Magoosh GMAT Prep Review: The Right Fit?

Magoosh is an online test prep company with comprehensive courses to help you prepare for the GMAT.  In addition to its large question bank and impressive catalogue of video lessons, Magoosh provides its students with a neat suite of planning tools to help make GMAT prep as intuitive as possible.

In this article, we’ll be looking at what makes Magoosh unique as a test prep platform, and then I’ll share with you my thoughts after spending a week using the free trial version of its website.

Magoosh’s GMAT Prep Programs & Price

With Magoosh, students have the option of preparing for the GMAT using its self-directed study plans, or with the individualized help of an in-house tutor.

Both options make use of Magoosh’s GMAT prep platform, which boasts hundreds of video lessons, a sizable bank of practice questions, and email assistance for when you need extra help.

Because some students focus their GMAT prep on the quantitative sections, Magoosh offers two levels of access under the self-study program:

Self Study: Math and IR

This self study option only offers questions from the Quantitative and Integrated Reasoning sections.  You get full access to all Math and Integrated Reasoning content which includes 175 video lessons and over 720 practice questions.

We really like that Magoosh offers students a lower priced option that covers a smaller section of the full GMAT exam.

The Self Study Math & Integrated Reasoning package includes the following features:

  • Priced at just $219.
  • 1 full year of access.
  • Full access to email assistance from Magoosh support in the event you need additional help.

Self Study: Premium

The premium option will appeal to students that prefer access to all content including math, integrated reasoning, verbal, and analytical writing assessment.  The premium option also includes a few added features not available in the more basic self study option.

In addition to all the features including in the Math and Integrated Reasoning package, the premium option includes the following features:

  • Available for $249 (regularly priced at $438).
  • Over 340 video lessons.
  • 1,300 practice test questions.
  • Unlimited number of self generated, full length practice exams.
  • Customized study schedules.
  • 1 year of access.
  • Custom score predictor which utilizes prior student data to predict your score.

Regardless of which option you choose, access to the platform is backed by a score-improvement guarantee and lasts for one full year after your purchase date.

Guided Study: Tutoring & Premium

Finally, Magoosh’s Tutoring and Premium option gives you full access to their platform plus six hours of one-on-one tutoring for a single fixed price.

Lessons are held via Skype or over the phone, and typically last for one hour. If you don’t like your tutor after your first lesson, Magoosh allows you cancel and get your money back—no strings attached.

Notable benefits of the Tutoring & Premium option include:

  • Full access for just $799 (regularly priced at $1,098).
  • 6 full hours of 1 on 1 tutoring
  • Includes all content and curriculum featured in the Premium self study course.

Comparing the Study Options

In terms of pricing, one of Magoosh’s strengths is the affordability of its self-directed programs.  In addition, Magoosh frequently offers promotional discounts in its products.  Each product is currently being offered with a 20% discount.

Access to its Math and IR curricula only costs $219 for an entire year, and currently, adding the Verbal and Writing sections only brings the total up to $249.

While tutoring is always more expensive, Magoosh’s rates are competitive with or better than most other big-name options in GMAT prep. The Tutoring + Premium option costs $799 for access to the platform (valued at $1,098) and six hours of tutoring, so the price per instructional hour is just south of $100.

Keep in mind you can also purchase extra tutoring sessions even if you don’t purchase the Tutoring and Premium package.  Individual tutoring sessions can be purchased for $110 per session, $500 for 5 sessions ($100 per session), or $900 for 10 sessions ($90 per session).

Does Magoosh’s GMAT Prep include any Notable Features?

While most platforms will offer some type of instructional content, Magoosh’s collection of 340 video lessons impressively covers the content and strategies you’ll need for test day.

Magoosh Score Predictor

Magoosh leveraged the scores of past students to create regression-based score predictor, which can help you calibrate your workload in relation to the score that you want to attain. This isn’t just a small time sample, the score predictor includes data from over 200,000 in its database.

Finally, all of Magoosh’s questions and video lessons are also available via its app, which works for both Android and Apple. This is a great feature for students who anticipate studying on the run!

Which GMAT Prep option should you choose?

Magoosh makes self-directed GMAT prep straightforward with its comprehensive set of study schedules, which give you instructions on how to structure your time based on how soon you’ll be taking the test.

If you feel confident learning material on your own, purchasing access to Magoosh’s GMAT prep platform may be a good idea. At the current rates, it makes more sense to buy the Premium package than access to just the Math and IR sections.

You can also see how Magoosh compares with other popular GMAT prep courses.

Self Study vs Tutoring

The extra $30 is worth the 600 extra questions that Magoosh has written for the Verbal section, but even more importantly, you want to have enough practice tests to work with, and none are provided with the limited plan.

However, tutoring can be a better option for many types of students. For example, a tutor can help you arrange a study regime in case you’ve left GMAT prep to the last minute. Students with test anxiety can also benefit from the built-in support.

If you have trouble with math or grammar, or perhaps have forgotten a lot since your last class, then tutors can explain tricky concepts and help you decide what to focus on for your study plan.

Using the Magoosh GMAT Platform

In order to give you a better sense of what using Magoosh’s GMAT prep platform is like, I spent much of the past week using its free trial edition and taking notes on the quality of its instruction, material, and interface.

There is no doubt that Magoosh is a great option for the right student, but GMAT prep can be a significant investment, and it’s important to do your due diligence. Here is my first hand impression of Magoosh’s GMAT prep platform.

Quality of Instruction

The backbone of Magoosh’s GMAT prep platform is the question bank and library of video lessons. For trial customers, the company really skimps on access to practice material, only letting you see 35 of its 1,300 questions, but they are somewhat more generous with their video lessons.

Video Content

The videos offer an abundance of useful content, and strike a good balance between test-taking strategies and math and grammar review. Narrated by in-house experts, the videos typically begin with a thorough description of the concept at hand, which is then anchored with an example from the test.

When reviewing concepts from math and grammar, the instruction really shone through. It’s clear that the staff at Magoosh cares about its work. However, the strategy videos were sometimes too abstract or underdeveloped.

Narrators would read from the slides, adding only occasional commentary, and would only apply the strategy to one or two test questions, which may not necessarily be enough for you to remember when and how to implement the rule.

Practice Questions

Although I was only able to access a small fraction of Magoosh’s practice question, I was really impressed by their quality and the resemblance they held to actual questions on the GMAT.

After you’ve answered a question, Magoosh will tell you its difficulty level and the amount of time that the average student spent on it.

Then, you have the option of watching a short video explaining the question, or going straight to the full video lesson on that topic. Both options allow you to take notes that you can reference later on.

Overall, this part of Magoosh’s platform really stood out as having everything a dedicated student would need to prepare for the GMAT.

Ease of Use

Magoosh’s platform is well-developed from a user standpoint, providing easy access to everything you would need in order to prepare. The video library is neatly organized.

Magoosh’s 340 video lessons are broken down by category, and while it makes perfect sense to watch them in order, the categories also help you pick and choose lessons if you want to.

Within each video lesson, you can adjust the speed of the audio depending on how much time you want to spend on the lesson, and how clearly you understand the instructor.

Unfortunately, the audio quality is only so-so in some videos, but it’s always clear enough.

Accommodates Multiple Study Styles

For students who prefer to read, or for whom English is a second language, Magoosh also provides a written transcript of each lesson that highlights what the instructor is saying in real-time.

For both video lessons and practice questions, students can write notes to themselves in an auto-saving text box. This was extremely useful, as it allowed me to remember and review some of the more important concepts that I learned.

The only downside—and this is minor—was that the notes section was below the video on my screen, which meant that I had to hit pause whenever I needed to write something, lest I miss the next part of the lesson!

Final Thoughts

Overall, Magoosh offers a strong product for self-motivated GMAT students. While I wish I could have seen more of their content, the videos and questions included in the free trial were impressive, and students that commit to using the practically regularly and systematically are bound to do well with Magoosh.

If you’re still on the fence about trying Magoosh, we recommend you test it out for yourself with a free trial.

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