight budget, Magoosh is a wonderful option.
Magoosh is not as large of a company as The Princeton Review and they don’t have nearly as many course options. Magoosh only offers self-paced GRE prep courses, so if you were hoping for an instructor-led class, Magoosh isn’t the company for you.
Magoosh sells two different online self-paced options. There is a one-month course and six-month course that are identical in what students will receive upon purchase, minus the length of access.
Furthermore, students do not have to commit to an entire GRE prep course if they are only looking for Verbal prep or Math prep. Although Magoosh promotes their total package, they will sell access to their Verbal and Analytical Writing material, as well as their Quantitative material, separately. Overall though, the best deal financially is to enroll in Magoosh’s Six Month premium package.
The Princeton Review offers several course options, all of which include their cutting edge technology. No matter what program a student chooses to enroll in from the option below, they will have access to The Princeton Review’s adaptive algorithm, which provides students with practice questions based on topics they need to work on the most. Also, the practice exams provided by The Princeton Review come closer to mimicking the actual GRE interface than any other company.
1 Month Access – $129
6 Month Access – $149
Just Math – $299
Just Verbal – $299
Math and Verbal – $499
Unlike Magoosh, The Princeton Review does offer instructor-led GRE prep classes. This is a good option for those who can commit to a weekly class.
Magoosh’s online course is made up of practice problems and videos. The lessons and explanations to questions come in the form of filmed PowerPoint-like videos that are very straightforward with no animations. Students do not see the instructor, only hear their voice. Despite this, for those of you who do not enjoy reading through long texts, the videos might be a relief.
Furthermore, after watching a video explanation for a question you missed, Magoosh will suggest numerous video lessons along with written blogs for you to review that have to do with the subject matter of your missed question.
The GRE lessons that make up The Princeton Review’s program are modules similar to PowerPoint slides, followed by a filmed instructor walking students through the strategies and concepts, and then the student is given practice questions. I appreciated how interactive, yet short and to-the-point these lessons were. The instructors were still thorough by pointing out not only what a student should do on test day, but what they should not do. Furthermore, the practice questions that come at the end of the lessons very much reflect what students will see on test day and adequately fit the assigned strategy.
With their state-of-the-art study tools, The Princeton Review optimizes students GRE progress.
For example, their DrillSmart exercise will produce practice questions that match a student’s skill level. The Princeton Review’s algorithm auto-generates questions based on past questions the student missed. Once a student masters these specific types of questions, the program will increase the difficulty level. This is extremely effective due to the fact it can be difficult to pick out your own practice problems that will adequately challenge you.
In addition, The Princeton Review has an interactive score report that allows students to see their strengths and weaknesses. This will allow for a more focused test review.
Magoosh also allows for customization. When putting together their own practice questions, students are able to choose…
A unique aspect to Magoosh that makes them stand out from The Princeton Review is that they offer email assistance at no extra cost. This is a hands-on approach that can be extremely beneficial for self-paced students who cannot ask an instructor questions. As long as a student’s question is regarding one of the Magoosh’s practice questions, a Magoosh tutor will help them with the problem via email.
Magoosh’s questions will help test your basic reading comprehension and math fundamentals skills, but they do not mimic the actual GRE questions as well as The Princeton Review’s.
With that said, The Princeton Review will sometimes have Quantitative Reasoning questions that are more difficult than the actual GRE. Hence, if you are working through some of their “advanced” math questions and begin to feel discouraged, please don’t. It is unlikely you will be given a question that will require that much background knowledge on test day.
When you take a full-length practice GRE, created by The Princeton Review, you will receive a score summary that provides an “analysis overview.” This overview will tell you the amount of questions you got correct in the section, the amount of questions missed, the time you spent on the entire section, and your average pace for questions answered correctly versus incorrectly.
The Princeton Review’s practice GRE exams visually look very similar to the ones produced by ETS (Magoosh’s not so much). Also, you will receive a score report showing the amount of questions answered correctly for specific question types such as “text completion” and “sentence equivalence.”
Magoosh does not have as many full-length exams to offer as The Princeton Review; they only have three. Also, the questions that create the practice GREs are made up of the same practice questions that are in the lessons/drills. Magoosh’s algorithm puts together practice exams based on the questions students have yet to answer.
It is essential to keep this in mind if you enroll in the Magoosh self-paced program. One of the most important resources for a student as they prep for the GRE is taking full-length exams. Students need to make sure they put together their three practice tests and save the rest of the questions to answer as practice problems. If they forget to do this, they might not be able to create full-length exams with questions they have yet to see.
One of the best ways to approach the GRE when you first start studying is to think big then small. Learn how to tackle the exam as a whole, then hone in on strategies for the individual sections and types of questions. The Princeton Review teaches the same approach.
The Princeton Review begins with test-taking strategies that might seem oversimplified, but as a veteran tutor I can vouch for the fact that most students do not think of these things when they are overwhelmed while also re-learning algebra. For example, The Princeton Review will show you how to properly use your scratch paper, efficiently implement the mark button on the computer, and optimize the number of questions you answer correctly with their “take the easy test first” tip. The Princeton Review has created fun phrases for many of the strategies they present in order to help students memorize them.
Magoosh does not only focus on content, they provide test-taking tips. However, I was a little concerned with the fact that their instructors did not always take into account the GRE online format.
For example, in a text completion lecture, the teacher was physically crossing off irrelevant information in the example sentence. He went about this as if it was an essential strategy to utilize on test day. However, this is not something students can actually do. There is no writing tool that allows test-takers to draw on the screen.
If you want to feel like you have some level of one-on-one attention despite working through a self-paced program, you might prefer Magoosh to The Princeton Review. For those who are not trying to score in the top percentile, and truly need an introduction to the GRE and help with fundamentals, Magoosh is an awesome and affordable course. However, if you know the Graduate or MBA programs you are applying to require a higher GRE score, it is likely you will need all the resources–and accurate GRE questions–provided by The Princeton Review.