Jump to content

How reliable is Kaplan GRE prep?


Recommended Posts

Hello all,


I'm signed up for my GRE for August 16th and I'm a little worried about doing well. At the beginning of summer I purchased a Kaplan prepbook and took a diagnostic test cold and scored a 156Q and 152V. I was pretty content with these being my base scores before any prep whatsoever, as my goals are to score a 155+ in each section. I worked full time this summer while taking 2 of the most difficult courses for my major and I definitely put GRE on the backburner (I still studied, but alot less than I probably should of) Now I've found the GradCafe and it seems from alot of the posts here say that Kaplan diagnostic tests are not as predictive for actual performance. I will be spending the next three weeks studying as much as possible and I downloaded the Powerprep software and I plan to take one of the time diagnostics this week. How reliable are the Kaplan scores, in your experience? If I spend 3-4 hours a day for the next 3 weeks studying, is it realistic for me to score in the 155+ range? Any advice is appreciated!  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my personal experience, I would recommend you take as many practice tests as you can. I took a few Kaplan ones, Manhattan Prep, and DEFINITELY take the Powerprep tests--those come directly from ETS so they are most like the actual GRE. (I scored between 159-167V across my practice tests and got a 165 on the real test. I didn't do the math portion of the practice tests because my discipline doesn't really care about it as much, but I scored 151Q).


For the verbal, study vocab. Vocab is the way to go. I used an app on my phone so I could test myself wherever I was. Honestly, I spent more time studying vocab than anything else. It helps to use the words in context. I'd also practice reading comprehension if you want to raise your verbal--practice tests will help because you kind of figure out where the test is trying to trick you. Manhattan Prep really does a good job of breaking down where the pitfalls are.


Math--well math and I aren't good friends, so I can't help you much. I know ETS has free resources for reviewing GRE math on their website, so I'd skim through those.


Even if you ace the practice tests, if you go into the real test nervous/sick/depressed/any amount of other things, you might not perform as well. Try not to stress too much about it, and remember that it's only one part of the application. 


For test day, remember to eat before you go in. My stomach was growling the whole time and I was miserable. Also, use the restroom. I totally forgot because I was psyched out. Think about if you perform better in the morning or afternoon, and sign up for a test time accordingly. Just take your time and try not to stress yourself out beforehand. You're going to do great!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, and I've heard Kaplan scores are generally higher than the actual GRE, but don't let this freak you out. I scored 165 and 167V on my Kaplan practice tests, so it wasn't that far off. I scored 159 on the first Powerprep, and 162 on the second. The best thing these practice tests do for you is make you an expert on how to take the GRE, which makes up a huge part of how to do well on the GRE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much! I'm going to take my first powerprep tomorrow and see how it compares to Kaplan. It seems like it's the most accurate predictor

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use